5 Fabrics All Men Should Have In Their Winter Wardrobe
Single-digit temperatures means its time to stow your linen. Swap fair-weather fabrics for heavyweight options that pack a chill-beating punch, to ensure youre never caught off guard. Even when youre blindsided by the forecast.
Cashmeres expensive, but your investment pays dividends. Its three times as insulating as wool, meaning you dont need bulky layers to stay warm, and its an unalloyed pleasure against your skin, since the hair fibres are super-fine; proper cashmere is less than 19 microns thick around a quarter the width of human hair.
That is, so long as it is unalloyed. You can tell the good stuff by rubbing it between your fingers. If it feels oily, its cut with lambswool, so dont pay premium prices.
While that cashmere overcoat remains a dream, stick to accessories. A scarf in cashmere or a wool-cashmere blend, if your budgets tight will protect you from winters worst and offer a contrast to the textures in your tailoring.
Alternatively, Uniqlos incomprehensibly affordable cashmere sweaters will keep you toasty without burning through your savings. If youve more money to play with, British brand N.Peal comes recommended by 007 himself.
When you cant spring for cashmere, reach for merino. Shorn from the eponymous sheep, the wools almost as fine as the spendier stuff, at 24 microns for basic merino, down to 12 microns for the superfine versions. Its also breathable and super-absorbent, making it the perfect base layer. Just ask the cyclists who prefer it to space-age materials.
But its not just good in sportswear. A merino roll neck will regulate your body heat on those tricky-to-dress-for transitional days again, Uniqlo should be your first port of call for versions as flattering to your physique as your wallet.
Or for something simpler, surf brand Finisterres merino tees are the ideal layering piece, whether youre hitting the waves or a chilly beer garden.
Your geography teachers favourite fabric is now fashion-forward, thanks in part to Wes Andersons ubiquity on designers mood boards. Match your fit to his; suits cut with breathing room in a narrow wale (thats the space between the ridges), which will give your tailoring some texture and banish any thoughts of oxbow lakes.
A thicker wale means a heavier fabric, which traps more heat. Save Grand Canyon ridges for outerwear a trucker jacket with a sherpa lining ticks off two trends (shearling was unavoidable on the autumn/winter 2015 runways) without denting your pocket.
Flannels distinctive appearance comes courtesy of fine metal brushes, which are run over the fabric to create a nap the raised fibres that give the material its softness. Beyond texture, the lifted material traps air and heat, making it the ideal counter to plunging mercury.
Its the staple winter suit fabric, since its cold-weather credentials are bolstered by a matte appearance suited to greyer skies. With central heating and public transport putting paid to the true winter suit, opt for a for lighter fabric 10-11oz for tailoring you can wear from autumn to spring.
Before Thomas Burberrys textile breakthrough in 1879, waterproof clothing was rubberised, which kept the rain out, but the sweat and smells in. His approach treated the fabric before it was woven, making it breathable without compromising protection from the elements. The development helped the Burberry trench coat become an iconic piece of outerwear.
Today, gabardine is synonymous with durability. Gabardine suits are hard-wearing and hold their shape, ideal for damp commutes when you want to avoid arriving at the office wrinkled. Certain blends are even machine washable, for those days when you cant seem to avoid the puddles.