I wrote “I wear Arc’teryx and prefer fleece” on my About.me page recently without much thought. Ever since, the sentence has been resonating with me. These six words say more about me than I first realized.
“What does Arc’teryx mean?” you ask. Well, according to arcterxy.com the company is “Named for ARCHAEOPTERYX LITHOGRAPHICA, the first reptile to develop the feather for flight, freeing itself from the constraints of the horizontal world.”
Arc’teryx is a Vancouver-based, outdoor clothing company that manufacturers high quality, technical apparel for outdoor enthusiasts and athletes – back country skiers, hikers and climbers. Their garments are sold around the world and, in the opinion of many, are the best.
I am not a backcountry skier. I do like day hikes. And, I don’t rock climb. But, I am outdoors a lot either cycling or walking city streets. I am your atypical Arc’teryx customer. I own a Gore-Tex, hooded jacket, a jacket made from a resilient, stretchy material with pockets on the arms (apparently made for the Canadian Army), a full-zipper, long sleeve fleece top, a warm, insulated mid-layer jacket, two pair of wind pants, a pair of gloves, a pair of shorts, a fleece toque, a cap and, a t-shirt. All of these items are colour coordinated and can be mixed and matched as necessary. This is my wardrobe. This is what I wear most of the time. About the only time I am not in Arc’teryx is when I am on my road bikes when I am in Louis Garneau bibs and jerseys but, that is another story.
Arc’teryx clothing isn’t cheap. I was once standing next to a well dressed lawyer at a stop light, he in his expensive, finely tailored navy blue suit and, me in my Arc’teryx GoreTex jacket, fleece top, gloves and wind pants. I would wager my outfit cost more than the lawyer’s.
I never purchase Arc’teryx items at full retail. They have an outlet store in the city that each year has several clearance sales. There are long lineups all weekend long but it is well worth the wait. Items are sold 30-50% off. That’s when I buy. Every year I add an item to the collection.
“And why fleece?” you ask. Well, it’s very strong, holds warmth and dries quickly, which is why it was originally used by outdoor enthusiasts instead of wool. It keeps me warmer than wool and other fabrics. Its light weight and extra warmth make it a good choice for outdoor enthusiasts. I wear it all year. Even the astronauts wear fleece underwear.
Wearing Arc’teryx and fleece says a lot about me.
- I enjoy the outdoors and like to move.
- I am practical. I would rather be warm and dry than look fashionable.
- I like nice things. Arc’teryx is expensive and so are my bikes and accessories.
- I am an astute shopper and, never pay full price for anything (except perhaps my daughters Christmas presents).
- I prefer to support local businesses.
- I am not a fashion hound.
If I were to add these characteristics to a online dating profile, I wouldn’t get much interest. No matter. I am outside, warm, dry and moving.