Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2014 Preview: Winter lifestyle apparel

Elements of fashion: Stylish apparel to take on the day, from commute to conference room. Check out next fall/winter's outdoor lifestyle apparel.
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Leading up to Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2014, SNEWS is previewing some of the top trends and new products you’ll see at the trade show and All Mountain Demo in Salt Lake City, Jan. 21-25. You can access all these articles and more in our digital edition of the O.R. Daily Day 0.

It’s about time for men to catch up with women — in fashion, that is.

“The outdoor guy has moved past looking like he is out in the woods,” said Tom Williamson, vice president of sales and marketing for men’s brand Ecōths. “He wants to look stylish, yet still show that he is of the outdoor tribe.Style has had a huge impact on women’s clothing for the outdoor space, and the men’s is just trying to catch up.”

Lifestyle apparel has been a growing category at Outdoor Retailer, with outdoorsy folks wanting to look less like they hang out with Paul Bunyan and more like they hang out with Brad Pitt. Fashionable women’s options have become plentiful, and now the number of men’s choices is on the rise.

Fall 2014 apparel lines for both men and women feature slim silhouettes, classic and throwback looks and stylish performance pieces for work or bike commuting. Layering is a huge focus for both genders, and many companies are using eco-friendly materials with stretch for comfort.

“Stretch allows us to fit many different body types,” said Noah Robertson, director of product development and co-founder of Mountain Khakis, adding that it provides what everyone is looking for in a pair of pants, which is freedom of movement.

Despite the trend toward modern silhouettes, throwback styles for men and women are in the mix, including boxy, boldly patterned sweaters that are actually lightweight and performance-oriented.

Designers also are chasing commuters. There has been a 62 percent increase in bicycle commuting between 2000 and 2012, according to the American Community Survey, and it’s not always easy for those people to carry a change clothes. They’re demanding stylish options that perform on the way to work and look good around the office.

Finally, sometimes a new accessory refreshes an old outfit.

“Knitwear accessories have been especially appealing to consumers over the past few years because they cost much less than a sweater and can make an entire outfit,” said Lindsay Mason, co-owner and designer at French Knot.

The rise in fashionable knit hats may in part be fueled by increased helmet use on the slopes, said Jennifer Tille of Neve Designs. The helmet is now the utilitarian headwear for skiers and snowboarders during the day, while more stylish knit hats with pom poms, patterned and slouchy designs are donned for après ski.

>> Men’s blazers and sport-inspired light jackets are popular. Nau’s men’s Bomber Blazer (MSRP $325) looks like a wool jacket rather than a classic suit jacket. SmartWool has the men’s Woodland Ranch Half Zip (MSRP $150).

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>> Stretch adds a contoured fit and freedom of motion are exemplified in Hippy Tree’s Men’s Ranger Pant, a cotton/polyester/spandex-blend piece with a technical gusseted crotch. Mountain Khakis offers its men’s stretch twill Camber 105 pants (MSRP $65).

>> Patagonia focuses on throwback designs with its men’s Campbell Creek Coat (MSRP $300), a merino/nylon piece with a relaxed fit and herringbone pattern.

>> Marmot will launch new items in its City Tech collection for urban professionals who need to look great for work, but also require technicality. The modern women’s Lovenia Jacket (MSRP $250) is sleek and appropriate for the office.

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>> Nordic-inspired, bright-colored sweaters aren’t just for granny anymore. They’ve crawled out of their ’90s cave and will be all over Winter Market. Woolrich’s Motif Mohair Sweater, which is offered with duck, owl and snowshoe designs, is a perfect example.

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>> But sweaters are sophisticated, too, such as the Krimson Klover Pico Hole mohair blend pullover with a cowl neck. Aventura’s Berlin Sweater has a lofty look but lightweight feel.

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>> Tunic styles and loose-fitting tops remain popular for women. SmartWool offers its merino wool blended with nylon and acrylic Mini Dot Hoody tunic (MSRP $220), which can be worn over leggings. Neve Designs’ Bonnie Tunic (MSRP N/A) with a cowl neck is a classy look to throw over your baselayers after a day on the slopes or just for everyday use. Lolë’s Amorigue Tee (MSRP N/A) has that comfy, loose-fitting look that goes so well with skinny jeans or leggings.

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>> Hooded dresses are popular this year, with options from and Horny Toad and Nau. Horny Toad brings the Overpass Hooded Dress and Nau brings its Randy Goat Dress (MSRP $300), the latter with a wool face and recycled polyester back. >> When it comes to hats, French Knot’s Vintage Flourish Hat (MSRP N/A) has intricate embellishments like beads and buttons on a performance yarn that are perfect for the gal who wants to look fancy on a cold day.

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--Ana Trujillo

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