When the winter months bring bone-chilling wind, flurries of snow and freezing temperatures, it’s best to dress accordingly — in outfits that will keep you warm and looking good, too. The key to any cold-weather outfit is layering, and this means great flexibility. As Angelo Urrutia, one of the men behind Nepenthes and Engineered Garments and now the founder of 4S Designs, his own brand, points out, “Most anything can be used, it really depends on the weight of the garment and what you’re going to be doing.” Urrutia worked for 14 years with Daiki Suzuki at Engineered Garments, which specializes in “American sportswear with a twist to the left,” and the brand won the 2008 CFDA award for Best New Menswear Designer.
Urrutia styled a handful of different looks for us — featuring garments from Nepenthes and me as the model — that showcase different styles of layering for cold weather. Keeping both style and function a priority, Urrutia offers these suggestions (plus plenty of reproducible outfits).
Mix and match lightweight garments.
“I am pretty warm-blooded; I try not to weigh myself down with overtly heavy pieces, so I try to have a layering plan where if it gets warmer, I can subtract one and be fine. Really, though, warm garments that are not heavy in weight are the ideal tools. A mixture of a wool jacket/coat and some sort of synthetic piece, either a nylon windbreaker or down alternative like Primaloft works really well.”
For aesthetics, match comfort with an A-line silhouette.
“Your individual comfort is what would be best applied. I am not overtly picky about “scratchy” wools, but if you are, there’s that factor. And for silhouette, an A-line works nice for more than two layers while still keeping a tailored look and adding some bulk.”
Layer a nylon coat underneath lightweight wool.
“A synthetic typically doesn’t breathe and locks in the warmth if you’re moving around, but it will help in stopping the wind. You don’t have to have a heavy wool on if you’re doing this type of mix, which is nice I think. The drawbacks would be, a noisy or swishy nylon or not controlling your temperature enough.”
Above all, keep it simple.
“Streamlining and simplifying but being comfortable is the most important.”