Long thought the reserve of garden centre employees and elderly market town lurkers, the majestic fleece has made gallant strides toward the mainstream in recent years, and we should all count our blessings that we’re living in the age of polyester pile pandemonium.
That being said, choosing the right fleece for the right situation can be a total minefield without proper understanding of the field of Fleeceology. Consider this Pica~Picks your first class.
At the top, who else but Patagonia? They might not necessarily hold the title of ‘Fleece Founding Fathers’ (that honour goes to Malden Mills) but considering how hard they backed it in the 80s, they’re the crew we think of when we think of fleece.
This one here is a modernised version of their classic Retro X jacket. Not only is it softer than a particularly-soft bag of lambs, it’s got that classic, ‘weather-beaten Colorado hiker taking it easy on the front porch’ look about it that deserves repeat servings.
Deus Ex Machine Luther Fleece Jacket
Next up, there’s this from Deus Ex Machina.
Sitting firmly in the ‘shacket’ sphere, this is probably the most ‘civilian’ fleece on this list, but don’t let that unfussy, laid-back design fool you – this corker still packs a heat-hoarding punch.
And perhaps best of all, it comes in a shade of red that screams “DANGER! DANGER! KEEP CLEAR!”.
Fjällräven Vardgag Pile Fleece
Unlike a lot of ‘outdoor’ brands who’s connection with the natural world is once having taken an out-of-focus 35mm photograph of some flowers in the local park, Fjällräven’s outdoor credentials are absolutely unquestionable. You need only look at something like this Vardag Pile Fleece to see why.
Zips in all the right places… raglan sleeves for added manoeuvrability… contrasting panel pocketry… just be careful with the Lingonberry jam around the white fabric and you could easily see out a winter in the Scandinavian wildness with this as your liner jacket.
Just like how you can make a decent lemon cake with chickpea water instead of eggs, you don’t have to utilise synthetic materials to make a damn fine fleece. This one from Snow Peak was made from wool, which gives it a slightly more rustic feel that calls to mind gentlemen explorers.
Alright, there’s nothing Shackleton-esque about that forward-thinking, highly-Japanese design, but you get the picture.
Note the curvature of those pockets too – someone knows their way around a calliper.
F/CE Recycled Wool Boa Pullover
Is this F/CE Recycled Wool Boa Pullover hued exactly like the original Game Boy Advance, or are we finally losing our marbles?
Regardless of where the colour inspo came from, there’s no denying this is a zesty specimen indeed, and should be prime for when you when you quickly need to flag down Mountain Rescue after getting lost up Kinder Scout.
And then there’s this Boa Fleece Jacket from orSlow. The contrasting panels and olive green hue bring an armoury’s worth of military flavour to the table, but like most hard-cases, this is a big softie at heart, thanks to some dangerously-fluffy fleece fabric.
Plunge your head into you screen and rub your face on it. Feels good, right?
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