If you haven’t noticed already, Old Man Winter isn’t done- throwing high velocity winds at Du Bois and kicking up slush around Mahar. As stylish men know, there are ways to fight back and still look quite dapper while doing so. To help keep your heads up, toes warm and hands from, well, being frozen claws, here are the five winter essentials. Don’t be caught without them and you’ll definitely catch a few looks on campus.
Thaw out those ears and listen up. A baseball cap will help keep the sun out of your eyes, but it will not help keep your ears from being Santa-suit-bright-red. There are many better options out there.
For those dipping their toes into these frozen waters, the ubiquitous black beanie gives an air of cool nonchalance. How far it drops back and whether or not it is accented with a poof is up to you. A hat is an excellent way to also add in a dash of color or pattern.
Beanies come is a wide range of colors, ranging from a neon-rainbow-brightness to a subtler stripe of a contrasting color. A safe and dependable option is a knitted beanie, like the one Jack Nicholson wore in the film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
The classic fur trapper hat is a go-to for most. If you are more sartorially inclined, designers make them in popping patterns like gingham, hounds tooth and a bold buffalo plaid. Get ahead of the game with any of these failsafe options.
Pea Coat/Toggle Coat
The Navy knew a thing or two about keeping warm, as well as looking pretty cool while doing so. A pea coat is a great option, and it looks great on just about everyone. It can be found in everything from subtle grey plaids to a fine classic camel. Its big buttons and well-placed pockets make bundling up easier with bulky mittens or gloves on.
Although the pea coat is a no brainer, it has been overshadowing a just as viable, and the possibly more suave option, of a toggle coat. Gloverall, just a skip across the pond in England, has been making these coats right since 1950. Over the years they have kept with modern fits and used the finest of fabrics to keep you nice and toasty. After all, if toggle coats were good enough for the rebellious youth of the “Dead Poets Society,” it is good enough for anyone.
Contrary to common knowledge, Converse will not keep your feet dry when met by slush and snow. Take a page out of the book of one of America’s most established brands, L.L. Bean, who believe that your boots should be as serious as you are. Their Maine Hunting Shoe is everything-proof from snow to rain to rough splashes of soy sauce at the dining commons. If you are met with the unfortunate event that your hunting shoes require the boot, L.L. Bean has a lifetime warrantee. Send them back and you’ll be crushing ice and taking the scenic route again in no time. These boots are imperative for late night hunting trips to Antonio’s Pizza. There is no telling how deep those puddles are.
There is nothing more unfortunate than not being able to write down that number you finally got the courage to ask for from that cute girl in your psychology class because your hands are too cold to perform basic motor functions. This fate should befall no one. Smart gloves are great if your phone is as smart as you are, with material woven into the fingertips allowing for Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds to follow you into the tundra.
If unity is more your thing, then mittens might suit your fancy. Just like with a hat, gloves or mittens are the perfect opportunities to showoff a little pizzazz without overdoing it.
Tired of deciding between the dexterity of gloves and the comfort of mittens? Well fret no longer- glorious mitten-glove combinations are your answer. The come in as many patterns as can be knit ranging from solid colors to Fair Isle designs. Give yourself a hand and pick up a pair.
Gusts of wind rarely hit you squarely in the chest and only in the chest. However, when they do, and they will, you will be prepared. Down-vests are the perfect layering option for the winter months. The color provides a snap of contrast against your coat’s collar. The dreaded scrunchy-arm-syndrome, seemingly inevitable when layering, is also avoided with the vests inherently arm-less nature. Lands’ End Canvas line makes an excellent vest in a burnt orange. Don’t worry about trying to match it with something, because it will go with anything. Marty McFly turned heads in both the future and in the past with his iconic orange down vest. It might not get you a ride in the DeLorean, but you will feel as cool as if you just hopped out of it.
Ryan Ford can be reached at email@example.com.