Fishing has always been a popular sport and arguably draws as large a business crowd as golf. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that the number of fishers in the U.S. increased from 33.1 million in 2011 to 35.8 million in 2016. But one thing the fishing crowd has never been known for is fashion. But that may be changing soon. Fishing vests are becoming all the rage for men’s fashion.
Perhaps this is an aggressive substitute after the great Patagonia fleece vest finance-gate that took place earlier this year in which all men who work for investment banks found themselves hopelessly lost (and slightly colder) as Patagonia refused to make their vests branded with these financial institutions’ company logos. Now they would have to turn to one of the other hundreds of retailers that make fleece vests sans logo (like common peasants.) Or maybe men just wanted more pockets. According to Wall Street Journal writer Jacob Gallagher, utility vests are part of the whole outdoorsy fashion trend happening right now. Of course, Orvis and L.L. Bean have always offered these products but now designers including Gucci and Louis Vuitton are in on it.
Of course, the surplus of pockets (usually at least 10) in these fishing and hunting-like vests does seem a bit excessive for a man carrying just his phone and a wallet but it is nice you know you have the option to carry more (like multiple snacks for the movies as Gallagher did.) Plus, it is always nice to be reminded of the outdoors when you are inside all day.
As for whether this trend has crossed over for women (who actually could desperately use the pocket space), it hasn’t been seen from retailers as much but in last month’s film Where’d You Go, Bernadette? based on the best-selling book of the same name, the main character (played by Cate Blanchett) sports an olive-toned fishing vest. Of course, she is embarking on a ship-based adventure in Antartica but she also wears it for a trip to the local pharmacy after ordering it off Amazon. The costume designer for the film, Kari Perkins, told The Hollywood Reporter of the vest choice, “To her, she just thought, ‘Wow, this is such a brilliant idea. I can just carry all my stuff right here on my body. I don’t have to mess with a purse or anything.’ She was really trying it out and then got caught up by everything and kept wearing it out and not even remembering she had it on.”