Basic Black: Key Pieces to Inspire Your Winter Look

With what seems to be a continuous onslaught of winter weather pummeling through the country, it’s pretty obvious that the cold will not be easing off any time soon. That said, it’s also pretty clear that winter wardrobes will continue to be stocked for at least another month or so –even if retail shops introduce their transition lines to usher in spring looks. But while cold weather generally incites the need for warm layers, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a way to remain style-ready despite the frigid climate.

There’s always something out there that spurs inspiration for style. For me, personally, I love a look that’s laid-back, yet smart. And a lot of time it really comes down to how you accessorize a basic look. Jeans and a t-shirt in the wintertime can be amplified with the right scarf (and a sweater, maybe?), or a cool shoe can change a plain look easily. And while pops of color always elevates a standard look, a style canvas generally starts well with basic black.

Here are some key bits that have inspired me as of late:

scarf_amcqueen_smlI’m a self-professed scarf guy, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who know me that this piece hits high on my list. Sure, it may be a basic black scarf, but this cotton-blend skull-patterned scarf from Alexander McQueen is as versatile as it is simple. The midnight and black colors bring the skull pattern to life, and it can be worn loosely with a warm hoodie, or coiffed more crisply with a t-shirt and a blazer. Alexander McQueen Skull Scarf, $465,

belt_balenciaga_smlA cool belt nicely accents a pair of casual pants or jeans, and the rocker-chic vibe of this belt from Balenciaga makes for a great addition to a man’s wardrobe. The square-shaped studs which feature on the buckle have become a signature (of sorts) for the label. The texture of the buckle stands-out against the clean look and feel of the leather belt, and makes for a super chic visual. Balenciaga Black 3.5CM Stud-Buckle Leather Belt, $285,

shoes_balmain_smlOnce upon a time I was so anti-sporty when it came to shoes. I’m not sure what changed, but one day I decided that I love the casual look and feel of a nice sneaker. And high-tops have been a staple in my own shoe repertoire. I’m particularly a sucker for a plain black high-top with white rubber soles. They look good with everything –from jeans and a button up, to joggers and a blazer. But what hits the nail on the head of this pair from Balmain is the buckle. The leather is clean, and the overall look is extremely understated. But the buckle adds that pop of style that turns an otherwise plain shoe into something much more appealing. Pierre Balmain Buckle Hi-Top Sneaker, $850,

givenchy_lc_bagI am a sucker for a sleek carry-all; something that can function as both an overnight and a gym bag. Needless to say, I have fallen madly in love with the L.C. Top-Handle Satchel Bag from Givenchy. Ever since Riccardo Tisci took the helm of the fashion house’s men’s division in 2008 (he had been the creative director for the house’s RTW and couture lines for women since 2005), he has re-birthed the brand with his nod to “space-age minimalism.” This carry-all is no exception: masculine and clean. Highlighted by its palladium hardware and belted sides, the bag is currently at the top of my own wish list. Givenchy Men’s L.C. Top-Handle Satchel Bag, $2,550,

The great thing is that to achieve the looks that these pieces may pull together does not mean you have to break the bank. High-street brands have similar options that will give you the same look for a much smaller price-tag. Just don’t be afraid to let yourself be inspired by lux looks.


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