Winter Survival Guide

By Bruce Sturgell

By Bruce Sturgell

It’s been a long winter, and most of us have already suffered through snowstorms or sub-zero temperatures.  I’ve put together a Winter Survival Guide that will help you keep insulated, yet stylish, through the frigid weather.

Cold Weather Hats

Your head and face are more sensitive to low temperatures than most other parts of your body, so keeping your head covered when you’re out in the elements is crucial. There are a variety of winter hats that offer function as well as form, and here are three of my favorites that’ll keep you looking good no matter how cold it gets:

The Casual Hat: If you prefer a laid back look, the Paul & Shark Stripe Wool Hat has you covered. This casual but classic beanie comes in navy grey, and looks great with a similarly colored waxed jacket or pea coat.

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Cap: I’ve always been a fan of the sophisticated look a driving cap can help you pull off. Consider pairing Polo Ralph Lauren Newsboy Cap with a more put together look. A Lambswool and nylon cap like this offers protection against the elements, while its newsboy style helps you pull off a timeless look that’s become extra popular lately.

The Everyman’s Hat: Working outdoors and need something simple, yet functional? The Knit Cuff Hat may be exactly what you’re looking for. This no-frills soft acrylic cap comes in black and offers you four layers of protection from the elements, plus you can’t beat the $20 price tag. If you need to get things done without worrying too much about what’s on your head, this is the hat for you.


Many guys grab a coat and head out the door, not giving much thought to keeping warm when they’re out and about. A scarf protects those parts of you that a hat or coat can’t easily keep warm. If you’re unable to wear a hat, a scarf is a great alternative for keeping most of your head covered if you have to leave the house. Even if you don’t use one regularly, it’s good to keep a scarf on hand – you never know when you’ll need it.

The Two-For-One Scarf: Polo Ralph Lauren makes some high quality scarves, and their Reversible Tartan and Gents Plaid Scarf  basically gives you two of them for the price of one. Made with lambswool and nylon, it’s a soft, great looking scarf that pairs well with the driving cap I mentioned previously.

The Always Warm Scarf: Another offering from Polo Ralph Lauren, the Chunky Aran Donegal Scarf  stands out because of its texture, as opposed to its design. This scarf is expressly constructed with the intention of keeping you warm no matter what you come up against. Plus, it’s made from a blend of four high quality materials, including Alpaca, which is much warmer than wool, hypoallergenic, and fade resistant. This is the scarf to buy if you want one that will last for years.

The High End Scarf: Planning to splurge on an accessory, or pick up a gift for someone you REALLY like? The Brioni Reversible Herringbone Stripe Scarf  is a high end gift that won’t soon be forgotten. Another reversible option, you’ll find herringbone on one side, stripes on the other. Made from silk and cashmere, this scarf feels great and is lighter than the Donegal scarf.


When it comes to coats, you’re in luck – there are so many great options in extended sizes that will fit your exact needs and style. Check out my article Bundle Up in Style: 5 Big & Tall Outerwear Options for Winter to see some of my favorite coats for winter.

Shirts & Sweaters

Don’t skimp on a good winter shirt. A well-constructed, well-insulated shirt will keep you warm if you find yourself outside without a coat, and will stand up to anything you can put it through.

Not Just for Lumberjacks: You can’t go wrong with a good flannel. Harbor Bay makes them in sizes to 6XL. Considering the variety of patterns available, you won’t have to look like a lumberjack when you’re wearing one (unless you want to).

The Conservatively Stylish Sweater: Have a family get-together coming up, or need something you can wear with a button down shirt? The Cutter & Buck Aberdeen V-Neck Sweater boasts an argyle pattern that you might not notice at first glance – great for anyone looking for a more conservative sweater with style. This is the kind of sweater you can easily remove if you get too warm.


We’ve talked extensively about what to wear on top, but what about winter clothing below the belt? I’ve stirred up two options for big guys who want to do better than the typical jeans or work pant look.

The All-Weather Pant: The Jack Victor Donegal Tweed Flat-Front Dress Pants made the list due to sheer versatility. Made from a lightweight wool, you can wear these pants in cold or warm weather, making them more useful for those of you who don’t buy pants that often. Wear them to work with a dress shirt, or try something a little different by getting some suspenders to hook to the built-in buttons in the waistband.

The Casual Cool Pant: For casual cool in sizes to 58, try the Polo Ralph Lauren Slubby Twill Classic 5-Pocket Pants. They’ll help you complete a vintage casual look for the office, or something a bit cooler for an evening out. You can dress these pants up as much or as little as you’d like.


You’ve got to keep your feet warm, right? Try the Polo Ralph Lauren Cotton Blend Dress Socks. They’re not super insulated, which is good if you suffer from sweaty feet. You’ll find a variety of colors available.

Winter Boots

Whether you’re dealing with a light dusting, or 3 feet of snow, there’s a perfect winter shoe out there for you. Here are some of the best boots you’ll find for navigating the tundra in style:

The Duck Boot: If you like the look of a duck boot, the Polo Ralph Lauren Crestwick Nylon Duck Boots is the way to go. It’s a waterproof boot with a knit lining that’ll keep your feet warm and dry. This boot gives you a rugged look that is definitely in style right now, so if you’re putting together a contemporary menswear type of look, you’ll want to pick up a pair of these beauties.

The Eco-Stylish Boot: Until recently, it had been a while since I paid attention to Timberland. I immediately regretted overlooking them when I came across their Earthkeeper collection. Though the collection covers shirts, shoes, jeans, and outerwear, the 6-inch boot is what really caught my eye. It’s a rugged boot that could be worn on a night out as easily as to work. Though it’s tough and great looking, the Earthkeeper boot is eco-friendly – made with recycled rubber outsoles and organic cotton laces

The Real Man’s Work Boot: For a straight up work boot that’ll help you get the job done, the McRae Industrial Crepe Sole Lacer Work Boot is the perfect choice. These full-grain leather beasts are built to last, with Goodyear welt construction, a moisture-wicking cover and lining, and a slip-resistant wedge sole.


For a big guy, accessories can help define a look and add a little extra something to an otherwise bland outfit. Cold weather makes it easier for some of us to wear more of everything without overheating, so adding accessories should be a cinch. Here are a few of my top picks for winter accessories across a variety of categories:

Tech Finger Gloves look great and will work with your smartphone, because we all know how annoying it can be to remove a glove to type a response or look up directions when it’s 14 below.

Trafalgar Formal Suspenders are versatile in that you can wear them with a variety of outfits, and they work with either clips or buttons. Choose from black, khaki, and navy to fit your look.

The Paul & Shark Stretch Belt with Suede Accents gives you what we want out of a belt, first and foremost: comfort. The added bonus is that it looks great. While the belt only comes in brown, the great thing about it is that it’ll grow (or shrink) with you as the need arises

This Winter Survival Guide covers just about everything from head to toe. What do you wear when the weather gets cold? Tell us how you take on the elements in the comments below.



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