Hint:
It’s all about texture

Written by Jacob Sigala
With
the cold turn of weather, it’s a rude awakening that it’s time to start
considering your winter wardrobe. Though gearing up for winter can be as easy
as throwing on layers of coats, there’s definitely a way to do winter with more
panache. We believe that practicality doesn’t have to eliminate style. After
all, finding your personal style within the perimeters of function is what
makes getting dressed such an art.

The GentleManual: Are accessories generally
the same year-round? How do you use accessories to stand out?
Ian Michael Crumm: Accessories change every season. In the
summer I’m all about straw fedora hats, baseball caps and leather bracelets. As
temperatures drop, start to swap hats out for wool options. This year I’m
wearing a lot of wide brimmed styles. As temperatures drop even more I go with
easy to wrap scarves, fingerless gloves (easiest for texting) and thicker,
printed socks. Spring is a time when I break out more rings and silver
bracelets as I tend to limit how much I wear in the winter. There’s enough
layers/items with the scarves, hats and gloves. Throughout the year I wear
sunglasses. All kinds. They’re one of my favorite items in my collection. I
think I bought my first “designer” pair of sunglasses when I was eight and I’ve
been collecting them ever since. Of course, I love watches too.
GM: How much is too much?
Ian Michael Crumm: Never say never. Some days I like wearing
one ring, or a bracelet. Maybe it’s a new pair of sunglasses. Other days it’s a
ring and a bracelet and new sunglasses, a hat, bag and don’t forget statement
cufflinks. You’re wearing “too much” if you look in the mirror and feel less
than fantastic. It’s not too much if you look in the mirror and love the ring,
bracelet, new sunglasses, hat, bag and cufflinks. Wear what makes you happen.
Style is built, not bought.
GM: Is there a particular one that you favor?
Ian Michael Crumm: Oh yes. Sunglasses as I mentioned above. I
love a clean pair of aviators or bright colored wayfarers. Right now I’m wearing
a John Lennon inspired pair from Gotti Switzerland. They’re lightweight and
have a 360 swivel storage feature.

Contrary
to popular belief, wintertime can be a great time to wear colors and to
discover new ways of coordinating colors. During winter, many people chose to
only wear neutrals, as these colors don’t show potential slush or rain stains.
The fact that men tend to wear a lot of neutrals during winter is not only the
result of a sensible need being fulfilled, but is also a reflection of a
psychological need. Neutral colors like brown or beige make us feel safe and
cozy, which is why so many appeal to them so often in the first place. However,
the cold season is full of black and grays, so why not go on a winter color
adventure?
Winter
is a great time to explore new color palettes and to play with shades and
tints. Most winter clothes feature muted colors and subdued patterns, but this
does not mean that you should only stick with neutral colors. Neutral colors
can be matched to deep hues, which can be further matched to brighter and
lighter colors.
To
create elegant and sophisticated outfits, try to avoid wearing too many
neutrals at a time. Men gravitate towards wearing a lot of browns, grays,
black, white, tan and khaki during the winter time. Neutral colors can be the
main colors of your outfits, but they should not be the only ones. These colors
mixed with the rough materials of winter clothes, can make your outfits look
depressed, which is why it is recommended that you place at least one pop of
color in each outfit you create. The pop of color can be one of your main
pieces or one of your accessories: a red tie on a dark blue shirt can make a
big difference, a teal scarf on a khaki jacket can make an outfit dance and an
orange scarf on a brown sweater can make you look polished and refined.
If
you want to have dynamic and stylish outfits, you can opt for several pieces in
darker colors mixed with one piece in a bright accent color. A pop of color on
an outfit that features mostly dark colors is like a ray of light on a cloudy
winter day. You can go even further, and add a second splash of color.
Wearing
color is a great way to express your personality and to let people know who you
are without explicitly declaring it. Your clothes are an indicator of who you
are, so why shouldn’t you be in control of the image you project? In the end,
it’s your choice whether you present yourself as borderline boring or as a man
who pays attention to details and is in charge of himself!

Despite
his cold disposition, Jack Frost’s yearly winter arrival comes with a pleasant
invitation to all stylish men: Shed ye tired, well-worn spring and summer
fabrics and instead opt for more varied drapery during these cold, dark months!  (We imagine Jack Frost would talk with a hint
of an Old English accent).  And to Mr.
Frost’s invitation we at The Sharp Suit say, “Hallelujah”, because winter is a
great opportunity to incorporate a diverse range of fabrics into your personal
style.  There’s an endless array of
fabrics to choose from: wool, linen, flannel, denim, silk, and leather, just to
name a few.  Some of our favorite winter
staples are variations of these fabrics, and we wanted to feature 2 of our
favorites that we love, incorporating into our Jack Frost-approved outfits.
Corduroy,
a type of velvet, adds a texture to pants that can be challenging to wear
during the warmer months.  Plus they’re
one of the few pants fabrics that men can wear in nearly any color they want
(so they’re great for layering with other clothes during winter).  Cashmere clothes have neat, dense fibers that
look polished and are both stylish and functional during the holidays.  The dense fibers provide extra warmth in
colder temperatures, and the clean look of the fibers is perfect over a
collared shirt and tie during holiday celebrations.  Finally, wool is the most versatile of these
winter fabrics and comes in nearly any color and thread size you can imagine.  Thicker fibers are great for outer wear
layers like chunky sweaters, while smaller fibers are great on more surprising
items, like ties and pocket squares. 
Experiment with which fabrics suit your style best (like these wool ties
we love for holiday get-togethers), and then be sure to thank Jack Frost for
bringing us this colder, stylish weather!
Rather
than looking like you pulled the first items out of your closet and layered
them on in a jumbled mess, pay attention to the details of your outfit and
style will never be compromised for function. More so, you’ll have an outfit
that acknowledges the season and can serve as a nod to your personality.
Jacob
Sigala
SOURCE:
THE GENTLEMANUAL
Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.