"And, if all his activity ends up wearing out any of the pieces over the years, Santa will be able to bring them back to us and they'll be recycled through our Common Threads program."
Karla Welch, half of celebrity stylist duo Karla and Kemal (with Kemal Harris): "I could never improve Santa! Sometimes classics shouldn't be touched."
Warren Alfie Baker, celebrity stylist: "I think it would be amazing if Santa suited up and trimmed that beard a little and [I'd] give him a nice side part. I would get rid of that suitably comfy Santa suit for a nice red tartan suit from J. Lindberg, paired with a nice wool necktie from Gentry and a tie bar thrown in for full effect."
Glenn O'Brien, author of "How to Be a Man" and GQ's "Style Guy" columnist: "I kind of like the traditional outfit, although a tartan might be a nice variation [in] a red-based plaid. [Santa Claus] probably wears Woolrich — the really, really super-heavy wool trousers, jacket and vest that are made for hunters, which will be good so he won't be mistaken for a reindeer. He'd be wearing those American-made Red Wing boots that are really hip right now, and beards are back. Santa's more in style than ever now.
"I think the big update would be that he needs a stealth sleigh with everything painted black and radar-deflecting technology."
Jeremy Langmead, editor in chief, Mr. Porter: "Well, there's a recession on, there's a lot of concern over obesity issues and, as someone with a huge influence on children, it's probably time Santa shed a few pounds and smartened up his act. I quite like the red, white and black combo — he kind of owns it— and it makes sense to wear colors that will either show up in the dark or against the snow. But let's just get a little more with it.
"Starting with the footwear, as most men should, I'd recommend a pair of Jimmy Choo black-crocodile embossed Wellington boots. Chic and practical. Moving up, team them with a pair of APC 'pillarbox red' [the shade of British mailboxes] pants, slim but not too tight (and with a handy coin pocket so he has some change when looking to park his sleigh). Team the pants with a hooded Baja cream cashmere sweater by the Elder Statesman (a ho ho hoodie), and, to add a dash of modernity, he should team these with a Junya Watanabe Fair Isle wool and leather varsity jacket. The jacket is very festive, pretty practical and Justin Bieber wore one recently so it will give him street cred with the kids. Instead of his traditional, slightly dated headwear, opt instead for a ribbed, red cashmere beanie from J. Crew. Totally warm and less jingly jangly.
"Finally, dump the dumpy old sack — we know it doesn't really carry all those gifts — and opt instead for a Côte et Ciel laptop rucksack, as he will have all the wish lists filed on his laptop these days."
As one who has weathered 30 consecutive New England winters — and a man whose own silhouette becomes a bit more Santa-like with each passing Christmas — my version of "Santa Clothes 2.0" would be a functional, hard-wearing combination cobbled together from the above. The jolly fellow's feet would be shod in Red Wing boots, and he'd wear a Patagonia vest layered over a Simon Spurr suit in a shade just this side of raspberry (to wear if he had after-work plans, like a Christmas party to attend) or a dark red Woolrich tartan (his back-to-the-workshop wardrobe).
Santa's full, white beard would be pruned back just a bit, trimmed a few inches from its traditional length and meticulously shaped. Instead of the traditional cartoonish Santa sack, Kris Kringle would carry a Levi's Workwear by Billy Reid canvas apron bag slung over his shoulder, wear a pair of the Elder Statesman fingerless gloves on his hands and a jaunty (but not too long) scarf around his neck. I'd top that off with a vintage buffalo plaid hunter's cap — perhaps with an ironic white pompom lovingly sewn to the top by Mrs. Claus.
In the end, of course, it doesn't matter a whit what Santa's wearing when he comes down your chimney or meets you at the mall (though, in all honesty, something stain resistant couldn't hurt). The sound of his jingling bells and his hearty "ho, ho, ho" continue to put smiles on the faces and hope in the hearts of children across the globe every Christmas. And that's his strong suit.