Want a jacket for brisk summer nights and even-brisker fall mornings? Get this one now, before it sells out again.
SHOP IN NAVY $199, backcountry.com
Welcome to The Esquire Endorsement. Heavily researched. Thoroughly vetted. These picks are the best way to spend your hard-earned cash.
Folks, gather round. Circle up. Take a knee. I've got some important news: It's fleece season. Fleece season? In May? Hell yeah! For one thing, climate change means we all get to enjoy wild swings in temperature year-round. A balmy today may give way to a brisk tomorrow, so do like Scar in The Lion King advises and be prepared. But even more immediately, there's a good chance you, like so many of us, are cooped up at home all the damn time nowadays. And while robes and hoodies are always going to have their place, a fleece jacket is a way to break the monotony while maintaining optimal levels of coziness.
Plus—and here's the really crucial part—one of Patagonia's true icons, the Retro-X jacket, is actually available at the moment. If you've ever gone on the hunt for this jacket in the colder months, you know that disappointment follows not far behind. Not so today! Get fleeced, man. Huddle up in your high-pile shell, turn off the lights, and turn on the TV. Go ahead and actually watch The Lion Kingim电竞官网-. Sing along! It's self care. But first, you'll need the jacket.
I am not a Certified Fleece Historian—I never managed to carve out the time to get back to school; life comes at you fast—but I can tell you that the Retro-X sits comfortably in the pantheon of great fleeces no matter which expert you ask (Patagonia's Snap-T pullover also ranks, but tends to sell out less frequently). One of the OGs created by the company that innovated the use of synthetic fleece in the '70s, it's got exactly the kind of throwback vibe that manages (perhaps counterintuitively) to always feel relevant. Once a little bro-y, it's shed those connotations thanks to high-fashion interpretations, but it's the original that I'll always come back to.
Patagonia is well known for its environmental and social activism, and more and more, the products the brand creates are reflecting its various philosophical commitments. The latest iteration of the Retro-X jacket is made from 50 percent recycled materials and Fair Trade certified, so you can feel good about its impact on the planet and people who made it. Consumption in this day and age is increasingly fraught, and you should indeed think about how your own buying habits stack up, but the short version is: If you're going to buy a fleece, this is a good one to choose.
There's a reason so many fashion labels have taken a crack at their own version of the Retro-X: There's some kind of fleecey alchemy going on with it. The tufty, high-pile fleece. The contrasting nylon chest pocket. The stand collar with its own contrast paneling. Taken all together, it's greater than the sum of its parts. It's the kind of jacket you get once and wear for ages, because it's just that cool and just that far outside of the vagaries of the trend cycle. Speaking of: If you really want to feel good about your consumption habits, buy once and buy right. This jacket is the way to do it.