Relwen Founder Jamie Rupp on the Fall-Winter Collection
There’s a certain familiarity to Relwen that reminds us of days spent paging through old Sears & Roebuck catalogs, lusting over lever-action rifles, brass compasses, and rugged outerwear. That classic Americana-meets-vintage military aesthetic (plus the modern technical upgrades) is what has us reaching for our Relwen stuff when the weather turns cold. And this year, we’re taking an assist from the Relwen founder himself—Jamie Rupp. Jamie pulled together a few of his favorites from the fall-winter collection and filled us in on the inspiration behind each piece. Even better—he’s got tips for wearing each piece that’ll keep you looking good and feeling cozy all winter long.
Why we made it: We’ve always loved products that function with extreme ease, and that’s our Stretch Windpant. It’s extreme in the sense that you can do a full outdoor winter workout in them, but you can also just relax as if you were wearing your favorite sweats. Either way, the look is tapered and slim to the ankle, creating the perfect urban ninja look.
The inspiration: Dating back to the knit track pants of the early ‘70s that had the rib knit cuffs at the hem, the look has only grown more refined, slimmer, and more functional through the stretch woven shell fabric that we use. Ours is also lined in a lightweight knit jersey, making it super soft and cozy on the skin—you might just go commando. But the construction is what really separates our Windpant from the pack. We cut and sew the shell and lining as one piece, so the lining never floats too far from the shell or gets twisted up because the whole is integrally connected.
How to wear it: Put it on with anything in our collection, and that item suddenly gets more interesting, whether it’s a blazer or any of our sweaters. The Windpant actually elevates the style quotient of everything we make.
Why we made it: Our Military Parka, a disciple of the M-51 Parka, was one of the very first garments we produced back at the start of a brand. Our Fishtail Parka is the latest iteration of this style. Many of the construction details remain intact, but the fabric is now hydrophobic (i.e. water bounces off of it), and we removed the old-school wire-framed coyote treatment of the hood liner. This time the hood liner is part of a separate quilted jacket that can be worn on its own, which we think helps make this style even more utilitarian than the original.
The inspiration: M-51 US Parka, as issued for the Korean War
How to wear it: This is an oversized parka with a lot of insulation in the quilted liner. This should be good to 0° when layered underneath, but we know that everyone has different sensitivities to temperature and that different activities require different levels of warmth. We’d wear this over anything, but it’s a lot of coat, so it’s not the type of thing you’re going to wear while driving in the car. But it is the coat you’d want to wear when you’re walking 20 blocks to work during a difficult winter.
Bonded Rag-Wool CPO
Why we made it: We love simple overshirts that can function as outerwear, especially when they add real warmth. The shell fabric is a combination of a wool knitted face with a soft brushed polar fleece backside, both fabrics bonded together to allow for a compact yet warm and flexible garment. The result is a CPO that can stretch and move yet fit closer, even layered up.
The inspiration: The Chief Petty Officer (CPO) jackets of our US Navy. Our variation clearly takes liberties with the addition of side-entry pockets and a snap closure chest pocket, but the roots are there.
How to wear it: With our Windpant—of course. We think the pairing of wool fiber with anything technical is always the best look—just better tension when putting items together from different worlds. So a crunchy-looking wool CPO jacket paired with a nylon stretch bottom or layered over our new Micro Pile Pop-Zip is super cool.