Category Archives: Trend

Flannel: Mid-Layer

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I am currently in a flannel phase.  But who isn’t, really?  Either because of, or as a fortunate coincidence, there has not been a better selection of flannel shirts readily available since the 1990s grunge wave. From affordable choices at trend-driven fashion retailers such as Uniqlo and American Eagle to premium offerings from heritage outfitters such as Filson and Penfield, there are many fine options in the mid-range from outdoor sport brands.

Bored with tech-y styling and challenged to find lightweight mid-layers, I am on a mission to find options — the flannel shirt could be a solution.  Certainly, this dressing approach is nothing new to much of the snow-sliding population, but for many it falls way outside the realm of acceptable performance layering.  For me, I will chance the “no cotton” rule in appropriate conditions!

patagonia womens fjord flannel shirt 2013My personal favorite by far is Patagonia’s Fjord Flannel.  High quality, not too heavy, not too light, crazy soft, nicely tailored for wearing hem-out and enough sizes available to fit just right.  Women’s Fjord Flannel shown here, check Patagonia for the Men’s Fjord Flannel.

stio men junction flannel shirt plaid jackson hole wyoming

stio-collectionStio’s Junction Flannel Shirt for men comes in rich plaids; the women’s Willow Flannel Shirt collection presents a clean, happy look with white running through all colorways.

dakine-flannel

Dakine offers a performance flannel shirt of polyester with a brushed cotton-hand feel – truly more appropriate for snowsport layering than cotton.   Cypress blue check for women, Oakridge traditional buffalo plaid for men.

macky young nosedive stowe vermont spring photo wally youngFlannel transitions to an outer layer in spring.  Macky Young extending the season with a May 2011 run down Stowe’s Nosedive.   Photo:  Wally Young

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Uniqlo: Ultra Light Down

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uniqlo ultra light down men vest jacket camp hoodyMy shopping advice to everyone is this — run, don’t walk to the nearest Uniqlo store (or computer for uniqlo.com) to scoop up some ultra light down.  With prices of $49.90 for vests and $69.90 for jackets, it is all too easy to consider an assortment.

Last week, after five hours and as many hooded down vests later, I emerged from a Manhattan Uniqlo overwhelmed but hardly defeated by the excessive goodness in store.  Sure, the down collection is nothing new – but the success has driven more selection in styles, colors and prints!  To me, the prints are the real coup:  polka dots, gingham, plaid and more for women; camouflage, houndstooth, denim and others for men.  I was defenseless against the super-cute hooded vests with dots and checks!

The designs are simple and flattering – the women’s styles in particular benefit from this approach, as they are not overdone with excessive quilting and shaping.  In terms of weight, these garments fall in the down “sweater” category, perfect as outerwear in cool (not cold) temps and excellent layering weight.  As for quality, the fill is 90% down / 10% feather with downproof nylon shell fabric.  Zippers are YKK.  The included stuff sack is a reasonable size that makes for easy storage.  The concept of the compact stuff sack is widely promoted as an integral part of this collection with instructional videos running throughout the store and down garments put into their pouches by sales clerks at checkout.

It is exciting to see performance apparel stories take root in mainstream fashion.  Uniqlo has been effective in educating consumers about the benefits of down (light, warm, packable, versatile, comfortable, natural) and showing how to make it a part of everyday dress.  (Another success is their Heattech program developed with leading technical fabric supplier, Toray.)

Personally, I have been a big fan of Uniqlo since the Japanese fast fashion retailer opened the SoHo store in 2006.  Some of my most worn staples are Uniqlo, product quality is excellent and price can’t be beat.  I expect the same of these down pieces and am thrilled to have added to my vest collection for daily uniform wear and broadened my on-hill layering options.  And I can’t wait to layer a polka dotted hooded vest under a contrasting color technical shell!

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Alpine Style: In Fashion

self magazine november 2013 snow hot ski skier kate bockxself magazine november 2013 snow hot ski skier kate bockxself magazine november 2013 snow hot snowboard kate bockxself magazine november 2013 snow hot snowboard kate bock

Snow Hot featuring Kate Bock, photos by Arthru Belebeau.  SELF, November 2013. 

elle magazine october 2013 ski lift néon apres flashbackSki Lift:  Even as temperatures dip, the colors remain hot – neon to be precise.  ELLE, October 2013.

swarovski elements crystal ski goggles 2013 candice swanepoelCrystal-encrusted ski goggles.  SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS 2013 brand campaign featuring Candice Swanepoel, photo by Nick Knight.

banana republic apres ski collection men holiday 2013The Après Ski Shop. . . Inspired by the Alpine mountains.  Ready, set, snow.  Banana Republic, Holiday 2013.

neiman marcus mans store tom ford winter 2013Tom Ford for The Man’s Store, Neiman Marcus, Holiday 2013.

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Shredly: Women’s Mountain Bike Apparel

shredly mountain bike shorts ashley rankin downhill free rideAshley Rankin wears the Shredly NIKOLI short at left; the CAROLINE short at right.  Photo:  Seth Beckton

shredly dh knicker ana maria mountain bikeNew this year, the DH KNICKER offers extra length perfect for downhill, cooler temps or a classic pedal pusher look for cruising town.  Fully featured with adjustable waist, thigh vents and cargo pocket.  Shown in the ANA MARIA pattern.  Photo:  shredly.com

 

ashley rankin shredly shorts apparel mt sopris coloradoAshley checks the view of Mount Sopris in the KTO short.  Photo:  Shredly

shredly mountain bike short j moThe MTB SHORT features an adjustable waist and invisible-zip thigh vents.  Shown in the J-MO pattern.  Photo:  shredly.com

Mountain Biking Gamble's Oak ColoradoAshley rocks the RIXFORD short in the Colorado autumn color of a Prince Creek trail.  Photo:  Jay Goodrichshredly elvira mountain bike short blue whiteThe BASIC SHORT is anything but basic.  Performance, comfort, style and nice details make this short not just a standard for mountain biking but so many other active pursuits.  Shown in the ELVIRA pattern.  Photo:  shredly.com

ashley rankin shredly mountain bike apparel trunk showAshley showcasing the full range of the Shredly collection at a recent trunk show.

Ashley Rankin is a woman who makes things happen.  A lifelong Colorado mountain girl and avid mountain biker dissatisfied with women’s performance apparel – she created Shredly to put an end to big, baggy and boring and ushered in flattering, functional and fun bike clothing.

As a devout user from the launch of the brand, I can tell you Shredly makes riding even more fun! The short fabric is lightweight and breathable with stretch for mobility while being rugged, durable and surprisingly mud-stain resistant.  Thoughtful features like adjustable waistband, thigh vents and slim cargo pocket with blinged-out faux-crystal snap put the shorts over the top.

As for the separate inner liner, the Shredly YOGACHAM puts an end to hot and awkward diaper-like chamois.  There is just enough padding – but not too much – in all the right places and a low-rise waistband inspired by yoga pants for comfort.

The bottom (no pun!) line is that I feel great in my shorts — the fit, function and comfort help me ride longer; style that is fun but also a little badass makes me happy – so I like to believe that Shredly helps me ride a little better!  Check shredly.com for the full story and product range, including jerseys.  And as Shredly says:  Look Good.  Feel Good.  Shred Good.

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On the Snow: Camouflage

army surplus jacket for skiing

There is a lot of buzz lately about the camouflage “trend”.  Agreed, camo is everywhere – from Valentino’s Spring 2013 fashion collection to utilitarian L.L. Bean Hunter’s tote bags and nearly any other functional or frivolous product you could desire.  I see the pattern more as a standard and accept it as commonplace.

There is no shortage of camo on the slopes manufactured by ski, snowboard and outdoor gear brands.  But this guy caught my eye with his army surplus jacket appropriated for skiing and paired with technical pants.  The jacket looks right on him – and what he likely lacks in performance of sport-specific outerwear is balanced out in style with authenticity.

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ISPO 2013: Yellow

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Yellow was everywhere at the February 2013 ISPO Munich tradeshow.  From gold to lemon and everything in between – the sunny hue appears to be the dominant trend color story for winter 2013/14.

More from the world’s leading wintersport tradeshow to follow soon. . .

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On the Snow: Bright Knit Accessories

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Long Snowboard Jackets

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041020©anapolitano2011Seeing longer silhouettes in women’s snowboard jackets.

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Brocade-Inspired Outerwear

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When Denim for Snow is a Good Idea

snowboard denim pants stratton

Unconfirmed brand @ the US Open.

burton denim snowboard pantsBurton @ Stratton, VT.

burton snowboard denim pantsBurton @ the US Open.

spyder denim ski pantsx
spyder ski pants denimSpyder @ the Sugar Slalom, Stowe.

vans-seven-denimVans x Seven Jeans @ Jiminy Peak, MA.

Technical ski/ snowboard pants with denim look.  Impressive tromp l’oeil distressing of Burton pants.  (As well, the best uniform BY FAR at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.)  The Vans collaboration was successful in spot-on replicating Seven jeans fit.

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