When the snow is falling just as fast as the temperatures, its time to throw open the closet and pull out warm layers to cover from head to toe.
A good kit, rich with trendy colors, lofty insulation, technical fabrics, and a certain panache will not only fend off the frigid air, but strike a certain style not soon forgot. New as the articles may be, all of the distinguishing features that keep you cozy and looking fresh are born from a long line of fashion design, fabric development, and breakthroughs in heat retention. From the 60s onwards, cold weather wears have cycled throughs styles and undergone major innovations, bringing us the layers we love today. Oh how the times have changed.
In 2018, fashion, usability, and technology all matter. Companies, like Uniqlo, have taken these decades of design and development and produced products that speak to both our fashionable and logical side.
Uniqlo's Ultra Light Down jacket is lightweight, water-repellent, and wind breaking and include designs that exclude surface stitching, keeping out the weather and preventing the inner feathers to remain inside. The shell is 100 percent Nylon and the down 640 fill power, so though it may not be the warmest jacket, its still durable to rain and wind. What's the real seller of this jacket, as well as many other down jackets in the market, is the ability to pack down into a small size-- weighing at only 9.2 oz.
For base layers, Uniqlo, with Toray Industries, has designed a HEATTECH technology that uses rayons to wick moisture from the body and then convert the moisture to heat. This heat is then trapped in air pockets within the base layer fibers, providing an Ultra Warm shirt that is comfortable and chic.
How did fashion get to this point? Lets travel back in time...
From 2010 until now, there has been a continued development, if not surge, in the research and technology for ski apparel. Polyester insulation, breathable waterproof materials bonded to nylon shells, metallic dot linings to generate warmth, and body mapping to ensure the perfect location for heat and breathability-- ski apparel is now all about the science of warmth, comfort, and movement.
The start of the 2000's was a little less colorful in comparison to the 80's and 90's. However, what was left behind in color was gained in better technology for apparel. Breathability was introduced, along with the popularization of the soft shell jacket. Previously, the soft shell was dedicated to the mountaineers and ice climbers, yet, the breathability and mobility made it a technical layer great for the slopes. Several years later, hard shells came back with sonic welding and four way stretch fabrics, making the originally stiff and stuffy hard shell into a more breathable and movable option.
The 90's were the years of neon colors and ski suits, yet these ski outfits were getting even more technical. The late 80's had just introduced GoreTex and Thinsulate. As the 90's progressed, this technology become more popular and fashionable. It even included the beginnings of the waterproof and breathable combo and heat generating fabrics and insulation.
Ski pants, once thought of as a "necessary evil style-wise" had far more colors and designs, an important quality for the fashionable world of 90's skiing. More important to this ski pant gear evolution was a new emphasis on insulated and shell pants
During the early 1980s, down and synthetic loft came into their own, providing gear that was light, could stuff into a small area, and fluff back up to their original loft when you need it. The DuPont Zepel rain/stain repellent promised to last the length of the garments. In an era before GoreTex, this was some of the best waterproofing available.
Every-, every-, everything in the same colors' became the mantra of many companies in the early 80s. But looks weren’t the only consideration: designers began to build in function, with vents, two-way zippers, large pockets and built-in hoods.
As the sport of skiing progressed in the 1970s and became more aggressive, apparel was refocused to be “rough stuff that skis hard all day”. This era produced new and innovative garments that were pretty and practical, thanks to technical features such as synthetic insulation—optimized with quilted construction—and very early waterproof membranes.
The early 1970s pushed full leather outerwear. Worn by James Dean, Marlon Brando and the Fonz, the leather jacket with metal-stud details was synonymous with masculine toughness. adopted and updated by countless subcultures, it remains timeless, and also practical. Leather is naturally tough and wind resistant, and can easily be made waterproof for use in all conditions. The leather gloves have stood the test of time particularly well and are still a skier favorite.
The late 1960s and early 1970s conjure images of wild patterns, styles and colors, but simple elegance has always been fashionable. understated detailing—such as the belt and fur-trimmed collar—have a Jackie-o sophistication that’s still chic today.
Fur hats, leather boots and plaid tweed jackets with toggle closures—lives on in the design elements of modern winter and snow sports apparel. The coats, which often approached parka length, where inspired by the city style, yet carried additional weight to keep people warm in colder temperatures.