Urban Lumberjack/The Fabric of Urban Winter Style

by Tamu McPherson

The outdoor experience meets the city life. These guys look amazing. The vibrant colors of their looks really bring cheer to the city streets.

Afterthoughts: My first impression of these looks were that they each resembled the uniform of a modern-day urban lumberjack. But after I published the post, I took the looks apart and began to appreciate them for the sum of their parts. For example, the top look consists of a skull cap, fatigue jacket, a great pair of indigo jeans and Chukka boots, which were originally worn by polo players. Nothing really screams lumberjack, apart from the jeans, which are vulnerable to this type of fashion assignment because of their iconic identity as the ideal garment for manual labor and/or outdoor activity. Why was I so quick to assign the title to the look? I think the media is responsible for my quick judgment. When I look back on all the films and commercials of my childhood that portrayed loggers (the modern term for the trade), these or similar looks are the standard. And naturally, this uniform spilled over into the way we dressed when we went outdoors.

If we look at the bottom look, a similar story plays out. Here we have a fur pilot’s hat, a gorgeous red and black check sweater, denim jacket and jeans and motorcycle boots. Where’s the lumber jack here? It’s the red/black check sweater (reminiscent of a lumberjack jacket) and the jeans. Where do the motorcycle boots come in? Remember my post below? That’s where: the biker whose style evolves. But it’s more than that, it’s a biker who adapts his/her style to the city, or it’s a girl like me or the gentleman in the image who likes biker style (as influenced by film icons and rock stars) and introduces it into their personal look.

Well all this thinking lead me to the realization that the title of the post is all wrong. Instead of Urban Lumberjack, I should have just gone with “The Fabric of Urban Winter Style.” A title that embodies the hodgepodge of urban dressing that has developed over the last 60 years of American urban fashion (I limit my rambling to American urban fashion because I group up in New York and that’s what I know best). It is a title that references urban fashion’s recent past and explains it’s current love affair with brands like Barbour, Canada Goose, Sorel, and Uggs for example. Hey don’t turn your nose up at the Ugg boot! Well this was just an afterthought. I would love to hear what you think and to hear about your urban style. Maybe we can even reconvene and discuss urban summer style. This summer should be interesting with all the utilitarian looks hitting the streets. xx, Tamu

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