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The Do’s and Don’ts of Civilian Winter Attire

The don’ts of winter fashion

Wear an oversize puffer jacket

Puffer Jacket - Credit: SSense.comBig, beefy jackets had their heyday years ago — and they didn’t get any second looks back then, either. Intuitively, it makes sense that thicker means warmer. However, toting yourself around town with more rolls than a pack of hot dogs isn’t the way to do it. You’re better off layering with several well-fitted pieces than a single jacked-up jacket. And for those who just can’t resist puffing up, there are more sensible and slimmer options these days.

Solution: Insulate-lined peacoats, padded and quilted jackets

Trek around in UGG boots

Ugg Boot - Credit: UGGAustralia.comA phenomenon occurred in the footwear world circa 2004, and it wasn’t pretty. UGG bootstraveled half-way around the world from their native Australia and landed Stateside on the famous feet of Kate Hudson, Sarah Jessica Parker and Jessica Simpson. The line of unisex booties from the land down under is still trying to gain ground among men. But, as much as the clunky yet oddly feminine footwear has been kicked curbside by most discerning dressers, they still present a threat to the male foot come cold weather time. Perhaps Sydney should stick to what it knows best: beaches with bikinis.

Solution: Sorel boots

Bulk up

Bulky Sweater - Credit: iStockphoto.comPacking on extra pounds is the last thing anyone needs this time of year. And while adding armor to battle the cold is critical, it’s unnecessary to turn yourself into a shapeless heap of heavy layers. The main problem is that bulk can gradually snowball beyond control. It all starts with an oversize knit under a thick sweater. Then, a massive ankle-length wool coat finds its way into the ensemble turning an otherwise idyllic winter wonderland into a catastrophic clothing avalanche. Picking pieces that are fitted and constructed from modern lightweight fabrics like Thinsulate does away with the need for anything busting at the seams with duck feathers.

Solution: Thermal tees, cashmere hoodies, tailored topcoats, not leaving the house for six months

Mix and mismatch athletic gear

Winter Gloves - Credit: Columbia.comDifferent missions in life call for varying plans of attire attack. You would never wear seersucker shorts and Havaianas to a wedding. So, why put on a dowdy fleece with a suit? Indeed, it’s occasionally acceptable to infuse technical gear into everyday winterwear — a nylon vest under a tailored sportcoat would work well. However, using your ski jacket with its zipper-dangling pass for a night out on the town is a downhill disaster. The same applies to winter gloves. Get separate sets for work and play.

Solution: Invest in a slim wool coat, a heavier nylon jacket with removable layers, a versatile raincoat, and if you’re the sporty type, at least two pairs of gloves.

winter fashion 101

Bundling up for wintry weather can make looking good a dangerously difficult task. But with these dos and don’ts of winter fashion, there won’t be any room for emergencies.