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The untrained eye

It’s not easy being a fan of The North Face Purple Label. Of course it’s only available in Japan, which makes things difficult enough. But there’s also the fact that goods by The North Face Purple Label often look rather like goods from The North Face. At least, they do to the untrained eye – of virtually everyone on the planet. This has much to do with both ranges’ insistence on using standard The North Face branding. So you could be busting freshly proxy-serviced Purple Label wind-cheater, only for an well-meaning acquaintance to point out that, they too are a fan of The North Face and have a similar jacket and a rucksack to boot.

You are then in the unenviable position of either:

  1. Smiling and nodding and swallowing your fury.
  2. Pointing out that in fact their jacket and rucksack are by The North Face, while your jacket is by The North Face Purple Label, the significantly more fashion-forward, only-in-Japan line designed by Eiichiro Homma of Nanamica.

The first option will lead to stress related illnesses. The second option will make you look like an intolerable twat.

It’s probably sensible for everyone concerned if any purchases you make from The North Face Purple Label look a bit different from the regular range in the first place. Which leads us to this top and hat combo.

To my knowledge there is nothing approaching this level of nonsense in the regular North Face line. Consequently, you should buy it immediately. It’s called the, ‘Mountain Wind Anorak With Hat’ and as you will see, it comprises a sort of long-line, three-quarter length sleeve t-shirt, with a matching bucket hat that attaches to the tee by a snap fastening on a cord. Whether it’s fair to classify a large nylon t-shirt as an anorak is debatable. However the hat on a string thing is genius. If the hat blows off, it’ll just hang there. You won’t have to crawl under beer garden tables like a hobo looking for nubs.

It comes in grey too. Although I think the blue is a safer bet. No idea what the words say down the arms. Looks a bit like ‘mountain’, but ends with a ‘t’. I can’t be bothered to work it out. As long as it doesn’t appear on a regular North Face top I couldn’t care less.

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