Men's Winter Layering Guide

Brrrr! Have you felt the chill in the air yet? Now it’s time to pop the heating on, why not warm up your home and spruce up your clothing game with our winter layering guide!


The winter doesn’t have to mean dressing for practicality - you can still look stylishly trim and stay truly toasty during the darker months. If you don’t know where to start, the team at Joe Browns have put together this handy guide to achieving that put-together look to take you through the winter months in style... 


Back to Basics


Before we dive in head-first, we need some basic staples for layering. You may even find that you have these in your wardrobe already! If so - congratulations, you’re halfway there! 


These essentials are arguably the most evergreen of any layering item - meaning they can be worn at any time of the year, as well as making up the ‘base’ of the outfit as you take off the outer layers as and when needed. 

1. Tees


It’s most definitely a no-brainer, but tee’s are your number one go-to. Joe Browns t-shirts range from Better than Basic to ostentatiously outrageous, so take your pick! We recommend selecting something that suits your style, but keep the main bulk of the colour lighter than the rest of your layering items.

2. Henleys


If it’s a little too cold for a tee, or you’re going for a smarter look, a best-selling Joe Browns Henley might be more up your street. For a casual and cooler touch (or if you tend to just run warm!) opt for the Versatile Henley. For a more snug option to keep you warm; the long-sleeved Calm and Confident Henley is your go-to. 


Much like t-shirts, keep this in a lighter shade and a block colour if you plan on layering over the top. 

3. Joe’s Shirts


Here’s where the magic can happen. A shirt is where you can start introducing colours and patterns to your ensemble - and any fan of a Joe Browns shirt knows one when they see one! Adding an unbuttoned shirt over your base layer adds that extra dynamic to your outfit - and we’re only on the second layer!


For someone looking to ease into their layering slowly, start with a tartan or flannel pattern, such as the Cracking Combination Shirt. If you’re looking to go all out, try out our new Winter 2021 Feeling The Vibe Shirt or Perfect Pattern Shirt to add that trademark Joe Browns pizzazz. Try to keep the colour darker than your base layer and - if possible, lighter than your top layer. If not, don’t worry too much! Rules are made to be broken!

4. Knitwear


Looking fine and dandy over a henley or shirt, knitwear is your friend during the chilly months. Either accent a block colour or inject some life into your outfit with patterned Joe Browns knitwear - the world is your oyster for this one!


Choose a Joe Browns Crew Knit for a block of lively colour that’ll keep you cosy and warm. Alternatively, opt for a funnel neck that you can zip up when chilly or down to reveal your base layers. A hoodie can also add both pizzazz and practicality to your outfit - especially during drizzly days where you still want to look your best! 


Another honourable mention is the Washed to Perfection Cardigan, looking astonishing when layered over henleys and shirts to keep you looking cool while staying cosy. 


Wear It Warm


Now we’ve got the basics covered, let’s begin the layering process! Moving onto the warmer layers, there are still plenty of options. You can choose up to three of these layers depending on the amount of base layers, weather or occasion, allowing you to look put-together without restricting your mobility.

1. Shackets


The magnificent middleground of a shirt and a jacket; the shacket is all the rage. An item that can give you more warmth than a shirt, without the bulk of a jacket. This item - like a shirt - can also aid you to introduce patterns into a lovely layering moment. 


Featuring a simple pattern and neutral colour, complimentary to almost any item in your ensemble, the Wild Side Shacket is a fantastic option to add dynamic detail into your outfit without worrying about going overboard. For a bolder pattern featuring earthy, neutral tones, try the Chill Out Shacket over a henley, for that added charismatic charm.

2. Coats and Jackets


Coming in many different shapes and sizes, coats and jackets offer so many fab layering opportunities, we’re struggling to mention just a few! The possibilities are endless, so a top tip from Joe is to take your time and choose what will compliment most of your wardrobe. 


As an undercoat, you can’t go wrong with a Distinctive Denim Jacket. With a neutral colour and fabric, denim is an absolute must to consider when layering. Opt for darker, bolder colours with the In The Wild Pea Coat or dress for practicality with the Raring to Go Jacket. The dark green block colour can accent your patterned shirts or shackets wonderfully. 

3. Leather Jackets


Be bold and add an edge to your outfit with a leather or suede jacket. As a staple item that everyone should own, it’s no surprise it’s a layering essential for all the right reasons! Joe recommends this be worn with a henley and shirt or shacket for an awesomely audacious look. 


For the ultimate go-to, the Perfect Pocket Leather Coat is a winning combination. The oxblood colour allows you to wear this with black or brown shoes without looking out of place, in addition to having the soft, lived-in look that adds to any leather jacket effect.  For your choice in black or brown, the Burner Leather Jacket features a classic leather collar to cap off your entire outfit. Perfect when worn with your favourite boots, these jackets are all sure to make an impact on your layering!

4. Overcoats


If it’s really chilly outside, an overcoat is a lifesaver that’s both functional and looks fantastic. Designed to be worn over a shirt, funnel knit, cardigan or shacket, the final layer of your ensemble is complete!  A top tip is to choose what will work best under your layers and what style represents your unique style most. 


For a snappy look with a nod to the military, choose either the Marvellous Military Coat or the All in Order Coat to give you that sleek, charming look. The double-breast on both coats can be left open to reveal your layers while still looking dapper in your getup. Alternatively, when wearing less layers with minimal pattern, choose the Crombie-inspired Check Me Out Overcoat. Keep it smart and stay warm this winter and let the checkered pattern carry off your outfit, allowing your personality to pop!


Dress it Up or Dress it Down


Now we’ve covered the basics of everyday layering, it’s time to take you to the next level! You may be tempted to explore how layering with your blazer can be repurposed for a special occasion. Of course, we’ve got you covered. Even if you’re just tempted to dress smart for any occasion, our experts are on hand for all of your styling needs. 

1. Waistcoats


Most gents have a waistcoat or two in their wardrobe - so why not break that bad boy out and add a dapper flair to your outfit? If you’re opting to keep it smart-casual, wear the waistcoat over your tee or a henley. Alternatively, for a touch more class, add it over a buttoned-up shirt of your choice. Select the shirt that shouts about your personality for a truly quirky ensemble. 


Another fantastic way to wear your waistcoat is over a denim jacket, believe it or not! Our distinctive denim jacket paired with a Confidently Cool Check Waistcoat and an added scarf looks sensational, as well as the denim allowing you to carry off any pattern of waistcoat you have. For a patterned shirt, choose a waistcoat with a block colour or subtle accents that matches your layering essentials, such as the Cut to Perfection Waistcoat or the Wonderful Workwear Waistcoat

2. Blazers


Contrary to popular belief, you can wear a blazer for any occasion and not look overdressed. Typically, we’d bet you have a blazer in your arsenal already, so why not break it out and add it to your layers? Wonderful over a knit, or even a hoodie, blazers can be styled for almost all occasions. 


Choose a blazer in a dark navy or grey to follow the ‘light to dark’ rule - but feel free to select one with funky accents for that added pizzazz, such as the Seriously Savvy Blazer or the Loving life Blazer. All that’s left is to throw on an overcoat and off you go!


Bear Necessities: Joe Browns’ Best Accessories!


Now you know everything there is to know about layering, we can accessorise! Both for practicality and dynamics, the right accessories can bring your layering to life. Regardless of the layers you have, each outer layer can be removed on the go to reveal a superb stand-alone outfit, but your accessories can remain the same.

1. Hats & Scarves


A hat can really ‘cap’ off your outfit (heh), so before you reach for your hat of choice, ask yourself how it adds to your outfit, and judge it by what you’re trying to achieve. A simple capsule collection of hats can really make the difference to any outfit, and layering is certainly no different! Scarves can be that extra layer as well as keeping you sheltered from the elements. Opting for a colour combination is always great, but it’s just as dynamic if you mix and match!


For a relaxed, casual look, or to tone down an otherwise formal outfit, opt for a snug slouch beanie. Alternatively, if you want to keep the relaxed look on the smarter side, pick a Shelby Peaky Hat. To let your quirks shine through and go all-out, choose a Joe Browns fedora. 

2. Lapels and Jewellery


To accent your fabulous layers, try a lapel pin or some leather bracelets to add a touch of eclectic detail to your outfit without looking too busy. Accessorising with your favourite pieces is the perfect way to show off your personality, as well as allowing you to feel more confident and put-together.  

3. Shoes and Boots


To complete your ensemble, think of what shoes would make your outfit truly pop. With so many types to choose from, it’s hard to decide which is right for your specific collection. Joe’s top tip is to pair blue with brown, and grey with black. For a smarter occasion opt for a brogue, for a smart-casual occasion, opt for chelsea boots, and for a causal everyday look, go with trainers or derby shoes. However, no matter the weather, when wearing leather, boots are better when worn together. 


Each and every Joe Browns shoe has its own little touch of quirk and detail, enabling you to look good from head to toe.


Joe’s Top Tips


By now, you should have a firm grasp on how to layer up for the winter months, plus what elements will keep you both toasty and trendy. Lastly, we have a few top tips from Joe to recap everything we’ve learnt.

1. Dress from light to dark


Your outfit will stay dynamic when your base layers are lighter, as the light draws the eye inwards, revealing each thought-out step in your getup.

2. Necklines


If you’re deciding on necklines, the safest option is a crew neck, as v-necks can clash with your other layers. This directed the eye to the clash, meaning they’re missing all of the lovely thought you’ve put into your outfit. Crew necks are wider than a typical neckline, meaning your layers can be complimented wonderfully.

3. Dress From Thin to Thick


Layers are all about dressing for practicality while still remaining fashionable. The chances are as you go about your day, you’ll get warmer or colder. Layering is designed to be stripped back and piled on, respectively, leaving a stand-alone outfit that leaves you still looking thought-out and put together. If your base layers are thinner, it’ll stop you overheating. It’s better to be too cold and put layers on than be too warm in your base layer alone! 


If you’re still reading, you’re now officially a layering pro! Rifle through your wardrobe to see what essentials you have in, and maybe even treat yourself to a staple or two. If you happen to try out layering for the first time this winter, we’d love to see it! Head on over to our Facebook or Instagram to show us.