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- Patagonia has long been a cult-favorite brand among nature lovers and outdoor adventurers, but if you've been paying attention to street-style trends as of late, you'll know there are also plenty of folks who shop there for fashion reasons alone.
- It seems that Patagonia is leaning into its popularity among style-driven shoppers with a new collection called Fleecelab, but they're not sacrificing their values to do it.
- The Fleecelab Collection uses sustainable materials like recycled polyester, recycled wool, and reclaimed down to create high-quality, fashion-forward styles that have a low impact on the planet.
- We put three of the new designs — the Retro-X Fleece Pullover, Woolie Trucker Jacker, and Woolie Chore Coat — to the test in our everyday lives and found them to be just as warm, comfortable, and functional as Patagonia's more technical gear.
For the past several decades, Patagonia has been known largely for its extremely well-made, eco-friendly, and outdoor-ready clothing and gear. But the reality is that a good portion of the people who wear Patagonia are less interested in scaling rock faces or trekking into the unknown and are more interested in simply looking good and feeling comfortable.
While many of Patagonia's existing technical styles naturally lend themselves to casual wear, the brand is finally putting more emphasis on casual style rather than performance with a new collection called Fleecelab.
The new Fleecelab Collection combines Patagonia's sustainable approach to clothing with fashion-forward designs for men, women, and kids. Materials used include recycled polyester, recycled wool, and recycled duck and goose down (reclaimed materials from down products).
We put three of the new designs — the Retro-X Fleece Pullover, Woolie Trucker Jacker, and Woolie Chore Coat — to the test in our everyday lives and found them to fashionable, comfortable, and super warm. Keep reading for our full reviews.
Review of the Shelled Retro-X Fleece Pullover, $159:
Over the last few years, Patagonia has become one of my favorite brands for fleeces, but I have to be honest: I am far from an outdoorsman or a mountaineer. Of course, Patagonia is a true outdoors brand at heart, but it was the timeless, casual style of the pieces that made me fall in love with the brand — not their technical performance specs.
Compared to the original Retro-X jackets, this Shelled Retro-X Pullover version has a stylish yet functional fleece hood with drawstrings, kangaroo-style front pockets, and a polyester shell on the inside.
From a design standpoint, it's a wardrobe staple that literally anyone can pull off with their favorite jeans, sneakers, or boots. I dressed very casually by pairing my fleece with a MoMA x New Era Yankees hat, my favorite denim, Outerknown Selvedge S.E.A. Jeans, and "Cool Grey" Air Jordan 4s (not pictured).
Aside from the aesthetic attributes, the Shelled Retro-X pullover is extremely warm. In fact, it's the warmest fleece I currently own, and this isn't my only Patagonia fleece. The first time I wore the fleece, I completely underestimated just how warm it would be by wearing it layered under a jacket, and I quickly overheated. The second time around, I left my jacket behind and I was perfectly warm in chilly fall weather.
I always hope for a mild winter, but when the temperatures drop well below freezing, this is my go-to mid-layer. —Amir Ismael, Insider Reviews reporter
Review of the women's Woolie Trucker Jacket, $89.50:
This woolie trucker jacket is one of those items that, at first glance, could be from either Patagonia or an upscale chain like Aritzia. It's cropped, tailored, and fits into the rising trend of trucker jackets in nontraditional fabrics. But it's also highly functional; it's warm enough to verge on hot when worn under a peacoat in 30-degrees, and compact enough to be tucked into my tote on the go. And while it looks stylish enough to be found at a trendy fashion boutique, I appreciate that it's a more ethical choice made with recycled wool and from a responsible supplier. —Mara Leighton, Insider Reviews senior reporter
Review of the men's Woolie Chore Coat, $199:
A lot of times, recycled nylon, polyester, and/or wool is awfully scratchy. It really hasn't ingratiated itself to me in the past, but this stuff is different. Patagonia's Chore Coat offers a warm, electric-blanket-like, narcotic comfort that suddenly has me — a barefoot-walking, summer-loving soul to boot — screaming "Bring it on, winter!"
It's a loose, homely sort of look, and probably not something you'd want to wear on certain occasions, but the pocket size and placement makes it great for, well, chores, I suppose. I've worn it tinkering around in the yard, working on my skiff, and on chilly fall days on the beach before and after surfing. It's a delightful piece out of which I'll get a ton of use.
If you do decide on getting one of these things, consider erring on the smaller side with size. I went with large, which I can usually pull off, but it's extremely oversized and looks a little cloak-like, and medium would have been better. But hey, you do you. — Owen Burke, senior Insider Reviews senior reporter