In the Bay Area, the lines between outdoor gear and city wear are blurry. There aren't many other places where you see an abundance of North Face jackets at bars and Lululemon pants on the bus. Come winter, when weekend warriors take a powder to get to powder in Tahoe, their clothes must be snow tested and city approved. Enter Pop Outerwear, a San Francisco-based company that designs for “the 9-to-5'ers that dream of snow.”
Founded by a die hard snowboarding couple and inspired by a deep powder day in B.C., Pop Outerwear translates from a double black to apres lounging to flip cup at the cabin, then back to work on Monday morning.
Polartec Power Dry fleece jackets, alpaca wool beanies, slim fit cargo pants, Pop Outerwear's offerings mix style savvy detailing with tech pockets and removable hoods. Co-owner Joanne Medvitz recommends the softshell as “a great city piece that looks and feels like wool that people can wear up to the mountains (it's water-resistant and windproof) and to their favorite bar in the city.”
Sportif always has a place in fashion, but you don't mess around with the technical side of snow gear. Joanne explains that the Polartec grid fleece “uses a technical moisture wicking, highly breathable fabric but puts a clean, urban style on what is usually a sporty piece.”
Pop Outerwear test drives products at the newly expanded Squaw/Alpine. When they go South Shore, they go Kirkwood backside. They like to teach friends how to ride at beginner-friendly Diamond Peak and join the locals at Sierra. But the coveted terrain is at Baldface Resort in Nelson, British Columbia. “It's an amazing cat-skiing resort that has endless champagne powder, gourmet food, and a down-to-earth feel. We've only been there once but it was a truly inspiring trip. It's where we decided to start Pop Outerwear after experiencing the freedom and exhilaration of pushing past our comfort zones and letting go.”
It's safe to say Joanne and Tim are cold weather dressing experts, so I asked for some stay-warm tips: “We warm up our gloves and boots in the car before putting them on at the resort, and get our blood flowing hiking to every last inch of powder. We recommend layering since mountain conditions are always variable.”
Committed to local excellence, during off-season, Pop Outerwear gives back and donates used clothing to the St. Anthony's Foundation and supports SkiDUCK. It's hard to break away from your faithful snow brands, but give Pop Outerwear a peruse—they know what they're doing and they love to shred.
Sam Durbin (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a California lifestyle writer who honed her blogging skills as Editor of FabSugar.com. Sam graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology, and also writes for 7x7 Magazine and Gilt City.