When the mercury dips the savvy dresser’s first thought should be whether he is equipped with a coat in which he can look good, even when the weather is not.
A wool overcoat is the most elegant option, striking the balance between form and function whether on- or off-duty. Ordinary wool doesn’t fare well in the rain, so look for a fabric that has been treated during the manufacturing process, like Loro Piana’s Storm System wool. If it does get wet, leave to dry naturally overnight. And consider investing an umbrella.
The British winter can be a dark affair, so your jeans should match. White styles had their time in the sun (quite literally) but deep indigo and black pair best with bruised skies.
Selvedge is hard-wearing and – so long as your jeans are slim-fit and you’ve ignored current trends for torn knees – works just as well with a double-breasted blazer as a crew neck sweater.
Feet need layers and even the best boots sometimes aren’t enough to keep them warm. Your everyday socks just aren’t going to cut it because when cotton gets wet, whether through sweat or an unspotted puddle, it stops insulating your feet.
Invest instead in a pair made from wool to keep the heat in and the elements out.
Charles Tyrwhitt AW15
Skin is in almost every winter because of its ability to keep us dry, warm and unashamedly masculine. This season’s styles lean towards biker cuts, ideally lined/trimmed with shearling for added insulation.
Don’t rely on hand-me-downs; vintage jackets are cut boxy, rather than in the slim fits that pair with a shirt and trousers as well as jeans and wet-weather boots.
This rural staple has been has been keeping people in the countryside warm for over a century and has now made its way into town.
A British heritage classic, worn by every man from Prince Charles to Sean Connery, a tweed blazer is tough, durable and works effortlessly with other essentials in this list. Just resist the urge to deploy the fabric across your trousers too, to avoid uncomfortable comments and chafing.
Lightweight knits made our rundown of autumn essentials just a few months ago. But as the days shrink, it’s time to upgrade your arsenal to heavy-gauge pieces.
Key styles to consider include the waffle or cable knit jumper, which will keep out the elements and inject your looks with texture, and the shawl cardigan, to layer over shirts in place of a blazer if the mercury doesn’t sink too far.
Some men have an aversion to scarves, earmarking them as a less-than manly accessory. That’s not an opinion shared by WWI fighter pilots, who used them to fight frostbite and enemy aircraft.
Men smart enough to appreciate the warm and stylish properties of a piece of wool, cashmere or silk will also know that it can be tied in multiple ways depending on the desired style, and coloured versions can be used to brighten up even the most pared-back of outfits.
Harsh conditions can strike sporadically any time from around September, so a pair of smart, sturdy boots should always be on hand. But it’s when winter really hits that a step up is needed.
Vitali Bramani invented Vibram soles after six of his companions died on a mountain climb in 1935 due to inadequate footwear. While it’s unlikely you’re readying for an expedition, a durable boot with a dense rubber Vibram or commando sole can make the quest to work a less slippy one.
New Look AW15
A Roll Neck
The roll neck is now firmly cemented as a viable alternative to a shirt and tie.
Your arsenal should run the gamut from slim-fit versions in fine fabrics like cashmere and merino, as a base layer for office and play, to chunky takes that offer your cold-weather looks a textural upgrade. Perfect with a pea coat or rain slicker, to double down on the fisherman aesthetic.
Trends aside, no one wants to shake cracked hands. Put a (warm) middle finger up to the elements and keep your mitts happy with a pair of leather gloves.
Black is a touch Gestapo officer; dark brown leather or suede are a more versatile bet. Look for a pair lined with either cashmere, shearling or wool for an added touch of luxury and comfort.
Ted Baker AW15