The rake

The modern voice of classic elegance

StyleFebruary 2018

How to Survive the Bitter Cold in Style

Suit up and boot up with some of this season’s most covetable cover-ups, says The Rake’s Editor.

captionCromford Leathers' Keitel jacket with a shearling trim and suede body. Photo by James Munro.

My grandfather was a lumberjack, before the war. There are pictures of him on the Canadian prairies, on horseback, searching for some enormous tree to fell. Apart from his plaid shirt and jeans, there wasn’t a whole lot separating him from the elements – he was a tough old bugger, and lamentably he passed none of that hardiness to yours truly.

It may not have passed your notice that it’s bloody cold at the moment – finger numbingly, ball-shrinkingly cold. In grim times such as these, the battening down of hatches and hygge-ing of your house into a cosy paradise could justifiably be deemed as the best course of action. But the show must go on and I must remember that if I could survive boarding school cold showers and early morning runs to the ‘Lone Pine’ on the playing fields and back, with all the options at my disposal, I can survive this.

Wrapping up needs different approaches though, so rather than the single-look approach, scenes have been set and appropriate looks allocated accordingly. Here goes:

The Eden

Lamentably, there are not many men who would identify with this stylistically; I will fly the flag but understand that its translation into the modern era is ambiguous. The Eden look is for men who are professional, who admire military bearing and are geared towards the archetypal British gent look associated with former Prime Minister Anthony Eden. Start with the hat; I love hats but they tend not to suit me. That said, if there is anywhere that would make it work, it is Lock & Co. Hatters. A legendary shop with its rickety Dickensian décor, this is a proper gentleman’s hatter. My preference is for a homburg but, understandably, the classic fedora will be to most people’s taste, and if you are looking to revive the City dress of the mid-20th century, then a bowler would add an edge of brio and originality. The suit of choice sets up the rest of the look. I would suggest flannel – cosy, comforting and cuts a dash in grey. As I have always said, shoes make or break a look, and grey, black or dark brown work equally well, so long as you keep them polished. To cap it all off, your overcoat should give both protection and aesthetic potency, swinging as you walk around your calves as you stroll between meetings. This Falke trench coat owes plenty to the British military look and will be the comfort blanket that stops you freezing your bollocks off.

  • lock-and-co-brown-fairbanks-felt-trilby
  • dalcuore-charcoal-double-breasted-wool-two-piece-suit
  • stefano-bemer-black-oxford-6461
  • falke-grey-knitted-merino-trench-coat
  • falke-navy-long-sleeve-cotton-and-cashmere-t-shirt
  • falke-navy-knitted-wool-and-cotton-jogging-trousers

The Weekender

Important, this, because it has no rubric and is open to interpretation, but the key is intelligent layering to keep yourself warm and also adaptable to indoors and out. Trousers should be simple, like this pleated pair from Huntsman, or Edward Sexton’s Hollywood top trousers, both of which adapt well to a shirt or roll neck. As it is cold, and you are letting your hair down, go with Anderson & Sheppard’s grey Merino roll neck and the brown Douglas shearling flight jacket from Cromford Leather. If, like me, roll necks have the lollipop head effect on you or you are, alas like me, still shifting the holiday weight, a denim shirt and cardigan or knitted jacket will work just as well. Add a Rubinacci cashmere scarf and your top half is all set. Depending on your plans, shoes can either be a pair of sneakers like these from Belsire, which niftily match the trousers, or a pair of tassel loafers from Sutor Mantelassi.

  • edward-sexton-charcoal-grey-hollywood-pleated-wool-trousers
  • anderson-and-sheppard-navy-merino-roll-neck
  • huntsman-tobacco-pleat-front-linen-trousers
  • cromford-leather-brown-douglas-shearling-flight-jacket
  • RUBA000001730
  • sutor-mantellassi-pompeii-red-otello-leather-tassel-loafer

The Commuter

Sadly, we no longer live in a world where we are all attended to by some kind of valet. So we leave the house dressed in clothes that need to adapt to the everyday goings on of the modern man; work, lunch, dates, journeys on a motorcycle, time spent on a cigar terrace to contemplate the world and its peccadilloes, perhaps some sex and – of course – commuting. While the Eden and the Weekender do bear relevance, they are perhaps not conducive to all the activities listed, so this is a good middle ground. The only thing I would insist on is a tailored jacket of some kind, one that can be worn every day for every occasion. Rubinacci’s cashmere DB will insulate but the Neapolitan lightness in construction, especially at the shoulder, allows for a coat over the top without compromising the integrity of the craftsmanship. A sleeveless gilet reduces the risk of overheating, however with the technological advancements of jackets like Norwegian Rain, you can have something that protects from the elements but doesn’t stifle you. A pair of Urban Commando boots from Gaziano & Girling contributes towards a very smart look but also protects your boots from the salty ground and the greasy motorbike parts. For a quick brush up, keep some Pankhurst pomade handy for your hair (not your boots).

  • norwegian-rain-navy-tour-de-bergen-raincoat
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  • gaziano-and-girling-mahogany-alpine-calf-urban-commando-boots

The Dog Walker

Whilst ideally you should have your dog with you all day, the morning and/or evening walks are perhaps the most important duty one can have. There is a ‘don’t hold back’ mentality you should have when walking your dog in the blistering cold if, for nothing else, to avoid resenting the poor pooch. So, to keep it simple, cashmere tracksuit trousers, a chunky wool roll neck and a padded jacket from KA/NOA, topped off with Omega SRL’s extraordinarily soft gloves and a serious overcoat from Rake favourites Chapal or Private White V.C. Either way, you need some shearling. Who doesn’t?

Enjoy the cold!

  • private-white-vc-green-brushed-cotton-twill-jeep-coat
  • omega-brown-cashmere-lined-lambskin-gloves
  • ka-noa-dark-blue-agapet-matte-stretch-fabric-padded-jacket

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Contributor

Tom Chamberlin

Editor of The Rake Magazine

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