When can I wear fleece?

When can I wear my fleece jacket?

For some, the earlier sunsets and falling temperatures of September are all worth it for two words: fleece season. If you’re the type that’s been itching to get back into your quarter-zip pullover since before Memorial Day, the season ahead is full of great opportunities for donning fleece. Here’s a quick rundown of a few you can expect.

1. During that final summer visit to the beach.

You’ve been there: the early evening on the last day of a late September vacation when everyone’s decided to get one last look at the beach. Even if you had been wearing shorts and a t-shirt earlier in the day when the sun was out, the approaching sunset and winds over the ocean will require an additional layer in the evening. There’s perhaps no better choice than the light, soft, and easily packable quarter-zip fleece. Though if things get particularly cold, you can always opt for full-zip.

2. When the first leaves begin to turn.

Labor Day, and perhaps Columbus Day, is officially in the rearview and the foliage has begun to diversify. Where was once an unending wall of green is now a constellation or brown, orange, yellow, red, and every possible color in between. Taking in the wonders of a changed fall landscape is an annual pleasure, but it won’t be quite as enjoyable if you’re not properly clothed for it. It’s not yet time for a full winter coat, so a quarter-zip or full-zip fleece jacket is a great first layer to start the season right.

3. And when the first leaves need to be raked.

But before too long, you won’t need to raise your eyes to enjoy the changing leaves—they’ll be scattered everywhere you look down. The fun part is over, and now you’ve got a rake in hand. Depending on how many leaves are currently hiding your yard, you may have to put in hours to rake it up. If there’s a particularly long raking game ahead of you, consider bundling up with a fleece pullover or a fleece coat so you can finish the chore without running inside for warmth (or a nap).

4. When Halloween requires a chaperone.

Your own trick or treating days are long behind you, but you may have a little Dracula or Wonder Woman ready to walk the block in search of candy fortune. Your trick or treating route may be a long one—particularly if your kids are on to the little secret that the most out-of-the-way houses can be the most generous with candy (our apologies to their dentist). To make sure that you’re properly dressed for whatever late October chills may accompany the search for sweets, throw a fleece pullover or fleece coat over a warm first layer like a flannel shirt or a mock turtleneck.

5. For the post-Thanksgiving walk.

A few courses of sweet potato stuffing, green bean casserole, turkey and an impressive slice of Aunt Eloise’s famed pumpkin pie can make the sofa seem like the only post-Thanksgiving dinner option. However, you can do your digestion a favor by signing up for a post-Thanksgiving walk instead, whether it’s merely around the block or a mile into the woods. Just make sure you’re properly attired, which may mean wearing a quarter-zip fleece, full-zip fleece or a fleece pullover over your Turkey Day attire.

6. Or the post-Thanksgiving game.

Up for more than just a walk? Try to organize a post-Thanksgiving game, whether it’s the classic touch football route, kickball or Ultimate Frisbee. What you should be wearing is clothing that will keep you warm outdoors, but is also hearty enough to soak up a little dirt or even grass-stains. For that job, we can’t think of any piece of clothing as qualified as a quarter-zip fleece or a fleece pullover.

7. The lazy, mid-winter day.

Winter has arrived, snow is on the ground—and you’re in no particular mood to leave the couch on this mid-winter Saturday afternoon. That’s perfectly fine. But even if the extent of the day’s travel takes place from living room to kitchen, you’ll want to dress warmly to stay cozy. Look to men’s or women’s softer fleece, or an indoor fleece jacket, all of which provide warmth without bulk. And if your fleece happens to be static-free fleece, you can avoid some of the static shocks that may otherwise be created by slippers and shag carpets.

8. The first winter storm.

When the first winter storm—and the accompanying chill—finally arrives, you’ll want to be prepared. Start with a good base layer, like thermal underwear worn below a mock turtleneck sweater or a flannel shirt, and then top with a quarter-zip fleece jacket worn under a winter jacket or parka. For particularly intense squalls, opt for a wind-resistant fleece that will pull double-duty to keep out the chills.


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