Even if you can't grow a beard, you can look cool and stay warm on your fat bike this winter.
Dressing for cold weather isn't something that allows for sweeping advice. Everyone is different. Everyone has a different way of keeping their clothes dialed, and the honest is truth is that it does take a few 'dress rehearsals' to know exactly what you need in varying temperatures.
The three main points of heat loss, however, don't change. Your head, your hands and your feet are the most important for feeling happy and simply being able to feel once the mercury dips below the 35 degrees mark. It's no surprise that these are the parts of your body furthest from your core, have the smallest blood vessel systems (think fingers and toes) and, unfortunately, also are the parts of your body that catch an awful lot of wind.
Hands. Personally, this is the biggest issue. I have two golden rules that have done a lot to make sure I enjoy riding in the cold, and both go back to the ol' meat hooks. The first rule is to always bring two pairs of gloves. Stick a second pair in your back pocket or frame bag. These are ready to rock if your gloves get sweaty, wet or just ain't working. You can double up, swap them out, or pass them over to a friend in need. The second rule is to leave warm. Put on all your stuff, then do some push-ups, jumping jackets, or a few hot laps around the living room. Get some heat built up before you roll. You don't need to get sweaty, just enough to feel that heat on your skin.
The 45North Sturmfist has only been out a few months, but it's already become the standard. The 4 and 5 models (the difference is how many fingers are on the glove) offer two good choices, and if you aren't sure, get the 4, which comes with a removable liner which makes putting them on, washing and drying by the fireside very easy. In deep cold or at higher speeds on the roads, it's proven itself to be rock solid, plus 45North has some of the most bomb-proof products out there.
Dome. Noggin. Cranium. You need your head, you need a helmet, and you need to keep you skull-skin warm. Your head loses a lot of body heat, and the right under-helmet-hat is key. Again, 45North's Greazy Cap is the answer. It has the cut of a traditional cycling cap with ear flaps and looks at home on the road, cyclocross or fat bike, but uses merino wool to wick sweat, keep you warm and dry quickly once you're off the bike. It also has a low profile and fits comfortably under your helmet, which is often the biggest complaint about such garments.
Feet. Have you heard about the little piggy that was tucked under a normal mountain bike shoe and bootie and froze to death in cold weather? You sure have. The cold, stark reality of Northern Michigan is that it's too cold to try to 'get away with' normal attire. Invest in nice footwear and you'll get more out of your riding, your bike and your time out on the trail. 45North makes the ultra deep weather boot, the Wolvhammer, and the slightly lighter Fasterkat. If you are really like, you can still find a pair of these in your size. If you aren't lucky, you can still get great cold weather protection with the Lake MXZ303. It's a bit lighter and offers comparable warmth that should make it your go-to from Iceman to Mud, Sweat and Beers.