Whichever season happens to be upon us, be it the height of summer or the depths of winter, I always feel sorry for accessories. It doesn’t matter what they do or how hard they try, they always seem to be playing second fiddle to jeans or sweaters or shirts or shoes. The accessory is the clothing equivalent to your football team’s centre back; they are loyal and reliable, solid and dependable, always there to get you out of a spot of bother while the glory hogging striker takes all the headlines and glory.
In some ways it is easy to understand the summer accessory being shunned from the glare of the spotlight but when it comes to winter, the accessory is a pivotal part of our wardrobe. These accessories aren’t just about adding some glitz and glamour to our outfit in the way a belt or sunglasses do in the summer months, they are the cornerstone of sheltering us from the cold while in the same chilly breath ensuring we can go about our business and still retain and sense of style.
In great swathes of the planet, from England to America across to Eastern Russia and up to Scandinavia, the winter months can sometimes last for almost half a year so, bearing that in mind, you might want to take your winter accessories a little more seriously, for when the mercury starts its inevitable decline south, it is our accessories – not our jumpers or jeans – that shall come to the fore as our style staples.
Of course, items such as coats and winter boots to the changing of the seasonal guard but to neglect those smaller key components would be a foolish thing to do. So, to ensure you’re not caught out in the cold this year, here’s a guide to what’s hot (or cold) and the leaves begin to fall and the memories of summer fade like an ice-cream in the sunshine.
The beanie has come a long way since Dexy’s Midnight Runners were sporting them atop their heads circa 1980, in fact nowadays the beanie hat has become so small, it barely protects your ears from the elements. That being said, the trend for these tiny hats shows little sign of abating anytime soon. There are of course plenty of other, larger options and the beanie hat will be essential no matter where you are or what you’re wearing; be it a suit or jeans and a jumper, your first winter accessory should definitely be your choice of headwear.
In an age where we seem incapable of walking five steps without taking a glance at who has, or more likely hasn’t messaged us on Facebook, gloves can often seem like a hindrance but no gentleman’s wardrobe is complete without a good pair of gloves. Good leather gloves are the way forward – mittens are for children and cotton gloves just don’t cut it in the cold and rain – and while they’re not cheap, if you buy a good pair they will last you a lifetime. Black of course is the obvious and classic look but brands such as Norse Projects, do great leather gloves in light browns and yellows to give your winter look a little more edge.
The good old trusty scarf, the best of the winter accessories as far as MFM are concerned. Whether you are off to the opera or the football, nothing quite beats the scarf, just putting it on before you leave the house gives you that warm glow. For an accessory that is pretty much one long piece of fabric, there is a whole world of patterns to choose from that each articulate a different perception of who we are and what we stand for. From thin, silk scarfs to ragged tartan checks, the humble scarf can say about deal about the rest of the clothes we choose to wear.
It would be easy to dismiss socks as some sort of gimmick, an unwanted Christmas present that we get every year from some distant relative you once met drunk at a wedding. However, if you avoid the cartoon socks, in the same way you should avoid comedy ties – and we all know grown men who should know better – then socks are essential this and every winter; with the advent of the workwear as a fashion trend, big boots, check shirts and hardy denim have become a by-word of cool – the thick winter sock goes a long way to completing this look.
With a high roll on the jean (selvedge of course) the sock should appear just about the top of the boot for all the world to see. And it’s not just lumberjack socks either. Coloured socks, red being a personal favourite, have also come to the fore since the roll-up on your jeans or trousers has become more prominent but be careful, too many patterns and you’ll look like a clown, literally and hypothetically speaking.
A Final Note…
Hopefully, from the plethora of wonderful accessories you have just laid witness too, you have come to realise the importance of these oft-forgotten gems. There may be items of clothing in your wardrobe that will garner more attention from friends and the general public at large but as the saying goes, the devil is in the detail. Your winter accessories are the icing on the cake, they will complete outfits as yet unfit to leave the house in. We all need a good statement piece to grab the attention of prying eyes but for those men who know what style is all about, check out their winter accessories for they won’t be going anywhere without them.