A student’s guide to dressing warm while looking cool
Michael Calamia CONTRIBUTOR
Photo: Michael Calamia dressing warm while looking cool (Adrian Calamia / THE MIKE).
We all know university is difficult. The last thing on any guy’s mind is what our outfit is going to be tomorrow, especially during midterm season. New complications have risen in the form of dropping temperatures. Our ignorance has lifted, bringing a new sense of personal image consciousness. If we want to attract the attention of that cute girl in our tutorial and stay warm in the process, heed my advice.
The best weapon against the cold weather is layering. Dressing in layers will not only give you protection from the cold weather but if done properly, will give you the appearance of mastery and mystery. The ideal number of layers is between two and three. These can consist of a dress or casual button up, and some sort of wool or cotton sweater, or for a more casual look, a tee shirt underneath a shawl-collar cardigan. Common sweater styles include: crew or V-neck pullover, cardigans, mock necks, shawl collars, turtlenecks and half or quarter zip. However, I emphasize that the sweaters must be made of either a wool blend, cotton, or merino wool. These fabrics act as insulators of heat that will be crucial for those long walks between classes. Outerwear can be a tricky matter. For early fall, leather, bomber, or denim jackets are ideal since they allow you to stay just warm enough to avoid unwanted perspiring. During the harsh months of November and December, a wool peacoat or topcoat are the best options.
Nothing is more crucial in the winter season than footwear. Not only are boots functional but they are more appropriate for the fall and winter seasons opposed to the boat shoes I see around campus. A pair of good leather chukka boots or Chelsea boots are classic staples; however, I see the high-top combat boot making a statement this winter. Leather is the preferred material due to its durability against the harsh conditions of the infamous Toronto winters. A rich colored suede is also a great option since its texture will give your outfit a new dimension. Also, hunt for a pair of boots that are to some degree water-resistant to help with those damp and snowy days.
Let us discuss pants. Every man needs at least one pair of dark fitted jeans in his closet. This provides the foundation to your entire wardrobe due to its versatility as the “white dress shirt” of pants. Jeans made out of raw, unwashed denim will have a rich indigo shade and the weight of raw denim will provide better warmth than your standard distressed jeans. Chinos are a great alternative to wearing jeans every day and provide variety in your wardrobe. Look for a chino made from a heavier weight cotton to keep your lower half warm too. If you are more of an advanced dresser, a pair of wool trousers will look great with a pair of Chelsea boots and a turtleneck.
The most important element for any of these items is the color. One day, when you are rushing through Queen’s Park, stop and take a look at the colors you see. These are going to be the colors of your fall and winter wardrobe. Subdued but rich colors like olive, burgundy, burnt orange, shades of brown, beige, and grey are going to be the colors of choice. These are “earth tones” and they work well to reflect strength and stability while reflecting the colors of the season. Invest in a pair of olive chinos, a pair of dark brown leather boots, a beige shawl collar cardigan and a simple white T-shirt and you are set for that coffee date at Starbucks. If you are not a fan of olive, swap them out for tan or navy and the outfit is still fall-inspired. The subtle harmony of earth tones is exactly why they work so well when combined together and something to strive for this season.
If you have made it this far then I congratulate you for I have nothing left to teach you. So, when you make eye contact with that cute girl in your English tutorial, give her something to look at besides your glowing personality. Winter is coming, my friends, and if you are going to be dressing warm, you might as well look good while doing it.