It’s said that there are three elements to fashion: fit, style, and most importantly, fabric. When it comes to winter essentials, the same law applies but with a little twist! While many men are in the know when it comes to how a poorly fitting garment drastically alters their appearance and the style of it can quickly fall in and out of fashion, few pay attention to the most crucial element of their winter wardrobe. The fabric used can greatly change several things about a garment and will largely affect the fit and style of any item. Menswear is usually made out of cotton, wool, or synthetic materials, which each have their distinct advantages and disadvantages. Check out how to leverage these fabrics and stay on top of your winter essentials game.
Sheep’s wool was once the benchmark for menswear and formed the best quality suits, jackets, and dress pants. It is heavier than cotton and therefore much warmer and is water resistant, which makes it a particularly good choice for wintertime clothing. However, it is far more expensive to produce and requires more rigorous maintenance in order to keep it looking at its best.
When shopping for wool, garments will usually be measured according to their fine digit. The lower the number, the more firm the garment will be. There is usually a happy medium by choosing a number 100 wool item, but jackets usually benefit from lower numbers to reduce creasing whereas trousers or any item closer to the skin would likely be a higher number for added softness and overall comfort.
The majority of dress shirts and casual items are made from cottons. The highest standard of these garments will be made from 100% cotton and will generally be marked as a long staple cotton like Egyptian. Cotton gives manufacturers added versatility as it readily accepts various treatments and technologies. More recently, cotton shirts have been developed using a wrinkle-free or wrinkle resistant treatment to give men added convenience and reduce the amount of care their shirts require, but take away much of the softness that standard cotton has. It’s believed this will change in the near future.
Synthetics have received a bad reputation in recent years. As they are not porous, they usually make water resistant clothing, but this takes away much of the comfort and breathability needed by men. Synthetics are usually added into a blend rather than making up the majority of a garment. This is done to give an item added durability and tear resistance. It’s generally believed that synthetics should be avoided in a dressier wardrobe as they don’t typically lend themselves to any well-fitted or comfortable attire. While many may not consider synthetic as one of the winter essentials so to speak, you can certainly rock any synthetic pants or trousers no matter what the temperature is.