What is your perfect design? It is amazing to me that every EHC student knows exactly what they want in designing and creating a Parka and Windbreaker, which are required projects in 2nd Year, Term 5, at EHC. But when it comes to other garments such as dresses and suits, they are very much more open to suggestion. Why is that?
In this part of the world everyone has had a lot of experience with and needs a variety of weather wear and winter gear – coats, jackets, hats, scarves, gloves, and boots – you name it and everyone has one or several in their closet, and has done since childhood. Everyone can list a number of complaints with them as well. There is a very good selection of styles for any purpose or sport on the market, for instance www.superdry.com, and www.canada-goose.com . Why is it then that amongst the great variety of choice, they can’t get it just right for you?
Or can they? If you ask a firefighter, law enforcement or military type about their work wear they would probably say that they have everything they need built in. Pockets, zips, collars, and closures are all the right size and in the right place. These uniforms are specifically made for their specialized purpose AND are designed with input from people who actually do wear them. What a revolutionary idea!
You’d want your pockets to be the right size in the right place? One each for keys, phone, wallet and gloves that are easily accessible to YOU; safely secured with poppers, Velcro or zipper that closes at the right end. Need more pockets, not a problem, where do you want them?
Hoods, detachable or fixed, large enough from collar to top of your head, enough room from the back of your head to your face when you wear it with a toque, with or without a built in brim, with or without drawstrings and toggles, with or without malleable wire frame?
Collars that are high enough in the back of the neck, covers your ears and placed in the right position in the front not to rub skin under your chin ranks high in importance to protect you in freezing minus degree temperatures, wind and rain.
Are your sleeves long enough, and would inside storm cuffs help keep the wind out? Is your jacket free of unnecessary loops which only get caught on everything and hold nothing? Don’t want the wind whistling up the back of your jacket? Could your jacket be warmer in the body, and more breathable in the sleeves? Ladies, does it fit well over your hips and bust line without having masses of bulk in the waistline? Men, is it long enough, too long or just too much fabric? Do you look like an oversize muffin wearing it or are you still humanly shaped in it?
Why hasn’t anyone asked YOU what you want? It may be an impossible ‘ask’ in many ways to mass produce this garment to please everyone – even after doing extensive market research – as each body is unique not only in shape, but also in range of movement, purpose of movement, storage requirements, your running body temperature, length of time and purpose spent out of doors, etc.
Most production line garments have no extra or upgraded materials or labour costs included; they are considered unrecoverable costs, and so simply speaking designs are reduced to being ‘good enough’, where as other brands such as, www.canada-goose.com , are highly reputable and have indeed done their research to make high performance parkas.
There may be an alternative to this dilemma though, and that is to have one custom made for you. For anyone who has worn a parka or windbreaker that uses high quality and appropriate fabric, fits well and has all the right bits in the right places, has also experienced how comfortable and much more pleasurable winter can be with the right outerwear. How great is that!