Winter Style 1: Bracing The Cold With Dash

TNF hoodie

The North Face M Lighten Hoodie, one of the more fashion forward pieces in the brand’s current autumn/winter collection

By Raiment Young

The death of The North Face (TNF) co-founder Douglas Tompkins two days ago has brought attention to the brand that, in Singapore, is very much associated with outdoor gear and winter wear (and the best looking crampons or ice grips for non-snow shoes). Mr Tompkins was reported to be in a kayak that capsized in a freezing lake in the Patagonia region of southern Chile. He succumbed to complications from hypothermia and died in the hospital where he was sent to.

The ensuing media attention (Mr Tompkins, incidentally, is the husband of Sue Tompkins—both founders of Esprit) prompted me to visit The North Face store at the refurbished Marina Square. I have never really taken a close look at TNF in Singapore until this morning, and I was pleasantly surprised to find some rather forward looking clothes. I am singling out the M Lighten Hoodie (above), a rather light, 57% polyester, 43% recycled polyester (known by the trade name Repreve) double-knit hoodie, so tech-bent that it could have come out of the more hyped NikeLab. This hoodie is fashioned with the requisite dry tech—in this case, TNF’s own FlashDry Eco treatment, but it is the styling that truly drew my attention.

There’s the gradient print: subtle but completely appealing to my graphic sense, and more so as I am not keen on all-black pullovers. What truly sealed the deal for me is the front zip placement. It is off-centre, and underscored by a trim of white that partially traces the V-shaped seam across the chest. When unzipped, there’s an attractive asymmetric neckline that works extremely well with either a shirt or tee underneath. And there’s also the hoodie itself; it’s designed to sit flat on your back, plus the zippered side pockets, placed on the side seams—perfect for securing valuables.

In Japan, The North Face is a brand I am partial to and take note of. There is the Japan-only The North Face Standard and the Nanamica-designed The North Face Purple Label, both so imbued with the refinement of the Japanese-led re-imagination of American work and outdoor wear that I am constantly drawn to them. The Gucci-crowd may go for Moncler and the winter holiday first-timers may throng Uniqlo, but for some of us, there’s The North Face.

RIP, Douglas Tompkins.

The North Face M Lighten Hoodie-AP in Black Tri Matrix, SGD186, is available at The North Face stores. Product photo: The North Face. Collage: Just So