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Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2014 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Jan. 21 – 25. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and upload the articles to our searchable archives.
Slumming it in a pair of gym shorts and a T-shirt is now only acceptable in the man cave.
That kind of thing is for boys, and the outdoor industry caters to men — bona fide dapper dudes, if you will.
“Real men care about how they look,” said Kate Larramendy, Horny Toad’s design director. Plus, added Heather VanHelvoort, product designer at Aventura and Ecōths, “Men want to look fashionable just as much as women.”
Chic lifestyle offerings from outdoor brands aren’t just for the ladies anymore. Men aren’t stuck with hiking pants and technical shirts. Now they have their own slimmed-down, better-fitting silhouettes in shirts, pants and jackets. Plus, stretch has made its way over to men’s pants to offer a more comfortable fit. And a range of undercover technical blazers offers urban bike commuters style and performance.
“Things seem to be getting more tapered and slimmed down a little bit,” said Josh Sweeney, sales manager at Hippy Tree.
Pants are cut-to-fit yet cozy in fall ’14.
“Guys are really getting comfortable with a fitted pair of pants,” said Donna Fitch, vice president of merchandising at Woolrich. “We’re not talking skinny at all, just something closer to the body.”
Hippy Tree is blending its cotton and polyester pants with Spandex for better fit in the Ranger Pant (MSRP $75) and Scout Pant (MSRP $70). Both pieces look like traditional five-pocket jeans, but have performance elements like a diamond crotch gusset on the inside of the leg.
Mountain Khakis brings stretch to its Camber Collection in the Camber 105 Pant (MSRP $65) with stretch twill, and the Camber 107 (MSRP $70) with stretch canvas. The company’s co-founder and product designer, Noah Robertson, said that stretch helps make garments more durable by providing some give in the high-impact seam areas.
“Consumers are looking for products that have a long lifespan,” Robertson said. “In today’s economic challenges, people want well-made clothes.”
Shirts to pair with those pants aren’t boxy and billowy — they’re tailored.
Blazers, light jackets and sweaters are readily available for the man who likes to layer.
Smartwool’s Woodland Ranch Half Zip (MSRP $150) is a retro, classic piece as is Patagonia’s Campbell Creek Coat (MSRP $300), a merino/nylon piece with a relaxed fit and herringbone pattern.
Lightweight, simple sweaters will remain a wintertime staple for men long after fall 2014 is gone.
The Neve DesignsHarrison (MSRP $250), a merino wool cardigan, is a throwback piece to be layered with a light shirt underneath and a blazer or dress coat on top. The simple Hunter Sweater (MSRP $138) has subtle textured stripes and can fit into any man’s wardrobe, from grandpa to grandson.
Ecōths highlights its Maddox Sweater (MSRP $89), which pairs nicely with its Everett Long Sleeve button-down shirt (MSRP $75) and its Grady Cord pant (MSRP $89).
As bike commuting rises as an outdoor part of urban culture, brands are reaching out with solutions. “Riding a bike to get to work, you need performance but you don’t want to look like a tech geek or safari tourist,” said Mark Galbraith, general manager at Nau.
Nau’s Transporter Blazer (MSRP $325) looks like a wool work jacket rather than a classic suit jacket. It’s classy enough for the office yet technical enough for the bike ride there in colder weather.
A great midlayer for the bike commuter is ExOfficio’s Kahve Hoody (MSRP $125) or the Kahve Quarter Zip (MSRP $115), both of which contain the company’s Java Tech coffee-infused yarn to increase warmth and odor management.
Eider’s Danay Jacket (MSRP $399) is great for the urban commuter with a waterproof membrane, removable hood, two-way zip, inside pocket for safekeeping and two oversized pockets on the outside. It’s a mix of duck down and synthetic insulation.