Fall will forever be my favorite season for style. All those clothing options – coats, boots, and my favorite, leather jackets, give you so much more opportunity to look amazing.

There is an unfortunate side to fall and winter style though. Men tend to gravitate towards black. I get it, it looks cool and is the easy choice. But you also run the high risk of looking like sad, dreary blobs in the gloomy winter weather.

This year I went back to the drawing board with my seasonal guide. It’s time to give you guys a kick in the ass and show you how to step up your fall/winter style game.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • 3 New trends for Fall 2018 you should incorporate into your wardrobe!
  • How to stop looking like sad grey blobs and wear more color this fall.
  • My favorite alternative to huge, awkward, rubber rain boots and a ton more recommendations to protect you from this seasons ugliest weather.
  • And much, much more!

Warning! This guide is huge. To make things easier navigate, I’ve put together a clickable table of contents. 

(Updated for 2018)

Last year, it was all about the death of the skinny look. This year, we got a couple of trends to give your fall/winter wardrobe a fresh update with a little trip back in time.

If you’re new to trends, or just a little hesitant, I recommend you read the short primer on trends I wrote for this original post here.

Let’s jump right in!

Fall 2018 Trend #1: The 70s

The 70s are coming back this Fall, but not in a cliché bellbottom, disco way. Think Robert Redford in All The President’s Men, Jack Nicolson in Chinatown, and Mr. Roundtree as Shaft.

Key Trends:

Colors: Browns/yellows/tan. Red as a pop color.
70s Items to try out: Turtlenecks, suede (especially tan suede jackets), shearling, western style shirts and accessories, and corduroy, especially pants.

Fall 2018 Trend #2: The 90s

This Fall is going to be a unique one, as it’s one of the first seasons where two eras are inspiring trends. Chalk it up to fashion’s post-Instagram evolution. As a child of the 90s, I got a bit of a soft spot for this one. The 90s have been big with the streetwear crowd for the past year, here’s how you can incorporate some of it into your grown-up wardrobe.

Key Trends:

Colors: Plaids, Animal prints, metallic details
90s Items to try out: Plaid/check shirts, Rugby shirts, Trackpants, Skate shoes, Hiking style boots (e.g., Timberlands), Stripes

Fall 2018 Trend #3: Monochromatic/Tone on Tone Outfits

FALL 2018 TREND #3: MONOCHROMATIC TONE ON TONEFinally, we’re going to see more stylish men wear head to toe monochromatic looks beyond the usual black. We’re already seeing a ton of celebrity stylists put leading men in head to toe brown outfits, knocking out two trends with one stone.

If wearing a single color is a bit too bold for you, you can get the same vibe and add a lot more depth by doing a bit more tone on tone (varying the light/darkness of the colors).

Black Is Boring:
Wear More Color with These Fall Colors Mixing Recipes

I’m not going to sugarcoat it, this season I want you to wear more color.

Here are a few simple ways to add more color to your look without having to remember any complicated color theory concepts.

Easy Mode: Go For The Pop Color/Pattern

The most basic form of adding color to your wardrobe is putting together a mostly neutral outfit, then picking one (or a few) pieces in a high contrast color or pattern to “pop”.

The easy choices are your scarf, sock, or beanie. For something a bit more bold, you can opt for a high contrast sweater or even a jacket (like the gentleman in the suede leather jacket above.)

Screw The Color Wheel, Think Tried and True Combos

You probably know by now how much I hate the classic color wheel/theory advice on how to mix colors. (Spoiler alert: It’s bullshit).

I like to teach guys how to mix colors the same way chefs learn flavor combinations, something I call “Color Profiles”.

Essentially, they are tried to true combinations that have been passed on and stood the test of time. So instead of trying to learn about primary, tertiary, and all that color wheel b.s., let’s just follow great examples and call it a day.

Here are some of my favorites to get you started:


When In Doubt, Go Tone on Tone

Second to wearing a pop color/pattern, rocking tone on tone is another easy way to wear more color this fall.

The concept is simple: start with a color, like a brown coat, and pair it with pieces that are also brown but in different tones (or intensity). The trick to pulling this off is making sure there’s enough of a difference in a few pieces to give you some depth.

(Updated for 2018)

The Topcoat

Traditionally topcoats (also called overcoats) are meant to be worn over your jacket (hence the name). Personally, I treat it like a long jacket, wearing it over sweaters or a button-up shirt to give my legs a bit more coverage from the winter chills.

If you plan to wear it in the traditional way (over your suit or jacket), consider sizing up.

A good general shopping tip: try on clothes the way you plan to wear them in the real world. That means when you go shopping for a topcoat, try it over a shirt and jacket to get the sizing right.

Entry Level: Bonobos Wool Topcoat, $598 (Peter’s Choice)
Mid Range: Mr. P Wool Camel Hair Topcoat, $895
Premium: Salle Privée Double Breasted Wool Blend Topcoat, $2360

The Peacoat

The peacoat has fallen a bit out of favor thanks to pieces like the bomber jacket, but it’s a timeless essential for a reason.

It’s a hard jacket to mess up. It’s ridiculously durable thanks to the heavy, melton wool fabric (it was designed for men serving in the navy).

An extremely versatile piece that is a strong contender for your favorite fall/winter jacket.

Entry Level: Schott Melton Wool Peacoat, $300
Mid Range: Ralph Lauren Double-Breasted Wool Blend Peacoat, $515
Premium: Dries Van Noten Caban Double-Breasted Wool Blend Peacoat, $1,690 (Peter’s Choice)

The Heathered Shirt

You can get away with using your cotton button-up shirts in the fall/winter by adding an extra undershirt layer. If you’re looking for a sleeker solution, it’s time to swap out that summer weight cotton shirt for something heavier.

Heathered fabrics are fabrics with alternating woven yarn colors, which creates flecks of colors. Combine that with fall weight fabrics and what you end up with is an extremely soft and warm fabric with some nice visual texture.

Entry Level: N/A
Mid Range: Bonobos Heathered Wool Un-Button Down Shirt, $158 (Peter’s Choice)
Premium: N/A

Check/Plaid Button-up Shirts

One of the biggest style mistakes my clients make is buying too many prints and patterns. Too many prints and patterns can make it tricky to mix and match your clothes to create outfits.

It’s why I’ve stressed the importance of building your essential wardrobe with solids first.

This year, I want to encourage you to start strategically adding more color and prints into your look to make it a bit more exciting. With the 90s being a significant trend this season, it’s the perfect time to pick up a few check/plaid shirts.

The popular color for this fall is brown, but it’s hard to go wrong with the classic red tartan pattern. My personal favorite styles are often referred to as shadow plaids, a soft transition pattern that will subtly help you stand out without begging for too much attention.

Entry Level: Uniqlo Plaid shirt, $29
Mid Range: Bonobos Flannel Shirt, $98 (Peter’s Choice)
Premium: RRL Checked cotton-blend shirt, $225

Intermission: Why Cashmere is Still King

Despite all the advancements recently in fabric technology, there’s nothing quite like putting on a cashmere beanie when it’s cold out.

If you’ve already dreaded wearing anything wool because you always end up itchy with watery eyes, it’s time to become best friends with cashmere.

Before I give you some of my favorite cashmere essentials, let me show you why cashmere is still king of cold weather fibers.

Have you ever picked up a cheap synthetic beanie at Wal-Mart that barely kept your head warm and let tons of wind in?

The reason for this is because synthetic fibers like polyester are ultra smooth. Why does this matter?

Those little irregularities on the natural fibers like wool, alpaca, and cashmere create little microscopic air pockets that trap air molecules. These little molecules bounce around in these pockets, generating heat. Since synthetic fibers are smooth, they don’t create enough tiny air pockets, so they do a bad job as insulating.

Now compare the coarse and fine wool fiber with the cashmere, what do you notice?

The cashmere fiber is made up of longer, smoother scales. This makes cashmere soft and less itchy. And a hell of a lot more desirable and expensive.

Luckily, you can find cashmere products from all types of brands. And while they might not all be equal, they’re still better than your run of the mill synthetic counterpart.

Cashmere Sweater

The cashmere sweater is the perfect layering piece when you need extra warmth. It’s a lot more stylish and less bulky compared to a puffy vest and it’s a hell of a lot softer than a wool sweater.

Bonus: She’s going to want to keep touching you whenever you wear it.

Entry Level: Uniqlo Cashmere Crewneck, $79
Mid Range: Bonobos Wool Cashmere Crewneck, $158
Premium: Mr. P Cashmere Sweater, $385 (Peter’s Choice)

The Turtleneck

Like the fanny pack, the turtleneck has made a surprise comeback this year. But among the stylish men out there, it actually never went away.

A proper turtleneck, especially in black or navy, is right up there with the peacoat and dark wash denim jeans, it’s a timeless classic.

Along with adding a touch of luxury to your vibe, the roll-neck acts like a built-in scarf. It’s also more versatile than you can imagine – wear it under a suit, pair it with jeans, you’ll find that the turtleneck is going to be your new favorite staple this fall.

My recommendation for your first turtleneck would be wool (either merino or cashmere) in navy, black, or camel.

Entry Level: Uniqlo Cashmere Turtleneck, $79 (Peter’s Choice)
Mid Range: Altea Cashmere Turtleneck, $375
Premium: Tom Ford Cashmere Silk Turtleneck, $1890

Cashmere Beanie

Fun fact: If you’ve ever felt itchy or uncomfortable wearing something like a wool beanie, don’t freak out, you’re not really allergic to wool. Your discomfort usually comes from the coarseness of the wool.

The solution is simple: Switch to a cashmere beanie this fall and your head (and eyes) will love you. Since finally investing in a beautiful cashmere beanie a few years ago, I’ve never gone back

Entry LevelCOS Cashmere Beanie, $69 (Peter’s Choice)
Mid Range: Beams Plus Cashmere Beanie, $100
Investment: The Elder Statesman Mélange Cashmere beanie, $335

The Leather Fur Collar Bomber Jacket

I still stand by my opinion that every man should own a leather jacket. But if you haven’t pulled the trigger yet because you’re not sure you it works on you, I understand.

Leather jackets can often intimidate the more formal dresser. If this is the case, this style might be the one for you. The addition of the fur collar luxes up the jacket a bit. If you opt for a design light on the patches or fancy hardware, you got a great jacket that works extremely well thrown over a button-up and wool dress pants.

Entry Level: Schott Cowhide Bomber Jacket, $885
Mid Range: Officine Generale John Shearling-Trimmed Full-Grain Leather Bomber Jacket, $1650 (Peter’s Choice)
Premium: Saint Laurent Shearling Trimmed Leather Flight Jacket, $4,990

Need some guidance on buying leather jackets? Click here to check out my ultimate guide to buying a leather jacket. 

Corduroy Pants

Head to any men’s shop this season, and it’s a safe bet you’re going to run into a ton of corduroy.

Corduroy adds some much-needed texture to your look, something a lot of men’s outfits are missing. The ridges and soft texture adds what I call “visual warmth” – it’s like looking at a chunky sweater or bowl of soup – you can just feel the coziness looking at it.

While I’m a big fan of corduroy jackets, the easiest way to add corduroy to your look is via pants. Look for cord pants cut like jeans. I’d recommend picking up a neutral color first like a dark grey, then a pair or two in some fall colors like brown, green, and maroon.

Entry Level: J.Crew, $80 (Peter’s Choice)
Mid Range: Beams Plus, $150
Premium: Norse Projects, $215

Fall Colored Chino

I’ve mentioned before how if I had to choose only one pair of pant to own, it would be the chino. The most versatile pants you can own. If you’ve been smart enough to follow my advice on building a minimalist, versatile wardrobe, chances are you already have a few pairs in colors you can rock with anything.

Now it’s time to give your pants a bit of the fall treatment and pick up some cold weather colors. Brands like Bonobos put out amazing chinos in almost every shade. This year they’ve added a small upgrade: lining the inside with an ultra-soft insulating layer of flannel.

A few color recommendations for your fall wardrobe? Olive, Maroon, and Brown.

Entry Level: J.Crew 484 Chinos, $70
Mid Range: Bonobos Flannel Lined Chinos, $128 (Peter’s Choice)
Premium: NN07 Marco Slim Fit Chinos, $150


Color and Patterned Socks

I believe your socks should be colorful and patterned no matter what the season. When it comes to your core socks, your black dress socks and the like, I actually recommending spending a bit more.

But when it comes to all the fun colors and patterns, I say go a bit budget, buy a lot more and mix things up.

Uniqlo has always been my go-to for stocking up on colored socks, but I’ve been loving Bonobos’ offering lately. For something a bit more premium, I highly recommend Japanese brand Anonymous ism

Entry Level: Uniqlo, $6
Mid Range: Bonobos Socks, 3 pairs for $35 (Peter’s Choice)
Premium: Anonymous Ism, $25

The Hiking Boot

If you’ve been a long time reader of The Essential Man, you know how much I love the classic military style lace up boot.

With the rise of 90s styles this year, there’s no better time to recommend a more rugged option for your fall footwear. Chunkier hiking style boots were a staple in the 90s, with brands like Timberland dominating the feet of men throughout the years.

While I don’t mind if you decide to go with the tan classic, I’m a big fan of Thursday Boot’s take – made with a Goodyear welt construction, kevlar blended laces, and ultra grippy outsoles by Vibram to ensure stability when things get wet and snowy.

Peter’s Recommendation: Thursday Commander Boot, $249

Intermission: Why I Don’t Shine My Own Shoes (And Why You Shouldn’t Either)

Check out any top 10 list of skills every man should know and without a doubt “a man should know how to shine his shoes” will be on there.

Look, I get the nostalgia tidbit, but it’s one of those things that I think sounds cool to recommend but people don’t actually do it. As a guy that does know how to shine his shoes, I recommend you don’t.

Why? Because it’s time consuming, messy, and you’re most likely not even doing it right.

Do what I do, find yourself a local cobbler who has a huge stockpile of polish in all shades/brands and drop off your shoes every few weeks. My cobbler are magicians and can condition, buff, and polish the driest of leather shoes I have in the time it takes for me to scroll through my instagram feed.

The Luxe Running Sneaker

I know, a luxe running sneaker sounds like an oxymoron right? What’s the use of a running shoe that’s so nice you don’t want to get them dirty?

Here’s how I see it: A young man drinks to get wasted, while the mature man drinks to relax.

That’s what a luxury running sneaker is to me.

It’s a sneaker with a different purpose. Not meant to be worn to help you train for that marathon, but to tell people you’re grown up and have places to go. Except you’re just not in a rush.

My favorite running sneaker this season is by Greats. If my usual favorite, the Nike Internationalist, were a solid Bulleit Bourbon, Great’s Pronto would be the Japanese whiskey.

Peter’s Recommendation: Greats Pronto, $199

The Art of Layering

Great fall style is all about the layering.

One key to layering that most guys often overlook: layering is not just about a jacket over a button up.

You can add some super interesting depth and style to your looks layering different jackets and coats, formal with casual, on top of each other.

Here are a few layering recipes you can try out!


More Tips on Layering From Barron Cuadro of Effortless Gent


I reached out to my fellow men’s fashion expert Barron over at Effortless Gent to swap some advice on layering. You can read what I wrote for him on his site here. Here’s what he had to share for Essential Man Readers:

“Fall and winter are obviously great for layering… not only for warmth, but for the opportunity to put together outfits that are more visually interesting. There’s a subtle art to layering, but beyond pairing up great combos of color, pattern, and texture, considering each garment’s fit and thickness is equally important.

For max comfort, make sure the layers closest to your skin (whether they’re long johns or a T-shirt) are the thinnest and most form-fitting. From there, everything else you put on should be a bit thicker and looser-fitting. Thicker for warmth, and looser to accommodate the layers underneath and minimize the potential bunching and wrinkling.

That way, when you put on your button-up shirt, sweater, vest, coat, and scarf, everything will fit comfortably and you’ll be nice and warm.”


Part 3: Fall/Winter Reader Questions, Answered

How to Pick The Perfect Fall Scent

Question: “Hey Peter, I’d love some advice for getting some fall colognes. Thanks!” – Craig

Men, it’s time to put away your shower fresh citrus heavy scents. I reached out to my go to scent expert, Rachel Beider, a certified aromatherapist and owner of Massage Williamsburg and Massage Greenpoint.

For fall Rachel recommends going for scents with notes of leather, dirt, earth, wood or incense. She’s broken down a few of her favorites below.

Warm Woods:
Tom Ford Oud Wood, $230: Smells like powdery, warm, wood.
Commes Des Garcon Hinoki, $120Smells like walking through a fresh, soft cedar forest.

Commes Des Garcon: Kyoto, $95:
Smells like you’re burning incense in a Japanese temple in the winter. It’s warm and spicy. One of my favorites.
Ds & Durga: Mississippi Medicine, $260Smells like camping in the woods with an old book; cedar, tar, incense.

Warmth, Musk:
Sophia Matthias: 1509 with Sage, $90
Smells like warm amber with a touch of sage, dark.
Histoires De Parfums: Ambre 114, $35Smells like powdery, warm amber, with a bit of citrus.

Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire, $60 (.3oz):
Smells like citrusy, freshly cut grass with some warm wood.
Terre d’Hermes, $58: Smells like dried orange peels, fresh bright scent with a touch of warmth. A lighter

How to Properly Apply Cologne:

Again, over to Rachel!

“The over application of scent is my biggest no no. Scent should draw you in, not repel you. It should have a very nuzzling and embracing quality.

Some do’s and don’ts:

  • Don’t use too much! Your neighbors shouldn’t be able to smell you.
  • Don’t spray it on your wrists. The idea about spraying fragrance on your wrists was started by department stores. Every time you grab a new item of clothing and check it out, the motion wafts the wrist scent toward your direction. They want you to keep smelling it as you shopped and entice you into buying.
  • Spraying in the air and walking through is a bit of a waste.

To start, I’d suggest ONE spray onto your shirtless chest, or ONE spray between the shoulder blades. (Just reach over your head and spray towards your shoulder blades.)

I like scents on the back for a man, because when I go to give them a hug, I get a whiff of their scent from over their shoulder. It’s not too overwhelming.

Be cautious about the neck (especially if you’re on a potentially amorous date – no one wants a mouthful of scent).”

How to Avoid Looking Like an Old Man This Fall

Question: “How do I rock chunky sweaters and cardigans without looking like Mr. Rogers?” – Andrew

First, how dare you. Mr. Rogers is a national treasure and a style icon.

My advice if you don’t want to look like an old man is to make sure the rest of your outfit is a bit modern. If you’re rocking a knit cardigan with ill fitting flannel pants, loafers, and New Balance sneakers, it’s hard to avoid looking like you smell like Ben Gay.

Keep in mind balancing proportions this fall. If your knit is chunky and big, make sure your pants are tailored and fitted. If your rocking a slim/tight sweater, you can go with pants with a bit more volume.

On Staying Dry and Stylish

Question: “Hi Peter, on the subject of fall clothes: what about raincoats? Or do we just take umbrellas?” – Martin B.

The first recommendation I have is to upgrade your umbrella.

Repel Teflon Umbrella, $21

The Repel umbrella is one of the highest rated umbrellas in recent times, why? This Teflon coated compact beast of an umbrella has been dominating top 10 lists for good reason. It’s teflon coated, so it beads off rain better than anything else in the market. 9 reinforced ribs prevent it from turning inside out. Most importantly it open and closes at the touch of a button, a godsend if you ride the subway.

Second, I agree about traditional and trendy raincoats like the Sutterheim. It can sometimes feel like you’re wearing a body condom. Luckily, you have a few awesome traditional, like the Mackintosh coat, as well as modern techy options from brands like Arc’Teryx Veilance.


Timberland Waterproof West Haven Boot, $109

If you’re like me and hate rainboots, companies like Timberland have been releasing some awesome rain boots in disguise, like The West Haven ($109)

There are some days where wearing snow boots is overkill. While wearing sneakers makes you look like a tourist who’s never seen snow in his life. Timberlands waterproof boot is a rain boot masquerading as a rugged, everyday casual boot. Waterproofing is done during the tanning process of the leather, going beyond the topical coat that over-the-counter sprays offer.

The West Haven’s have sealed seams throughout to keep your feet completely dry. Timberland’s trademark Gripstick sole spreads water away, giving your foot more surface contact with the ground preventing slips.

It’s the perfect rain boot if you hate rain boots.

Winter Skincare Tips

Question: “My skin gets crazy dry during the winter. I’d love if you could recommend some fall skin products for men.” – Pat F.

Don’t make a mistake in thinking you only need to protect your skin in the summer – snow often acts as a mirror, bouncing off those nasty UV rays back right onto your face. If you’ve ever been skiing and suffered from “snow sunburn,” you know what I’m talking about.

Luckily, the skincare specialist over at Heyday set me up with an ultra-simple 3-step skincare routine you can adopt year round.

#1 Wash Your Face With Gentle Soap

The first step, of course, is to remove all the dirt, grime, and junk from your face.

My mistake was using your standard drugstore bar soap.

Why is this bad for you? Well, it’s too good at what it does: bar soap removes so much oil from your skin it dries it out.

Unfortunately, when you strip your skin of too much oil to dry it out, your body freaks the hell out. It hydrates your skin the only way it knows how, by producing oil.

When that happens, you’ll probably do what I did: think that you have really oily skin and use even more soap. This makes things much worse and what eventually leads to dreaded breakouts.

What to do: Use a gentle, hydrating soap designed for washing your face.

When to do it: At minimum, in the morning. Optionally, rewash your face at night before bed.

What I like to use: Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash, $28 via Amazon


#2 Re-adjust Your pH With a Toner

Just what the hell is pH? Our skin has a thin layer called the acid mantle which acts “as a barrier to bacteria, viruses and other potential contaminants that might penetrate the skin.” pH is simply a scale that is used to measure how “effective” your acid mantle is.

In simple terms, when you wash your skin, you’re also washing off some goodness, throwing off your pH, leaving you open to harsh external elements.

Toner will help rebalance the pH levels of your skin, which is why you want to use it after washing your face even with the most gentle cleaners.

What to do: After washing your face with a cleanser, pat dry, then spray your face evenly with toner. (If your toner doesn’t have a spray nozzle, apply with a cotton ball/pad)

Let air dry before applying anything after it.

What I like to use: Ursa Major 4-in-1 Face Tonic, $26 via Amazon

#3 Moisturize And Protect With a Sunscreen

Even though you used a gentle cleanser, your skin is still going to be a bit dry. Moisturizing lets your skin know it’s hydrated and won’t need to produce any excess oil.

We also want to protect our skin too primarily from harmful sun rays. Skincare specialists say if there’s one thing you do, it’s to wear sunscreen.

I don’t know about you, but I’m trying to keep this routine as minimal as possible. The less I have to buy and use the better. That’s why we’re going to kill two birds with one stone and use a sunscreen that also moisturizes.

What to do: “Use a sunscreen with at least 30 SPF but no more than 50.” Says Dr. Steven Q. Wang, a board-certified dermatologist and Head of the Dermatology Section at Memorial Sloan Kettering Basking Ridge. Anything higher doesn’t offer much more significant protection.

When to do it: After the toner is air dried.

What I like to use: In this case, I have one rec, and it’s IMAGE Skincare Prevention+ Daily Matte Moisturizer SPF 32+

I can’t say enough how much I love this one.

It goes on matte and has a pleasant subtle smell and moisturizes. It also contains both zinc oxide and titanium oxide which “[turn] your face into a mirror against the sun’s rays and works the instant it’s applied, unlike a chemical sunscreen which takes 15-20 minutes to be ready to protect you.” according to the experts at Heyday.

Bonus: The Best Chapsticks to Avoid Those Nasty Dry Blistered Lips This Winter

Along with your skin, the cold winter air can wreak havoc on your lips, leading to dry, chapped, split lips that no woman wants to go near. I reached out to my friend Kari, a beauty expert whose written for places like Teen Vogue and Allure to give me her top winter chapstick recommendations for men:

Kari says:

  1. Eve Lom Kiss Mix ($22) is an all-time premium fave
    Don’t let the name turn you away, according to the manufacturer it’s “ideal for men or women, extreme weather and daily use.” and contains zinc oxide to comfort, protect and hydrate lips, along with Chinese menthol to cool and freshen.
  2. Eos ($3) has some new lip balm sticks that are really nice, and not glossy at all, [perfect] for men
    Eos lip balms are “packed with antioxidant-rich vitamin E, soothing shea butter, and jojoba oil. [It’s also] hypoallergenic, dermatologist tested, and paraben and petrolatum free.” This makes them a great a great natural and organic option for those weary of chemicals.

Peter says:

3. My personal go-to is Burt’s Bees Vitamin E & Peppermint Lip Balm ($4.50 / pack of 2)
Widely available like all Burt’s Bees products, their lip balm is made with = all-natural ingredients and a hint of peppermint, which soothes and cool while hydrating your lips.

Part 4: Winter is Here

For those who don’t have four true seasons, the fall wardrobe essentials will get you through winter no problem.

But if  you live in places like New York like I do where one can wake up to knee deep snow, you might need to stock your closet with some winter essentials.

Here are some of my personal favorites.

Winter Essentials

The Fur Trimmed Parka

There’s just no way around it, the parka is a necessity if you live in a place where the temperatures dip below 30.

Thanks to advances in technology, you no longer have to deal with big puffy parkas. Wind and water repellent materials, along with warmer fillings, have made these guys sleeker than they’ve ever been.

The parka has been a men’s winter staple for the past 65 years, and is a more than acceptable replacement for a tailored top coat, even when you’re donning a suit.

Biggest Tip: Break the monotony of winter blacks and stick to the traditional army green. It’ll give your look much needed color and contrast.

Woolrich’s iconic version of the parka is made from a breathable cotton/nylon, and finished with Teflon to protect you from snow, rain and wind.

Duck down and feather filling keeps you extra warm on the inside, while the coyote fur trim will keep any droplets of rain or snow from your face.

Pick up this classic and you’ll never have to buy another winter coat for the rest of your life.

Entry Level: J.Crew, $400
Mid Range: Woolrich John Rich & Bros, $825 (Peter’s Choice)
Investment: Yves Solomon Fur Lined Parka, $2,750

The Packable Puffer

There are times where your parka can be a bit overkill. In this case, an ultra light down jacket will turn any piece of outerwear in your closet into a proper winter jacket.

Uniqlo’s ultra light down is sleeker than traditional counterparts, making it the perfect layering piece for your wardrobe. The nylon shell is water-repellant and packs into a small portable pouch.

Bonus: Makes a totally useable pillow on flights in a pinch.

BUY: Uniqlo Puffer, $69


The Serious Snow Boot

While L.L.Bean is most people’s go-to when it comes to wet weather boots, I’ve never got over how mediocre their signature chain sole was.

Sorel’s AeroTracs, however, give me a lot more grip confidence on the black ice of New York streets. The removable liner (felt in the original, wool in this model that I own) provides a much needed, cushy barrier between you and the rubber lower shell.

And while Sorel doesn’t have the lifetime repair/replace warranty that L.L.Bean has, Sorel owners have shared stories of owning the same pair for over 20 years. It was the snow boot I recommended last year, and it’s the one I’m recommending again this year. It can’t be beat.

BUY: Sorel Wool Caribou Boot, $180

Heat Tech Everything

Uniqlo HeatTech clothes have become a winter staple for me here in New York since they launched in 2010.

Developed in conjunction with textile manufacturer Toray, Uniqlo’s proprietary blend of acrylic, cupro, nylon, polyester and spandex traps heat through their air pockets. It’s essentially a blended, synthetic alternative to wool that feels more like a cotton.

Heattech are the perfect solution to staying warm without adding bulk, or needing to buy new winter specific clothes. Throw a pair of Heattech tights under your jeans or chinos and you’re good to go.

BUY: Uniqlo Heattech Collection, Price Varies

Your Short Guide to Better Winter Gloves


Uniqlo’s Heattech gloves got a bit of an upgrade this season. Conductive fibers woven into the gloves allow you to use your touchscreen without needing to take off your gloves. Perfect for Instagramming that snowstorm. Uniqlo


If you need something a little bit more grown up, these knit wool lined leather gloves from Dent are perfect.


Designed for people who like to climb snowy, freezing mountains for fun. Nuff said. (And yes, they are also touchscreen compatible!)

What Are Some of Your Favorite Fall/Winter Gear?

This essential guide will cover most of your bases when it comes to kicking up your fall/winter style. But I’m not done yet. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing more fall/winter style tips and recommendations.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. What’s some of your fall/winter style favorites or recommendations?

Was there anything I missed?

Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear!


Hi, I'm Peter. I spent 11 years as a menswear designer here in NYC. Now, I help some of the most successful men look really good as a Private Personal Stylist and writer of The Essential Man. You can learn more about what I do by clicking here