Surviving The Festive Season

‘Tis the season to be jolly… or so we’re told. Now we don’t want to sound too much like Scrooge, but we’re not entirely sure how truthful that age-old phrase is. Because if the way men tend to dress during the festive season is anything to go by, then we may be criminally low in the whole ‘jolly’ department over the next month or so.

It’s probably just a case of the winter blues – us sartorially-inclined men are too busy dreaming of the long forgotten days of summer when there was no need for shapeless bulky layers, heavy accessories and Wellington boots.

But it isn’t just the summer months that get to have all the fun. Oh no. Because December 1st signifies the start of the festive season (in our eyes), 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.

We’re not saying you need to start dressing up like old Saint Nick or some kind of human Christmas tree, tinsel and all. Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication, remember? Instead, why not subtly hint at the season’s joyous nature by using a few of the methods outlined below, spreading some cheer and good will to all men in the best way possible – the sartorial way!

Festive Season Style Tips
1. Seasonal Fabrics

We’ve gone over this in detail in our essential autumn/winter fabric series, but it’s something that’s worth being reminded of.

Wearing materials that are practical and reflect the changing conditions subconsciously shows you are a man who dresses with intelligence and understands the importance of seasonal garments.

And the easiest way to incorporate winter-appropriate fabrics into your look is to take inspiration from your childhood. Thick wool jumpers, heavy duffle coats, chunky knitted scarves/beanies, practical boots and ridged corduroy trousers were probably your worst nightmare when you were younger.

Yet now they have not only been updated for the modern market, but if you invest in quality your opinion on all of these pieces will change forever. For example, a pair of pinwale tan corduroy trousers is the ideal partner to an Oxford cloth shirt and denim jacket combination, while a soft cashmere-blend jumper will keep you warm and bring a touch of understated luxury to any look you choose to integrate it into.

Likewise, oversized, chunky scarves are currently one of AW14’s key accessories trends, and every man should have a pair of well-made, practical boots in their wardrobe so they remain sure-footed once the snow and ice start to make an appearance. After all, slipping over on your backside has never looked cool.

Men's Autumn/Winter Materials and Chunky Winter Accessories Lookbook

peter scott aw14massimo dutti november 2014he by mango aw13tesco aw13digel aw14he by mango winter 2014primark aw14he by mango winter 2014massimo dutti september  2014armani collezioni aw14toast aw14windsor aw14
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Harris Tweed FabricAsos Slim Fit Blazer In Harris Tweed Fabric
  • Topman Navy Tweed Suit TrousersTopman Navy Tweed Suit Trousers
  • He By Mango Slim-fit 5 Pocket Corduroy TrousersHe By Mango Slim-fit 5 Pocket Corduroy Trousers
  • Uniqlo Men Cashmere Crew Neck SweaterUniqlo Men Cashmere Crew Neck Sweater
  • A.p.c. Ribbed-knit Wool Shawl-collar CardiganA.p.c. Ribbed-knit Wool Shawl-collar Cardigan
  • Oliver Spencer Red Fleck Cable Knit ScarfOliver Spencer Red Fleck Cable Knit Scarf
  • Berg & Berg Navy Grey Ribbed Lambswool BeanieBerg & Berg Navy Grey Ribbed Lambswool Beanie
  • J. Crew Unisex Lacrosse For J.crew Duck BootsJ. Crew Unisex Lacrosse For J.crew Duck Boots
  • Car Shoe Leather Lace-up BootsCar Shoe Leather Lace-up Boots
2. Take Inspiration From The Leaves

When you’re struggling for new colours to incorporate into a look, why not turn to Mother Nature for guidance?

As we transition into winter, nothing signals the start of the season more than when your outfits mirror the fallen leaves around you. Think shades of sunburnt orange, forest green, tan brown and mustard yellow.

Not only do these rich hues really pop when paired with neutral colours such as navy, grey, black and white, but they also work really well together. Sticky to earthy palettes and you won’t go wrong.

Men's Autumnal Colours Outfit Inspiration Lookbook - Reds, Greens, Earth Tones, Browns

digel aw14louis copeland aw14ted baker aw14he by mango fall 2014pull & bear aw13armani collezioni aw14pepe jeans aw13avva aw14burton aw14armani collezioni aw14j crew october 2014angelo nardelli aw14
  • Selected Cotton Roll Neck JumperSelected Cotton Roll Neck Jumper
  • Reiss Ashberry Cashmink Scarf CamelReiss Ashberry Cashmink Scarf Camel
  • Asos Cable Scarf In Nep YarnAsos Cable Scarf In Nep Yarn
  • Richard James Brushed Cotton-twill ShirtRichard James Brushed Cotton-twill Shirt
  • River Island Khaki Tweed Contrast Lapel BlazerRiver Island Khaki Tweed Contrast Lapel Blazer
  • Bottega Veneta Knitted-wool SweaterBottega Veneta Knitted-wool Sweater
  • Burton Mustard Chunky Texture CardiganBurton Mustard Chunky Texture Cardigan
  • Reiss Roman Wool-rich Peacoat CherryReiss Roman Wool-rich Peacoat Cherry
  • Reiss Timpani Twill Cotton Trousers BordeauxReiss Timpani Twill Cotton Trousers Bordeaux
3. Santa Style

Want to take your festive style to another level? Take inspiration from the big man himself, Santa.

Red and green are often difficult to combine because they are complementary on the colour wheel, but it can be done if you opt for darker or lighter shades. For example, why not pair a pink Oxford cloth button-down with a green v-neck cashmere jumper and some indigo jeans? Or how about a pair of olive chinos with a burgundy cable knit cardigan and white t-shirt?

The trick is to make sure that you alter the hues so they no longer clash and make sure you introduce another neutral colour to the mix too. Once you’ve nailed this colour combination, you’ll find yourself doing it every Christmas!

Men's Red and Green Colour Matching Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

charles tyrwhitt 2014realm & empire aw14dunhill aw13forever21 aw14ti for men aw14j crew october 2014ben sherman aw11scapa aw14next aw14digel aw13ben sherman aw14brax aw14
  • Selected Mini Tartan ShirtSelected Mini Tartan Shirt
  • Topman Red Winter Berry Crew Neck JumperTopman Red Winter Berry Crew Neck Jumper
  • He By Mango Casual Technical JacketHe By Mango Casual Technical Jacket
  • Austin Reed Plain Twill BlazerAustin Reed Plain Twill Blazer
  • Brooks Brothers Button-down Collar Cotton Oxford ShirtBrooks Brothers Button-down Collar Cotton Oxford Shirt
  • Reiss Blackbird Slim-fit TrousersReiss Blackbird Slim-fit Trousers
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Tailored Cotton ChinosHe By Mango Slim-fit Tailored Cotton Chinos
  • Paul Smith Jeans BlazerPaul Smith Jeans Blazer
  • Topman Green Wool Blend Duffle CoatTopman Green Wool Blend Duffle Coat
  • River Island Green Long Sleeve Grandad ShirtRiver Island Green Long Sleeve Grandad Shirt
  • Nn.07 Marco Cotton-blend Twill ChinosNn.07 Marco Cotton-blend Twill Chinos
  • Uniqlo Men Cashmere V-neck SweaterUniqlo Men Cashmere V-neck Sweater
4. Check Yourself

We don’t know what it is about an item of clothing in plaid, but it always feels pretty festive to us. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that checks are a major men’s print trend right now either.

So whether it’s a quality wool tartan tie paired with a white shirt, slim-fit chinos and brogues, or a full-on navy Price of Wales check suit teamed 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 there to have a good time.

Men's Tartan, Plaid and Check Winter Clothing Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

de fursac aw14digel aw14dolce & gabbana aw14mauro grifoni pre aw14avva aw14el burgues aw14angelo nardelli aw14ti for men aw14primark aw14Gieves & Hawkes aw14David Naman aw14florentino aw14
  • Topman Vito Blue Tartan TrousersTopman Vito Blue Tartan Trousers
  • Barbour Shirt With Tartan Check In Slim FitBarbour Shirt With Tartan Check In Slim Fit
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Check Twill ShirtHe By Mango Slim-fit Check Twill Shirt
  • Topman Burgundy Check Skinny TrousersTopman Burgundy Check Skinny Trousers
  • River Island Dark Red Tartan ScarfRiver Island Dark Red Tartan Scarf
  • He By Mango Check Wool-blend TieHe By Mango Check Wool-blend Tie
  • Native Youth Logger Check Knitted JumperNative Youth Logger Check Knitted Jumper
  • Grayers Checked Cotton-flannel ShirtGrayers Checked Cotton-flannel Shirt
  • Topman Harris Tweed Multi Colour Skinny Fit BlazerTopman Harris Tweed Multi Colour Skinny Fit Blazer
5. Fairest Of Isles

Fair Isle is another particularly appropriate pattern for this time of year – after all, nothing says it’s time to get festive like a Fair Isle jumper.

Yes, they can quickly stray into the realm of novelty if you’re not careful. But if you steer clear of tacky ‘Christmas jumper’ motifs and instead prioritise intricate weaves from authentic outdoor labels like NN.07, White Mountaineering, Moncler, Barbour and Norse Projects, you will be investing in a high quality piece that will bring personality and character to any winter look for many years to come.

As for how to wear? If you’re going somewhere casual, just throw it on over a simple tee or Oxford shirt and pair with selvedge jeans and brown boots. Anywhere slightly more formal and you can layer it underneath a textured blazer and combine with slim chinos/trousers, and a shirt and tie. Just remember to keep the rest of your outfit simple and neutral so you can let the jumper do all the talking.

Men's Fair Isle Jumpers Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

house of fraser howick aw14house of fraser aw14florentino aw14PULL & BEAR AW14massimo dutti apres ski aw14bershka december 2013he by mango winter 2014club monaco aw14next aw13tesco f&f clothing aw14primark aw14EMIDIO TUCCI aw14
  • Asos Fair Isle Jumper With MohairAsos Fair Isle Jumper With Mohair
  • Urban Renewal Vintage Surplus Fair Isle JumperUrban Renewal Vintage Surplus Fair Isle Jumper
  • Selected Wool Mix Jumper With Chest JacquardSelected Wool Mix Jumper With Chest Jacquard
  • Reiss Snow Fair Isle Jumper NavyReiss Snow Fair Isle Jumper Navy
  • Nn.07 Fair Isle Wool SweaterNn.07 Fair Isle Wool Sweater
  • Chunky Fairisle JumperChunky Fairisle Jumper
  • Barbour Grey Caister Fairisle Knit JumperBarbour Grey Caister Fairisle Knit Jumper
  • River Island Ecru Fair Isle Stripe Crew Neck JumperRiver Island Ecru Fair Isle Stripe Crew Neck Jumper
  • Moncler W Fair Isle Intarsia-knit Sweater 212853Moncler W Fair Isle Intarsia-knit Sweater 212853
Final Word

So there you have it, five simple tips and tricks that will help you stylishly get into the festive spirit this season.

But as always, we want to hear what you have to say – what looks do you like to break out at this time of year? What’s your favourite winter piece that you own? Do you even bother changing the way you dress to reflect the season?

Let us know in the comments section…