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Ask Chris Black: North Face Nuptse Alternatives — Since Everyone Has It Now?

Photo: Nathan King

Chris Black has returned to the Strategist with a monthly column to answer all of your burning questions — from super-specific style predicaments and workout and tennis recs to foolproof host-gift ideas that will get you invited back to the beach house.

Non-frumpy cardigans for men?

This is an excellent question because cardigans are simple and classic but challenging to pull off. You want them to fit correctly (I often see them a little too tight), but you also want to avoid going Mr. Rogers mode. I got an insane Elder Statesman zip cardigan a few years ago, and I have to say it has primarily sat in the closet. You have to choose carefully. Also, as a general rule, no one under the age of 65 should be wearing a shawl collar.

This 100 percent wool version from Antwerp-based Howlin’ is produced in Scotland (the motherland for sweaters) and comes in a great shade of green that feels far from frumpy and perfect for fall.

[Editor’s note: Morrison lists all prices in euros, so the price shown here is an approximate conversion to U.S. dollars.]

Tokyo’s Auralee doesn’t miss, and this cardigan is no exception. It’s made from premium Japanese cotton and has a great tonal feel with shades of brown. Very wearable!

The zip-up cardigan is often overlooked, partly because Murray Hill types have bastardized it, but when done right, it really works. This is a cashmere merino blend, so it keeps you warm without adding any bulk.

If you want to make more of a statement, Dries has you covered — the texture and color are perfect on this one. Pulling off will take a little swag, but I have faith!

Please recommend a few fall/winter boots that aren’t Blundstones.

Blundstones have bit the dust. The baristas and bros somehow came together to conquer a great classic workboot. I understand and sympathize with you wanting more. Let me help you help yourself.

These are a little more turbo than a simple Blundstone, but I think it’s a look that can work in the city or on the mountain: nice leather and a big dog Vibram sole. You can’t lose.

These have been overdone by terminally online menswear nerds, but they can’t be beaten — simple black calf leather with a side zipper. You can wear them every day.

If you just want the luxury version of a Blundstone, Hedi and Celine have you covered. Sometimes, having the best version of a simple thing is an intelligent decision. This might be one of those times.

I have always wanted a pair of these and have never pulled the trigger. They are the perfect combo of dressy and casual, and the snuff suede looks great with jeans or a suit.

What are some alternatives to the North Face Nuptse puffer since everyone has it now? Something that can last several years and is truly warm?

I am a big Nupste guy, but I, too, have been looking into other options to switch it up. It’s nice to have a few proper winter coats in the rotation, anyway. Some ideas below.

These guys have been at it since 1971, and it shows. 100 percent nylon with down filling, it will keep you warm for years, and every teenager in Soho vaping won’t be wearing the same one when temperatures dip.

I have this one in my cart as we speak. I love the material (waterproof, tearproof nylon), and the green is a nice respite from the usual black outerwear.

[Editor’s note: Nitty Gritty lists all prices in euros, so the price shown here is an approximate conversion to U.S. dollars.]

This is an excellent alternative to The North Face, Patagonia, and Arc’teryx. It comes in several colors, will keep you warm, and feels appropriate for most situations in the city or traversing the outdoors.

I own this one, and it works. It is austere and logo-free, which makes it feel timeless. It’s technical and functional and super-warm. Size up: Veilance tends to be slim.

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Ask Chris Black: North Face Nuptse Alternatives?