Missouri finally found a manner to up the misery: make it 20 degrees colder than it should be. Unless you’re one of those guys who rationalize wearing shorts and a tee shirt throughout the cold, you’ve probably noticed too. Nonetheless, have no fear because I’m here with a second edition on keeping warm in the winter.
Last month’s post detailed layering how wearing multiple thin layers can keep you warm – or as I like to call it, “How to avoid looking like a colored marshmallow in a neon puffy jacket.” Apparently the higher beings who pull the strings decided to make my life harder than it should be; in a few weeks the weather went from a refreshing, global warming induced 50 degrees to “who needed fingers anyways?” too low to count degrees. While layering is still important, it became time to start wearing a real, insulated jacket.
“Oh my god, are you suggesting a neon marshmallow jacket that really brings out the suburban white boy in me?” Not at all chapstick, not at all. Keep the nylon hidden in your closet and grab a quilted jacket for a much more put together, “Hey I actually care about how I look,” look.
At this point you’re probably wondering what the difference between a “quilted jacket” and all other puffy jackets are. The simplest answer is one would let you bump into Blake Lively and not leave you feeling embarrassed after her eyes elevator your outfit; the other causes Blake Lively to sink into the depths of the artificial, machine made softness and question her decision to walk in crowded places over taking a taxi.
People parrot “functionality over fashion” partly because (occasionally) you have to make yourself (slightly) uncomfortable in order to look nice, but mostly because they believe that claim justifies their decision to roll out of bed and wander through life wearing unflattering clothing. That’s called a false dichotomy and for more information, Anakin Skywalker circa Star Wars Episode III is happy to help*. Just because something looks good doesn’t mean it’s functionally useless. Don’t fall for the trap of thinking high tech, 21st century fabrics means warm; winter warmth has been a battle fought since the first humans left Africa and realized the world isn’t simply sunshine and prairie grass.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous (or if you took the photos before it started snowing), layer up underneath the jacket and unzip it to show off your ever increasing style.
Underneath the jacket is a fairly simple button up/ v neck sweater combo on top of a pair of black jeans. The black jeans contrast with the white shirt for an easy look that always looks good, but the red sweater is bold and attracts all the attention. Against the dark pants and neutral jacket it sticks out as the eye-catching piece. Here’s where the jacket starts adding fashion onto its functionality. Pair the sweater/shirt/jeans with a neon marshmallow jacket in your choice of green, blue, red, orange, purple (unfortunately I have seen all these colors first hand) and now the sweater isn’t the standout anymore. If you have two or more pieces competing for attention they both end up imploding in a “What the hell was he trying” look.
Admittedly nicer clothes might end up costing a bit more money than you’re willing to spend. The J. Crew jacket was $200 at retail price but with some smart planning (or Black Friday) I got it on sale for under $130 – not so high anymore. Undoubtedly the price was worth it as the high quality and timeless look means it’ll last years of daily wear (though I would recommend you have a rotation of jackets nonetheless).
Some more angles below
Jackets are important, they are your best way to show style when it’s colder than my soul. Ideally you took notes because I’m probably out there (also ideally with Blake Lively) praying to never run into your overstuffed marshmallow body.