We're halfway through winter, which has been rather generous depending on what part of the country you reside in. With the Maritime provinces getting dumped on right now, and winter's frosty grip inching its way west into the weekend, convertibles are back into their turtle shells and restaurants are off to fortify themselves with upside down patio chairs. Nonetheless, men have carried on as we should, driving overpriced snowblowers, chopping wood for a warm night ahead, and piling into crowded buses in a puffy down jacket that would probably fit three in its standing space. Us guys come in all towering shapes and miniature sizes, and how each winter-ready man prefers to take on the elements is really no different.
As someone who naturally treads between form and function, I came upon an interesting trend for men and how differently we approach winter (although absolutely useless to guys who've never made a snowball before). Men who accept the cold, Arctic pastures as home fall into five distinct categories of clothing style. These categories are all relative to a guy's interests, opinions, and how frost bitten their hands get at the end of the day.
1. The Guy Who Layers
Layering is a hyper popular word for when the temperature reaches below zero. For this type of fellow, the guy who layers is almost in denial that winter is actually a season. His logic: if it's cold, just put more clothes on. It's a pretty simple theory to be exact, and with that comes an almost ignorant amount of layering: undershirts under shirts, shirts under sweaters, sweaters under sweaters, vests under jackets - some of which were never meant to be worn past November. It's almost as if the man that wears layers is in an extended fall season. It's just never cold enough to invest in a proper winter jacket, but when it's too cold, winter is almost over anyway.
There are also many stylish guys that prefer this approach, as fall can be a popular fashion season for guys, and hiding a highly presentable outfit under a thick-ass jacket just doesn't look cool. Too many layers can also pose a risk to blood circulation, especially when your clothes are too fitted and mobility becomes difficult. Let your body breathe, man.
Layers are otherwise okay when it's not super freezing out and you're off to do errands. However if there's a torrential snowfall and you're struggling to dig your car out from wearing three sweaters simultaneously - leave the fall jackets and triple sweaters in the closet.
2. The Guy Who Loves His Brand Image
He is another demon on his own. Remember form and function? This is all form and zero function. Some of you may be absolutely obsessed with specific, high-end brand names, which is totally fine. Do you, bro. Many of those brands offer exceptional quality and warmth for the severities of winter.
What I DO have major beef with are the guys who buy the fake brand name jackets. What the hell are you smoking? Even the idea of a fake Canada Goose or Moose Knuckle jacket makes me cringe. I understand that you need to be socially acceptable and have otherwise went for the cheaper option (just kidding, I don't). Newsflash: your fake Canada Goose jacket doesn't have any of the actual down that keeps you warm and insulated. Do you even know what that stuff is made of in there? Lets just say while you're out with your colleagues who opted to pay full price for an expensive down-filled jacket, toasty and warm with a tank top underneath, you're most likely freezing your balls off. All because you wanted to fit in. Just pay for the real thing and stop being a poser.
3. The Guy Who Loves Warmth
Photo courtesy of Gotstyle
In terms of form, the guys who love warmth are the opposite to the guys obsessed with their brand image. Yes, their jackets are massive enough to fit the cast of Seinfeld (especially Goretex, eh George?). These people don't care, because they're warm. I've went from layers to the down thing for a few years, including Moose Knuckles, Aether, and Nobis, and I have to say it's rather refreshing to wear a t-shirt during a winter storm. It makes you feel warm for once.
As an honorary member, I'd like to point out that I'm a very functional person. People like us are out for one thing: stay warm. We actually care about the technical details put into the jacket, and I've nerded out more than enough times about how the Primaloft insulation in my jacket is Forestry grade, and how the zippered underarm vents allow me to "air out" while I'm doing laps around a mall. The technicalities are rather fascinating - it just comes with a much higher price tag. On the flip side, it's total overkill for the guys that don't find themselves outside much; especially those who drive more than walk, have a snow blower, and live in a climate that doesn't exhibit world-ending winter extremities.
4. The Guy Who Hates Brands (But Still Loves Warmth)
There's also an opposite to the guy who loves warmth, yet share an objective towards function. It's the guy who hates conformity. It's the guy who doesn't believe he should spend $800 on a winter jacket. And he'll do whatever it takes to make sure those people who do feel stupid. I'm of course talking about the guy who hates brand names.
He's very much against the down-filled lemmings that litter the sidewalks. Screw Canada Goose. To hell with Moose Knuckle. He doesn't like conformity, and in some cases, may even look down upon those brand whores.
Some people just can't actualize a high price tag. Which is totally cool. I can't actualize the cost of a private jet (yet). Nor can I actualize the cost of a rocket ship. These fellas tend to ask: "Why buy a $800 winter jacket when I can buy one for $200?" To understand the exact details means more money out of the pocket, so it's better to stick to the lesser priced Colombia ski jacket. They keep you relatively warm, but will usually pair better with sweaters and undershirts. I'm a big believer in living amongst your means, so I'm 100% behind those who find a less expensive way to stay warm when it's blistering outside. We're all shivering around the same barrel of fire, aren't we?
5. The Guy Who Hates Winter
Of the five type of winter guys, by average these men are actually the warmest of the bunch, which I could probably prove through some internal jacket temperature vs. beach destination calculation. They are the no jacket revolution, and you'll never see them out in the cold.
Their answer to winter: why bother? They live in a condo that has underground parking or is connected to an underground mall or subway system. If they drive, they probably have a remote car starter built in. They get everything delivered - groceries, booze, Thai food, anything that makes others do the outdoor stuff. Most importantly, they don't even bother with winter because they bought a timeshare or buy travel deals down south for every winter month. $800 for a down filled parka? That's a 4-star all-inclusive trip to Mexico.
Assuming the no jacket revolution is making enough to vacation that much, they probably already own high-end down-filled jackets that never see the light of day. They're just being realistic: if you for whatever reason had to live in a city that offers popular amenities such as blizzards and strong gusts of cold winds, and you had the choice to be out there or not, why even expose yourself?
Which winter man are you? Hit us up in the comments below.
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