When I was in high school, North Face fleece and puffy jackets were All The Rage. I used to play a game with one of my friends called "spot The North Face" in which we'd sit in the hallway between classes, or camp out in, say, the yearbook office (yeah I'm still a nerd, so what?) and count the many North Face logos on students as they passed. 38, 39, 40, etc. Fun game, huh. So anyways, North Face used to be the coolest affordable luxury known to teens, tweens, the college crowd and beyond. North Face ranked highest on the outdoor-sports wear totem pole, with brands like LL Bean, Eddie Bauer and Land's trailing waay behind as far as the coolness factor was involved. North Face's only rival was the equally expensive Patagonia brand.
That was then, this is now. I still see North Face being sported by a lot of girls, oftentimes paired with Uggs and a Coach purse. Which isn't to say it isn't "cool" anymore, because I think North Face has done a good job of maintaining it's image as a high-quality, dare I say practical performance brand. In doing so, it has remained on the short list of the cold-weather dwelling fashionable set. But like most "cool" things, I would argue that Northface no longer commands the attention it once did. I should add that I myself have never owned a North Face product, but friends who do swear by the comfort, warmth and style that North Face provides.
Oh, but would I drop $199 for the jacket above? I think not. Would I wear it if I got it as a gift? Of course. I love functional outerwear regardless of the label, which is why I have to give Northface a definitive, cough, "Sure, why not."
Northface: Yea or Nay?
[Featured above: The North Face Nuptse Down Jacket at REI.com, $199.00]