Live Action Getup: Dressed Down Winter Items

Live Action Getup: Dressed Down Winter Items
Don’t let those comfortable (and expensive) December items like a camel topcoat and shawl collar cardigan go to waste by only wearing them when you need to be dressed up.

men's casual outfit camel topcoat, gray cardigan sweater, light denim, gray tshirt, gray boots, beardbrand styling balm, bryker hyde wallet, Hugo boss cologne half between casual and dress scale

Nothing feels more like winter than outfits dressed up with topcoats and sweaters to stay warm. Maybe it's a holiday service or a work party or a fancy date (lucky dog).

But topcoats and sweaters cost too much money to be relegated to the handful of times a season that those occasions come up. And that's a real shame, because these items, generally made of some of the nicer materials you'll find in your closet, are also super comfy. Perfect not just for when you need to look dressed up, but when you want to look well-dressed casually too.

The secret to getting more use out of them is to dress them down. First, imagine this same camel topcoat and charcoal shawl collar sweater with a gingham dress shirt, gray tie, and slim dress pants. It's a decidedly more dressed up business casual look.

With this outfit, we accomplish that by pairing them with a very casual base: A gray heathered curved hem t-shirt and faded lightwash denim. The curved hem adds a bit of fashion-forwardness to the whole thing but it's not required. This t-shirt is one of my favorite “covet” brands based here in Los Angeles, Buck Mason. They're kind of like J.Crew minus the prep, but with a handful of items like denim made in the USA.

If you can't squeeze $32 for a t-shirt, there are plenty of good options for less. Look for one that is “tri-blend” “50-50.” This indicates it's composed of a mix of polyester, cotton, and rayon, and offers a thinner, softer, more-vintage-like look than your regular Beefy tee.

Lightwash denim is almost always casual and it amplifies the weekend-casual style we're going for here. Imagine, instead, a pair of dark selvedge denim and the outfit would definitely be dressier smart casual.

Other Ways We've Worn These Pieces

Topcoat Dressed Up

You can see how we styled this exact same camel topcoat in a more dressed up / business attire look previously:

If you're looking for more options for topcoats, you'll want to check out These Are The 23 Best Men's Pea Coats, Car Coats, Walker Coats, and Overcoats.

Shawl Collar Cardigan Dressed Up

In fact, the base of today's Getup – the heathered t-shirt, light denim, and gray boots – was used in our best solid flannel shirts guide. Just goes to show how easy it is to get very different looks out of practically identical outfits.

best flannel shirt

Get More Use Out of Your Sportcoats Too

Get Today's Getup

Camel topcoat: Peter Manning, $345 / Budget: Amazon, $121

Shawl collar cardigan: J.Crew Factory, $68

Slim taper jeans: Levi's 512, $60

Curved hem tri-blend t-shirt: Buck Mason, $32 / Alt: Alternative, $11

Gray boots (shown): Amazon, $120 / Alt: Wolverine, $327

Andrew Snavely

Andrew founded Primer in 2008 and brings 15+ years of men's style expertise. Known for his practical, relatable approach to style and self-development, he has been a recognized speaker at conferences and has styled work for top brands. Off-duty, he loves photography & editing, and enjoys road trips with his dog, Leela. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, educated in DC, and living in LA for nearly 20 years, Andrew's diverse experiences shape the relatable and real-world advice that has helped millions through Primer. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.