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Make my husband look like a Seattle native.
April 14, 2014 5:39 AM   Subscribe

We are moving to Seattle in August. I'm looking for recommendations for "quintessentially Seattle" attire to get my husband for his birthday.

I want one of my husband's birthday presents to be some sort of attire that screams "I belong in Seattle" - something where he'll open the box and start laughing because it's just sooo perfect. Is flannel passe? The last time I cared about Seattle fashion was in 1994 when everyone else cared about it too. Something practical would be great, but impractical-but-awesome works for me too.

Anon because he is a Mefite.
posted by anonymous to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (31 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Anecdotally, fleece. All the fleece.
posted by The Michael The at 5:40 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]


Go over the top and get him a Souwester rainhat.
posted by srboisvert at 5:41 AM on April 14


a fleece jacket and those terrible toe shoes
posted by rmless at 5:44 AM on April 14 [4 favorites]


Fake beard, unless he already has a real one.
posted by jquinby at 5:45 AM on April 14


Fleece, flannel, nalgene/sigg, once of those super lightweight down jackets that squishes into nothing.
posted by amaire at 6:04 AM on April 14


A Columbia Sportswear jacket, canvas tote bags with tech conference logos on them, socks + sandals.
posted by Mizu at 6:16 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]


North face jacket.
posted by crazycanuck at 6:24 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]


Convertible cargo pants, a plaid flannel shirt, and a coffee cup to go with his Nalgene.
posted by jgirl at 6:31 AM on April 14


This may provide some guidance.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 6:38 AM on April 14 [2 favorites]


No one here wears plaid flannel anymore. Fleece is eternal.
posted by matildaben at 6:43 AM on April 14


It has to be a fleece vest.

Also hat-wise I'd go for the Seattle Sombrero. There are imitators, but the chin strap and velcro to hold the sides up are required.
posted by sevenless at 6:50 AM on April 14


Oh, also I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Teva, Keen, etc. sandals worn with thick, wool socks.
posted by sevenless at 6:53 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]


Oh my god, this ask feels like it was a snark trap designed expressly to get my account suspended. *bites knuckle*

When I say to myself, what kills my boner the most as I wander the streets, the answer is: Utilikilt. Try to look at one of these bad boys in action and try not to imagine Louis CK's Cup of Ball Sweat (tm).
posted by Lardmitten at 7:02 AM on April 14 [3 favorites]


Also, this tumblr is kind of locally deservedly reviled for being ageist/sizeist/sexist, and it IS, but in between the tone deaf offensiveness of it, you can get a feel for what it looks like here now. (Local reaction to this tumblr in case you're interested.)
posted by Lardmitten at 7:06 AM on April 14 [3 favorites]


Lardmitten is right. Utilikilt is the answer. It's not correct because they are so very common (thank god), but because AFAIK they are a uniquely Seattle thing, and the incidence of seeing someone wear one outside of Seattle would (hopefully) be so low as to make the Utilikilt a legitimate Seattle clothing stereotype.

If you are going to buy him something that he'll actually wear, the answer is a North Face (or possibly Columbia) hooded rain jacket.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:10 AM on April 14


Buy him a Mackinaw Cruiser in a Seattle fit, from Seattle company Filson. These coats are great.
posted by ouke at 8:03 AM on April 14


Get a beer hat, but put a couple of to-go coffee cups in the holders.
posted by bunji at 10:18 AM on April 14


May be a bit obscure, but get him this Targus backpack. Amazon issues this type of backpack to their employees on their first day, along with their laptop. So, when you see them around town, there's a really high chance that they're a current or former Amazon employee.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:25 AM on April 14 [1 favorite]


It also a really good laptop backpack, as well.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:26 AM on April 14


If he bikes, get him Ortlieb panniers, which 100% of Seattle bike commuters use. Ortlieb backpacks are less universal, because backpacks aren't as much of a specialty item, but still present in a higher than expected concentration.

Also yeah, Utilikilts, ugh.
posted by silby at 12:37 PM on April 14


I can only comment on the tech workwear uniform I'd see when Seattle would come down to the Bay Area. That is:

-sensible shoes
-chino pants
-subtle plaid long sleeve shirt, button down collar. must be tucked into pants, must have belt
-glasses
-sensible haircut
-fleece vest

All in variations of browns or greens.

If I would give someone just one item, it would be an olive green fleece vest with an embroidered logo from some internal Microsoft or Amazon technical event.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 12:39 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


Yeah I totally take back my original answer and realize in the light of day that utilikilt is the way to go. I've been here too long; they are no longer pinging my weirdness radar. Which should say something.
posted by Mizu at 1:17 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


Columbia jacket/vest, a t-shirt with a unique local brewery logo, blue jeans and some kind of sport/hiking shoes. Bonus points for Sounders/vintage Mariners or Sonics hat.

Also, welcome! We can't wait to have you. Just don't freak out on the road when it starts to rain we'll get along great.
posted by Tevin at 2:09 PM on April 14


*proudly waves Seahawks sweatshirt*
posted by Skot at 2:28 PM on April 14


(By the way, I happen to know the guy behind Utilikilts. He's an incredible douchebag. Please don't give him money.)
posted by Skot at 2:32 PM on April 14 [3 favorites]


A good rule of thumb for PNW casual attire is, "If it can't be found at REI or WestMarine, you don't need it." Allowances will be made for Seahawks, Huskies, or Mariners attire. That will probably result in the basic casual look. If you have a few more bucks to play with, no one in their right mind will regret owning a Barbour Beaufort waxed jacket and a quilted liner.
posted by Hylas at 2:49 PM on April 14


As a Utilikilt-wearing ex-Seattleite, sorry for killing your boners. I see the occasional Utilikilt in Colorado, but far fewer than I saw in Seattle. I think that they are comfortable, practical, and fun, and definitely a Seattle thing. A bit expensive for a gag gift, if you don't think your husband would wear it.
posted by JiBB at 2:56 PM on April 14


UGH. Seattleite here. Don't let him wear utilikilts, fleece, North Face, Vibram Five Fingers, plaid, Columbia gear, etc., unless those are things he'd wear anyway, and you/he are comfortable with him being stylistically tragic. Seattle is a big city. People wear all sorts of shit. Just have him wear whatever he normally would, keeping in mind that he may get rained on. On occasion.

Oh, and if he *does* like outdoorsy stuff, and is willing to throw a good chunk of money at "rugged, comfortable, and will outlast the original owner," Filson isn't a bad bet.
posted by stenseng at 4:49 PM on April 14


A fleece vest with a logo from some Seattle- or Eastside-based company. Especially good if they're a biotech company.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:27 PM on April 14


As a Seattlite: sorry, but no. The whole point is to wear what is practical and comfortable. If that is outdoor wear, go for it. If that is a utilikilt, go for it. If that is fleece and flannel, go for it. People wear outdoor gear because they are outdoor enthusiasts and already have that. But there actually isn't a "quintessential" Seattle outfit.

People do actually dress up stylishly. There are just fewer of them. The rest of us just can't be bothered with the cost/discomfort. (We're not actually going for a grunge look, or a goth look, or any such thing, in general.)

If you really MUST buy him something stereotypical, any of the above works. Also: Mariners gear. Socks and sandals. NO umbrella.
posted by ethidda at 5:39 PM on April 14


I used to live in Seattle.
Here are two of my favorite things (that many other people wore, too):
Marmot Precip jacket
Keen shoes
posted by coolsara at 6:51 PM on April 14


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