How to Stay Warm This Winter, According to a Style Expert

Angelo Urrutia, formerly of Nepenthes and Engineered Garments and now 4S Designs, shares his tips for curating cold-weather outfits.

layering 3
Henry Phillips

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.

"There is the LT Parka in a nylon polka dot windbreaker fabric, layered in a way as I mentioned above. The added extra pop of the polka dot is a nice texture/pattern peeking out of a more sensible wool jacket."
Henry Phillips

“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.

layering 2
“A cable-knit Interliner that’s been in the Engineered Garments line over the years works really nice because you don’t have to add the bulk of a full sweater underneath and you’ll have the advantages of an extra layer (plus a hood). I did layer it a bit more aggressively to show it off a bit more.”
Henry Phillips

“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.

layer 1
A lightweight nylon parka, whether polka dotted or not, traps heat, which means less bulk when buttoned beneath a top coat.
Henry Phillips

“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.

layering 3
"There’s nothing like a good merino wool cardigan... This is a simple one that has a really great fit with some nice color blocking at a really great price point."
Henry Phillips

“Streamlining and simplifying but being comfortable is the most important.”

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below