Now that the colder months are here, it’s time to start wrapping up warm, especially when it comes to outdoor activities, and a fleece is your new best friend. It’s the perfect layering item and comes in a host of colours; one to match every outfit if you wish!
A fleece can be one of the most versatile items to have in your wardrobe and can be worn casually, outdoors, walking, or even when visiting the pub.
Of course, this all depends on how you wear it and the pieces you style it with, but fear not as we have you covered!
We’ll show you which fleece goes with what type of outfit, as well as the reasons you should own a fleece if you don’t already! Firstly, let’s look at how fleece material came about and what a fleece jacket was originally like.
The history of fleece material
Fleece material was invented in 1979 and was designed to be a cheaper alternative to wool. Although it is named after the coat of a sheep, the material is actually derived from plastic and is 100% synthetic. Because of its fuzzy nature, it makes a great warmth layer as well as a lining for jackets and coats.
The material can also be made from recycled plastics such as water bottles, making it eco-friendly as well as cheap to make. This means that companies are able to provide fleece jackets in a range of thickness and colour because of the low cost to manufacture.
With technology, clothing companies like Rydale have been able to produce an array of fleece-made items in a range of thickness, from traditional fleece jackets to waistcoats, fleece-lined shirts and jackets to dog jackets! If you really want, you can buy matching fleeces for the whole family, including your pets!
Fleece is a fantastic material that is incredibly wearable. We recommend checking the GSM fleece weight/thickness rating before you buy; you can find this listed in the materials and care section on any fleece product page on our website. While the variation of thickness is one benefit, take a look at several more:
- It insulates body heat: it traps in warm air which is always great for autumn/winter. Keeping the heat in means that you get to stay toasty and warm for a lot longer than usual!
- It gets rid of sweat: it wicks moisture so the fabric doesn’t cling to you. This is what makes it a great item for hiking or climbing.
- It is lightweight: Having a jacket that is portable will always be a positive. Being able to fold a fleece up and stick it in your rucksack or bag is a huge benefit when there’s just a slight chill in the air. How about storing one in your car for those “just-in-case” emergency moments?
- It is quick drying: This makes it great for travelling as you can wash it in a sink and leave it to dry overnight. In a day or so, the fleece will be clean and ready to wear once again.
- It is versatile: Fleeces are fantastic to wear with all outfits, as mentioned in our intro. Because of their versatility, they are perfect for a range of weather conditions too.
- It is durable: It’s hard-wearing because of its man-made fibres. Just make sure to wash it regularly to keep its properties.
- It is a great layering item: Because of its sleek design, fleece jackets and waistcoats are ideal for layering under or over so many items. Wear it over t-shirts and shirts, but perhaps under a winter coat once the colder weather hits.
As you can see, the benefits of fleece material make it an item for multiple environments and styles. However, we know that fleeces can be tricky to wear. Here are a bunch of scenarios you might come across with the solutions to all of your fleece problems!
Make a statement in a bright colour, perfect for autumn/winter walks where visibility is important. For outdoor activity, it is best to buy a thicker material fleece so you can wear layers underneath it, with the jacket being the focal point. On the other hand, buying a thinner fleece means you could wear it under a waterproof jacket, ideal for the colder months!
If buying a neutral colour, this style can go with a wider variety of outfits. First you need to decide on the style you want. We offer a full-zip jacket, an overhead half-zip as well as a waistcoat design. Some have soft trim finishes, but we also offer a range of leather trim fleeces for dressier times.
A full zip-up style can be worn casually or dressed up. Pair it with jeans and trainers for a more casual approach or add it on top of a country check shirt and jumper for a classic, British look.
Choosing a darker shade, such as black, brown or forest, means that you’ll be able to wear it year on year throughout different seasons. Take it out with you during summer in case you need an extra layer in the breeze (it is lightweight after all) or use it as a key layering piece in the winter.
Use it as your outer layer when it is dry or add it underneath a coat for extra warmth. Our Harpham and Huggate styles even have a leather trim, which is perfect for when you need to dress up a little!
An overhead short-zip style is your go-to piece for those occasions that require a dressier look. A classic brown fleece looks great over a white shirt for a relaxed look. Of course, it is not a replacement to wearing a suit, but if you’re off to drinks with friends or are going to a family gathering, and you know it might be a little chilly, the overhead fleece will add an extra touch.
Waistcoat styles are the ideal layer for spring and autumn. Stick one on top of whatever you’re wearing if you’re working outdoors or shooting. It is more freeing than a full sleeve style but you’re still keeping that extra warmth, which is vital in the outdoors. Again, choosing a classic colour means you don’t have to think about your outfit before adding the waistcoat on top!
Last but by no means least, if you’re wearing your fleece when out walking the dog, why not get your pup a matching one? You’ll be the perfect pair out in the countryside!