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Awkward tow-path encounters

Fleeces are tedious family trips to see a Neolithic henge monument. Fleeces are flasks of soup, inadequate mobile phone coverage and feigning interest as the lock keeper oh… so… slowly… opens his water door. Fleeces are storm-proof pouches containing an emergency whistle endorsed by Bear Grylls.

When you’re alone, walking along a quiet towpath, fleeces are that moment when another walker slowly approaches and you have to decide whether to look them in the eye and mumble a greeting, or grit your teeth, stare at the path and pretend it’s not happening.

Or are fleeces something else now?

According to Japanese brand Naissance fleeces are now, “premium fleece fabric”, “super soft handle”, “hand warmer pockets with zip closure” and “full front zip closure.” All of which still sounds like a fleece to me. But even for a non-fleecist like myself, the more I look at this fuzzy, grey action-jacket, the more I see a place for it in my anti-action lifestyle.

As is typical to my styling signature, I’d want to ‘dress it up a bit’. Team it with trousers, rather than jeans, maybe get a shirt going on underneath rather than a tee. Of course, the trousers would have to be loose and either straight cut, or gently tapered. And the shirt would have to be something neat, but not formal – a chambray perhaps.

Put simply I’d never wear this fleece with anything one would typically wear with a fleece. That way the fleece becomes a new thing – fleece nouveau.

Accessorise with a pair of ‘deluge’ over-trousers, some Berghaus walking trainers and an account at Blacks and it’s just a fleece. And if that’s the way you roll, good for you. Enjoy those awkward tow-path encounters.

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