Style & Substance – Triple F.A.T. Goose – The Return of a Cold Weather Classic

Hesselberg FrontAs a native of Detroit, the winter seasons from my youth were the epitome of harsh, brutal subzero temperatures of epic proportions. Frigid wind cascaded to and fro, numbing any exposed skin unfortunate enough to be left naked. Seemingly endless mountains of snow, slush, and ice lined the streets, thus making routine travel an unwanted adventure. Now, perhaps, this was a result of a distorted perception due to my repeated tours at Detroit bus stops in the dead of winter – Cass Technical High School was the destination of choice. Middle school was much more forgiving, as travel to the designated school bus pick-up location wasn’t as treacherous. Grades 9-12, well, not so much.

And so, among the arctic elements outside, daily expeditions were undertaken with the hopes of attaining a proper education. It was around this time (early 1990s) that a cold weather coat, the Triple F.A.T. Goose, was surging in popularity and adorning the backs of some of the coolest students at school. Filled with down feathers – the layer of fine feathers underneath a bird’s exterior feathers – these jackets offered supreme protection from the dastardly Old Man Winter. The insanely popular down coat inspired many competitors and became the trendiest piece of outerwear you could rock from December until March. However, after surging in popularity, the brand quietly disappeared.

Hesselberg HoodDuring its extended hiatus from the marketplace, there was an ascension of many other brands that capitalized and enjoyed much success in the void that was left by Triple F.A.T. Goose. Yes, a gentleman still needed to protect himself from the cold, so other options became viable. Nevertheless, many people yearned for the return of their beloved “Goose”. Now the company is back and ready the reclaim the top spot for affordable down coats. With so many years out of the public eye, what will today’s rendition of Triple F.A.T. Goose resemble? And, will this updated version sufficiently compete with other brands that readily occupied the vacuum left by Triple F.A.T. Goose’s absence.

Well, the brand is reinventing itself and reintroducing the Triple F.A.T. Goose coat with a contemporary reinterpretation to the public. “We brought the brand back as a result of numerous consumer requests to revive Triple F.A.T. Goose. When relaunching the brand, we really wanted to create products that our consumers would love and to wow them with new features. This was really the motivations for the For Arctic Temperatures collection. This capsule consists of jackets that have premium details such as water-repellent fabrics, real coyote fur ruffs, a soft interior lining, and storm cuffs”, says chief executive officer of Turbo Holdings Inc., James Chung.

Hesselberg Back

True, this new renovated and retooled Triple F.A.T. (For Arctic Temperatures) Goose is all about premium details and quality. First, let’s address the coat’s body. As a point of reference, the Hesselberg (pictured) will be examined for this article. Gone is the bulk and puffiness that were signatures of the original Triple F.A.T. Goose design. That being said, the new design still is robust and heavy in nature, but the silhouette is streamlined with a moderately close fit without being too restrictive. However, depending on personal preference, you may want to size up to allow more room. Also, driving could be cumbersome if you decided to wear your coat behind the wheel. While the extra cushion could be tempting, maintaining a proper fit beneath your seatbelt could be challenging. My suggestion: keep it in the backseat until ready for use.

Now, it has not been particularly cold here in Michigan, which is odd this late in the year. No complaints, but I have not been able to thoroughly vet the warmth of the Hesselberg. Nevertheless, I did take it out for a test run one night. I waited for a really chilly evening, and wearing only pajamas and a tee-shirt, I donned the Hesselberg and ventured off into the brisk night. And I must admit, I was completely – aside from mid-thigh and down – protected from the chill outside. The coyote fur-trimmed hood is HUGE – and I have a moderately large head. Your face will be more than protected from the blustery elements outside. The hood is constructed in a fashion where the rim can be softly bent and shaped to fit the contours of your head and retain adequate visibility. Because, as I previously mentioned, the hood is HUGE.

Another added benefit from the new collection is the storm cuff insert on each arm. Sewn into the inside cuff and extending outward like a fingerless glove when worn, it serves to block out any cold drafts that might find its way up inside your sleeves. And when combined with your standard pair of winter gloves, a gentleman will benefit greatly from the extra layer of warmth underneath – don’t worry, the material is thin enough to allow easy sliding under your regular glove. The zippered side vents underneath the sleeves allow you to moderately control the temperature of your body. Suffice it to say: I kept mine zipped!

Product Specifications

  • 80/20 goose down filling – meaning 80% goose down and 20% goose feathers. Goose down is one of the best and lightest insulators on the market. The air pockets between the down protects against loss of heat.
  • 10,000 mm performance fabric, Teflon coated for water resistance.
  • Fill power of 600. Fill power is the measurement of loft for down feathers. The higher the lofting power, the better a coat will be insulated due to the amount of air that can be trapped by the down. A fill power of 550-750 is considered very good.
  • Coyote fur-trimmed hood that helps shield your face from skin-numbing wind. Coyote fur also doesn’t freeze or absorb, you know, in case your area gets hit with freezing rain or the like.
  • Neck and pockets lined with soft fleece for more added warmth.
  • Storm cuffs to block out sneaky cold air that likes to travel up coat sleeves.

With so many luxurious details, one would expect to pay a considerable amount of money for such an offering. In the case of the new collection from Triple F.A.T. Goose, look to pay half of what you may spend on a comparable coat. Quality down outerwear will fetch nearly $1000.00 and more. Here, the models offered range from $400.00 to $500.00. Relatively inexpensive when you consider that proper maintenance will extend its wintry service for countless years. Now, I would be remiss in my writing duties if I do not offer the following disclaimer. Because of the quality and performance of Triple F.A.T. Goose, there were troubling cases of theft during its height of popularity. Therefore, I would display an observant amount of caution when wearing one.

However, you need not worry about this contemporary version of being too flashy or garish. The reserved design and discreet appearance should ensure it retains all its classic appeal without becoming dated. Only the updated, signature Triple F.A.T. Goose logo on the sleeve reveals its identity. So, what does the future hold going forward. “Probably the most noteworthy and anticipated project is our expansion into the women’s and girl’s outerwear. We’ve already started the design process for these categories and the products are looking great so far. We’re excited for the launch of these new collection”, says Chung. If the men’s launch is any indication, the ladies will not be disappointed. Stay tuned.

For more ordering information, please visit Triple F.A.T. Goose for details.

Style & Substance – Fingerless Wool Gloves

Barbour Fingerless Gloves

Barbour Fingerless Wool Gloves

True indeed, a gentleman’s personal style is mostly recognizable when it dominates the optics, not necessarily in an offensive manner, but by means of exclusively garnering the attention of surrounding company in a relatively flashy manner. Given that fact, some gentleman push their personal style above and beyond sartorial limits, extending well into the peacock region, and that is when the visuals border on obnoxious. Well, today I am here to state that such regions don’t necessarily require traversing. Steeped in sophistication, sharp style is shrouded in sly subtlety. For a gentleman, it’s looking seemlessly altogether while effortlessly putting it all together. And that introduces today’s topic for discussion: the gentleman’s fingerless gloves.

Paradoxically speaking, fingerless gloves are a gentleman’s accessory that is hard to notice, yet one can’t help but notice. Now, before I offer my humble endorsement, let’s discuss the fingerless glove’s function. It’s really not terribly complex, however, recognize that fingerless gloves aren’t exclusive to hobos, nor workers that stock cold beverages in the freezer at grocery stores. If the weather is sufficiently cold, yet the deployment of cashmere lined leather gloves is a tad premature, a smart pair of toasty fingerless gloves is a reasonable option.

Manufactured as a woolen protectant for your hands, cold weather can be sufficiently kept at bay until real frigid conditions materialize. Bonus: Given its construction, a gentleman can retain the full dexterity of his fingers! So, whether you’re dropping $12.00 at Target (fashion frugality) or $425.00 at Barneys (temporary insanity), a warm pair of woolen, fingerless gloves can provide perfect cover from nippy temperatures, allow freedom of movement for your fingers, and add a dash of roguish charm to an otherwise proper presentation. Stay stylish gentlemen.

Style & Substance – Jack Black Dry Down Friction-Free Powder

Jack Black Dry DownRegarding the intimate affairs of gentlemanly grooming, I openly confess that my personal regimen has evolved immensely – largely in part to the creation of this site – over the last few years. My standard carousel of unremarkable soap and lotion has slowly transformed into a collection of sophisticated balms, moisturizers, soaps, and creams. However, a line may have to be drawn with the Jack Black Dry Down Friction-Free Powder. I cannot totally dismiss this latest offering from Jack Black, as I am absent experience in its benefits and qualities. Nevertheless, sprinkling some magical, moisture-absorbing powder down into my nether region seems a bit fussy. If you are an active gentleman, I can totally understand how and why this item would be beneficial. However, I just cannot fathom said gentleman allotting time to address his crotch with powder – unless there is something seriously going on with the sweat glands down there. Alas, I could be totally off the mark with my assessment. Perhaps gentlemen across the globe have been quietly suffering with sweaty privates and I am just totally oblivious. I’m interested to know if any gents out there have any experience with the Jack Black Powder. Please weigh in with your thoughts.

Style & Substance – The Wholecut Oxford

Berluti WholecutUnderstated in every facet of the definition, the wholecut oxford affords a beautiful touch of sophisticated subtlety to a gentleman’s footwear rotation. Aptly titled because its construction consists of a single piece of leather stitched to the sole, the uncommon wholecut is seldom recognized in the sartorial mainstream, perhaps because of the labor intensive process to manufacture such a quiet beauty. Nevertheless, if one can afford and locate this elusive, sexy beast from a reputable brand, I would wholeheartedly endorse the venture. Because, in a world of footwear where extravagant aesthetics are lustfully sought after, the wholecut offers next-level elegance, albeit shrouded in a plain exterior. And with its indistinct demeanor, a clever irony cannot be missed: In all of its muted glory; it is this lack of showiness that makes the wholecut stand pronounced away from the rest of the shoe field. Absent decorative distraction and coupled with a high-gloss shine, one cannot help by appreciate the naked aesthetics when paired with a pair of neat, natty dress trousers. Patterned trousers would be my preference to offer some visual contrast, but the choice is your own. If your closet is replete with wingtips, captoes and anything in-between, I would strongly encourage the contemplation of adding a wholecut to your repertoire.

Style & Substance – The Dotted Dress Shirt

Ted Baker Dot ShirtAdmittedly, a considerable length of time has elapsed since this unconventional trend has become popular. Well, presently, this unorthodox utilization of a dress shirt is starting to influence my sartorial, conservative leanings. True, I am not wholly opposed to stylish risk, nevertheless, I tend to avoid outlandish trends that are more runway spectacle than meaningful, useful style. And so, behold, the dotted dress shirt. Now, this may appear as a European transplant, but I vaguely remember my grandfather owning a dress shirt discreetly speckled with small dots. Not yet of teenage years, and therefore not fully appreciating the function of a dress shirt, I dismissed the oddly patterned shirt as something only my grandfather would wear. Now here we are today, and that peculiar dress shirt that my grandfather once wore has received a modern update. Definitely rakish, totally uncommon; the office has probably never seen a bold dress shirt like this in the boardroom. I may have to take the plunge. The risk is relatively low, and the reward is high on style, smoothness, and attitude. Stay stylish gentlemen.

Style & Substance – Burberry – Crocheted Lace

Burberry Crochet Lace CoatSo, regarding what best could be described as uniquely experimental, Burberry unveiled a look unlike anything I have ever laid eyes upon – at least in regards to menswear. Employing the decorative art of crocheted lace, Burberry has transformed menswear articles such as neckties, dress shirts, and outerwear into sartorial pieces of ornate artistry. I would be dishonest if I denied the beauty of the visual intricacy displayed here – it is most certainly stunning. However, its usage is what I am calling into question. To be blunt: Burberry is doing far too much. Has menswear become so boring that gimmicks have to be utilized to coax interest within the gentlemanly community?

Burberry is trying to reinvent the proverbial wheel, and I reckon this venture will fall flat and disappear within months of its availability. And woe to the gentleman that will be stranded with a $4095.00 crocheted lace coat in his closet. Yes – it is quite an expensive risk to undertake. Perhaps this material would be better served as a pocket square; perhaps even a scarf. In the real world – and by real, we’re talking non-celebrity realms – I highly doubt this usage of crocheted lace would be sartorially functional. Nevertheless, I could be incorrect. What say you? Is Burberry onto something, ushering in a new era of style, or is this just gear aimed at the likes of Dwyane Wade or Pharrell Williams, hoping that the regular gentleman follows suit?

Style & Substance – Fear of the White Dress Shirt

J Crew Cotton Linen

J. Crew Cotton-Linen Button-Down

In all seriousness, when employing the services of a white dress shirt during moments of formal dress, well, the exercise should be relatively  foolproof. Given its blank slate demeanor, a gentleman would be hard-pressed to unearth complications when coordinating varying elements of his ensemble. However, there are some gentlemen that opt for the most unusual colors when selecting a dress shirt. Burnt orange. Neon green. Hot pink. Well, perhaps the white dress shirt is overwhelmingly too simple. So simple in fact, a gentleman can be misled into a train of thought wrought with complexity. And then again, perhaps, a simple white dress shirt screams boredom. Allow me to present this appeal: Step away from the loud dress shirts and embrace the unspoiled benefits the white dress shirt has to offer. It is a clean canvas that a gentleman can practice his sartorial art upon without fear of a fashion calamity. It’s safe. It’s readily available. It’s timeless. It should play a vital role in your wardrobe. Gent Hint: Since we are approaching warmer weather, select a lightweight fabric such as poplin, linen, or a cotton/linen blend would be just what Mother Nature ordered. Gent Hint II: Skip the necktie and opt for a button-down dress shirt without the neck apparel.

Style & Substance – Eton – The Floral Pocket Square

Eton Floral PSTo be absolutely certain, the much-anticipated arrival of pleasant weather will necessitate the process of temporarily jettisoning apparel indicative of fall and winter seasons. And with that short-term separation, a gentleman will surely divert his sartorial selections toward men’s accoutrements that welcome the sensibilities of spring and summer. Assuming that the venerable necktie will be rarely beckoned for professional utilization – depending on your lifestyle – a pocket square is a viable alternative that lends unique character to the dapper gentleman’s breast pocket. Now, extending beyond the mere practice of rocking a standard pocket square in lieu of a necktie during the summer, I want to take the time to endorse the pocket square bearing a floral design. Fun, lively, and charismatic; a floral pocket square pops with gentle personality. It is an understated way to inject some softness into a masculine demeanor. Stock up on a few and employ when needed.

Style & Substance – The Medium Brown Oxford

Edward Green Brown OxfordBecause, when the severity of a black oxford threatens to compromise the sanctity of a fresh spring day, an alternative pair in a warm shade of brown will enable a gentleman to properly complement the day in style. Trust, as a gentleman’s presentation gradually adapts a lighter hue, the loyal employment of the black oxford will lessen more and more. Now, this is not a call for a complete excommunication from your shoe rotation. Rather, this is a thoughtful regulation of your trusted pair of somber kicks to specialized duty: overcast mornings, job interviews, funeral services, special events during the evening, etc. So, in other words, with the exception of moments that beg darker attire, a sprightly pair of brown shoes will marry perfectly with almost any lighter shade of trouser. Light to medium gray. Of course varying shades of brown or khaki. Earthy sage. And even softer hues of blue can coincide beautifully with your brown shoes. Now, whether you rock a cap-toe or wingtip, the selection is solely your own. I humbly suggest adding two pairs – more if you can afford it – to your footwear arsenal if you haven’t procured said pairs already. And with that – happy spring gentlemen!

Style & Substance – Linen Blend Necktie

Richard James Linen NecktieTo be sure, the artful procedure of dressing well can arrive with an array of anxiety and trepidation. And that should not be viewed as uncommon or surprising. The magic of a perfectly coordinated, immaculately fitted ensemble can surely elicit an erroneous perception of sartorial complexity that proves daunting for any gentleman not deeply entrenched in some serious style. Nevertheless, rejoice gentlemen, dressing oneself with a sophisticated hand is not as mentally taxing as it may seem. Sometimes, a mere departure from your sartorial comfort zone is all a gentleman requires to inject elegance into his wardrobe. So, circling back to the aforementioned comfort zone, let’s talk about one – the necktie zone. Now, standard necktie policy dictates the status quo selection of silk as a gentleman’s first choice. However, with spring on the horizon – don’t worry, it’s coming – I implore the gentlemanly audience to introduce a different type of flavor  to knot around their necks – the linen blend necktie.

Now, a linen blend necktie may arrive in a combination of cotton & linen or silk & linen. The percentage of each textile within the necktie will depend on the selected brand. As a personal favorite, I lean towards cotton and linen. So, what are the advantages of a linen blend necktie over a regular silk necktie? Well, none really. It all depends on taste. However, in the spirit of introducing a creative wrinkle – pun intended – to your necktie rotation, a touch of linen will add a lovely, delicately wrinkled texture that will contrast beautifully with a clean, smooth dress shirt. Given the impending season, a gentleman’s options will become plentiful. If I may further suggest, soft pastels in paisley or plaid are great patterns to complement the spring season. And if those are too bold for your palate, a solid necktie is still a great choice as well.


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