Winter Menswear Special Edition: Astrological Outfits (an Accidental Gift Guide)

That’s right! This might be the most woo thing I’ve written, and the list of my woo-ness is long. I attribute this post to my contrary personality, as apparently the thing I most love to do now that I’m in New England is be the most West Coast guy on the planet. Carrying on!

Though the weather is currently strangely balmy, everyone knows we’re heading into winter. Winter is the worst, but what makes dark days and bitter cold more tolerable are social rituals and pretty things, hence the amazingly classy wreaths sprouting up all over in a post-Thanksgiving decoration frenzy. People here are really serious about festivities.

As someone seriously considering buying a light box, though, I think we need to factor in psychological health when choosing winter outfits. Though I’ve never actually investigated astrology as a clothing inspiration, I decided why not? You never know what works, and you can’t be too careful to not lose your mind when the sun sets at 3:30.

Three side notes:

1. I designed this post around menswear but obviously the same rules apply for ladyfolk.

2. For extra fruity points, I highly suggest factoring in your rising sign when examining what’s best for your wardrobe. If you don’t know your rising sing or why you should care, find out here and here.

3. Each sign has strengths and weaknesses. The concept here is to dress to bring out your strengths for a more balanced mental health situation. As a double Libra, balance and integration are important to me. But they’re also important to my life hero, Jung, so there.

PS! This makes a great gift guide for the menswear aficionado in your life.

Sagittarius

Cultured, Extroverted, Action-oriented, Expressive, Exploratory

Jay-Z is a Sag.

Sags are worldly like whoa. Jay-Z, Mr. Roc-a-Fella, perfectly exemplifies his sign in style. If you want to look rad in the museum or Paris or wherever you wile away your time, keep it amped up.

Looking for extra lift-off? Consider investing in a pocketsquare, tie, or really any gear from the Hill-Side.

The Hill-Side Lookbook Fall/Winter 11.

The Hill-Side is reliably amazing with accessories, which are the key to giving your already-excellent style the boost it needs.

Capricorn

Motivated, Hard working, Tenacious, Grounded

Muhammad Ali (and Malcolm X).

When I think of Mr. Ali, I think of two outfits: boxing shorts and a tux. Capricorns are seriously hard working and he is a great example of that mentality. Is the man ever not “on”? Never giving up, never stopping: obviously the definition of a champ.

For a Capricorn interested in emphasizing his focus this winter, how about designing a simple, classic look that you can rely on to get the job done? Whether you suit up for the office, the studio, or the ring, find a look and do it well.

I can’t tell you what will work for your situation, but a good place for most of us to start is a high quality base layer. Whether you wear a t-shirt under a dress shirt or a henley under a flannel, you can rest easy knowing you’re putting your best foot forward. Alternative Apparel makes some of the nice stuff around:

Aquarius

Unconventional, Intellectual, Friendly

Since James Dean is my gender, I cannot possibly feature anyone else as inspiration:

Winner!

I love picture of Dean in glasses, and I think this one serves as a reminder for you Aquarians: fashion forward as you are, don’t overlook the details if you want to change up your style this winter. Aquarians are unique, and you are likely aware of menswear trends but also committed to adding your own twist to whatever look you gravitate towards. That’s awesome!

Accessories are a great place to experiment, as Dean proves here. If you don’t wear eyeglasses, don’t discount sunglasses as a winter staple. Snow is shiny, right? Check out SUPER if you have decent cash flow, or just for some cool ideas:

Super Fall/Winter 11 collection.

Pisces

Poetic, Spiritual, Creative, Imaginative

Speaking of folks I’ve featured here before, I can’t write about Pisces fashion without writing about Jack Kerouac, a Pisces poet if there ever was one:

As a Pisces myself, I am reticent to tell my fellow man how to embrace their inner fish. However, a thought: Pisces are the most mystical of all signs, a fact I probably don’t need to tell you. Consider, then,  finding your style through meaning this winter.

I found this great shop on Etsy called “RockLove” that has these rad necklaces, handcrafted with wolf teeth and sailor medallions:

The Nomad by RockLove.

This one, for example, features:

” Authentic petrified Tibetan wolf tooth (protection).
– Unique bit of sea tumbled blue and white antique porcelain which washed up on the shores of Hawaii.
– Brass replica of the 1905 retirement medallion commemorating the HMS Victory (which had the longest career of any nautical vessel). Leading the Royal Navy by Admiral Lord Nelson in 1805, it was this ship which won the battle of Trafalgar, ending Napoleon’s tyranny against Britain, Europe, and the American States.”

Look for pieces this winter that go deeper than style, and you’ll likely be rewarded with a look all your own.

Aries

Courageous, Impulsive, Forward-thinking, Idealistic

No one can accuse Adrien Brody of not doing things his own way. Though his career trajectory can seem random (The Piano to Splice–  the worst movie ever), he’s clearly doing what he wants, when he wants, in true Aries fashion.

Aries are early adopters and they’re not afraid to kick it up a notch. They’re open to bold colors and looks that others might be afraid to try. If you’re into flair, look to the Italians.  The Satorialist is a great place to research on-the-street Italian dudes being awesome, like this guy:

Go big or go home.

Taurus 

Stable, Determined, Sensory, Sensible

George Clooney has been called “the last movie star.” His mug and manners may have made him famous, but if you imagine his wardrobe (or look it up on Google) you’ll see his very Bull-like penchant for understated, refined class.

Taurus folks are sensory-oriented and sensible. Look at that tux! It’s classic and expensive-looking. If you’re looking to energize yourself this winter, consider adding one or two luxurious, classic items to your look.  May I suggest a handmade shirt? I worked with my tailor in San Francisco to create one for my wedding from the ground up: fabric, cut, style, fit.

If I was feeling bolder, I’d feature a picture of myself in that shirt here. But instead, I suggest you find your local tailor and imagine your own into existence.

Gemini

Versatile, Energetic, Curious, Youthful

Geminis are amazingly youthful:

Can you imagine any other president looking like this? Obama has gained so much grey in the last few years, it looks like he’s aged a decade.

The lesson? If you’re a Gemini, you can pull yourself out of winter darkness by tapping into your energetic, versatile nature. Perhaps, like Michael Braithwaite (who is a Taurus on the Gemini cusp), you might be best served imagining your winter “look” and then throwing yourself into putting it together. For example, what about English Hunter? If you can dream it, you can wear it. Just check this Filson lookbook out for proof:

So who do you want to be this winter? An Arctic explorer? A fancy lumberjack? It’s up to you.

Cancer

Loyal, Sensitive, Domestic, Protective

Kris Kristofferson, Cancer.

The crab is an intriguing mix of sensitive and hard-shelled, and since the hard-shell is likely what the world sees of you, this winter might be the time to get in touch with your inner sweetheart. Kristofferson’s aesthetic is sensitively bad ass, with the result that he looks kind of like Jesus. Cancerian Cat Stevens also toed this line well:

If you need to be reminded of your watery nature, then consider looking to the boho folks of yore for inspiration. Blue jeans that fit you perfectly and a knit sweater are a good place to start. Pair dark jeans with this cardigan from Topman:

Grow a beard if you can, and you’ll be set to hibernate the soulful into being.

Leo

Fierce, Proud, Dramatic, Warm

What the world has learned from Mick Jagger, King of the Leos, is that you don’t have to be attractive to have sex appeal, which is fucking fantastic for those of you born under the most rock ‘n roll of all signs:

So are you flaunting it, dude? Because this big-mouthed heartbreaker had some serious Leo energy, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a pinky ring and a parka on right now.

You know this, because you are bad-ass. But if you need a little infusion of Leo charisma, you could do worse than look to rock stars to do it. Inject some swagger by investing in an updated standby, the leather jacket. You can find one at a thrift store, or this Harris Tweed jacket from glamb, if you’re loaded:

glamb's take on a motorcycle jacket.

If all else fails, throwdown for another tattoo or some brass knuckles, duh.

Virgo

Discriminating, Analytic, Detail-oriented

Has there ever been a more Virgo Virgo than Tom Ford?

Symmetrical scruff.

I literally just thought to myself, “Hmm, who is a famous Virgo? I wonder what Tom Ford’s sign is.” And, yep. Correct.

How did I guess? Because he is extremely refined in his look. It is awe-inspiring to look through pictures of him and think about how he must have a million routines to ensure the scruff, the hairline, the almost-perfect bow tie knot. He is a Virgo in full glory, and you can be too.

Look to the details this winter and you’ll be set. If you’ve never bought a handmade suit and can afford to, now’s the time. You can design each detail, down to the buttonholes. If that’s too pricey for your current situation, consider revisiting your grooming details. As Ford proves, a thoughtful relationship with your facial hair can become a signature.

The missus bought me an amazing shaving kit for our anniversary and my life has since changed. Consider ponying up for something nice from Baxter of California:

Smell good, look good.

Forming a different relationship to your routine can open up a lot of new possibilities. Scruff it up, keep it clean, or mustache out, but whatever you decide keep the details in mind.

Libra

Charming, Diplomatic, Balanced, Well-Groomed

As I noted, I’m a Libra rising (and moon), and I’m proud to have my Pisces nature tempered through Libra’s gentlemanly lens. Libra F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote an ode to Libra excess when he penned The Great Gatsby, so we’re in good company (umm…but that’s a cautionary tale, so keep the drunken lovestruckness to a minimum and you’ll be alright). In fact both of my favorite books are written by Librans, the aforementioned Gatsby and the amazing In Cold Blood by Mr. Truman Capote:

Capote was a social genius, and he used his gentlemanly wiles to win the hearts (and ultimately to betray the trust) of socialites all over New York. He also was amazingly capable of ingratiating himself into small-town Kansas life: a pretty amazing feat for a fey, flamboyant man in the ’60s. When he channeled his nerdy charms for good, as he did with his reportage, he created literary history.

So what can be learned from the brainy, clever Capote? Librans are excellent with social graces, and dressing for the occasion. Be a gentleman this holiday season and dress to the rules of the event. If you happen to be attending a fancy tree trimming (we’re having one at our house), may I suggest a wool tie?

This one, from The Hill-Side, is available at Wharf Clothing & Wares.

A winter-only item, a wool tie demonstrates a sophisticated understanding of details. Under a v-neck and a blazer, you’ll look ready for winter cocktails or mistletoe. Or both, hopefully, in spades.

Scorpio

Discreet, Intense, Magnetic, Mysterious

Along with everyone else in the universe, I love the enigmatic charm of Ryan Gosling, a Scorpio if there ever was one.

Gosling, when not breaking up fights between strangers or giving oddball interviews to Esquire, is swiftly proving himself the best actor of our generation. Surely his Scorpio-ness helps him channel all the fraught undercurrents of the characters he plays, while maintaining a fortress-like surface. Scorpios are pretty incredible that way.

If you need a little more Gosling-like mystery in your life, than you’d do well to cultivate a moody color palette. Winter is the right time to downshift to blues, blacks, and greens or go with heritage, lumberjack-inspired colors like red/back or blue/black checked pieces. Don’t be afraid of heavier fabrics, like wool:

Look for Pendleton in thrift stores, or buy a heritage edition Woolrich John Rich and Bros. coat (or buy  me one if you’re just tossing money around anyway):

Alright, gentlemen/folk. That concludes my astrological inquiry into style. Hope your winter is starry and bright.

About Thomas Page McBee

Gentleman first, always. James Dean is my patron saint, poet is my gender. More about me here: www.thomaspagemcbee.com

3 comments

  1. Michael von Braithwaite

    All of these things are enchanting. All together and illustrated like this, you can really see how each of the astrological signs brings its own special oomph! See? We can all woo when we want.

  2. Thanks! That’s what I think, too. It was awesome to look at the famous people born under each sign; like a who’s who of contributions to art/entertainment/science. WOO!

  3. I’ve never related to basic descriptions of my sign (Aries), so thank you for finally enlightening me about the whole rising sign (Cancer) thing. Now my life–not to mention my love of bold colors and cardigans–makes sense to me.

IBC LOVES your brain, and we encourage thoughtful, lively discussion. We will, however, moderate comments that are abusive or disrespectful. Stay classy!

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