Sunday, September 12, 2010
It's been a grey and rainy afternoon in New York and with Labor Day having come and gone, it's generally around this time that I start wrapping my head around Fall's impending arrival en force.
Don't get me wrong; I love Fall. The change in climate, the turning of the leaves, brisk mornings, brisker evenings are all things in New York(and just about anywhere else)that make the city new again. Trade the madras for flannel. Let the beard grow back in. Take the a/c outta the window.
And it's in this frame of mind that I present a brief sampling of one of my favorite garments: the hooded jacket.
Call it by whatever name you like as it takes many forms; the cagoule, the wind breaker, the parka, the anorak. It's a Fall staple and being the type of man who thinks most any car is better as a wagon, well, that logic kind of extends into my feelings about most jackets and hoods.
True, some are classics that shouldn't be messed with all that much; the pea coat(which is a "coat" and not a "jacket"), the varsity jacket, classic denim jackets, and perhaps arguably, the Barbour(we'll get to that).
The genus of this particular post comes from getting a look at the Engineered Garments Storm Parka for this season. It's no secret that EG is hands down one of my favorites out there(few do hoods as well as EG) and the Storm Parka, for me, is a stand out and one I'm hoping to get my hands on to give a proper field testing. The Bike Jacket is another EG winner.
Some others out there, and coming back to Barbour(my 10 year old Bedale is something I count down to being able to start wearing each year), the Derwent is a great hooded take on classic Barbour-ness. You can't beat the smell of a freshly waxed Barbour.
Woolrich Woolen Mills always has solid offerings and this season is no exception. And aside from the Mountain Parka, they're offering wool balaclavas to pair with their Maine Guide Jackets, toggle pea coats and stream jackets.
Nanamica is relatively new to me but with a solid pedigree and an even more solid mix of tough and technical textiles, it's on the radar for sure.
And talk about pedigree, Nigel Cabourn does it better than most anyone out there. The Cameraman Jacket is in an instant classic(based, in fact, on a storied classic).
Albam has always done it right and just keeps getting better and better, without taking much of a misstep. The Trail Parka in Brush Orange with its chambray-lined hood is cleanly designed and detail rich outerwear from the UK based label.
There are, of course, so many winners out there. MHL, Filson, Band of Outsiders, Wings + Horns. On the less expensive end, J+ for Uniqlo, Obey(yup) has some good options, J.Crew's Fatigue Jacket. Also included are some older, tried and true favorites of mine; the Steven Alan waxed canvas rain slicker, Some EG parkas from a few years back, FSC's waxed canvas mountain parka w/ floating wool lining, some vintage Woolrich.
With the leaves turning and the mountains calling, find one that fits and hit the trail in style.