Winter isn’t just a good time for layering – it’s also the best season for textures. In the spring and summer months, the most textured thing you can wear is maybe a slubby linen jacket or raw silk tie. Once the temperatures drop though, a whole world of prickly tweeds, fuzzy flannels, and brushed cottons opens up. Relying on textures can be a nice way to make a subtle statement if you’re not crazy about wearing brash colors and bold details.
Lately, I’ve been wearing the combination above for an easy go-to casual outfit:
- Waxed Cotton Jackets: Keeps the rain off your back and looks better with wear. Just be sure to store these in garment bags, as the wax can transfer to other clothes in your closet. For options, see Barbour, Beretta, Hoggs of Fife, LL Bean, and our advertiser Private White VC.
- Aran Sweater: For a truly texture-heavy knit, try a cabled Aran. Hand-loomed or hand-knitted ones will have more visual depth, although machine-made ones will be more affordable. Find them at Aran Sweater Market, O’Maille, Peter Scott, O’Connell’s, LL Bean, and Inis Meain.
- Oxford-Cloth Button-Down: A more natural pairing with prickly Shetland sweaters and cabled Arans than your average, smoothly-woven poplin. Like Pete, I’m a fan of Brooks Brothers, J. Press, and Kamakura. Also excellent: Michael Spencer (same Brooks Brothers cut, but made with a nicer, unlined collar and produced in the USA); O’Connell’s (traditional cut, excellent collar), Mercer (amazing collar, but body fits full); Ledbury (for a slightly lowered second button); Proper Cloth (good for made-to-measure); and Land’s End (best in value, especially when on sale).
- Suede Boots: Pebble-grained leathers would also work here, although I favor the softer look of suede. Just spray your suede boots with a waterproofer in the wintertime to protect them from the elements. For relatively affordable options, see Meermin, Loake, and Rancourt. For something a bit higher-end, there’s Heschung, Carmina, Alden, and Vass. You can also custom-order almost any design you want through Enzo Bonafe. They’re a small, Italian workshop for custom, handwelted shoes.
- Textured Pants: With a texture-heavy ensemble like the above, you may want to opt for a heavier pair of pants – something with a bit more visual heft to hold its own against your sweater and jacket. Denim, moleskins, and corduroys will be a bit better than your standard pair of office chinos. See 3sixteen, Levis Vintage Clothing, Stevenson, and our advertiser Gustin for jeans; then Howard Yount, Epaulet, Dapper Classics, and Rota for anything dressier.
(Pictured above: Barbour Bedale in olive; deadstock Glenshee Woollens Aran sweater from O’Connell’s; oxford-cloth button-down shirt from Ascot Chang; MTO Edward Green Galway boots from Skoaktiebolaget)