Winter is fast approaching, men. With winter comes that cold fog in the air, quite unlike the typical sunny and lightly breezy fare that is Santa Barbara. Now, let’s not invest in a generic sweatshirt or that plastic mess of a raincoat; with that Mad Men-esque trend steady and heavy, classy and the updated “old-school” is the way to go.

If you own a classic trench, kudos. How reminiscent of Brad Pitt in Ocean’s 11 — some real fabulous stuff. Trenches have collars that are meant to be popped. They are supposed to insulate your neck, but please, don’t pop when wearing a Lacoste golf tee. Don’t do it.

Choose a neutral colored, double-breasted knit jacket or pea coat. The double breast heightens sophistication and keeps you warm, and nothing really warms the heart like a money-saving dual-use jacket. I recommend the online shop Karmaloop for something affordable and trendy. Then, throw a V-neck sweater down under and a scarf if you must, but don’t get fancy with scarf-tying. There’s really no advantage in making it frilly-nilly. For your sake and mine, no deep V-neck sweaters. It screams douchebaggery, kind of like the douchbaggery commonly associated with the generic frat boy bro-tank-board-shorts combo.

However, if you’re really jonesing for something more casual, opt for a leather bomber or a field or athletic jacket. They’re all firmly weather-resistant and easy to layer under. Purchase a couple of basic hoodies to layer under, which are widely available and for dirt cheap, too. Nothing says fashionable like good ol’ layering. I tend to feel that men look better in heavily layered clothing than women, but there are a few exceptions.

Now for the appropriate shoes for the slip ‘n’ slide of rain and the nip of cold air against your toes. Those classy Rainbow flip flops really unleash that UCSB beachy side of you that everyone here so exudes. It’s real fine craftsmanship, but it’s time to put them away. A warning beforehand: I generally consider the Uggs that come out to play this season far worse than the casual I-don’t-care-enough-to-try flip flops, but one wrong certainly doesn’t make a right.

The first rule of thumb is this: no canvas shoes, or any type of cloth shoes really. It’s pretty common sense, but some people have really missed the mark here. Boots are quite the snazzy little statement for men this winter. Get a stylish leather pair, brown or black. H&M Men provides some cheap and lovely options.

Better yet, opt for nubuck boots. Sturdier and far more weather-resistant than suede, these darling waterproof babies are sold famously at Timberland; I personally like Oliberte’s Men Gando Nubuck Boots, but the price may be a little steep for broke college students. Buy quality over quantity. This method whittles down to cost-per-wear, and would you rather have a cheap, trendy boot that will last for a year, or a quality boot that will last for a decade or more? Hint: the latter option prevails.


Irene Kuo is an undeclared, second year student.