This year at SIA, we decided to just unleash our Outerwear Guru, Sam Shaheen, on the Colorado Convention Center, and told him to report back. You might not agree with all of his conclusions, but you are also unlikely to find a more interesting overview of what’s next in outerwear.
All yours, Sam…
On the whole, next season’s outerwear seems to be all about bringing street style to the hill. Sure there are tons of technical jackets and pants out there, but they all look pretty much the same as they did last year. Streetwear inspired outerwear, or what I like to call “casual outerwear,” seems to be taking a serious step forward for next winter, and the days of not being able to find a suitable “cool” 2-layer jacket are long gone.
Look for textures to win out over colorblocking, and natural fibers to find their way into areas that used to be the exclusive domain of synthetics.
I am a huge fan of this shift.
Dont’ get me wrong, I love technical outerwear (ed’s note: if you need evidence of this, cf. Sam’s Outerwear 101 and 201), but the new trends are so much more sustainable and fun. Outerwear has always been about style, but the past few years have seen so many technological advancements in fabrics and construction, that style got pushed to the background a bit. And since many skiers and riders will never fully utilize their Gore Tex Pro, you shouldn’t be afraid to look into casual 2L outerwear.
Best Women’s Line: DC
DC’s got a very strong men’s line, too. They’re a leader in the trend of distressed, technical 2L fabrics. It’s a very wearable line with classic lines and approachable patterns.
Best Men’s Line: Analog
Analog has a bold, “do not give a single @#$!” attitude. They are characteristically ahead of the common trends, with bold prints, subtle detailing, and a diverse line. Great use of Gore 2L pieces. They even have a line of casual 3L, classic silhouettes like hoodies and button up’s that are unmodified except for technical fabrics. Unfortunately they didn’t have any sample pieces at the show.
Most Unlikely Product Line Pairings: Ifound
Ifound is a Quebec-based outerwear/streetwear company that is putting out snowboarding outerwear and … hunting/fishing apparel??? It’s also high quality and unique. There are a lot of companies trying to break into the outerwear/streetwear segment, and I think Ifound is doing a great job, despite the seriously questionable company name.