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10 Winter Essentials Every Guy Should Have

This list covers the 10 winter essentials every guy should have in the winter. Cold weather is also often a favorite of men’s fashion gurus (“metrosexuals,” as I like to call us) because it means more complex outfits with many types of clothing one can throw on. So, I encourage you to experiment with layering and jackets this winter, and to do more than just think “this is warm—I’ll wear it today.” Most importantly, have fun looking good!

1. A Pair Of Bad-Weather Boots.

Besides having a pair of absolutely impermeable boots for shoveling snow or when it snows 12 inches, stylish boots for when the weather is less than fair are essential. They should be waterproof (or, at least, semi water-resistant) and durable, but also fashionable; it makes a statement when someone sees that instead of just throwing on a pair of huge snow boots, you’ve actually taken time into your choice of footwear when snow and ice are on the ground.

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2. A Wool Coat.

The classic wool coat in either black or gray (or maybe navy) is an absolute must-have item for the stylish guy in the colder months. Although coats from nicer brands may be more expensive, I recommend you never buy a bad-quality wool coat, as you will definitely notice that lack of quality throughout the coat’s entire one-season usable lifespan (as compared to some wool coats I have now, going on their fifth years). There are many different types of coats, and I would stick with either a single-breasted coat or the classic pea-coat.

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3. Flannel-Lined Jeans.

Thick pants will save you from harsh winter temperatures, and flannel-lined jeans are the perfect thing. These can also be worn for light snow-shoveling outside (assuming it isn’t a blizzard, where snow pants may be a better idea). If you ever wonder how people look completely normal and not in freezing pain walking around in sub-zero temperatures, flannel-lined jeans may be the culprit. I recommend Land’s End and L.L.Bean.

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4. A Good Pair Of Gloves.

In the realm of classic men’s fashion, leather gloves are a staple. Make sure it’s a soft, supple leather, lined with a warm fabric (cashmere or wool, preferably) to ensure maximum warmth. Color-wise, I would stick with black or a very light orange-y brown. These days, fashionable gloves are either leather or touchscreen-compatible. My recommendation: own both, and choose which you wear based on your day.

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5. Wool Socks.

Warm socks are a must in cold weather; having a warm body with frozen toes is never fun. Though they may be expensive, merino wool socks are the best choice.

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6. A Hat To Keep You Warm.

A warm hat is an obvious winter item for guys, but having a stylish one is essential. I recommend a solid black beanie, or a heathered gray hat; you may even be able to get away with a trapper’s hat, especially since they are so dang warm. A good newspaper boy’s hat can also upgrade an outfit from casual to smart in a second.

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7. A Thin Down Jacket.

The perfect layering piece and choice for extended periods of outdoor winter activity, the thin down jacket is a commonplace outerwear piece for the modern man. Many companies produce down jackets, and finding an affordable, thin, packable one these days is not too difficult. I recommend using this either as a layering piece underneath a wool coat or other overcoat on especially cold days or as a jacket by itself when you need something just to throw on (and you’ll be running around a bit).

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8. A Scarf.

A warm scarf is essential, and is an article of clothing you can buy in multiple colors/patterns. A nice scarf relies on good/soft material, eye-catching style, and warmth-keeping abilities, but the most important aspect to look for is material; if you can’t imagine having that scarf rubbing against your neck for hours on end, don’t buy it! Some companies charge ridiculous prices for scarves made of premium material that’ll chafe your neck like there’s no tomorrow. In order of importance, consider 1) material, 2) warming abilities, and 3) style. I recommend silk, cashmere, or merino wool.

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9. Thermals.

Also known as thermal underwear, these items of clothing come in either tops or bottoms (sometimes they’re even in a onesie jumpsuit thing). Both kinds keep the body extra-warm when worn underneath other clothing and, therefore, the color doesn’t matter all too much; the key is that they are tight to the body to keep heat in. What is important is that you know what you’re buying, and you know when not to waste money on extra-expensive thermals for better quality; honestly, you’ll be warm in thermals no matter how much you pay for them. Also, pro tip: wear thermals underneath suit pants if you need to walk anywhere in your suit in cold weather.

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10. Slippers.

Good quality and good-looking slippers can be hard to come by sometimes, but they very often are also warmer than any other slipper you’ll find. The key to warm slippers is the inside, and what material actually touches your foot; shearling and sheepskin are both good, warm materials to have in slippers. Minnetonka makes amazing and classic slippers, and UGG does, too (but for a little heftier of a price).

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Can you think of any other winter essentials every guy should have that should be on this list? Share in the comments below!
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Matthew Au

"A composer and arranger who sings and plays trumpet/flugelhorn, percussion, snare drum, cajon, ukulele, and guitar. An English-speaking polyglot studying Arabic, Cantonese, French, Russian, and Spanish. A dragonboater on NJ Team Dragons and steersman on Team USA U16 and PDBA Yutes. A former high school marching band snare-playing drum captain who loves the Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps. An amateur photographer into fashion and style. An origamist who teaches classes at annual OrigamiUSA conventions. An IT and computer nerd very torn between Windows and Mac. A foodie with a billion allergies. A travel-loving guy who's never left the Western hemisphere. A self-proclaimed honorary New Yorker. A people person."

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