It's hard to tell from the picture, but this seemingly traditional peacoat by Armani is cut from neoprene, the season's white-hot technical fabric and, yes, the stuff wet suits are made of.
Before you start reflexively scratching, know that this jacket is just as comfortable as any wool version, and the subtle stiffness of the material lends the coat a structured, tailored look. The genius of this piece is that it's functional without looking like it. You'll stay warm, but more important, you'll do so in style.
When the weatherman predicts three feet of snow, the urge to dress like you're mounting an Arctic dog-sled expedition is understandable. But now you can look presentable regardless of the forecast, thanks to designers who are drawing from the technical prowess of outerwear companies, using everything from taped seams to Gore-Tex. Here are five high-performance pieces that look much sharper than a ski parka.
1. Non-Stretch Jeans
Flexible cotton/poly/elastane fibers minimize stretching (no more than one percent).
$189; 7 for All Mankind Luxe Performance
2. Wool Sweater
Its waterproof nylon lining and side zipper make this pullover a go-to on and off the slopes.
$1,150; Moncler Grenoble
3. Duffle Coat
Made of a durable Swiss wool-nylon blend, it has a waterproof-membrane lining.
$1,200; Patrik Ervell
4. Gore-Tex Jacket
Wind- and waterproof with custom seam taping on the lining.
5. Puffer Vest
The outer shell is made of waterproof microfiber and padded with cotton and wool instead of down, keeping you insulated without the bulk.
$845; Ermenegildo Zegna