The down jacket has just got a whole lot better – from thick, bulky and unflattering to lightweight, slim-line and technical and there are now flattering shapes, with and without hoods, some of which pack away into their own pocket or tiny bag when not in use.
A lightweight down jacket is the modern chic way of staying warm on your way to the gym or at the weekend with jeans and on from there to the store and more. It’s ‘athleisure’s’ answer to a wool coat – and you’ll see it everywhere from town to country.
Make sure before you hit ‘buy’ that you know exactly what you want -
Do you want a lightweight jacket that packs away?
Do you absolutely have to have a hood?
What are you likely to wear underneath? Do you want a jacket you can just slip over your gym clothes to come home in and to wear with jeans when out for a brisk walk at the weekend? In which case look for one that will keep your neck warm.
My preference is for one of the new lightweight jackets – it doesn’t have to pack away, but it does have to have a hood and I may wear it with a roll neck or scarf, but I don’t want to have to, so it does have to keep my neck warm.
Colour – You can find every type of colour and finish from the most technical jackets to the least expensive. I always go for neutral black, grey or navy, but there are some seriously good colours, glossy and metallic finishes around.
These are short, sassy down jackets which work with everything. The higher up the price range the more technical they should be. You can be certain that a jacket from a brand such as Patagonia or The North Face is designed to a very high specification where keeping you warm is concerned. The great thing is that they have become fashion forward as well as the designer brands.
Having said that one of my all time favourite brands for cold weather clothing is Uniqlo with their Ultra Light Down – there really isn’t anywhere better to go particularly if you’re on a budget.