If you’re thinking about windbreakers there’s a good chance you’ve got 80s and 90s fashion in mind. But like most items of clothing, the windbreaker jacket’s conception was born not from the dictates of fashion but through a functional need.
Early windbreakers were usually found close to a stadium or training ground. It was here that fans, coaches and athletes found a need for a lightweight type of jacket. The jackets needed to be more portable than a traditional parka, while retaining some level of protection against the elements. With spectator sports seeing huge growth in the 1970s it was here that windbreakers – in the form that we know them today – grew to became wardrobe staples worldwide.
Before the 1970s, jackets had been limited to traditional types such as rain coats, parkas and flight jackets. These were typically made from natural materials like cotton, leather, wool and rubber. But by the 70s, synthetic materials like nylon and polyester, derived from petrochemicals had become commonplace and cheap, making jackets like the windbreaker possible. Early windbreaker jackets were basic, often made with a cotton lining, snap buttons and a simple print or crest.
simple 70s windbreaker with chain stitching
But the 80s saw windbreaker jackets re-imagined as they evolved from functional clothing into fashion statements. Polyester could be easily produced and felt modern which made it a popular and contemporary choice for designers looking to create bolder-is-better style jackets. 80s glam rock with its angular shapes and shoulder pads was a common source of inspiration. As was hip-hop with its over-sized fits and penchant for sportswear styling. The 80s and 90s also saw liberal experimentation with color, with designers cranking up the contrast using primary colors and pushing boundaries even further with party-ready neons.
There’s no doubt that it was here in the 80s and 90s that heralded the peak era of the windbreaker jacket. But alongside the many hits, there were plenty of misses too. In creating our popular retro windbreaker jackets we studied everything history had to offer and that informed our creative process. We studied many original 80s and 90s windbreakers, dissecting their colorways, the textiles used in their production as well as the many different shapes and fits. From our arduous labours we cherry picked the best flavours of the 80s and 90s, while side-stepping those best left in the past.
With respect to colorways, our Pastel Windbreaker marries a harmonious palette of subtle pale shades while in contrast, our Multi-Color Windbreaker screams high-energy with its nostalgic clash of vivid shades.
In terms of construction; the jackets are made from a modern type of polyester as we opted for a thicker exterior rather than a cheap-feeling shell. The jackets provide plenty of protection against the wind as well as some light protection against rain. To make the jackets more breathable we chose a lightweight mesh interior that’s soft to touch.
For the fit, we felt it wouldn’t feel like an authentic, faithful windbreaker if we didn’t look to the 80s and 90s for this. That’s why we picked a boxy type fit. Our windbreakers are generously sized – but not over-sized – and cut in a way they are made to hang loosely off the frame.
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