Best Winter Clothes for Men 2023: Puffy Parkas, Toasty Beanies, and Burly Boots

Winter take many forms—polar vortexes, bomb cyclones, nor’easters. But no matter how it manifests, it’s all a frozen bummer…unless you’ve got the best winter clothes for men on your side. With the right tools in your bag, you can turn a paralyzing tundra into a breathtaking wonderland. And the real secret to brushing off Mother Nature’s cold shoulder comes down to one thing: layering.


The Best Winter Clothes for Men Starter Pack


Layering, as you probably know, expands the parameters of your closet exponentially—but it also gives you more independent variables (and, thus, even more ways to totally brick your fits). All those added cold-weather accouterment can be a lot to make sense of, especially when you’re attempting to look half-decent, half-awake and are late to catch the train. Don’t sweat it, though: The GQ Recommends braintrust is here, ready and raring to make dressing for the blistering weather a breeze. From blizzard-busting parkas to scuzzy wool beanies to waterproof, insulated boots, all the essential gear you need to keep warm—and fire up your winter wardrobe in the process—is immediately below.


There’s a method to the winter layering madness, and it starts with the base layer. Most folks think of base layers as insulators. There’s some insulation happening, no doubt, but a base layer’s main purpose is to wick away moisture and sweat. Even in cold weather, your body still releases perspiration, especially when you’re bundled up in a super warm coat—and all that sweat makes you feel even colder. Counterintuitive, huh? Polyester blends and merino wool fabrics are go-to materials for good base layers because of their moisture-wicking, breathability, and warmth. You can find them in short sleeve, long sleeve, and even turtleneck form, but they’re not just for your torso: long underwear or leggings are a must when the icy wind is nipping at your gams and the warmest pair of pants you own are chinos.

Icebreaker

260 Tech Long Sleeve Crew

Sunspel

Long Sleeve Thermal Merino T‑shirt

Smartwool

Smartwool Classic All-Season Merino Base Layer Bottom


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Sweater weather may start in the fall, but it really picks up in the winter. Next to jackets, sweaters are the most fun part of getting dressed during the season. Obviously, they’ll keep you toasty through a polar vortex. But a really good sweater will go far beyond the baseline of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and send you straight to self-actualization—whether it’s a cashmere crewneck, a mohair cardigan, or even a simple hoodie. Pair a cable-knit pullover with a button-down shirt and a blazer and you’ll look downright scholarly, or try an elevated zip-up with your fluffiest fleece jacket for a mad cozy fit.

Drake’s

Fair Isle Lambswool Sleeveless V-Neck Jumper

Ah, the meat and potatoes of your entire cold weather outfit. Like a good stew, your winter outerwear should be hearty and piping-hot (also, water-resistant and windproof, though that sounds like a terrible soup). There’s a winter coat to satisfy any sartorial palate, so whether your tastes lean preppy or street or high-fashion, there’s a burly layer with your name on it.

The North Face

1996 Retro Nuptse Puffer Jacket

De Bonne Facture x Gloverall

Winter Pants

Just because you’re no longer wearing shorts doesn’t mean that a pair of chinos is gonna cut it. Instead, opt for heavyweight and denser fabrics like corduroy, wool, flannel, or fleece. Or try a pair of flannel-lined pants for some built-in bottoms layering. (Double the warmth!) You could even go the opposite route and snag a pair of wind-blocking, rain-shedding winter pants to wear over your regular joints. (Double the pants!)

Taion

Four-Pocket Down Cargo Pants

Uniqlo

HEATTECH Warm-Lined Pants

So you’re all set with pants. Next up: socks. Like base layers, winter socks should be breathable and wick away moisture, while providing insulation in spades. You’ll want to stock up and get yourself at least a week’s worth of ’em, preferably made from wool. Cashmere socks can be great, too, but they’re better for when the weather forecast just says “hell no”. They’ll make you feel like royalty, but they’re also a little too delicate and really ought to be saved for cozying up at home.

L.L.Bean

Merino Wool Ragg Socks (2-pack)

Smartwool

Trekking Heavy Crew Socks

If it’s 10 degrees outside, let your canvas sneakers hibernate. Now’s the time to lace-up shoes that can take on the elements without batting an eyelet. Think hiking boots, snow boots, or even a pair of Gore-Tex-lined work boots. The point is to be able to stomp through snow and slush with the confidence of a person who’s never broken a bone attempting their first kick flip. After all, what good is a nice pair of socks if your boots can’t keep the water out?

Blundstone

2241 All-Terrain Thermal Chelsea Boots

Bogs

Classic High Waterproof Boot

Woe unto the poor fella who forgets the cold-weather accoutrement. Unless you want to learn the hard way, you’ll want to keep your hands covered with a pair of gloves. Most gloves come with touchscreen compatibility these days, so you don’t have to worry about getting frostbite while you wait for a cab. And when the weather’s particularly unbearable, slip some liners into waterproof and/or windproof gloves to keep your digits toasty as a fireplace.

Paul Smith

Lambswool ‘Prince of Wales Check’ Gloves

Moshi

Digits Winter Touchscreen Gloves

Scarves are kind of like the dressing on a salad. Bright, zesty, funky, and spicy, a good scarf will take your winter outfit to Michelin-level, and add some much-needed dimension and texture. Don’t be afraid to get weird with how you wear it, too. Scarves can be wrapped, twisted, and knotted in so many different ways, all the better to add a sculptural component to your ensemble. Depending on the size you’re working with, you can turn a big, swaddly joint into a shawl or even a balaclava. Hell, some scarves are big enough to approach throw blanket territory. (Actually, that might not be such a bad idea…)

Rototo

Reversible Chunky Muffler

For some, beanie season never ends. But for everyone else, beanies are essential to getting through winter alive. Winter hats aren’t limited to beanies, though: Try a Tyler, the Creator move with a storm-busting ushanka, or swerve hard with a funky crocheted hat. The weather’s drab enough—might as well score your dose of serotonin anywhere you can.

Y/Project

Gradient-Knit Textured Wool-Blend Beanie

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