With the season of snowy mornings, icy streets, and just plain cold weather just around the corner, you’re probably realizing that you need to upgrade your wardrobe to survive the snow. One of our favorite ways to do that is to opt for clothes that are made for harsh outdoor conditions, but will look just as good in the city as they will in the wilderness.
As Noah Johnson reported for The New York Times, camping and city living, surprisingly enough, have a lot in common. When you’re camping, you have to fit everything you’ll need for a variety of possible scenarios on your back. Unforeseen weather conditions can change your plans instantly. And in the city, you also need to be prepared with everything you need for the day in a backpack or a messenger bag. Subway delays, route closures, last-minute meetings, and other variables can change the course of your day.
As Johnson puts it, the right gear is not only essential for surviving on a mountaintop or in the woods, but also “for surviving the urban wild.” A well-chosen wardrobe can be a valuable secret weapon in either situation. There are plenty of brands that offer outdoor clothing that’s rugged enough for your expeditions into the wild but stylish enough for your adventures around the city. Here are a few of our top choices.
One of our go-to boutiques is Westerlind, a New York boutique that showcases some of the best brands of stylish outdoor gear (including a wide selection of Snow Peak gear). Westerlind is also the U.S. distributor of Armor Lux, and operates a separate Armor Lux boutique. From Armor Lux shirts and sweaters to Woolpower pullovers, Jungmaven tees to Grunden jackets, and Vuarnet sunglasses to Ficouture bags, each piece is built to withstand serious weather in the city or out of it.
2. Best Made Co.
A small brand that should definitely be on your radar is Best Made Co., which offers a great selection of outdoor apparel of its own design and from a few other brands. You can choose from down vests and pullovers to waxed jackets, layering-friendly henleys and thermals to wool sweaters and field shirts and jackets. The shop also stocks gear like belts, gloves, snow boots, socks, and even knives and axes for the truly outdoor-inclined (or those who just want to be prepared).
If you’re looking for a brand with serious fashion world credibility, consider one that’s a member of the CFDA. Apolis is a menswear brand with a unique social mission to create social change through business. The brand might not be your go-to for mountaineering expeditions, but for shorter expeditions into the outdoors, you can rely on its signature wool jackets (which, incidentally, can layer well with your 9 to 5 uniform, too). And if you’re looking to do some one-stop shopping, you can also rely on Apolis for tees, blazers, ties, belts, scarves, and bags.
Dating back to 1897, Filson is a perennial favorite among guys who need gear that can stand up to the weather, particularly in the brand’s hometown of Seattle. You might know the brand best for its rugged briefcases and luggage, but it also manufactures a wide range of beautifully-crafted clothing, too. Think field shirts and flannels, mackinaw jackets and tin cloth coats, plus wool tin cloth vests for extra warmth. If a slim fit is important to you, look out for Filson’s Seattle fit (as opposed to its Alaska fit) for a slim cut that still allows for some cold-weather layering.
Another classic American brand is Woolrich, which was founded in 1830. The brand offers a range of clothing, like wool shirts, down parkas, shirt jackets, sweaters, vests, and canvas or wool pants. It also manufactures a number of different products that are fully made in the U.S., including collaborations with FairEnds, Westerlind, and other notable makers of outdoor products. And if it’s accessories that you need to stock up on, consider Woolrich for bags, work boots, blankets, and socks.