Introduction

Sometimes it feels like winter gets a lot of bad press. The inevitable drop in temperature combined with the British public’s fear of snow can often lead to plenty of undesirable situations: transport delays, salt stained leather shoes and increasingly less reliable umbrellas, to name but a few.

All of which can leave us sartorially-inclined men feeling pretty miserable; daydreaming of the summer when it was all dusty pastel colour combinations and glorious madras.

But it isn’t just the summer months that get to have all the fun. Oh no. Because with winter comes the festive season and it’s more than appropriate to let your style reflect this by adding a touch of flair and creativity to your cold-weather looks. Combined with an increased focus on layering, you could argue that there’s even more room for experimentation compared to when it’s warmer.

Yet, as we all know, simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication, so let’s try to stay away from garish reindeer jumpers your gran knitted and outfits that resemble your Christmas tree. Instead, aim to subtly highlight the season of good cheer using these simple tips…

Seasonal Inspiration

As soon as the weather begins to turn, try taking inspiration from what’s going on outside. I personally love integrating more earthy tones like olive, brown and sunburnt orange into my looks during autumn, to reflect the leaves falling and the environment around me.

The same can also be said for Christmas. Why not look to incorporate colours associated with the festive period? I find that accents of red, green and yellow can really bring an otherwise neutral or monochromatic look to life.

For example, I have a mustard yellow wool hat from last winter that pairs perfectly with my navy pea coat, grey tweed trousers and brown brogue boots – injecting a shot of colour and separating my look from the crowd.

The same can also be said for saturated red or green chinos, which work well with neutral blazers and jackets in navy or grey. Alternatively, why not try a chunky knit or scarf in a rich, autumnal hue?

Just remember, when injecting a shot of seasonal colour into your outfit, keep the rest of your pieces simple and neutral to help anchor the look.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Christmas Colours-Inspired Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

he by mango aw13allsaints aw12he by mango winter 2013h&m ss13massimo dutti september 2013H&M x GQ Modern Retro Menswear AW13 Campaignburton aw13minimum autumn 2013h&m 2012
Key Pieces
  • Le Coq Sportif Cologne Cycle Chinos In IvyLe Coq Sportif Cologne Cycle Chinos In Ivy
  • Canali Washed Cotton-poplin ShirtCanali Washed Cotton-poplin Shirt
  • Edwin Roll Neck Jumper Batallion Cable KnitEdwin Roll Neck Jumper Batallion Cable Knit
  • Reiss Paddington Waffle Stitch Sweater SageReiss Paddington Waffle Stitch Sweater Sage
  • Asos Cable CardiganAsos Cable Cardigan
  • Reiss Conway Suede Brogues OliveReiss Conway Suede Brogues Olive
  • Merola Gloves Shearling GlovesMerola Gloves Shearling Gloves
  • He By Mango Slim-fit 5 Pocket Corduroy TrousersHe By Mango Slim-fit 5 Pocket Corduroy Trousers
  • Reiss Shackleton Classic Plain Socks BurgundyReiss Shackleton Classic Plain Socks Burgundy
  • Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Hunter Textured-leather Chukka BootsPaul Smith Shoes & Accessories Hunter Textured-leather Chukka Boots
  • Topman Burgundy Lambswool ScarfTopman Burgundy Lambswool Scarf
  • Watchman Beanie Hat In GreenWatchman Beanie Hat In Green
Check Yourself

I don’t know what it is about an item of clothing in plaid, but it always feels pretty festive to me. It doesn’t hurt that checks are this season’s biggest print trend either.

Whether it’s a quality wool tartan plaid tie paired with a simple white Oxford shirt, chinos and brogues combination or a full-on Glen plaid suit in navy with a pale blue dress shirt and black penny loafers, you can’t go wrong.

It lets everyone in the room – from pub to ballroom – know that you’re here to have a good time.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Plaid/Check Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

lbm 1911 aw13ramsey aw12asos aw12boss hugo boss aw13drykorn aw13ami ss14
Key Pieces
  • Topman Charcoal And Blue Checked Skinny TrousersTopman Charcoal And Blue Checked Skinny Trousers
  • Etro Slim-fit Plaid Wool BlazerEtro Slim-fit Plaid Wool Blazer
  • Topman Burgundy Tartan Skinny BlazerTopman Burgundy Tartan Skinny Blazer
  • Vito Check TrouserVito Check Trouser
  • Topman Charcoal Grey Checked SuitTopman Charcoal Grey Checked Suit
  • Ymc Plaid Corduroy TrousersYmc Plaid Corduroy Trousers
  • Hartford Slim-fit Unstructured Check Wool BlazerHartford Slim-fit Unstructured Check Wool Blazer
  • Topman Selected Homme Check BlazerTopman Selected Homme Check Blazer
  • Topman Vito Boye Check TrousersTopman Vito Boye Check Trousers
  • River Island Tie In Red CheckRiver Island Tie In Red Check
  • New Look Check TieNew Look Check Tie
  • Alexander Olch Plaid Woven-wool TieAlexander Olch Plaid Woven-wool Tie
Christmas Pattern Knits

My friends and I set a date every December where we find the cheapest, ugliest Christmas jumper we can and wear it on a night out. This year, that date just so happens to be today, December 13th: Christmas Jumper Day, as organised by Save The Children.

Things can get ugly quickly, and it’s always shocking to see how bad some are, but who’s to say this can’t be done stylishly? Simply look for classic knits in neutral palettes; think grey shawl neck cardigans, navy roll necks and brown crew neck lambswool jumpers.

Just make sure that they include a timeless winter pattern such as Fair Isle, Aspen, Nordic-inspired or jacquard to bring a touch of joy to all mankind. If a jumper feels like it’s a bit too much for you, why not opt for an accent piece? Most high street and mid-level brands stock plenty of socks, pocket squares and ties in these wintry styles that work just as well.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Christmas Jumpers/Patterns Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

river island aw12diegel aw12burton aw12pull & bear aw11primark winter 2013primark aw12
Key Pieces
  • Topman Navy Snowflake JumperTopman Navy Snowflake Jumper
  • Reclaimed Vintage Christmas Jumper With Robin PrintReclaimed Vintage Christmas Jumper With Robin Print
  • Vintage Renewal Winter Knit Christmas JumperVintage Renewal Winter Knit Christmas Jumper
  • J.crew Fair Isle Wool SweaterJ.crew Fair Isle Wool Sweater
  • River Island Grey Fair Isle Sleeve Cable Knit CardiganRiver Island Grey Fair Isle Sleeve Cable Knit Cardigan
  • Beams Plus Ski Intarsia Wool-blend SweaterBeams Plus Ski Intarsia Wool-blend Sweater
  • Asos Christmas JumperAsos Christmas Jumper
  • Vintage Renewal Reindeer Knit Christmas JumperVintage Renewal Reindeer Knit Christmas Jumper
  • Asos Fairisle CardiganAsos Fairisle Cardigan
  • River Island Dark Red Fairisle ScarfRiver Island Dark Red Fairisle Scarf
  • Topman Blue Ski ScarfTopman Blue Ski Scarf
  • Asos Touch Screen Gloves With Snowflake DesignAsos Touch Screen Gloves With Snowflake Design
Upgrade Your Childhood

Stiff corduroy trousers, itchy wool jumpers, Wellington boots and winter bobble hats were probably the bane of your life when you were a kid at Christmas. However, thanks to updated fits and designers giving many of these pieces a modern rework, you can now rediscover those items that previously brought you pain.

For example, a pair of tan corduroy trousers is the ideal partner to an Oxford cloth button-down and denim jacket combination, whilst a buttery-soft cashmere blend jumper will not only keep you warm but brings a touch of luxury to any look you integrate it into.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Corduroy Trousers, Wellingtons, Winter Hats and Wool Jumpers Lookbook

he by mango november 2012reiss aw12he by mango aw12gaudi aw12minimum autumn 2012unknown
Key Pieces
  • Beams Plus Button-down Collar Fine Corduroy ShirtBeams Plus Button-down Collar Fine Corduroy Shirt
  • Huf Nordic Bobble HatHuf Nordic Bobble Hat
  • Uniqlo Men Cashmere Crew Neck SweaterUniqlo Men Cashmere Crew Neck Sweater
  • Allsaints Elba Cashmere CardiganAllsaints Elba Cashmere Cardigan
  • Reiss Harp Cashmere V-neck Jumper BlueReiss Harp Cashmere V-neck Jumper Blue
  • J.crew 484 Slim-fit Corduroy TrousersJ.crew 484 Slim-fit Corduroy Trousers
  • He By Mango Straight-fit Corduroy BlazerHe By Mango Straight-fit Corduroy Blazer
  • J.crew 484 Slim-fit Corduroy TrousersJ.crew 484 Slim-fit Corduroy Trousers
  • Asos Trapper Hat In Grey MeltonAsos Trapper Hat In Grey Melton
  • Hunter Original Tall Wellington BootsHunter Original Tall Wellington Boots
  • Lowther Full WelliesLowther Full Wellies
  • Fair Isle Bobble Hat In NavyFair Isle Bobble Hat In Navy
Bow Ties

If there was ever a time to break out a bow tie, it’s now.

These days, there are a plethora of styles available at every price point and in every material you can think of. They offer one of the simplest ways to communicate you’ve taken a festive approach to a formal or smart-casual outfit, without having to adjust your style too much.

I personally opted for a navy and pink polka dot version from TheTieBar.com that works with every shirt and knit combination imaginable.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Bow Tie Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

massimo dutti november 2013avva aw12h&m winter 2013reiss aw12diegel aw12drykorn aw13
Key Pieces
  • Burberry London Knitted Cashmere Bow TieBurberry London Knitted Cashmere Bow Tie
  • He By Mango Polka-dot Bow-tieHe By Mango Polka-dot Bow-tie
  • Alexander Olch Thrilby Plaid Woven-wool Bow TieAlexander Olch Thrilby Plaid Woven-wool Bow Tie
  • River Island Red Paisley Print Bow TieRiver Island Red Paisley Print Bow Tie
  • River Island Bow Tie In Black PaisleyRiver Island Bow Tie In Black Paisley
  • Turnbull & Asser Taz Polka-dot Silk Bow TieTurnbull & Asser Taz Polka-dot Silk Bow Tie
  • Beams Plus Camouflage-print Cotton Bow TieBeams Plus Camouflage-print Cotton Bow Tie
  • Topman Wine Velvet Bow TieTopman Wine Velvet Bow Tie
  • Asos Bow Tie In VelvetAsos Bow Tie In Velvet
  • New Look Donegal Bow TieNew Look Donegal Bow Tie
  • River Island Teal Two-tone Bow TieRiver Island Teal Two-tone Bow Tie
  • Marwood Lace And Silk Bow TieMarwood Lace And Silk Bow Tie
Final Word

So there you have it, a few simple ways that you can inject some Christmas cheer into your looks this winter.

As always, I want to hear what you guys have to say: what is your go-to Christmas look? How do you get creative with your style during the colder months?

Let me know in the comments section below…

Matt Allinson