Patagonia Supersedes North Face in West Coast Battle

Emma Barr and Hannah Stenovec, Staff Writers

Although the outdoor outfitter Patagonia originated in California, only in recent years has it gained popularity on the West Coast. Many Miramonte students have now started to sport the stylish and cozy garments despite the mild California climate.

In the halls of Miramonte it is definitely apparent that students with varying tastes are incorporating more and more Patagonia into their wardrobes because of Patagonia’s focus on functional and timeless styles.

“Everyone in middle school had those zip up North Face fleeces, but now people wear the Patagonia puffy vests and retro fleeces,” junior Owen Chang said.

Patagonia’s rising popularity is also attributed to their re-introduction of more retro styles like fleece jackets and vests, which come in an array of colors. Since eBay was not cutting it for some people in terms of vintage retro Patagonia, the company decided to start producing more, which is perhaps the reason why Patagonia has cropped up more on the West Coast.

“I think it’s a battle between Patagonia and North Face, and Patagonia has won. I really like the retro styles, it’s definitely coming back in style,” Chang said. Retro styles tend to incorporate older, raw fleece and have a classic fit with few embellishments. The retro style is also made from recycled soda bottles and reused clothing, which contributes to the more “organic” and unrefined look.

“I like Patagonia’s more subtle colors, and their tool jacket is really comfortable,” sophomore Lucy Wilmot said. Patagonia continues to pursue their original image of practicality; their famously simple and long lasting styles have a timeless look which can be worn for years and eventually recycled.  Patagonia is passionate about reducing waste so any worn out Patagonia product can be returned and they will reuse it, recycle it into new fabric or make it into a new product.

“Patagonia has pretty versatile clothing that I can dress up and down,” senior Clay Smudsky said. The most popular styles include their Retro fleeces, their Better sweaters, and their Tool jackets.

Many athletes love wearing it too. The options are simple and equipped with functional pockets and hoods, making them perfect for storing your phone on a run or wicking away the rain. “I wear it for sailing, and a lot of the Southern Cal sailors have it. Patagonia is really practical for on and off the water,” Wilmot said.

In recent years, many collegiate sports teams have made customized apparel through Patagonia, which has gained popularity and even influenced high school sports teams.

    “For Oakland Strokes, we decided to customize quarter zips for the whole team. A lot of collegiate rowing teams wear them, plus they’re warm and discounted,” senior Tori Wong said. This team gear adds a sense of continuity and style when traveling or practicing.

“The thing I really like about Patagonia is that it is worth the price, and you can tell that it is well made,”  Wilmot said. Patagonia and North Face are priced relatively the same, yet less and less people are buying the traditionally popular North Face gear. “Everyone still has North Face backpacks, but Patagonia is definitely more popular, I don’t like the flashy North Face logo,” Wilmot said.

Patagonia has branched off from their popular fleeces and now include many more options, perfect for active teenagers. “My favorite styles are the fleece pullovers and down jackets, and I also really like their shirts and pants,” Smudsky said.

Patagonia has both the functional everyday options like down and fleece jackets, but also durable staples like corduroy pants and button down shirts which makes them popular among Miramonte students.

“Patagonia is sick because their products are high quality and stylish,” senior Peter Swan said, “Their vests and synchilla fleeces are the freshest in the game.”