Having spent a few recent weeks in Aspen on business, I was lucky enough to visit a few outposts of brands I’ve been eyeballing in my down time, without having to schlep down to NYC or elsewhere. I’ve had Aether Apparel on the radar for a while now, and I finally got the chance to pop into a store before leaving Colorado.
I went in search of the System Pullover, but apparently stores can’t keep enough of them in stock. The Aspen store was sadly out, but I still poked around and tried a couple things on: namely, the Noir Full Zip Fleece and the Polartec Cowl Pullover.
Before we go any further, standard sizing disclosure: I’m 5’9″, a lululemon 8 on top and 10 on the bottom. Both the Aether Noir Full Zip and Cowl Pullover shown below are size M.
Aether Apparel Noir Full Zip Fleece ($195) in black
Let’s first get this Noir Full Zip Fleece out of the way. I’ve always had a penchant for high collars. Whether it’s the leftover aesthetic from when I thought I was a total badass in my high school-issued varsity girls soccer warmup jacket or what, I’ve always loved hiding in high collars. With the System Pullover on the brain, this similar design caught my eye.
IMHO, it looks pretty slick, however, I wasn’t really feeling it. Usually the struggle for me is real with fitting my shoulders into jackets when it comes to arm holes. Surprisingly, that part felt fine.
I didn’t feel any abnormal pull until I zipped all the way up and attempted to stand tall with half-decent posture for once. I felt the jacket pull a bit across my clavicle, yet I still had more than enough room to spare in the midsection. To size up to alleviate the pulling would have left me with even *more* room in the midsection, which I did not want. Passed.
The other “I wanna hide from the general public in this” piece that caught my attention was the Polartec Cowl Pullover. Spoiler Alert: I’m wearing it as I type this, aka I bought it.
Color Options: It comes in red, gray and black. Whenever I buy a gray thing, I think to myself in store that I look good in it, until I get home and think to myself “WHY DO YOU BUY BORING GRAY SHI*T?!” So, I left the gray on the table. Red was on display, black was hiding in the back room, so I grabbed the red and toted it into the fitting room with me.
I was being stupid & self conscious, and wasn’t feeling the way the fitting room’s shadows were falling on the red, so I asked Johnny, the incredibly cool ambassador working that morning, to grab me the black one from the back. Ah, ol’ reliable <3 I’ve been told my winter wardrobe looks like a funeral. I need another black item in my wardrobe never. OH WELL! 😀
The Fabric: Did anyone actually go for the lululemon Tech Lux Jacket back in the fall? I did for 2 days, and then I returned it, due to the fit. However, this pullover’s Polartec fabric has the same ‘light but heavy’ feeling that the Tech Lux had going on. I probably don’t need to go into detail on why Polartec is so great, tons of reputable brands have been pumping out Polartec gear for years. Arc’Teryx, Helly Hansen, North Face, you get the idea.
The Fit: The Cowl Pullover falls high-mid hip on my 5’9″ frame. Any shorter in the torso and I may not have sprung for it. Sleeves are a perfect length, hitting just at the base of each wrists. Lulu lovers, there are NO thumb holes to be enjoyed. Put your gloves on.
One of my favorite features of this pullover is that the cowl neck has a generous circumference, but still stands up, thanks to the stiffness of the fabric. It’s like wearing a scarf without feeling weighted down or choked out.
The front features a kangaroo pouch, which is accessible from both sides. There is NO zip closure, so buyer beware not to keep any valuables in there, lest you find out too late that your phone/credit card have fallen out in a cab. Temporary storage only. I bet you a kitten would fit in there.
Lastly, Aether’s branding is as minimal as lululemon’s. There’s a small embroidered logo on the back left side, but otherwise no one would be any wiser.
The Verdict: I think I’ve found my new airplane uniform, y’all. It used to be a Swiftly LS and a Vinyasa Scarf, but the lack of bulk in this pullover is amazing. Yes, it’s a wee bit pricey, but if you’re reading this blog, it’s because you like lululemon & nice things, so the price tag shouldn’t shock anyone.
Between how much I love this new pullover and the incredibly warm welcome and friendly experience I had while shopping in their Aspen store, I am definitely going to continue keeping an eye out and shopping for new Aether styles.
Fun Fact: It wasn’t until I got home from Aspen that I remembered I’d coincidentally named my Amazon Echo ‘Aether’ back in November. Amazon Echo = AE = Aether. Cool story bro.