Running the Rule Over This Season’s Coziest Fleece Gear

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Curated and photographed at the Highsnobiety New York office, “Test Drive” is a series where we try on our favorite items of the season.

Fall is upon us, which means it’s time for fleece to defend last year’s title as the hottest piece of apparel. Fleece jackets and vests have long been a staple in mountain communities, as well the WASP-y areas of the Northeast, but last year they hit peak ubiquity among the fashion crowd.

You can trace the fleece’s rise to normcore, which has evolved more into gorpcore with an emphasis on utilitarian and functional outdoor gear. At the border of these two is Shia Labeouf, with his penchant for Patagonia fleeces and hiking boots. For some, embracing the fleece has meant going straight to the source, with heritage outdoor brands like Patagonia, The North Face, and Columbia. Premium Americana devotees like Kapital have also seen more attention paid to their fleeces, as have streetwear brands that have long worked with the piece like Supreme and Stüssy. And finally there are the high fashion brands — everyone from Louis Vuitton to Alexander Wang, from Coach to Stella McCartney — who have fully ran with the trend.

“I think it’s just something that immediately makes sense. When you look at fleece, it just looks warm and cozy,” says Lawrence Schlossman, one half of Failing Upwards, brand director at Grailed, and noted fleece enthusiast, “It’s universal to want to look like a fucking sheep.”

Whatever your budget is, there’s a fleece for you. And even if you go more trendy than classic, you can still consider this an investment. Fleeces may lose some steam, but they’ll never go the way of the Balenciaga Triple S.

Here you have the classic pattern from plaid flannels rendered in fleece, taking the signature lumberjack look and making it fashion. Mix it up with different materials, patterns, and standout shades (Alyx above) for a look that’ll truly pop.

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