I hate being unprepared for winter.

This year, in NYC, it was hot and humid one week, and then the next week, fall was here.

Maybe I wasn’t paying attention, but it happened quickly, and that chilly breeze and random rainfall came out of nowhere.

I’ve heard from some readers that they’ve already had their first snowfall (!) which is crazy… to me, at least.

Quick EG tip: Don’t be like me and put off transitioning to your winter wardrobe as long as possible. My linen shirts and lightweight chinos are still front and center in my closet… I know, I know, I need to get a move on.

I’ve been thinking about what pieces I want to add to my wardrobe this season, and which ones need an upgrade.

When I was listing all this out (in my head), I was thinking about what I’d consider essentials if I were still building out my beginner Lean Wardrobe.

While there are many things you could buy to stay stylish this winter, I’m gonna give you my top five essential items, the perfect additions to your Lean Wardrobe. These are items you can wear this winter, and probably for the next ten or more.

EG’s Five Winter Essentials

Camel Overcoat


Camel Overcoat, Suitsupply ($699)

While you may initially think overcoats are just for dressy occasions, I find them to be one of the more versatile outerwear options.

Sure, you can wear a suit and tie underneath, but you could also wear black jeans and boots. (Or chinos and sneakers.) Overcoats are a great “high” piece for your high / low outfit.

Most camel-colored coats you see are wool or wool blend. This one in particular is not only camel-colored, but made from real camel hair, incredibly soft and warm.

The fit is nice and trim, exactly what you’d expect from SuitSupply.

Versatile scarf


Texture stripe wool scarf, Nordstrom ($49)

Both softness and warmth are necessary when searching for the perfect scarf. It’s also important to not get a dinky, stubby one.

You want something long and substantial so you can tie it properly. Stick to the minimum dimensions of 70″ x 12″.

Also, for max versatility, go for tonal texture. This scarf is a great example of what I mean.

It’s a basic grey, but there’s a ton of visual interest there with the multiple patterns. It isn’t too loud and overpowering, so you can wear it with virtually any outfit.

Leather gloves


Lamb Nappa leather gloves, Fort Belvedere ($160)

While the ladies have many ways to make their outfits interesting, guys have only a few accessories to showcase their personality and style. Gloves are one of these things.

Most guys don’t think twice about gloves. They grab a shitty black faux leather pair out of some bargain bin at TJMaxx and call it a day.

I, myself, have owned cheap gloves in the past. They do OK, but I wasn’t excited about them, they felt cheap, and they weren’t particularly warm and / or luxurious.

You’re an effortless gent. You don’t want bargain bin. You want something investment-worthy, something interesting, something that tells a story.

These Lamb Nappa leather gloves from Fort Belvedere are just the pair.

They’re a unique burgundy color with a button closure; something you don’t normally see. Lamb Nappa glove leather is extremely soft and supple, unlike other gloves that can feel stiff and restrictive.

Best of all, these particular gloves are lined in cashmere.

Black Jeans


501CT, Levi’s ($79)

I used to shy away from black clothing. In fact, if you go back to older EG posts, you’ll see I advised readers to avoid black as well.

I did this because I felt guys defaulted to black and white, and they weren’t being creative enough with color. So, the easiest thing was to say no to it entirely.

But, I’ve evolved my thinking, and I’ve come to realize black has its place in every man’s wardrobe (even mine).

Black denim is a winter staple and the 501CT is my current default.

The fit is perfect, with a medium rise, enough room in the seat and thighs, and a defined taper to the ankle.

Brown Work Boots


Mocc toe wedge, Chippewa Boots ($239)

These are my favorite boots I own (mine happen to be black, but all my others are brown).

They’re ridiculously comfortable without that long (looong) break-in period other work boots require. They also have the wedge Vibram sole, so you feel like you’re walking on a cloud. And I also prefer the mocc toe style over the plain toe.

I like the Tan Renegade color (shown above), although they also have a cordovan color available, if you prefer something darker.

There it is! 5 winter essentials every effortless gent should have

Consider adding these 5 things to your Lean Wardrobe this winter season. They’re perfect for a smart casual look and go with lots of stuff in your closet already.

For instance, if you take your standards such as a chambray shirt and a charcoal sweater, throw on #4 (black jeans), #5 (your brown work boots), #1 (your camel overcoat), and if it’s extra brisk out, #2 (scarf) and #3 (leather gloves) and you’re good to go!

click image to enlarge

click image to enlarge

Of course, you don’t have to wear all these items together.

You could wear each one individually with other clothes in your closet. It’s just a matter of picking and choosing wisely (like we did with the chambray and the charcoal sweater).

Speaking of essentials, are you ready to dress sharp this holiday season?

With the holidays coming up, you’ll be in a ton of situations where you have to dress sharp and look your best.

Holiday events are usually a bit more formal and fancy. And since we’re talking about winter essentials today, are you ready to step it up with your smarter and more dressy outfits?

Introducing EG’s newest eGuide: Five Essential Holiday Outfits (2016 Edition)

Five Essential Holiday OutfitsI’ve packed our latest guide with 48 winter essentials, perfect for the fall and winter seasons, and especially for all the holiday events, parties, and get togethers you have coming up.

I’m not just showing you a bunch of cool stuff and leaving you to fend for yourself, either. No way.

I’m putting all these essentials into perfectly curated outfits, and showing you exactly which get-togethers and holiday parties you should wear them to.

This isn’t your typical style inspiration Pinterest board or Instagram account. These are the exact winter essentials you need, and I show you exactly how to wear them together.


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PUBLISHED October 25, 2016

Barron is a Lean Wardrobe Advocate and Founding Editor of Effortless Gent. He's from San Francisco but currently living in New York. Connect with him on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Tumblr.

  • Vladimir Li

    What about stylish headwear?

  • David

    What boots/shoes do you recommend for rain when dressing casually or dressing for a more formal occasion (no tie) Or are there some good water proofing products you’ve found work well?

    • generally, dress boots and casual boots are different. But, if you don’t need a strict dress boot and are simply looking for something sharp that will work for most situations, you can go w/ something like the AE Higgins Mill w/ the Dainite sole: http://effgnt.co/2fiOInd

      I also like the Captain from Thursday Boots: http://effgnt.co/2fiS1Ld

      For straight up casual, and running from place to place, I usually stick with LLBean Bean Boots or the Chippewas I mention in this article.