As the turn of the season advances and mother nature’s warm smile turns into a frosty stare, the daily requirements of our wardrobes change dramatically. All of a sudden, those halcyon days spent in breezy summer garb seem so long ago, and winter has us scrambling for the warmest and most practical ensemble we can put together.
But with the right preparation, winter isn’t all that bad. In fact, it’s just another excuse to ramp up your wardrobe and buy some exciting products that will make life on the cold front that little bit easier.
If you’re in need of a little inspiration for your winter wardrobe, we’ve compiled this list of essential winter items to get you started.
Heavy Fill Down Jacket
Nothing combats the cold quite like a down-filled jacket. Coming in a variety of fill powers, down-filled garments utilize the ultra-fine feathers of birds—traditionally duck or goose—to provide highly effective insulation. When it comes to winter, the warmth, comfort, and ease of a down jacket will make it a reliable grab-and-go for those frosty mornings (and evenings). Many heritage-inspired down jackets will feature a 60/40 cotton/nylon shell that resists rainfall is relatively easy to wipe clean.
In addition to being highly practical, down jackets come in a variety of styles to fit any aesthetic, from rugged heritage get-ups to clean cut, contemporary looks. If you don’t buy animal products or you’re just concerned about the harvesting of feathers geese and ducks, there are synthetic alternatives such as Primaloft that can be found in a variety of jackets.
Goldwin Down Jacket, $360 at Brooklyn Tailors.
Muji Australian Down Hooded Blouson, $149 at Muji.
Some thick, insulated winter jackets will come in a water-resistant material. But if it’s totally lashing it down out there, layer up and wear a fully waterproof jacket. Materials such as Gore-Tex, H2No, and waxed cotton will make sure your outer layer will keep you dry as can be and there is a whole host of options out there that feature this kind of technology. Many shell-style waterproof jackets are thin and easy to roll up into your bag, leaving you equipped for flash showers.
Freeman The Freeman, $325 at Freeman.
American Trench Coat, $849 at American Trench.
Liners are a great way to boost your insulation in the colder months and even add an extra styling element to your outfits. These handy little layers work wonderfully with roomy, boxy-fitting jackets or thinner outer layers. Liners can be made from any material, however, light down-fills or shearling are commonplace.
Ginew Selvedge Denim Vest, $475 at Ginew.
Brown’s Beach Vest, £399 (~$515USD) at Clutch Cafe.
It goes without saying, but a decent pair of boots is essential for any winter wardrobe. Sturdy, supportive, and usually fairly water-resistant, a solid set of leather boots will see you through most of winter’s elemental challenges. You can’t really go wrong with a pair of classic work boots for a harmonious blend of practicality and timeless style, but there are dozens of boot styles out there like moccasins, mountain boots, engineer boots, and more.
Viberg Service Boot in Waxed Flesh, $690 at Viberg.
Blundstone Original 500, $179 at Blundstone.
While boots will help to keep your feet warm and dry, some temperatures will penetrate even the toughest materials and leave your little piggies suffering. Investing in some high-quality knitted socks is a way to add an extra line of defense in the war against the cold. Sure, you can wear two pairs of socks, but the appearance of premium socks will bring an extra element of style to your outfit, especially if you cuff your pants. The tough nature of top quality knitted socks also means your winter boots won’t chew them up.
American Trench Boot Socks in Wool and Silk, $29.50 at American Trench.
Kapital 72 Yarns Indigo Dyed Socks, $85 at Unionmade.
Using thermal garments as an underlayer is another great way to insulate yourself in cold conditions. A high quality thermal can reduce the number of layers needed when worn underneath a sweater or jumper and even look good as a standalone piece. Typically constructed from waffle-knit or ribbed cotton, you can find decent thermals on the high street from brands like Hanes if you wish to try them out.
Nine Lives Natural Indigo-Dyed Heavy Waffle Henley, on sale for $80 at Self Edge.
Filson Waffle Knit Thermal Crew, $70 at Context.
The wool sweater is warm, soft, and slots effortlessly into a multitude of styles. A classic winter piece, you will find a range of options on the market, ranging from basic knits to superfine Merino wool pieces. But don’t be fooled by the common misconception that wool is difficult to care for—we’ve provided you with a guide to washing and caring for your woolen goods effectively.
Devold Nordsø Crew Neck, $245 at Unionmade.
Eat Dust Knit Cardigan, $325 at Franklin & Poe.
Claims that we lose the majority of body heat through our heads may have been chalked off as an old wives’ tale, but it’s still a good idea to get your head covered in cold conditions. A knitted watch cap will bring a military edge to any outfit while keeping your head warm and dry.
NAQP Garrison Wool Watch Cap, $25CAD (~$20USD) at NAQP.
Engineered Garments Balaclava Pompom Beanie, $132 at Independence.
Wearing gloves in the harshest weather conditions will help to protect your hands from cracking, chapping, and becoming sore and numb. Gloves are available in a range of materials and styles, including fingerless gloves, knitted gloves, and leather gloves. A
As well as being a super cozy accessory that keeps your neck nice and warm, a well-made scarf can completely make an outfit with a splash of patterning or color. Often made from wool, scarves can also be made from synthetic fabrics like acrylic if you do not buy into the wool industry.
Kapital Compressed Wool Scarf, $270 at Independence.
Eastlogue Quilting Scarf, $125 at Unionmade.
Your precious cargo may be at risk if your daily bag can’t protect it from winter elements. Materials such as waxed cotton and Gore-Tex and constructional features like roll-top closures, taped seams, and pull-out rain covers can shield your goods by preventing water ingress to your bag.
DSPTCH x 3sixteen Daypack Special Edition Waxed Canvas, $325 at DSPTCH.
MIS Waterproof Carrying Bag, $65 at MIS.
We’ve all been there. The winter winds really can destroy your lips, rendering you almost un-kissable. Thankfully, there’s lip balm, and it’s always best to have some of this stuff on hand before you start chapping.
retaW Lip Balm, available for $28 at Haven.
As well as your lips, wind and cold can affect the skin on your face, neck, and hands. Be sure to keep these areas moisturized to reduce the effects of cold weather conditions. You might need to try out a few different moisturizers for your face and neck, but your hands will usually require a mid-to-heavy weight moisturizer.
The commute to work on a cold winter’s day can be vastly improved with some nice coffee on the go to warm you up and kickstart your day. A solid and reliable flask that you can throw in your bag with confidence is a powerful winter accessory, so be sure to go for a vacuum sealed piece that won’t let you down.
Stanley Classic One Hand Vacuum Mug, available for $24.85 from Amazon.