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6 Holiday Style Tips For Men

The Art of Manliness is easily one of the best online publications around–I’m not going to call it a blog; it’s far too dignified for that title. When I want to ogle at huge boobs and laugh at fat people fail at things, I surf all the usual suspects (too many to mention). When I want to (temporarily) clean up my act, like this holiday season, I’ll get my Holiday Style Tips from the pros.

The holiday season has begun, and for the next month many of us have a full schedule. From work-related parties to the traditional get together with friends and family, you’ll need to dress appropriately as you mingle with the boss and trade stories with uncle Bob. With many of these events scheduled for the same day, you’re going to have to balance comfort, style, and versatility. And believe it or not, this is easier than you might think.

1. Layer – learn to overlap cotton and wool clothing appropriately
Whatever you are going to be doing, you want to be comfortable doing it. A big part of that is wearing clothing that doesn’t cause you to overheat, allows your skin to breathe, and protects you from the elements. Both cotton and wool are time tested fabrics that when layered appropriately can help you make it through the holidays without freezing or breaking a sweat.

Cotton, the world most popular fabric, is what you want to wear close your body. Cotton fibers are a cellulose based fiber whose natural properties allow it to pass both heat and moisture, thus making this clothing breathable and light feeling. Cotton briefs and undershirts are inexpensive and provide you exactly what you need; 100% cotton dress shirts are usually priced a bit higher than blends, but if you expect to sweat there is no substitute for its wicking properties. A bonus is that cotton is very durable and can be safely washed at home with regular detergent, although acidic stains (such as those caused by wine) should be treated immediately.

Wool (and other protein based fibers such as cashmere), on the other hand, does an excellent job of retaining heat; thus these natural fibers are an excellent choice for a jacket, sweater, or overcoat. Wool also has the unique property of being able to absorb moisture while not feeling wet; thus the melting snow on your shoulders will disappear quickly and not spread. Little things like wearing wool socks and ensuring your knit hat is made of wool or cashmere (vs. cotton) will help you stay much warmer without adding any bulk. However, treat wool like the premium fiber it is. Water weakens wool’s strength, and it can be misshaped if hung up on a hanger when wet (instead lay out on a flat surface). Finally, never expose wool to extreme heat such as an iron; if you need to work out wrinkles, use a steamer so you don’t damage the fibers.

An ideal cold weather holiday outfit would combine 100% cotton underwear and dress shirt with a pair of wool trousers coupled with a wool sweater and jacket protected by a wool overcoat. If you find yourself sweating, you can rest assured knowing the cotton will wick the moisture from your skin and your wool jacket will absorb it with no noticeable effects. And by layering, you can always adjust your own personal thermostat by un-layering (try to keep your jacket on….unless the party gets lively!).

Check out the more essential Holiday Style Tips at The Art of Manliness.