It’s one thing to make a coat that can hold its own in the extremes of all seasons. It’s another thing entirely to do so without making the wearer look like a cross between the Michelin Man and the Pillsbury Doughboy.
For more than 40 years, American heritage brand Penfield has done just that. Born in a small town in Massachusetts – a state that sees some of the harshest winters in all of the USA, with temperatures as low as -8°C – it has long put paid to the idea that form comes second to function.
The brand’s founder, industry legend Harvey Gross, is widely credited as being instrumental in introducing down products to the mass market, now the universal gold standard for gear built for life in the open.
As a result, Penfield produces some of the best coats, jackets, vests and accessories money can buy, making it the perfect starting point for building your own cold-weather wardrobe.
Penfield Autumn/Winter 2017 Collection
Though it pains us to say it, the days are becoming, shorter, greyer and colder. Before you know it, we’ll be in the full throes of autumn/winter, and those post-work beer garden sessions will be nothing more than a distant memory. However, Penfield is playing a large part in easing the pain, with an AW17 collection that’s injecting some colour back into those bleak months.
This season, building on its founding principles as an authentic purveyor of all things outdoors, classic Penfield styles have been subtly reworked, updated and reimagined in a vibrant new palette. Fire orange, phosphorus green and pink feature heavily, while a plethora of new fabrications, textures and treatments point to an ongoing focus on innovation.
Yet despite being built for alpine conditions, Penfield’s stylish designs are casual enough to slot into your weekend wardrobe. And even if you happen to take a wrong turn and end up lost on a frost-bitten mountainside (we assume on the way home from the pub), the high-performance gear means you’ll still be more than suitably attired to deal with whatever Mother Nature throws at you.
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To help you keep up appearances even when the weather is heading south, here are our 10 favourite items from the collection so you can start winter-proofing your wardrobe early.
Equinox In Phosphorus
One of the most powerful weapons in a man’s winter wardrobe arsenal, a high-quality down coat offers unbeatable insulation and protection from the elements. With the best examples equal parts weatherproof and wearable, it’s little wonder these cold-weather wonders are favoured by style-savvy dressers and hardcore outdoorsmen alike.
Having spent more than four decades perfecting a down-to-feather ratio that ensures warmth but does not restrict movement, suffice to say that Penfield’s coats are some of the best on the market.
For AW17 the brand’s Equinox model is back in several vibrant new shades that would work nicely layered over a flannel shirt and finished with dark denim, while also packing extras such as handwarmer pockets and a detachable hood.
Greylock Colourblock In White
Not every forecast calls for the added ballast of a down-filled coat. When the weather is more hail than gale, reach for a solid technical jacket to stay dry.
Garments this functional can be tricky to make stylish, but Penfield always hits the sartorial middle ground perfectly, resulting in jackets that are handsome enough to be worn around town, but high-spec enough to offer real protection when needed most.
The Greylock jacket is capable of repelling whatever force-niner the season throws at you, but is also breathable so you won’t soak yourself from the inside on the daily commute.
Alongside its taped seams, laminated membrane, button-closure and two-way zip, its two colour-blocked options make it ideal for tapping into the sportswear vibes popular right now. Just throw over a crew neck sweatshirt, add a pair of retro runners and you’re good to go.
Blackstone Overshirt In Camo
It’s difficult to pinpoint a menswear staple better suited to the transitional period than a simple overshirt. Light enough to slot under a coat when it’s cold, yet warm enough to wear as a top layer on warmer autumn days, it’s the future classic we couldn’t be without.
Penfield’s Blackstone design typifies the piece’s versatility perfectly and comes in an on-trend camo print. Cut square for a contemporary look and finished with a drawstring hem, it’s is the ideal companion to help you soldier through the unpredictable autumnal climate.
Thurman In Olive
War. What is it good for? Well, outerwear actually. Some of the most enduring styles in menswear have their roots in military applications, and the bomber jacket is a prime example.
But while lightweight nylon versions provide ample insulation as we advance through autumn, by the time temperatures take a nosedive in winter, they are often found to be lacking.
Fortunately, Penfield has created a modern classic that will flank the rest of your wardrobe staples for months to come. A twist on the traditional MA-1 silhouette, the Thurman jacket’s synthetic fill and water-resistant and windproof outer shell is guaranteed to keep even the frostiest of weather at bay.
Breakheart Fleece In Black
You needn’t find yourself in a monsoon to be able to enjoy Penfield’s AW17 collection. In addition to element-beating outerwear, it’s also packed with excellent mid-layers that can be easily piled on and peeled off as and when is needed.
Constructed from a high-loft fleece for unrivalled warmth-to-weight ratio, the brand’s Breakheart fleece – with its high zip neck and Stretch jersey cuffs – undoes years of tarnishing at the hands of ugly outdoors brands.
Layer it over one of Penfield’s graphic T-shirts or sweatshirts for the ultimate normcore way to see out the cold winter days in style.
Gering In Light Gray
It’s hard to imagine a time without knitwear, especially given that it’s one of mankind’s earliest-known forms of all-weather clothing and has remained virtually unchanged over the decades. There’s a reason for that: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
When it comes to keeping the chill at bay while remaining uncumbersome, few fabrics set a watermark as high as lambswool. Prized for its insulating properties and ultra-soft handle, it forms the body of Penfield’s Gering knit.
A cosy alternative to the ubiquitous grey marl sweatshirt, it features a contrast stripe neck, hem and cuff detail, resulting in an overall design that can be dressed up or down depending on what it’s worn with.
Westridge In Navy
Having transcended its layabout stereotype to join the sweatshirt in the menswear hall of fame, the humble hoodie can now firmly be considered a casual wardrobe staple.
Proving that it’s good for more than journeys to the gym or schlepping to the shops, Penfield’s Westridge hoodie takes a minimal approach to design, allowing you to dress it up or down as you see fit.
Crafted from quality 420G loopback cotton and kitted out with all the usual hallmarks – kangaroo pouch pocket, drawstring hood and subtle branding to the sleeve – it ticks all the boxes for a laid-back, winter weekend look.
Taconic In Black
It should go without saying that you’ll need to be able to clad your bottom half in order to have a fully functioning winter wardrobe. And where better to start than with a quality pair of joggers?
At surface level, Penfield’s Hopedale pair offer a reassuringly comfortable option to slip into when the nights draw in, but they can also be used to dress down a weekend look, working effortlessly to balance out an overcoat.
But dig a little deeper and you’ll find that the 100 per cent loopback cotton constructing makes them an equally astute choice for lounging about on the sofa watching Netflix – whatever floats your boat.
Crowley Patchwork Shirt
Any seasoned outdoorsman worth his weight in snow knows that layering is the key to battling extreme temperatures. But there’s more to it that piling on jumpers.
A good shirt forms the foundation of any great cold-weather outfit, and Penfield’s Crowley patchwork design is without a doubt one of the standout pieces from the label this season.
Built using a medley of fabrics including brushed cotton and chambray, it’s the perfect antidote to an otherwise staid outfit.
Dixon Trail Pack In Orange
Layering is a tricky business, chiefly because what goes on often has to come off at some point. When fleeting sun (or sweltering public transport) makes an appearance, it pays to have a bag to hand to stow away excess items.
With one large main and several smaller compartments, a convenient flap over cover to keep what’s inside dry and easily accessible mesh side pockets, the Dixon Trail Pack is ideal for throwing all your autumn essentials in.
You can shop the full autumn/winter 2017 collection now at penfield.com.