The secret to surviving winter is not a thick jacket: it’s thick skin.
Even a polar vortex is no match for some good old-fashioned mental toughness.
Having said that, a thick jacket certainly never hurt.
So whether you’re on the hunt for a technical puffer, a cozy new fleece or a suit-able overcoat, we’ve rounded up the seven essential pieces of outerwear every man should consider.
For each, we’ve pulled a range of styles and price points — but every single one will keep you warm all winter long.
Photo: Woolrich John Rich & Bros
The parka is the preferred outerwear of Arctic explorers, but its merits go beyond warmth: there is no detriment to throwing a winter parka over any ensemble, suits included. And remember: it doesn’t have to be fur-trimmed. It may be required in polar zones, but don’t be afraid to skip it for technical lightweight insulation.
The Technical Puffer Jacket
Back in the day, puffer jackets were just that: puffy and bulky. But as fabric technology has advanced, so has the jacket, and today we’re seeing warm, lightweight and packable options to suit every price range. Thanks to light layers of filling and weather-resistant exteriors, these puffers will keep you toasty without adding any bulk.
Photo: Mr. Porter
The Shearling Jacket
Shearling has a transformative quality in that it can give even your basics an air of luxury. This stuff is also warm. Very warm. And while you’ll find all kinds of styles trimmed or lined with the soft stuff, your safest bet is to stay true to its heritage and go military. Think bombers and field jackets. Not only is it the most approachable, it’s also a very hard look to botch.
The Modern Overcoat
No man looks bad in an overcoat. This is fact. Overcoats are traditionally worn with suits and suits only. But these days, brands are democratizing the classic style, offering up options that are slightly more loose-fitting and all together more casual.
The Duffle Coat
The duffle, or toggle, coat, has come a long way since its origins as British naval issue during WWI. But the look endures. Before you say it’s too fashion-forward for your taste, think of it as you would the humble pea coat — just with more interesting buttons.
The Quilted Shell Jacket
When it comes to style, winter is more or less about two things: layering and texture. Grab yourself a quilted shell and you’ll have both. Meant to be worn on its own on brisk days or under a heavier coat on colder ones, the quilted shell jacket is a versatile piece of outerwear that bridges the gap between fashion and function.
Photo: Taylor Stitch
The Fleece Jacket
Despite collegiate associations with fleece, the fuzzy stuff is back and having a moment. You can thank a new school of brands that have elevated the look with new designs sharp enough to wear in public — and we don’t just mean in the ski lodge.