Don’t look like Randy: A guy’s guide to winter coats

Michigan winters are cold. Like, really cold. Whether you enjoy frolicking through the winter wonderland or begrudgingly trudging through miles of slushy waste, you need to stay warm.

When most of us were young, our parents would not let us leave the house unless we had literally a million layers of warm clothing on. Just like Randy from “A Christmas Story,” we could barely move our arms, and looked like a little puffy marshmallow with legs.

While the marshmallow look was definitely warm enough (and almost impervious to snowball attacks and bumping into things), it isn’t ideal for any students wanting to be taken seriously. Guys, you are grown-a** men now, and if you want to stay warm while looking sharp, you need a decent winter coat.

Not a baggy sweater or hunting jacket. A big, warm, dapper-as-hell winter coat. The kind of thing you wear when it’s minus a gazillion degrees outside, but you’re not going to let a tiny, little thing like a blizzard or avalanche stop you from getting to your bear-wrestling, scotch-drinking, beard-growing thing you have do because you are just that awesome.

If you have one of these, great! If not, here’s what to look for when buying your first winter coat:

Brad Camiller walks to class on the campus of Central Michigan University, Thursday afternoon. (Photo | Kevin Wieck)
Brad Camiller walks to class on the campus of Central Michigan University on Thursday, Jan. 23 (Photo | Kevin Wieck)

The most important thing is to pay attention to the materials used. You can find a tag with these fabrics listed either on the collar or inside the breast pocket. Real leather is a great insulator, but it is often very pricey for a college student’s budget.

Do not settle under any circumstances for “pleather” or fake leather; a cheap material looks bad and won’t keep you warm. Try to find something with a mixture of wool and polyester, as these will keep you safe from both wind and snow. Don’t skimp out on a cheap option or something made of cheap materials. Remember, this is an investment. And the only standing between you and the weather. You want a decent coat will last many years.

When selecting a color your safest bet is a dark neutral color like black, grey, or navy blue. These colors will always be in style, and will complement just about any color and style of jeans and pants you wear. Darker tones also have the added benefit of hiding any dirt, stains, or spills you encounter over the years.

The double-breasted Navy peacoat is a timeless and versatile design that goes with any body type and style. It works with both jeans and pants depending on the occasion, and is always in style.

Searching for a winter coat is the hardest part. Once you have one, you can wear it with just about anything and still look great. If you want a more “dressed up” look, tuck a scarf under the lapel (which makes your chest look broader, hello ladies!), and don a pair of driving gloves to complete the look.

No matter what you wear, Michigan winters are here to stay, so we may as well look our best. As Outkast’s Andre 3000 so eloquently put it: What’s cooler than being cool?

Ice cold.