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The Windbreaker Takes Flight This Fall

Windbreaker jackets—also known as shells and nylon jackets—are the latest Dad-inspired outerwear trend to hit the runway in force. Like the puffer coat and Patagonia-inspired fleece before it, the nostalgic topper swished its way down the Fall ’19 runway in a myriad of styles, colors and a newfound focus on utility and tactical elements.

And it’s another example of a functional ’80s and ’90s fashion trend that began in the active and street categories. Windbreakers began to pick up momentum in 2018 as brands like Champion, Fila and Reebok began highlighting their shell offerings. Google Trends reports that shopping searches for nylon jackets and wind breakers spiked November-December 2018.

Neon and logo-driven designs dominate the current offering of windbreakers. However, Fall ’19 designer collections allude to a more elevated future. Chalayan and Christopher Raeburn opted for monochromatic olive green nylon pull-overs, coats and wide-leg bottoms. Stella McCartney presented a steely gray recycled nylon shell suit with a proper button-down shirt. Lacoste stayed true to its roots with nylon pull-overs and skirts embellished with simple stripes.

Designers Li-Ning, Spyder and Liam Hodges played with nostalgic color blocking, while Maroussia Rebecq, Qasimi and Christopher Raeburn brought the windbreaker into ski territory by styling the garment with technical layers.

Expect to see the windbreaker trend linger for several seasons. Fashion Snoops’ forecast for Fall/Winter 20-21 season is dense with functional outerwear made with lightweight, water-resistant fabrications.