It’s safe to say that we have reached peak anorak. After making a significant return to the runways almost five years ago, military green hooded jackets have turned the streets of Australian cities into runways for on-trend trainspotters.
Order a double macchiato with almond milk at any café near a major university and, while you avoid the look of disdain from the barista with first class honours in making latte love hearts, you will see hordes of men and women shielded from the elements in anoraks, dragging Herschel backpacks behind them.
This is quite possibly the biggest unisex trend since the skinny jean outbreak of the noughties or the more recent Breton shirt plague. The anorak took its time to filter down from the runways (rather like the infamous Cerulean blue sweater in The Devil Wears Prada).
Belgian master Dries Van Noten has been sending out magnificent versions over embellished knits and bold plaids since Alexander Wang was knee-high to a grasshopper but in the past five years everyone has had a crack at making the anorak happen. Fashion saints Kate Moss and Alexa Chung have given the jacket the thumbs up but now they’ve gone from an insider’s option to major mass market.
The conditions for this perfect fashion storm were created by the Normcore trend‘s introduction of designer sneakers to wardrobes everywhere, and the hardcore revival of heavy black boots, both perfect for anchoring any anorak ensemble. Add to this the wild weather conditions along Australia’s east coast and the green jacket has become a student style staple.
Normally I’m not one to support widespread trends, which is why I don’t keep up with the Kardashians or kingdom of Westeros, refuse to quit sugar and withhold all opinions about Donald Trump unless they relate to his hairstyle. But I am completely in favour of the anorak onslaught.
There’s something worth celebrating about a fashion trend grounded in practicality and functionality rather than whether it makes you look sexy. Anoraks are great but not the first choice for people who want to be swiped right on Tinder.
Credit: Getty Images
The anorak is also swervier than Jaden Smith, with equal appeal to men, women and those still figuring it out. And most, importantly, it covers your bum. I’m not talking about body-shaming here. I am a fervent believer in celebrating booties big and small (and do on a regular basis) but in cold conditions anoraks keep tushies of all sizes tucked away from harsh winds.
As a side note, anorak is one of those uniquely British words with a double-meaning that doesn’t translate in Australian, like dogging. An anorak in the UK can be someone with an obsessive interest in a niche topic. So that friend who only watches television shows featuring Rebecca Gibney that have been dubbed into Swedish is an anorak.
There’s nothing niche about the anorak now. It’s a staple, like skinny jeans and those Breton shirts, that’s here to stay. In fact wear one with a striped top and black skinnies and you’re winning.
Watch the full Dries Van Noten AW12 show (ground zero for the classic fashion anorak)
Cover and Main Image Credits: Getty Images