Everyone’s got those few pieces in their wardrobe that make them feel just a bit more polished, a bit more sophisticated, a bit more badass. For me, I get those vibes from the outdoorsy yet urban chic Aether Apparel. Aether only has four permanent brick & mortar stores in the world, so it’s a treat when I’m in Aspen or NYC and am able to try their pieces in person.
When I got my first ever chance to visit Aether last winter, I’d been eyeing the System Pullover for months. It was sold out online, and I had fingers crossed a rogue one would be hiding in Aspen’s outpost. No dice. One could argue that I ‘settled’ for the Polartec Cowl Neck that day, but hey I still wear that thing and think it’s pretty awesome too.
Fast forward a year, and I did a happy dance when I saw that the System Pullover was restocked online for this season. With crossed fingers I was able to dip into Aether Aspen a few weeks ago, and after 365 days… my lucky snowflakes aligned. The size and color I was after (black, duh) was in stock.
Review: Aether Apparel System Pullover ($225) in black
Worth a note: per Aether Apparel this piece is designed for City/Everyday wear. Also, I am 5’9″ and on the cusp of M/L on Aether’s size guide. I am wearing a Medium in this post.
Also, Indecisive was my middle name on how I wanted the aesthetic of this post to go. Outside? On top of a mountain? In that cute little ski bum hotel room I had a few weeks ago? In my boring AF but have the good lights and DSLR makeshift ‘studio’ at home? HOW ABOUT ALL OF IT. Consider it a display of how versatile this pullover is from one locale to another. 🙂
Fit & Length
The System Pullover is a structured slim fit, but you can tell there’s meant to be a little breathing room left over by design, as opposed to a ‘slim’ fitting lululemon Define Jacket that chokes you out.
As for the length, it falls high-ish on my hips. Any longer and it would bulge out due to the banded details at the bottom hem, so I’d say it scores Just Right on the Goldilocks Index.
Sleeves are a normal length, and do not feature thumb holes.
Two design elements elevate the System Pullover above and beyond its plain black long-sleeved brethren: the paneling and its collar.
First, let’s look at the paneling. In this day and selfie age, everyone who wants to give good face to the world knows “it’s all about the angles.”
Both front and back incorporate a V for slimming effect. On the front, the flap over the zipper crosses over for a slightly asymmetrical vibe, which I’ve always dug. Bonus fun that there’s a magnet on the inside of the flap to keep it in position when the collar is fully zipped. Hooray science 🙂
There are two zip pockets in the front, which DO connect. Some people love the big kangaroo pouch, others want two separate pockets. I really don’t have a preference. As far as I’m concerned, the only things that are going in there are a phone and/or a fork on my way to the couch when my dinner is ready.
The fluffy down collar is really what makes this design. With turtlenecks, it can be tough to find a happy medium between coziness and claustrophobia. Again, we score a Just Right on that good ol’ Goldilocks Index.
The down keeps you warm, but with the collar being so lightweight, you tend to forget that you’re actually wearing a turtleneck.
Aether’s website says it’s “double-knit,” I say it’s thick and doesn’t have too much give. I can move around freely and comfortably, but am not worried about it stretching out too far.
One caveat is that it looks like the fabric may fade in the wash, so whatever you do… wash it on the delicate cycle (must treat that collar with care) and AIR DRY.
It plays the role of sweatshirt and scarf all at once, and it makes me look pretty damn cool in the process (nope not feeling confident today not at all).
I will be annoyed when the weather warms up to the point where I can’t run around in this pullover all the time. This one’s a winner that’s edgy enough that it won’t be going out of style any time soon.