Not that many of us guys can handle the challenge of dressing smartly in the winter season without resorting to ill-fitting and cumbersome jackets.
The stakes are high and the pitfalls many. There are those who are proud owners of grandma’s knitting masterpieces. Then come the diehard sportswear enthusiasts only a moment away from carrying their ski poles around town – the winter version of a skater-boy. Oh and don’t forget the “I’ll just throw something on” guy, who simply won’t invest in a proper winter wardrobe (probably because all the cold medicine he needs is cheaper than a new jacket).
Good news – we are finally in luck, since this season seems to be both accommodating to our climate-resistance needs and very lenient on the proper style protocol. Gentlemen, welcome to Fall/Winter 2014-2015!
ALL IS FAIR IN COLD WAR: Return of the Parka
Oh, don’t hold your breath! We are not going to politicize fashion, although the current geopolitical situation around the globe does teach us a good trick or two clothes-wise. There is no right and wrong in confronting a hostile [read: winter & fall] environment and the only mistake you can make is to lose the battle. That’s why your go-to piece of clothing this fall and winter is the parka. It has developed out of the sport-inspired and somewhat age-specific fashion choice into this season’s “warmest” trend. The core concept for many top designers was creating a personal weather resistance unit for today’s men, who may as well explore the Arctic wearing the latest parka models with no change of clothes required.
UTILITY OR DEATH: Reinventing the ‘Hiker’ Boots
This season, the designers shamelessly violated or rightfully interpreted (as the wording depends on who you are siding with) the natural opposition of fashion and utility. In an effort to help the men move easily in any terrain, the shoemakers revamped the traditionally bland hiker boots and channeled them both to the fashion rebels and the moderate urban men. So keep in mind that it is no longer ‘lethal’ to opt for the footwear, which used to have no place among the style-conscious. Your ‘hikers’ – in any colour and/or lace-up variation – are the best way to supplement the parka and boost your climate defence.
WINNING THE BATTLE FOR COMFORT: Advance of Sport Pants
Another key strategy in any such silent standoff is being consistent in your cunning. Already looked up a perfect parka-hiker-boot-combo online? This means turning a blind eye on the accepted guiding principles of men’s seasonal outfit choices. Max it out with this season’s catwalk favourite – the sport pants. Yes, just like sweatpants only classier. It’s a seamless fit with the previous must-haves. Remember: only a well put-together soldier has every chance of victory, battle by battle.
MILITARY GREEN: New Rival to ‘the Old’ Black
Ever wonder why green is the most popular military colour? My own guess is that green is the colour of hope and money, i.e. the two pillars holding up the superpower ambitions of many states. Well if your hope this season is simply to signal an awareness of what’s going on with fashion, go for accessories in this colour. A pair of dark green leather gloves is an excellent stylish touch for the classic trench or the camel coat. If you are not in the least pressed for money, then look into the very intricate layered ‘total’ looks in the same colour.
COAT OF HONOR: This Season’s Rule of Thumb
In any clash, even the most radical of us very rarely forget about honour and dignity. There simply are some things that you can do and that you cannot do; the unwritten rules of how not to lose your face. Let’s take this season’s coat, for instance, behind the frontline prints, the trendy colours and a virtually unlimited variety of fabrics and textures, there is just one silhouette. Take as a given or leave the battlefield. This season’s must-have silhouette is a clever and thought-through upgrade of the recent ‘oversize’ craze. You can finally forget the shame of looking as if you dress at GoodWill and still enjoy the comfort of a coat that doesn’t try to discipline you with its slim fit.
While the season isn’t in full swing, scan the trends and get ready. Don’t turn this season into a frozen conflict!