I bought my first Marmot Driclime Windshirt in 2006. With a nylon shell and a surprisingly insulating yet thin lining, it was the perfect jacket for 45-60 degree weather. Still is. I'm on my second one now and I also use it extensively for "winter" cycling, boot camp, and pretty much all outdoor activities. You can almost always find a previous season's version on sale for around $50. In terms of functionality and versatility, it is a clear winner. Reviewersonline strongly agree. The jacket is at least on its 14th version. However, as you can see above, the women's version is not flattering at all. It's boxy, and has the dreaded puffy sleeve cinched wrists combination. I love the thing. But seeing poorly dressed women/moms around the office reminds me that I don't want to knowingly emulate them.
Enter the Nau Lightbeam. At $175, it is 2-3x pricier than the Marmot Driclime. Modern, truly fitted, made of 100% recyclyed polyester, and highly packable, I favor this as a someday upgrade. The striped pucker weave is a unique distinction. See this post on the Nau blog on the inspiration behind the design.
The Zuriik Shug Low Contusion (W) . Zuriik has reimagined the traditional mens oxford shoe by building a canvas upper and slapping a hard leather dress sole to it. And the laces are waxed, of course. The idea is novel, and thus worthy of attention. This shoe's shape is pretty manly, yet the decidedly feminine colors soften it up. Not many companies do a woman's oxford shoe well. It's either still quite masculine (see Frye's Erin), or way too frou-frou and "of the moment" (see Steve Madden's Trouser). The one from Marais USA is quite plain and understated, which I like, but you probably have to dress super cute and girly up top to achieve a stylistic balance. I really adore the Zuriick mens' two-tone black gray version.
Palladium boots. The first image that comes to my mind when I see these military-lite boots is a bunch of FOBs and their weirdly over-patterned and clunky attire. Yep, I grew up around Asian immigrant kids in high school and church. Some of their stuff I liked, what was copied over from Japanese youth culture, and most of it eventually became trendy. What I didn't like were the bright plaids and Palladium fold-over tongue boots. The Baggy style, as they are called, are really goofy looking. However, seeing them displayed tastefully in a lookbook like the one above does sway me a bit. I think the unfolded Pampa version could look good on a man wearing pants. Maybe. Not sure if I or any other women could really pull these off though.
Living in Austin brings me in contact with some really chill dudes, guys who don't really ever dress up and who can get away with wearing faded jeans and threadbare t-shirts to work. Recently I sighted 3 pairs of these Simple Carport sneakers in one week worn by said men. Not only do they look like adult versions of little boys' shoes (cute!), they also appear to be extremely comfortable. Reviews confirm this. The woven hemp and cotton blend fabric lends an even refined air to them. And, the shoe is completely vegan, features recycled PET laces, organic cotton lining and footbed, and a sole made from recycled car tires. The next time your laid-back boyfriend needs to replace his torn up Vans, recommend these deceptive slip-ons.