Would You Wear An Anorak?

Practical, weather-proof layering is officially on trend. But SL’s Fashion Editor Charlotte Collins isn’t convinced…

It’s not unusual for functional pieces to enter the fashion atmosphere. Trainers, puffer coats and bum bags have all held court as practical style must-haves, but there’s a new trend in town that’s going to have to work harder than the rest to convince this fashionista. Anoraks are fast becoming the coat of the season, surpassing conventional trenches and dusters to be the directional layer of choice. But with all its touristy connotations, this is one style I’m not certain can shed its geeky past.

From unflattering A-line fits to a stream of in-your-face colours, the style has few redeeming qualities. Toggles are inherently un-chic, and there’s just nothing grown-up, polished or glamorous about layering up in an oversized plastic bag. Even the street style stars who’ve braved the design, propagated by heavyweight designer names like Burberry and Balenciaga, don’t quite manage to pull it off; teaming the look with feminine separates, it’s one clash that doesn’t fall into the mismatched-but-cool category.

This isn’t the first time weather-specific trends have been a hit. Chanel’s Perspex accessories were a runway favourite last season, plus oversized down coats have become a fashion-forward winter staple thanks to Vetements, Off-White and other street-influenced brands. In fact, that sports luxe look championed by Demna, Virgil and other contemporary designers is the space in which practical styles have been allowed to shine, from head-to-toe tracksuits to the current dad trainer trend – products which, until given the high-end seal of approval, were considered downright ugly in design.

To give the waterproof jacket some credit, it does have a place in the festival fashion hall of fame, thanks to Alexa, Poppy and the Glasto set. Picture a moody Liam Gallagher, a wellie-clad Kate Moss – it doesn’t get much cooler.

But that doesn’t mean I’m getting in line for one just yet – I haven’t exactly got my Wilderness ticket in hand. If you are festival-bound this summer, bright coloured options will fit the bill – particularly for UK-based events. And if, unlike me, you’re tempted to add an anorak to your day-to-day coat arsenal, my only advice is to avoiding those feminine accompaniments – stick to boyfriend jeans and leather accessories to channel the street-inspired look.

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Inspiration: AriViere.com/Blog, ManRepeller.com, En.Vogue.FR
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