The nine biggest fashion crimes everyone makes in winter

Seasonal style transitions can be challenging. No sooner do you grow accustomed to long days in loafers than Mother Nature turns down the thermostat. That's why autumn was invented—three months to grapple with the approaching winter, time to reacquaint yourself with knits and modify your dressing to transition accordingly.

It usually takes an instance or two of getting caught out under-prepared ("it's a bit nippy today," you'll remark) as a reminder that you can no longer leave the house wearing linen with impunity. But with the arrival of winter proper, there's no room for excuses. We demand a zero-tolerance approach to offenders who refuse to get their winter wardrobe in order.

Most wanted: The cold weather denier

Summer is over, mate. Yeah, we live in a sunburnt country, but most of it experiences cold weather at some point, so the perennial summer is a fallacy—at least until global warming really sets in. Accept it and evolve your wardrobe. Or move to Darwin.

Rap sheet

1. No socks 

Bare ankles in summer give off a swarthy, Mediterranean playboy vibe, but come winter an exposed ankle is the sign of a man with a startling inability to adapt. No need to forgo cropped trousers, if that's your preference – they're perfectly compatible with socks and boots.

2. Thongs

Even at the height of summer, flip-flops are a questionable choice of footwear in many situations. As for winter thongs … well, that's just not a thing because pale feet and frostbite aren't a good look.

3. Shorts

Unless he's running around a field chasing a pointy ball, a man has no business being in shorts between the months of June and August (give or take, depending on what part of Australia he's in). The look is particularly incongruous when teamed with a chunky sweater and beanie, as if the wearer has somehow lost feeling from the waist down.


Most wanted: The wardrobe improviser 

This is the guy who refuses to spend a cent of his hard earned on any proper winter gear. He reasons that it only gets really cold for a few weeks of the year, so, out of sheer laziness or a misguided sense of pragmatism, he just makes do with whatever he owns.

A 2015 study shows cold temperatures kill Australians at a much higher rate than the Swedes, so there is some evidence of natural selection at work here.

Rap sheet

1. No winter coat

You'll recognise this guy when the mercury creeps below about 16 degrees. He's the one hugging himself in a T-shirt and flannie, complaining how freezing it is. If it snows, he might consider a denim jacket. There's no substitute for quality, classic outerwear in a neutral colour. If it only comes out a week a year, it'll last a lifetime.

2. Pointless umbrellas

The refusal to buy a decent brolly is usually justified on a cost-per-use basis and the belief that one is more likely to lose an umbrella than to use it. Therein begins a vicious cycle: man buys flimsy umbrella, umbrella disintegrates at the first sign of a breeze, man replaces umbrella. It's false economy. Better to buy quality that looks good and works well (and you'll be less inclined to forget where you left it).

3. Adventure wear

Who needs to buy winter clothes when you've got perfectly good ski and hiking gear knocking around? Well, everyone actually (the clue is in the name). Save it for on piste or cross country. Athleisure is a thing, but if it involves wearing a hiking fleece under your work suit, you're doing it wrong.

Most wanted: The overdresser 

Like a reality TV star chasing ratings, some people tend to overreact in a situation, like the man who takes things to extremes to stave off cold weather—the bigger and more OTT, the better. This bloke lives by the motto 'leave nothing to chance' and probably has a cellar full of tinned food and batteries.

Rap sheet

1. Over-layering

Adopting the Antarctic explorer Douglas Mawson as your style muse is not the answer. Overstuffed, oversized garments, earmuffs and a balaclava make you more susceptible to heat stroke than hypothermia. A good rule of thumb: if your mother can't identify you under the layers, rein it in.

2. Ugg boots in public

Long disparaged as the dress code of bogans and Pamela Anderson but it still needs to be said. The public ugg wearer doesn't see the point in changing into actual shoes to leave the house when sheep hide is warmly caressing his feet He thinks it doesn't matter. It does.

3. The elaborate beanie

Slouchy beanies are like V-neck tees, perfectly acceptable attire open to abuse in the wrong hands. Some men have an inexplicable urge for style one-upmanship. Like a deep V, an oversized beanie that even a Smurf might consider over the top is unnecessary. Recently witnessed: the statement pom-pom. The statement being made? 'I bet you've never seen a pom-pom the size of a man's head before'. And we hope to never again.

What are the biggest sartorial mistakes of the season? Let us know in the comments section.