While the festive period does have its upsides (admittedly mostly food and booze-related), it also has a tendency to leave us all feeling a little sartorially sapped come 1 January. When you’ve spent the past month flitting between questionable novelty jumpers, cocktail attire and literally anything with an elasticated waistband in the days following Christmas, it’s easy to forget how to dress like a normal person.
What did you actually wear on a daily basis before all of the December madness? Our advice would be not to dwell on that, because while January may not be anyone’s favourite month, it is a time for reinvention and self-betterment. Yes, that often comes in the form of talking yourself into buying a reusable coffee cup or actually considering going to a spin class, but it can involve your wardrobe, too.
January is the best time of the year to play with some new looks and with that in mind we’ve pulled together a few failsafe, winter-friendly options to get your wardrobe mojo back. From tactile tailoring to stylish gym gear, here’s what you should be wearing to kickstart the new year in style.
Textured Tailoring And Chunky Knitwear
We’d all rather be sipping pina coladas on a beach in the Maldives than donning four layers just to step out of the front door, but sometimes in life you’ve got to take the rough with the smooth. In this case, literally.
Textured layering is what winter style is all about, but while most men have mastered the art of incorporating it into their casual wardrobes, tactile tailoring is often cause for confusion.
Our advice would be to keep things relaxed. For example, an unstructured blazer, sans shoulder pads, is always going to look better in a thick, textured fabric as opposed to thin plain wool. Textured tailoring is more casual by definition so keep the rest of your outfit in line. Think suede shoes over leather, a more varied colour palette than simply grey, navy or black, and some nice heavy knitwear to finish things off.
Even if the closest you’re going to get to any sort of Alpine activity this January is taking the dog out for a spin around the park, there’s comfort in knowing that your clothes are equipped to deal with whatever the elements can throw at them.
In one of our favourite developments in modern menswear, functional gear is now fashionable, meaning you can get kitted out in practical, outdoorsy garb and not come off looking like Bill Oddie.
Layering is key to keeping warm and dry, so combine a waterproof shell with an insulated mid-layer for best results. Down is great for the latter thanks to its unrivalled warmth-to-weight ratio. For full protection, throw in a pair of Gore-Tex sneakers, too. They’re a big footwear trend as we head into the new year and will keep your feet dry in all those January downpours we’ll definitely be getting.
Big Coat Energy
You probably think January is all pouring rain, biting cold and soul-crushing greyness, and you’d be right. However, for that very reason it’s also the perfect time to shop for a new big coat, which is never a bad thing.
It’s tempting to reach for something simple and understated, but veering out of your comfort zone and investing in a statement piece can be a good way to inject a touch of fun into a time of the year that is typically anything but.
From bold, block colours to tastefully eye-catching prints, a big coat with personality should be top of every style-savvy man’s January sale shopping list. How you wear it will largely depend on the type of coat, but the golden rule when playing with any sort of statement piece remains the same: let the loudest garment do the talking while keeping everything else nice and subtle.
Winterproof Workwear Layers
From thick, duck-canvas chore coats to heavy Japanese denim, classic workwear was built with warmth and durability in mind. It’s not technical, it’s not refined, but it does what it says on the tin and looks damn good while doing it.
The key to nailing it in winter is all down to layering. Four layers is a good number to aim for, including outerwear, to really create a sense of depth. Think T-shirt or long-sleeve, a fisherman’s knit or crew-neck, a gilet or overshirt and a chore coat to top things off.
For the bottom half, stick to quality denim, preferably selvedge, and some sturdy leather boots. Accessorise with a fisherman beanie and a casual, everyday timepiece.
Some Brand New Gym Gear
Heaving your bloated carcass off the sofa and back into the gym after Christmas and New Year is never easy, but investing in some top-tier athletic gear can act as a bit of an incentive to get back on it.
Things like gym tights, compression tops, running gloves and and a hi-vis windbreaker are winter training essentials that will make that initial frigid jog or gym session just that little bit less painful.
In our experience, brands like Under Armour, Nike and New Balance are making some of the best and most reliable gear out there. However, for those keen to tighten the purse strings after a month of rampant spending, Uniqlo also has a very respectable range of workout clobber at prices that won’t clear you out even further.