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Loro Piana Storm System

Jack Bettridge
From the Print Edition:
Vegas, Mar/Apr 2006

Consider the windbreaker—a perfectly utilitarian piece of menswear, perfect for those breezy spring days when the thermometer doesn't read cold, but the windchill factor suggests that it is. The windbreaker does exactly what the name implies, but never gets much notice. It's not exactly demeaned (unless you consider the vaguely unfortunate sound of its name), nor has it enjoyed lofty status (except that politicians don them with a baseball cap whenever they want to seem in charge without actually wearing a uniform).

The word itself was created as a brand name, but then suffered a backhanded compliment by becoming what lawyers refer to as a "genericized trademark": a brand name so well known that it is used to refer to products of the same general type regardless of who manufactures them. (Kleenex, Xerox, Band-Aid and Coke are examples of such trademarks.) Perhaps it is to avoid trademark infringement that the British call them windcheaters—not a very savory sounding name in itself.

Now consider the Loro Piana Storm System windbr...strike that...out of deference to the price we're not even going to call them that. Loro Piana's Dinghi (pictured here in Oatmeal color, $1,695) and Windmate (in Tabasco-ironically a trademark itself, $1,655) are the sublimation of the form. The outer skin of each is done in the Loro Piana Storm System (also trademarked), a microfiber fabric in which the fibers undergo a lamination process that not only aids in wind and water resistance, but repels dust, dirt and stains while allowing the fabric to breathe. You are forgiven if your mind strays from all the protection you're receiving when you put on the jacket. Perhaps your focus will be on the sumptuous feel of the cashmere (not trademarked) from Inner Mongolia.

The Windmate is fully reversible, although it's hard to imagine exposing all that fine cashmere to the elements. Both jackets are named with sailing in mind, but you may be forgiven if you wear them on the links. The Dinghi seems particularly suited for golf as the sleeves zip off, leaving your arms free to swing away when you have a club in your hands.

Now those are wind...Storm Systems.

Visit www.loropiana.com.

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