Scandinavian simplicity combined with Italian craftsmanship and tradition

Parka jackets for fall and winter


When days get colder the need for a decent overcoat also grows. One option to consider is a parka (or anorak) jacket. Parka jacket is a type of coat with a hood often lined with fur or faux fur. The hood protects the face from freezing temperatures and wind.

I wrote about about parka jackets about a year ago. Now is a good time to make a little update and review the topic again. Parka jacket - Nigel Cabourn Everest

Even though the words parka and anorak are sometimes used as synonyms, they still are somewhat different garments. Anorak is a waterproof, hooded, waist-length and sometimes pull-over jacket featuring possible drawstrings at the waist and cuffs. Parka on the other hand is a knee-length more or less cold-weather coat. Parka is also typically stuffed with down or very warm synthetic fiber.

Go casual – the classic parka jacket

Originally the N-3B parka also known as snorkel parka was developed in the USA during the early 1950s for military use. N-3B parka refers to a knee-length jacket with an attached hood. Mainly the jacket was made for flight crews stationed in extremely cold areas with temperatures down even to −50 °C. In terms of fit and overall look this kind of parka jackets are suitable especially for more casual combinations and occasions. I personally would not wear them in any formal occasions. If you are heading to your country house for the weekend or to see an ice-hockey game this kind of a jacket is a suitable choice. Put on your chunky roll neck and wear a classic parka over it and you have a perfect go-to-combination. And combination that will keep you warm.

Parka jacket - Nigel Cabourn Everest Parka Jacket - Nigel Cabourn Everest in orange

One of the most well-played parka interpretations by Nigel Cabourn.

The “sleeker” parka jacket (#menswear-parka)

When the parka jacket was developed in the first place it for sure was not meant to be worn in cities. Or in general worn as a a garment one layer over a suit or a sport coat and jeans. However, once again the market has created a demand for new product. Nowadays it is not rare neither provoking to wear parka jacket on your daily trip to office. Many brands have “city” parka jackets and many brands also have their version of a jacket that I call #menswear-parka. A sleeker and less casual option, made to be combined with even a bit more “chic” and dressed up garments on your wardrobe such as flannel trousers , wool slacks and cashmere sweaters.

Suitsupply Parka Jacket

Suitsupply's version of the #menswear-parka from their fall and winter collection 2013. Missed this then and still hope they would bring it back.

The Right jacket for the right occasion

There are multiple brands and multiple different types of parka jackets available on the market. First of all think for what kind of use you are looking the jacket for. What kind of is the climate you live in and what kind of clothes you are willing to combine the parka with.

Below there are again some options for those who are looking for a new parka for this season. The list includes mainly options from "classic winter parka" and "#menswear-parka" categories but also something for those looking for a more casual option.

5x parka jacket- What's your favorite?

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1) Brunello Cucinelli

In terms of those #menswear-approved parka jackets and more sleek options Cucinelli can not be omitted. The "Cortina" down jacket features 180g goose feather fill and water-repellent flannel fabric made from wool with cashmere and silk. This will keep you warm but elegant even if the temperature gets rather cold. A hood with fox fur trim.
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2) Canada Goose Expedition

The Expedition Parka was originally developed for scientists working in research facilities at McMurdo station in Antarctica. This is for sure one the most iconic and well-known parka jackets on the market. Some argue that the popularity has made it a piece too common and trendy, but no one can deny the quality and warmth of this jacket.
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3) Alpha Industries Slim fit N-3B

Interpretation of classic N-3B parka from another iconic brand Alpha Industries. A price-worthy option for those looking a nice and quality-made jacket on a budget.
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4) Woolrich Blizzard parka (via Oger)

Light weight version by Woolrich. Suitable for both - city and country side. Made from 60% cotton and 40% nylon, featuring a detachable hood and fur collar. In terms of color dark blue / navy is a safe bet.
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5) Ten C (via Frans Boone)

A bit different kind of option. Parka jacket for those who are looking for something much more casual. This is a parka jacket to wear not just during the winter but year around. The fishtail Parka was first used in 1951 by the United States Army as weather protection in the Korean War. This version by Italian Ten C is based on another military jacket, the loose-fitting M-65 model and features a longer back and adapts well to variations in temperature. If you prefer to use the jacket also during the colder months, you may want to get an additional liner for it.

And if you haven't yet read the post about Aspesi Lambrettone parka jacket I wrote last winter, check it out. For even more casual occasions and colder days I recently acquired a water-resistant down parka by Ralph Lauren. Read more about the jacket from this post - Down parka jacket - Ralph Lauren LRX.


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