#OOTD: Rugged Winter Style

Editor’s note: You’ve surely seen this hashtag lots of different places, including on Instagram. But how does that carry over to real life? The #OOTD series will take one great item and put together a versatile, stylish outfit around it. Look for past features here.

Every once in a while, you just want to mix up your style — right? Maybe if you’re a guy who frequently suits up , you feel compelled to dress down off-duty. Even if you find yourself dressing in business casual style for the office — rather than a suit — it still pays to have a few go-to, off-the-clock looks on-hand. And when you throw in the dual challenges of navigating winter weather while looking sharp, it adds another piece to the puzzle. That’s what we’re tackling today — we’ll get a bit out of the box in terms of classic winter style and go just a tad more casual and a tad more rugged. The basic building blocks of a crisp winter ensemble are still there — starting with classic dark denim and tough leather boots — but the way in which the outfit builds from the ground up will hopefully get you thinking about ways to refresh your style this year. Intrigued yet? Check out the full #OOTD below, and join us on Instagram and Facebook for more #menswear content, 24/7.

Layering up a shawl cardigan for rugged winter style -- as the post title implies.

Layering up a shawl cardigan for rugged winter style — as the post title implies.

The Cardigan: Iron & Resin Fletcher Cardigan,$110.98 — Here at the dear old Style Guide, we sure do love a shawl-collar cardigan. And seeing as this one is available via Huckberry in a warm cotton-fleece blend, it’s worth the buy. You could always add a crisp, functional Outerknown parka if you need an extra layer.

The Henley: Bonobos Slub Jersey Henley in Off-White Microstripe, $55 — Shawl-collar cardigan? Check. Rugged henley? Check. It’s as classic and comfortable of a winter style combo as it gets.

The Scarf: S.N.S Herning Torso Scarf, $96.60 — Nearly a hundred bucks is a lot to drop on a scarf — but when it provides significant warmth and style to rival that of the revered Daniel Craig in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” it’s worth doing.

The Denim: Nudie Jeans Grim Tim Denim, $124.98 —  Whether you consider yourself a rock star or not, there’s something to be said for owning a slick, slim pair of black denim. The Grim Tim is that pair — and they’re a nice way to switch it up from dark indigo selvedge, too.

The Boots: G.H. Bass Buxton Boots, $425 — We talk a lot about investment-worthy purchases that convey great style and timeless appeal — the G.H. Bass Buxton Boots are one such purchase, and they add a bit of a unique contrast to the black denim.

The Socks: Wigwam Merino Lite Hiker Socks, $12.98 — Sometimes, you just need comfortable, functional socks that fight the chill — if that’s the case, pick up a couple pairs of these Merino Lite Hiker Socks.

The Watch: Standard Issue Instruments Pilot Mission Timer, $199.98 — Yet another standout piece of gear sold by Huckberry, the Pilot Mission Timer is tough, practical and rugged. Don’t worry about the black strap-brown boots color combo — it works in this casual ensemble.

The Hat: Columbiaknit Watch Cap, $17 — Just like the Merino Lite Hiker Socks, functionality and warmth is sometimes the name of the game. This cap is more than fairly priced, too.

The Gloves: Hestra Granvik Gloves, $180 — They might not be pictured in the above grid, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need reliable, tough winter gloves — Hestra is the place to go in this case.
Frank & Oak

Alright, let’s bundle up and get out there this winter. When you start with well-fitting basics — like a slub jersey henley — and add a tough-yet-comfortable Iron & Resin shawl-collar cardigan, you’ve got the foundation of a warm winter outfit.  In fact, it’s this very outfit that I frequently find myself wearing when it’s chilly. At any rate, slim black denim and rough-and-tumble leather boots are essentials in any season, especially cold weather, and the overlooked details — like warm winter socks and a nice winter hat — are just as critical to keep in mind before you step outside. And if it’s a new watch you need, something as functional and dependable as the  Pilot Mission Timer should get you where you’re going with plenty of time to spare. Any questions? Comments? Feedback? Let me know in the comments below!

Stay warm out there and thanks for reading,

-Beau

Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Winter Boots

Editor’s note: Click this link to read the 2016 edition of this site’s best men’s winter boots.

So these past few weeks in NYC have delivered some of the coldest weather on record — not only in the city itself, but across much of the rest of Eastern U.S. and Midwest. That really puts things in perspective style-wise, because in cold weather like this, function is just as important as fashion, particularly in the footwear department when trekking through feet of snow (or even just walking through blustery, chilly winds). There are several options on the market that serve only functional purposes (like the famous Bean boot from L.L. Bean), but the best boots serve both stylish and utilitarian means — like the 5 picks below. Read on and leave your picks for your favorite pair at the bottom!

#1. Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots in Brown — $360

An all-American original with rugged details.

An all-American original with rugged details.

Wolverine’s 1000 Mile line of boots is an all-time classic — revered for their durability and toughness, the brand has slowly built up a fashion following across the past five or so years as workwear and Americana themes have come back into vogue in men’s fashion. While this pair is particularly pricey compared to options you might pick up on a budget, the price is well worth it —the 1000 Mile collection combines toughness and dependability with beautiful leather styling and lots of attention to detail (read more on a pair from the line here). In a rich brown color like the pair above, they’ll work at the office with more rugged outfits as well as marching through the cold to get there. Note that these boots are also on-sale through Nordstrom for a bit less than the above price.

#2. Thursday Boots Captain Boot in Brown — $199

A slimmed-down silhouette compared to the 1000 Mile boot, for far less cash.

A slimmed-down silhouette compared to the 1000 Mile boot, for far less cash.

The second pick on this list drops the price down significantly from the Wolverine boots above, without losing too much quality. In fact, for being a very new startup courtesy of Kickstarter, these boots provide just as much top-notch styling potential as any other boot from the heritage brands on this list — and they do it for a greatly reduced price.  They offer a slightly sleeker-looking silhouette, a more office-friendly captoe and that same rich brown leather that should pair well with all kinds of outfits throughout the winter. And even more importantly, the company’s garnered some positive reviews around their initial collections, meaning it’d be more than safe to take the plunge on this pair.

#3. Frank & Oak Rubber-Soled Italian-Leather Lace-up Boots in Black, $175

From Frank & Oak's new footwear line — the sharpest pair on the list yet.

From Frank & Oak’s new footwear line — the sharpest pair on the list yet.

The first pair of black boots on this list is also, quite curiously, on-sale through Frank & Oak with plenty of sizes left. On top of that, they’re by far the cheapest pair on the list to date, yet if F&O’s other new footwear offerings are any indication, this pair should deliver in both quality and looks. They’re by far the dressiest pair on the list, given that sharp black color (a slightly resurgent footwear trend), and the brushed black eyelets and waxed cotton laces only add to their sleek styling. These would work best in the same manner that Bond wore his black dress boots in Skyfall — with a sharp grey suit or tailored navy trousers or cords. They’d also work to channel your inner Justin Theroux with slim dark denim. Given the rate of turnover on Frank & Oak’s site, the question remains as to how long these boots will stay in-stock, especially on-sale.

#4. Red Wing Beckman Boot in Black Featherstone — $340

Red Wing boots combine heritage craftsmanship with rugged styling potential.

Red Wing boots combine heritage craftsmanship with rugged styling potential.

Yet another pair of black boots fills spot #4 on this list. Just like their Wolverine brethren, Red Wing has a long heritage of delivering sturdy boots made to last. This pair of Beckman boots knocks down the price compared to the 1000 Mile pair listed above, but that in no way detracts from the quality. These have that same reinforced sole and Goodyear welt construction that should make resoling possible down the line — practically like getting a new pair of boots for far less than full price. And in this case, the bottom sole is stitched to the midsole, meaning these boots can more than stand up to the abuses of winter weather. Notably, the leather on this pair is richer in color than your typical black leather — it has a luxurious, almost burgundy-like tint to it. Throw ’em on with dark denim, a henley and a shawl cardigan or pair them with slim burgundy cords and a crewneck sweater.

#5. Florsheim Gaffney Wingtip Boots — $150

A wingtip option that combines tan leather with a grippy-looking sole.

A wingtip option that combines tan leather with a grippy-looking sole.

The final pair on this list is the first and only set of wingtip boots on here —mainly because of the fact that while inherently stylish, incredibly nice wingtip boots (like the Allen Edmonds Dalton) don’t always do the best job of beating back the snow and slush. If you have a pair in your closet though, give them a try — after all, $400-plus boots don’t deserve to just sit around! The Florsheim Gaffney is a slightly more upscale replacement to JCP’s much-loved Stafford Camlin and Stafford Deacon wingtip boots, but in a louder “toffee” color. That makes them a little more eye-catching and slightly less versatile than the darker brown options on this list, as tan doesn’t necessarily sit as well under, say, khaki chinos or dark charcoal trousers. They would, however, pair just fine with dark denim and navy chinos, for example. And the sole on these boots looks to have a fair bit of grip as well, which is a definite positive for stepping outside in these chilly temperatures. The leather also looks to have some texture, a nice way of adding a bit of visual interest to fall and winter outfits.

Although many of these boots are up there in price, the benefits are well worth the extra dollars, as a great pair of boots can combat slush, snow and ice without needing a change for working hours — or dinner and drinks out later.

Got a favorite pair of winter boots? What other options would you add to this list? Leave it all below! 

Additional note: Look for a Reader Giveaway Opportunity coming up on the blog! I’ll be giving away a Linjer Leather Goods wallet! Details coming on Wednesday. Thanks for reading!