We are in, arguably, the least happy time of year. The holidays are behind us, the nights are still long, and the weather is dreadful and unpredictable. Even getting dressed can seem like a bit of a challenge, and you might find yourself defaulting to comfortable and warm (I know I have been). Here are 12 “necessities” for stylish guys that should help getting through the doldrums, without sacrificing your sense of style, much easier.
#1. Beater Boots
- Nordstrom 1901 Trenton Boots – $69.98 ($140)
- DSW Aston Grey Chelsea Boot – $74.98 ($109.99)
- John W. Nordstrom Granada Wingtip Boots – $94.49 ($185)
- GAP x Clarks Bushacre Chelsea – $88 ($110)
For those awful weather days when you don’t even want to risk wearing a nice pair of shoes. JC Penney’s Stafford boots USED to be the perfect go-to shoes for those kind of days, but… sadly it looks like they’ve capitulated to terrible leather quality on their shoe collections. And thus, we look elsewhere. The Nordstrom 1901 Trentons are a nice, lightweight, but still comfortable enough boot for seriously crap weather. Full review coming soon.
#2. A lightweight cardigan
- J. Crew Factory Merino Wool Cardigan – $55
- UNIQLO Extra Fine Merino Cardigan – $49.50
- J. Crew Italian Merino Wool Cardigan – $89.50
Easy to take on and off, and not so thick that you’ll over cook in a boiling office. Look for cardigans that are made in merino wool, and not thick squishy cotton.
#3. A traditional trench or mac jacket
- Banana Republic Cotton/Nylon Trench – $148.80 w/ BRWARM ($248)
- UNIQLO Convertible Collar Mac – $99.90
- Suitsupply Navy Wool Travel Coat – $639
Something that’s not overly heavy for those odd warm spikes, but you can still layer up under when the sun goes down. Expect more and more of these to go up for sale as we get closer to March.
#4. Nice boots with grip
- Meermin Mallorca Chukka – $200 + $35 Shipping
- John W. Nordstrom Ramiro Plain Toe Boot – $87.49 ($175)
- Allen Edmonds Liverpool Chelsea (comes with a v-tread sole) – $299 (factory 2nds) – $445
- Jack Erwin James Rubber Sole Chukka – $220 – $240
- Allen Edmonds Higgins Mill Trench Boot with Dainite Sole – $247 ($350)
For those days when it’s icy but not overly sloppy, yet a pair of traditional dress shoes is still just too dangerous. Subtle, studded soles like Dainite (or, Dainite knock offs) are always appreciated, being that they provide traction but don’t look toothy like a true lug sole.
#5. A lightly constructed tweed, flannel, or brushed wool sportcoat
- Brooks Brothers Super Soft Construction Italian Wool Sportcoat – $298 ($498)
- Suitsupply Havana Fit Blue Check Sportcoat – $399
- Brooks Brothers Soft Construction BrooksTweed Plaid with Deco Sport Coat – $298.80 ($498)
- Target Goodfellow & Co Deconstructed Knit Blazer – $49.99
- EXPRESS Slim Navy Double Knit Blazer – $138.60 ($198)
Look for something with the warmth and breathability of a tweed or flannel sportcoat, with the ease of movement that less construction brings. Many of you might have picked up a lightly constructed sportcoat during the recent Suitsupply online outlet event.
#6. Dry-skin Lotion
- Gold Bond Extra Strength Medicated Body Lotion – $23.33 / 2 pack
- Shikai Borage Therapy Dry Skin Lotion – $17.99
Between the hot showers (post new-year’s resolution workouts) and the dry cold air, a lot of us have dry, ashy skin. Don’t itch yourself to death.
#7. A wool (not cotton) Henley
- Bonobos Merino Henley Sweater – $28.80 FINAL w/ SALEONSALE ($118)
- Woolly Clothing Co Men’s Merino Wool Long Sleeve Henley – $59.99
- Made in the USA Taylor Stitch The Merino Henley – $118
Much better than standard cotton fare. Look for merino wool since it won’t itch like traditional, thicker lambswool will. Those Bonobos options are an absolute steal right now. Final sale though, so, no returns.
#8. A non-itchy scarf
When you don’t want to lug a heavy coat into a restaurant or bar, wear a sportcoat, gloves, and a scarf. Much easier. Go with a fine merino knit or, splurge on cashmere. This is up against your bare neck. So skip the itchy or low quality materials.
#9. A go-to, hearty winter recipe
Because sometimes you don’t want to leave the house. Pour a drink, and get cooking. Plus, you’ll have leftovers.
#10. A more casual, rugged jacket and/or vest
- Barbour Ariel Quilted Jacket – $97.95 ($185)
- U.K. Made Lavenham Quilted Vest – SOLD OUT
- Bonobos the Banff Jacket – $130.80 FINAL w/ SALEONSALE ($248)
- 7 Diamonds Tristan Mixed Media Jacket – $74.49 ($149)
- Bartlett Down Vest in Olive or Navy – $95.40 w/ EXTRA40 ($225)
- Target Goodfellow & Co. Wool 4 Pocket Military Jacket – $79.99
For the quick weekend trips to the store, walking the dog, or meeting pals for pints. Think something more casual and shorter than a knee length topcoat or trench.
#11. Hair Conditioner/ Not Shampooing quite as much
- Kirkland Signature Moisture Conditioner – $14.65
- Jack Black Nourishing Hair and Scalp Conditioner – $20
Unless you have really oily hair, try to cut back on shampooing. Rinse out whatever hair product you use, add some conditioner, and only shampoo a few times a week. Especially during the cold and dry seasons when your scalp might itch and flake under all that soap.
#12. An acceptance of hat hair
- H&M 100% Cashmere Cap – $19.99 – $34.99
- Club Monaco Cashmere Hat (multiple colors) – $48.30 ($98.50)
- J. Crew Cashmere Cable Beanie – $88
Better some wild, watch-cap tousled hair, than frostbitten ears.
This post originally ran in 1/2017, but has since been updated with current product suggestions.