I searched for some time for a hooded jacket that could be used skiing in a pinch when traveling and looked good for winter nightlife. I think I found it in the Eider La Clusaz. In “midnight blue” the jacket doesn’t stain and looks good with most colors as it has a blend of blue and grey and black threads. The exterior is rather rough, which makes it appear uncomfortable, but inside the fleece lining is fuzzy but functional. The lining is also mostly windproof, making for a slim jacket that doesn’t look technical but performs like a good soft shell. Ive tested it with just a T in the 20s and been quite happy, and on the slopes it is slim enough to fit under almost any shell to make an appearance for après. Well played Eider.
For pockets, the two hand warmer and one chest pocket make for easy and secure storage. I was partial to the La Clusaz originally because of the looks of the chest pocket, and it has turned out to be perfect for sunglasses and such. The diagonal cut is a nice design touch too that breaks up an otherwise normal chest pattern. I sometimes wish there was an interior goggle or iPod pocket, but simplicity is worth a lot too, and the La Clusaz pocket scheme is ultimately quite functional. The backs of the hand warmer pockets also function as mitten/ hat pockets without closure, which keeps them warm as well.
Details like metal draw cord ends, burly zippers, and leather zipper pulls and draw cord adjusters add some bling and show that Eider made this one to last. And the neutral coloring means the jacket should stay in style for a while. Just remember that the sizing is for slim Europeans, so be sure to try it on before you try to impersonate a Parisian in Chamonix. This jacket really will make others look your way, so long as it fits well.