Reflecting on the rough weather thus far in 2014, and our New Year’s resolution to get some fresh air in spite of it, we decided to take a closer look at one of our favorite outdoor brands: The North Face.
You probably know that The North Face protects you from frigid conditions so that you can enjoy all manner of al fresco pursuits—from extreme sports to a corner-store beer run—in comfort and style. You might also guess that the brand has outfitted explorers, researchers, and daredevils on journeys to the furthest (and highest) reaches of the planet, from the Arctic Circle to Mount Everest. But did you know The North Face’s roots reach back to 1960s San Francisco, and that The Grateful Dead helped launch the brand’s first store?
Keep reading to learn more about The North Face’s nearly five-decade history of counterculture, innovation and environmentalism.
If you find yourself moved by shapely posteriors, platefuls of hummus and selfies of guys (and girls) who could crush a normal human with a flick of their triceps, check out the #fitspo hashtag on Instagram. (That’s short for “fitness inspo,” or inspiration.) If, however, you’d rather be motivated by the more esoteric advantages of exercise—quiet sunrises, crashing surf, picturesque wilderness—look no further than the Insta feeds of some of our favorite Active & Outdoor brands.
Keep reading to fuel your New Year’s resolutions with photos from Nike, The North Face and more. (But first, check out the Nike clip above. Our takeaway: Humans possess an infinite capacity for greatness. But sometimes, you should just get out of LeBron’s way.)
Boots are one of those items in a man’s wardrobe with serious staying power—over the course of a season (we introduced our Boot Guide in September, and have been updating it continuously ever since), as well as year after frigid year…especially when you invest in a solid pair like the waterproof, 5-star-customer-rated UGG® Australia ‘Butte’ above.
Today, we’re focused on the near-indestructible genre of footwear that will carry your feet unfazed through the toe-chilling rain, sleet, snow and slush that January and February are bound to usher in. Any of the specimens below will match up impeccably with your toughest puffers and flannels (see above)—but if you need a dapper way to stay dry en route to work, consider the clean lines and graphic punch of pairs like the Sorel ‘Sentry’ and UGG ‘Hannen’ below, neither of which will look out of place grounding a suit or sportcoat (pull your wingtips out of your briefcase once you’re warm and dry at your desk).
Start with our Editor’s Picks below, then shop our full selection of Weather-Ready Boots. And remember: The best gifts for guys are as practical as they are stylish. A great pair of boots more than fits the bill.
Inventory is running low, but there’s still time to grab some of our GQ Selects from the December issue—or something similar—as seen in action below on rising R&B star Frank Ocean, photographed by Peggy Sirota for GQ. Read the full interview with Ocean here.
“Nothing Odd About It. Breaking news: Sportcoats aren’t for fogeys. Whether you go with a banging plaid or charcoal grey, it’ll make you stand out among your doughnut-hoodied friends.” —GQ
One of our resident music gurus, Sonya, suggested a few favorite tracks off Ocean’s recent album, Channel Orange. (His performance on the season opener of Saturday Night Live was amazing, but we dig the album version of this first song even more):
A traditional topcoat doesn’t have to be your only weapon once the weather starts to turn. GQ has been all about creative layering options for fall and winter in recent issues, and we’re fully on board. Here, outdoor gear blends seamlessly with tailoring for cool visual contrast—and a smart way to stay dry on your morning commute or en route to a rainy-night date.
The North Face ‘Denali’ Triclimate® 3-in-1 Jacket. “There’s no reason performance outerwear can’t also look great. The fire-engine-red shell gives this North Face jacket eye-catching style, especially when paired with the graphic black chest and elbow patches—the sleekness of a sports car, with the toughness of a Mack truck.” —Jim Moore, GQ Creative Director (shop this item | shop the trend: red)
A.P.C. ‘New Cure’ Slim-Leg Jeans. “This is the slimmest jean in Jean Touitou’s arsenal of prime, raw-denim cuts. The New Cure tapers closely from the knee to the ankle, resulting in a silhouette that works as well with a casual-Friday sports jacket as it does in your weekend wardrobe. And these will mold to the wearer over time, making each pair truly unique .” —Jim Moore, GQ Creative Director (shop this item | shop the trend: dark denim)
Excited to hit the slopes this ski and snowboard season? Look no further: From jackets and hats to gloves and boots, our new Snow Shop has everything you need—including mind-blowing winter inspiration via the world’s preeminent outdoor brands. Check out Scot Schmidt—godfather of extreme skiing, and the sport’s first-ever endorsed athlete after The North Face got a hold of him in 1983—in the video above, as well as the vintage ski pics below.
L: Photo by Gary Brettnacher, 1993 | R: Photo by Scott Markewitz, 1990
Photo by Hank de Vre, 1985
Schmidt (L) with fellow freestyle skier Glen Plake (sans-mohawk)
in a still from Greg Stump’s 1988 ski film The Blizzard of AAHHH’s.