Short, sustainable and reversible are the trends for this season's bench coats
In a complete turnaround from last season’s silhouette of long bench coats that resembled sleeping bags more than outerwear, this winter’s must-have coats are characterized by the keywords short, sustainable and reversible.
Short bench coats
For this winter, the trend is short and light-colored bench coats. While the length is standard, the designs are varied — from short bomber jackets that were popular in the 1980s and 1990s to more lightweight styles that can be cinched at the waist with a belt or tie. Puffer-style short bench coats are set to offer a fashionable but bloat-friendly option.
Domestic clothing brands G-CUT and LF’s a.t. corner have released their takes on shorter styles. According to an a.t. corner official, the most popular colors are beige, pink and ivory. 8seconds, another local clothing store, has also released short padded puffer jackets that come in beige, pink and ivory.
A mild November has played to the favor of the shorter styles as it’s simply not cold enough to wear the longer and thicker padded coats of seasons gone by.
The recent craze for retro fashion is also playing a part in the demand for short padded coats.
"Short outerwear, which was popular in the '80s and '90s, is drawing the attention of millennials and Gen Z-ers as the retro trend continues to dominate Korea these days," Choi Eun-jin, head of a.t. corner's design office, said. "Those who are tired of long bench coats are choosing short padded coats as alternatives.”
As the name of the brand — Save the Duck — hints, the Italian fashion brand produces products that are 100 percent cruelty-free. Instead of duck or goose feathers, which are mostly used for down jackets, the company uses plumtech, a special padding that the company has developed to imitate the fluffiness of down.
“Thanks to the use of plumtech instead of feathers, since 2015 we have saved more than 18,000,000 ducks,” reads a post on Save The Duck’s website in June.
Many fashion brands now pride themselves on using feathers from farms certified with Responsible Down Standard (RDS). This certification is issued by the Textile Exchange, a U.S. nonprofit company that promotes textile sustainability. Farms that do not force-feed ducks or geese or pluck their feathers before they are slaughtered for food consumption are eligible for the certification.
A.t. corner used RDS-certified goose feathers for its padded coat collection this season along with outdoor brand Discovery Expedition and Kolon Sport.
Italian fashion brand Herno, which mainly produces bench coats, started its eco-friendly project Herno Globe this year. The outerwear bearing the Herno Globe label uses 100 percent regenerated nylon made from waste from oceans and landfills, recycled wool, degradable nylon that can decompose within five years and recycled nylon that is dyed using natural resources such as onion peels and charcoal.
As for Kolon Sport’s eco-friendly campaign “Noah Project,” the brand released a new collection of down jackets that reused the filling from previous bench jackets. Bean Pole Ladies also launched new jackets and bench coats that incorporated recycled nylon made from used fishing nets.
As the sluggish economy continues amid the Covid-19 outbreak, practical fashion items that can present two completely different looks are garnering attention from consumers. Reversible padded outerwear that can be worn as fleece jackets on one side and as down jackets on the other are especially popular.
Musinsa, a representative online fashion mall popular among younger generations, confirmed the popularity of such reversible outerwear. The online mall provides yearly, monthly, weekly, daily and real-time product rankings based on products' sales, the number of views and reviews. For the first week of November, American casual fashion brand WHO.A.U’s reversible short puffer jacket topped the outer jacket ranking while local fashion brand Covernat's reversible jacket made it to fifth place.
Shinsegae Department Store collaborated with outdoor brand Columbia to introduce a reversible jacket, which can be worn as a fleece jacket or as a windbreaker. Kolon Sport also released a similar reversible bench coat that can also be worn as a fleece jacket.
"There have been many reversible clothing items in the past, but oftentimes, the quality of the inner lining hasn’t been good enough to be actually worn on both sides," Ryu Jae-hyuk, head of the design team at Jill Stuart New York Men, said. "But the recently released reversible jackets are characterized by the high quality of their inner lining, which can be very practical for consumers.”
BY YOO JI-YOEN [firstname.lastname@example.org]