We’ve all worn them, whether it’s as a slight protection against the wind, mostly serving as a focal point of one’s outfit, or worn by FBI agents standing around crime scenes seven hours after the fact.
Windbreakers are a requirement of any wardrobe, doesn’t matter if you’re a third base coach on a cold October night or a stern father at a high school basketball game, coaching from the bleachers and furiously chewing gum that lost its flavor three minutes into the second quarter. He’ll stay warm on the bench, but the jacket won’t help your son shoot any better.
Nylon swishing with every movement, no matter how much the wearer tries to prevent it from happening. If you’re feeling like you want to get into The North Face but don’t know where to buy a carabiner, then a polyester joint with a quarter length zipper will do you nicely. You can show up to your Subaru owner’s club meeting at the abandoned KFC parking lot in that, and someone named Brad will think it’s sick.
The drawstrings in the hood seal the deal; if they are a color that’s complementary to the jacket, then you can call it a day. Zip it all the way up and the hood rests perfectly on your neck, drawstrings hanging nonchalantly like they’re at a quiet bar in Paris. The little handle on the zipper dangles, wavering silently with each movement, but it only adds to the jacket.
Mess around with the strings too much (hopefully they’re shoelaces) and one end will get stuck inside the hood, forcing you to perform an odd ritual: a worm-like movement that’s as frustrating as the wait for money to appear in your PayPal account. After this happens for the third time, it won’t take so long to fix.
Scrunchy wrists, or at least a tight wrist are required for a full windbreaker experience. Can’t have some wide opening that lets a remorseless winter gust slide up an arm, freezing the extremity you use most often to hold your phone. Drop that precious device only because you failed to find a decent jacket that cares about protecting you from wind at the most annoying of angles.
Nylon, polyester or its cool cousin micro polyester don’t protect you from the wind in the same way that indoors does, but its fine – you’re wearing a shirt under it, maybe a long sleeve if you enjoy being warm at all times.
Windbreakers don’t always do as advertised, but they almost always look good; sometimes just enough to earn a friendly nod of acknowledgement, only rarely worth a “gotta find that online” murmured under one’s breath, full of contempt for the owner of a superior article of clothing. One color and you can’t go wrong like Kobe during his last game; two colors and you’re flexing like Hulk Hogan off a painkiller. Three colors and you’re at an 80’s-themed party, going full D.J. Conner.
“My TV mom is almost as loud as my windbreaker!”