Scandinavian simplicity combined with Italian craftsmanship - DressLikeA

Down parka jacket - Ralph Lauren RLX

Last Friday I wrote shortly about parka jackets. And earlier I have posted my thoughts about the Aspesi Lambrettone parka I acquired last spring. Today taking a bit different angle, getting ready for winter and going full casual.

Most of my winter jacket are more on the formal side. So for quite a while I have been looking for a new casual and warm winter coat. In addition to that Aspesi jacket I don't really have anything in my rotation that would be fully appropriate to wear for example with denim and chunky knitwear. Especially for those days when it's snowing and temperature fall under -10° degrees my selection has been lacking a decent option. A while ago I got a chance to try new down parka jacket from Ralph Lauren RLX line via Zalando. Even though the winter is not really even here yet, it is a good time to take a little closer look of the jacket and what I got.

Ralph Lauren military green down parka jacket

Olive green is a versatile color for a winter. Always appropriate to combine with shades of blue, brown and gray.

Hood up - Ralph Lauren down parka jacket

Casual weekend wear – down parka jacket with roll neck sweater and light colored denim.

Polo Ralph Lauren RLX down parka jacket

What I am taking a look at here is a military green down parka jacket by Polo Ralph Lauren RLX. The idea of RLX line is to unite the highest standard of luxury, technology and style. I am not that fond of commercial description texts but when someone – in this case Ralph Lauren – says “from cutting-edge functional gear to professional athletes to exceptionally luxe lifestyle apparel for modern living RLX defines the next evolution of design with a philosophy focused on purity of form, unrivaled construction techniques and world’s most innovative fabrications” it raises (positive) expectations.

First of all I need to say that there really ain’t any good commercial photos of the jacket online. So before I got it in my hands I was a bit skeptical. Or at least unsure how it would look and feel in real as the shell fabric looks quite plastic in many shots one can find. Fortunately it looks and feel way better in real.

First impression after opening the package was that the jacket is quite heavy. But that’s how a down parka jacket should be. The water-resistant shell of the jacket is made of polyester and lining is 100% nylon. The jacket is fully lined and filled and the fill is made of 75% grey duck down and 25% other feathers. The fill power – that measures the loft of the down – is 650. To put it shortly, this jacket should keep you warm even during those really cold and windy winter mornings. The jacket features a detachable hood with snap-off trim. In case you don’t like the hood or the trim, both can easily be removed. By removing the hood one can actually make the jacket look like an interpretation of a classic M-65 field jacket. The trim is made of faux-fur so it is suitable even for the guys who do not like fur farms. And together with the fleece lined stand collar it will still give you shelter against the wind and cold.

In addition to the basic facts there are two details worth mentioning and praise. First of all the interior ribbed hand gaiters. A nice detail that also helps in case the sleeves are too long. Another little detail that makes a nice difference when the weather gets colder is the snapped storm placket that one can open and close even with gloves on.

Down parka jacket by Ralph Lauren - pocket and hood details

Dark blue x Olive green.

Ralph Lauren RLX down parka jacket - fur collar

If I got to choose, the fur would be genuine.

Ralph Lauren down parka jacket details - buckled self-belt

Buckled self-belt – nice and personal detail to the jacket.

Down parka jacket for casual wear

In terms of overall look and design the jacket is quite clean and simple. Still it is mainly intended for casual use. The jacket meets the criteria of so-called city parka jacket but I still would not pair it with formal clothing such as suits or sport coats. Only exception is if you happen to have BMW X5. If you need to wear an overcoat to clean the car out from snow before heading to the office, you can wear down parka like this over your suit. On the other hand this down parka jacket is definitely appropriate to pair with your sport coat, denim and roll neck sweater. And the result would still be something that could be described as “smart casual”. But if you want to play safe, combine it with heavier cotton slacks, knitwear and suede boots.

In terms of fit the jacket is pretty much like most of Polo Ralph Lauren garments. This means that garments are basically true to size but loosely fitted. The jacket is available in sizes from S to XL so I chose to go with size small. Before the jacket arrived I hoped that it would not be too big or sloppy. And probably I would have taken XS if it was possible. This because I like even my outerwear to fit quite slim. Luckily there was no XS as in fact the S size fits me just fine. Only the sleeves could be shorter. One thing that helps with the fit and also makes the jacket aesthetically more pleasing is the fact that it features so-called raglan sleeves. There is maybe some extra space on the waist but with the buckled self-belt and interior drawcords that’s quite easily handled. And like this it is easy to fit even more chunky sweaters underneath the jacket when heading outside.

I have now been wearing the jacket for a few times. So far the weather has been quite warm so I can’t really tell anything about how the jacket survives cold. Maybe during Christmas time I will get to test those features as well. Until that I will wear it with joy and not worry about the cold.

Wearing Ralph Lauren RLX Rover down parka jacket

Maybe the real winter is still on its way.

Military green down parka jacket for casual wear

Simple and clean - roll neck sweater combined with down parka jacket.

Brand Diaries by Zalando

I don't usually do strictly "commercial collaborations". At least not with brands or actors I don't personally know the people behind the brands. But as mentioned this post has been done in collaboration with Zalando and Polhem PR in Finland. In collaboration in a way that I got the jacket featured through them. One reason for this - let's call it collaboration - was the fact that earlier in the fall Zalando launched a new series called brand diaries. The series started with three well-known brands including Levi's, Topshop and Ralph Lauren. All three brands were featured through representatives of these three iconic fashion brands. For the feature Zalando asked these representatives to talk about their style in the context of a different city: New York, London and San Francisco. To represent their view Ralph Lauren chose Adam Gallagher, one of the most famous #menswear-blogger in the industry. As for many Ralph Lauren has always been one of my favorite brands and favorite designers. I don't nowadays really wear that much RL clothing anymore but still every time I travel to a city where there is a Ralph Lauren store, I visit it. So that's the main reason I decided to take this chance.

Referring to the brand diaries-series, on the video below you can see Adam Gallagher's thoughts about style and also see the different outfits he chose and styled for the campaign. As I have now checked through the video a couple of times myself I thought I might conclude with a couple of thoughts about it. I guess it is true that anybody can dress-up in an outfit and try to make it fashionable, as said in the video. I also share the thought that accessories can be a way to make your outfit stylish instead of fashionable. But even more - as said multiple times - being stylish starts from the right fit. No accessories can make you look good unless you are wearing clothes that fits you. Secondly you need to take care that you are dressed according to the occasion and environment. Ripped jeans and a down-parka are definitely appropriate when heading for a weekend to the countryside. But for a business the same outfit - no matter whether it fits you or not - would not make a case. After you have nailed these two things that might sometimes sound like foregone conclusions, you can start playing with accessories and those other little details.

And just to be clear, I think Adam Gallagher pretty much nails all the aspects - fit, occasion engagement and details - on that video.

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