Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Fall Basics: In the Hood

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.


Anonymous said...

i want that albam jacket so bad, it's absolutely beautiful. i'll stick with a vintage 60/40 for rainy days, my filson mackinaw will be keeping me warm most of the time.

Ryan said...

Loving everything about this post. Cant wait to start wearing coats and jackets again. I'll be hard pressed to get a car that isn't a wagon.

Andrew said...

Awesome post, love that green vintage Woolrich. Would love to get my hands on it.

greybreaks said...

spend most of the summer in shorts and sandals, so am saddened by summer's end.

like alot of the jackets, but i'd go with something more technical. like arcteryx, north face, or patagonia for the wind and wet that is fall. barbo

those cloth joints are one light rain shower from being totally soaked.

Martin said...

What are the jackets in the top right in the second and third photos (the ones with 4 photos). I can't quite make out the brand on the tag.

james said...

Martin, both Nigel Cabourn.

P said...

awesome post.
I have two parkas itching to leave my closet:

1. Orange 60/40 Sierra Designs parka

2. Navy Goretex Woolrich parka

both vintage

William said...

any chance you could tell which jacket is on the right side of the top row? the black one with the hood up. I think its engineered garments or WWM but do you know the name of the particular jacket?

YMFY said...

great post.

Joe Mair said...

Totally agree on all counts, especially the wagon comment. Jetta Sportwagen TDI was my most recent purchase. Jacket season is here at last!

Anonymous said...

James, if you've had a chance to see this in person, could you advise: Can you see yourself wearing the EG Storm Parka through a New York winter? In other words, I need something that'll be durable and versatile enough to justify the price tag.