By Maya Singer
Let’s face it: This winter has been a challenge. The weather has been so in-your-face frigid, windy, stormy, sleety, and all-around nasty, it was bound to exert some influence over designers’ thinking about next year’s cold season clothes. J.Crew menswear honcho Frank Muytjens has certainly taken the conditions onboard: The brand’s latest collection, inspired by mid-century New York City dockworkers, erred toward the hardy, on the one hand, and the cozy on the other. And of course, this being J.Crew, both the hardiness and the coziness were executed with a high degree of polish. Thus, a naval anorak was rejigged in felted wool and nylon, with an angled pocket, and the classic toggle coat traded in its workhorse hood for a neat popped collar. Elsewhere, on the cozy end of the spectrum, the collection was bursting at the seams with dressy sweats, not to mention sweaters in mish-mash argyle patterns, which Muytjens showed worn with a suit and a scarf. It’s too cold for broadcloth button-downs! These days, a man must beat back the elements in rough ‘n’ ready apparel such as dark denim jeans, shawl-collared sweaters, and puffer jackets if he wants to be ready for the next polar vortex.