by Debra Lewis –
While 2020 hasn’t been what we expected, some things remain unchanged – the cool, wet weather to come, for one. Not only will a new fall coat or jacket be one the biggest investments in your wardrobe, it will also be the first thing other people see for at least a couple of months. Choosing wisely is important – we want a coat or jacket that will keep us warm and dry in a West Coast fall and winter. We also want to purchase something that we will enjoy wearing because we know it looks attractive and reflects our sense of style. 2020 fashion trends offer many weather-appropriate fall outwear choices. Leather in colours, rich browns and black is an important new trend for fall 2020, and there are many genuine and vegan leather coats and jackets already in the stores. Waterproof or water-resistant puffers and trenches remain popular this year. Look for styling options like detachable hoods that will provide protection from the weather but when removed will give the garment a dressier look. Well-placed toggles can block out wind and rain, and will allow you to alter the silhouette of the garment, making it more or less fitted. A removable lining can increase styling options, and will enable you to wear the garment in different seasons.
During these times, shopping local is more important than ever before. Luckily, when you have decided on your priorities, great fall outwear at a range of price points can be found at several local boutiques.
Sidney’s Moden, focusing on polished, casual women’s clothing for work or leisure wear, offers several options for fall outerwear. Owner-operator, Devon Bird, says she “looks for brands that marry the joy of wearing a fashionable garment with the functionality of something that meets your needs”. The trend, she says, is to own fewer items which have the versatility to be worn on different occasions and for more than one season. Her waterproof rain coat with a detachable hood from Vancouver company AYRTIGHT would look stylish with casual or work wear and could be worn through several seasons. Other options for fall at Moden include leather coats and a puffer with detachable lining by Montreal based brand, Soia & Kyo, and “highly waterproof” rain jackets by Danish brand Ilse Jacobsen.
Style Coast in Sidney also sells outerwear suitable for the West Coast climate and lifestyle. For owner-operators Ron and Nancy Balske, “Fashion and functionality have to go hand in hand.” Ron points out that key functional considerations for a West Coast climate are waterproofing, breathability and warmth. Royal Robbins, a heritage line “born in Yosemite; built to go everywhere” is just one example of a brand found at Style Coast that fits this requirement.
For those interested in the more technical aspects of weather appropriate outerwear, Ron and Nancy can give you information on ratings for all three functions and recommend the garment that will meet your needs. For those who like the visibility to walk safely at night, Ron shows me a Smartwool jacket with reflective flecks that are nearly invisible in daylight but highly reflective at night. Ron stresses that their functional fabrics must also be sustainably sourced. He adds: “We use the store to promote sustainable and ethically sourced outerwear fashions”.
Whatever your needs for the upcoming seasons, and whether your priority is style, practicality, sustainability or all three, there is a perfect garment for you.