Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Style: Ten Winter Warobe Essentials for Men

Trenery Short Leather Glove R599

We're inching closer and closer to winter and it couldn't be a better time for a gentleman to beef up his wardrobe with these essentials. Any one of these pieces is a must have for this winter and beyond because they are timeless. If well taken care of you're bound to extend their life for many years to come. Any sartorialist will tell you about the inherent pride when dealing with clothing they have kept and taken care of for many years. The older the item the more tales one has to tell. So, take care of these and you'll not only have stories to tell but you'll definitely be handing them down.

We start with the accessories: The Trenery Short Leather Glove. I've come to realise that I need gloves. The air is very chilly in the mornings and having to pocket one hand while the other holds my bag is not 'fair'. These gloves are made of 100% leather and feature a zip detail on the palm for easy wearing. My only gripe about them is that they only come in black; not enough variety in the colour stakes.

Country Road Bicolour Knit Scarf R299

I really like the mix of colours in this scarf. Light grey, burgundy and navy blue. Classic colours that function, complement and work well in a man's wardrobe. Here is the lesson for me. I used to say that I wasn't a scarf person until I realised that, when it comes to this accessory, the relevance of function takes precedence over comfort and maybe aesthetics. It's cold out and it behooves you to protect your neck. This scarf is made of 100% wool.

Country Road Stripe Lambswool Knit R599

If it wasn't for the navy blue I probably would not have picked this sweater. Its design and texture scream nothing else but warm and comfortable. Made of 100% lambswool this is the perfect casual weekend sweater. Key features that appeal to me are its crew neck and thick ribbed texture. Let's not forget the nautical vibe of the blue and white stripes.

EST1931 Padded Quilted Jacket R799

A classic. No doubt. I've said it before and I'll say it again, you need a quilted jacket in your wardrobe. This one is by EST 1931, a Woolworths brand. Before I expand on this product let me just say how thrilled I am that quilted jackets have found their way to our shores. Readers of this blog will remember that I once posted in 2011 about the unavailability of these jackets in SA. Well, I think they've been available since last year, which kind of made me think some fashion buyers were probably reading my blog. However fashion buyers study trends in fashion which negates my assertion. This particular jacket is padded and fully lined. It features a pop-up collar, front pockets and suede trims down the placket and around the collar. The shell and lining are 100% polyester, and the trims 100% cotton. Once again I decry the fact that it's only available in black and that it's missing some key design features like side vents with button snaps and inner pockets. A few weeks ago I happened to be in Pinetown and as I was walking in Hill street I came across two foreign nationals selling all sorts of jackets you have ever seen. I was immediately drawn to the quilted jackets they had on offer. A variety of colours, in brands that seemed like the real deal. One of the jackets I saw even had a snap button cuff. I didn't manage to find a size, however, I came away incredulosuly impressed with the price: R50.

EST1931 Sleeveless Tweed Puffer Jacket R799

Autumn is very much appropriate for a nylon puffer vest. Winter, however, requires a sturdier, warmer and trustworthy piece. This tweed puffer vest by EST1931 is exactly what the stylish gentleman ordered. It features a sherpa-lined funnel neck collar, two breast pockets with button-down flaps and two side pockets as well. The shell is made of a wool/ poly/ viscose blend, and the inside collar and lining are 100% polyester.

Kingsley Heath Fly Boy Cargo 2 Pants R699

So, the website where I picked these cargos up from suggests that you wear these pants with a pair of outdoor shoes and a tee. I think not. Don't go for it either. If there is a look I have been relishing it's to be the Cucinelli look. I call it that because I saw it for the first time with designer Brunello Cucinelli. This look entails dressing up cargo pants, as opposed to dressing them down, with a blazer, neck-tie and a pair of rugged shoes. The key is in the fit of the pants, slim and tailored. A baggy or a relaxed fit just won't do it. The Fly Boy Cargo 2 pants feature a classic, heavy duty construction, hip pockets and two side pockets. A variety in different winter shades is mandatory.

Dakotas Boat Shoes R689

It's rather disappointing that Dakotas only has this boat shoe with a raised sole in black only. In the 80s my dad bought me a pair exactly like this in a chestnut brown shade. Not even Timberland has anything like this on their website. However, if you come across something similar in another shade you should add it to your winter shoe rotation. I'm still looking for the elusive brown/ chestnut shade.

Hudson Angus R1259

I look at these boots and I immediately think of a navy chalkstripe flannel suit, white shirt with a sky blue, grey and navy blue windowpane check, and a burnt orange wool knit tie. And then a pair of Hudson Angus tan ankle boots to kickstart things (pun intended). The Angus is a washed leather victorian style brogue ankle boot. It has a leather outsole, brogue detailing and antiqued eyelets. Made of 100% leather, which means your feet stay dry even in that winter rain.

Grey Donegal Blazer R1145

The last two suggestions I have for a gentleman's winter wardrobe is blazers. I'm interested more in their colour than anything else. You most definitely need a tweed blazer/ sports jacket in grey, and brown. Mix, match and complement at will. The main thing with both of them is their versatility in dressing them or down.

Brown Tweed Skinny Blazer R1145

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