Words by Shane C. Kurup, Contributing Features Editor
(image source: http://swipe.swipelife.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/pitti-uomo-january-8-2014-tommy-ton-gq-0003.jpg?530ffb)
For the most part, the winter season presents little to get excited about: long nights, gloomy days, driving wind and rain, slushy pavements and frost-riddled windscreens. With inclement conditions from the ground-up on the cards, getting prepped with the appropriate attire is a must. However, at Stylepilot, we believe there is a silver lining to the great British winter – it provides the opportunity to layer up with statement outerwear, cosy knits and luxe accessories. So, here's our definitive winter survival guide, offering a succinct low-down on the wardrobe essentials you need to see you through.
The Winter Cover-Up
Your outer layer is the most crucial component of your look. It forms the first line of defence against the elements and remains the most visible part of your ensemble, so choosing the right fabric, cut and style is vital.
Oversized great coats are a key look this season, and this alpaca-blend coat by Italian label MP Di Massimo Piombo (1.) ticks all the right boxes, with its double-breasted construction, texture-rich fabric and soft-shouldered cut; it’s the perfect piece for layering over smart tailoring and casual knits.
First devised to protect seafarers from the unforgiving elements out on the open ocean, the peacoat has become a staple of the modern menswear wardrobe. This stylish wool-rich design from Lanvin (2.) features a bold block-check pattern, bringing a contemporary twist to an ageless classic.
Inspired by the flying jackets of fighter pilots, this wool bomber by Private White V.C. (3.) is crafted by hand in the brand’s Manchester workshop and sports a luxurious shearling collar to keep frosty blasts at bay.
Canada Goose are a leading light in cold-weather outerwear, and its expertly-assembled jackets and coats are designed to withstand the harshest sub-zero climes. This Chateau parka (4.) is a signature style from the label and boasts a luxurious down-feather filling and coyote-fur trimmed hood, guaranteeing to keep you toasty when the mercury plummets.
Shearling is back in a big way, and this contemporary design by Balmain (5.) fuses the appeal of a 1940s RAF bomber jacket with a biker-inspired slant. Exceptionally warm yet breathable, this luxe piece is a jacket for life.
-> Shop more jackets & coats here.
Chilling temperatures and icy winds can take their toll on your skin, so give your hard-working hands the luxury they deserve, by upgrading those thinning wool gloves of yours. Keeping your fingers stylishly frost-free has never been easier this season, with the extensive range of creative designs on offer.
Made from texture-rich and insulating lambswool, these camel-hued gloves by Dents (1.) have been skillfully cut and sewn with the brand’s unrivalled 237 years of glove-making expertise.
These sleek leather gloves from Canadian accessories brand, WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie (2.) are a contemporary option, with their zip-adjusters and navy contrast-tone thumbs.
Lanvin’s leather and cashmere-lined gloves (3.) feature a black watch check on the reverse palm – a subtle nod to this season’s penchant for plaid.
Tapping into the exotic-skins trend, these suede and python gloves from Burberry (4.) are ideal for the modern gentleman who wants to make a statement.
Combining a textured wool side with a classic leather palm, these practical and eye-catching gloves by Paul Smith (5.) typify the brand’s trademark quirky British aesthetic.
-> Shop more gloves here.
The Ultimate Knit
Knitwear is one of the most invaluable investments for the cold-weather months, and choosing the right yarns and designs is crucial. Think luxurious yarns and heritage knitting techniques.
This lambswool jumper by British outdoor label Barbour (1.) features a traditional Aran cable knit design, which traps particles of air between the wool fibres for exceptional warmth. The attractive mustards hue injects a bright note into traditionally drab winter shades.
Uniqlo’s clean-cut crew neck (2.) has been loomed from pure cashmere. Prized for its unrivalled warmth and exquisitely soft texture, cashmere can be worn against the skin without experiencing the itchiness associated with coarser wools.
With its bold zigzag design, this pure wool jumper by Howlin (3.) will bring a contemporary spin to your knitwear arsenal.
Roll-necks are a great way to stay warm and lend a retro-inspired feel to your winter looks. This expertly woven design by Berluti (4.) sports a substantial waffle knit weave that won’t leave you out in the cold. Its pure cashmere composition makes it the ultimate in cold-weather luxury.
NN.07’s modern twist on a Fair Isle pullover (5.) is bound to bring a dash of traditional flair to your closet, while its premium-wool composition will ensure you stay warm too.
-> Shop more knitwear here.
Plagued by slippery frost, cold puddles and damp leaves, the state of underfoot terrain during the winter months calls for sturdy footwear. Hiking boots, inspired by the urban explorer trend and hand-crafted designs will be your most valued footwear ally for the autumn/winter season.
Evoking the spirit of Fifties mountaineering shoes, these stylish hiking boots from Car Shoe (1.) feature eyelet detailing and a heavy-grip sole to ensure you stay steady on your feet. Despite their appearance, they’re not just for scaling peaks – team them with slim-fitting wool trousers and a navy pea coat for an on-trend urban look.
Anthony Miles’s Smooth leather boots (2.) are a fresh take on the hiking boot, with their colour-pop insert in the sole.
Fully lined with natural wool, these Seton boots from UGG (3.) are superbly insulated, making them an ideal choice when the snow hits the ground.
A nod to tradition with a contemporary twist, these Brogue boots from cult label Dr. Martens (4.) are solid and dependable. They’re finished with the brand’s trademark heavy-duty sole, which is perfect for tackling slippery surfaces.
Although it’s popularly believed that suede and precipitation are incompatible, if treated with a good protector, this textured leather makes a durable and warm choice for winter. Made in the brand’s Northampton factory, these suede Marcus desert boots by Grenson (5.) have been hand-crafted using the highly respected Goodyear welt technique, guaranteeing longevity with wear.
-> Shop more boots here.
The Statement Scarf
Winter is a time to pay attention to our accessories, which serve both a practical and aesthetic purpose. This season’s scarf trend is all about adding a statement finish. From oversized blanket scarves, to geometric and autumnal prints to luxurious yarns, the scarf comes with a bolder guise this season.
Designed with the British label’s luxurious attention to detail, this vine-print cashmere scarf by Burberry (1.) typifies spirit of autumn with its Arts and Crafts-inspired pattern. It’s super-soft to the touch too, thanks to its fine cashmere weave.
With its striking zigzag motif, this wool-rich scarf by Marwood (2.) is guaranteed to bring a distinguished air to your offering; try it layered over a camel coat or wool bomber.
Woven in a renowned Scottish mill, this pure cashmere scarf by Begg & Co.(3.) sports an elegant and considered ombré fade effect, giving it a sense of subtle individualism.
Derbyshire-based John Smedley has been manufacturing knitwear at its Derbyshire mill since 1784, and this block-check merino scarf (4.) is a testament to the brand’s commitment to craftsmanship.
From a label celebrated for its masterful mix of colours, this wool and silk scarf from Etro (5.) characterises the Italian brand perfectly, with its elegant patchwork of hues.
-> Shop all scarves here.