I never thought it would happen.
Polar fleece hit big at the start of the 90s. I was the urban scholarship kid at a suburban progressive private school, and suddenly everyone was wearing them. I genuinely didn’t understand. I stuck with my 49ers jacket.
Then, a couple of years later, fleece went from a sign of outdoorsy west coast affluence to the $9.99 rack at Old Navy. It didn’t pique my interest any further there. I genuinely couldn’t imagine wanting polar fleece in my wardrobe.
Now, twenty years later, with the retro-mountain-man aesthetic having reached peak hiking boot, I caved. I saw this jacket – the Patagonia Retro-X – on the internet somewhere, and thought, “hey, that’s kind of cool looking.” And the more I thought about it, the more I liked it.
So for those of you checking off signs of the apocalypse: I bought a polar fleece jacket. It’s cozy and pretty good looking, too. I don’t plan to wear it anywhere more formal than the grocery store, but I’m not ashamed of my purchase. I even got a pretty good deal.