I hate winter. Not because I hate the snow or the holidays, but simply because, as a native Texan, I cannot figure out what to wear. Getting the exact right mix of function and style is a form of chemistry that I just haven’t found the right formula for — until now.
Concepts, one of the earliest brands to merge streetwear, skate style, and fashion, teamed up with Canada Goose for a limited edition, reflective twist on Canada Goose’s classic MacMillian parka. Though this isn’t the first time the two popular brands have collaborated — in fact, it’s the 12th — this particular coat is a step forward in terms of style and innovation, and I got my hands on one to figure out if it could be the answer to my winter woes. Hint: it is.
What stood out most about the design, seeing it in pictures and in real life, is the reflective material that is a sharp, though, seemingly-normal grey during the day, but becomes a totally reflective statement piece when light hits it at night. Even more exciting, in my experience, is when the coat gets wet and the reflective material looks like it's been splashed with some new-age, holographic paint splatter. It also reimagines Canada Goose’s classic logo patch with a reflective disk that, depending on which angle you look at it, shows one of the two brands' logos.
I’m a short guy, so I appreciate the fact that this unisex parka isn’t long, but does have a longer hem in the back. This adds functionality and protection, but also makes me feel and look taller since it’s slightly cropped in the front. The quilt-through padding isn’t overly bulky — another reason I typically hate winter wear — and the recessed ribbed cuffs fit tight around my wrists, locking in heat and really providing a solid fit, while still being covered with the secondary layer of the thicker parker itself.
Canada Goose boasts itself “as the world’s leading makers of performance luxury apparel,” and, according to everyone I know who has a Canada Goose parka, that statement holds up. To test it myself, I bundled up in the reflective parka for a night of outdoor drinks at my favorite bar in Brooklyn. Sitting outside during the 36-degree night was totally comfortable and I never thought about how cold it was until walking back to the subway, realizing the temperature of my lower body did not reflect the upper half.
The next day the first snow of the season hit NYC, so I bundled up again to pick up lunch in the windy, post-rain weather. Though I lost my peripheral vision with the hood on, the two-way, adjustable, down-filled features kept my head and face warm and dry in the wind, and the fleece-lined pockets did the same for my hands. Arriving home, the paint splatter effect made the parka seem entirely different than when I left, but in the best way possible.
After a week of wearing the Concepts x Canada Goose MacMillian Parka, I started wondering if I’d ever pull my favorite, lived-in peacoat out of the closet. Stranger yet, I started looking forward to the even colder temperatures in January and the things I’d be able to pull off with this incredible coat. Winter is a strange season because, in a way, a coat is like a car — you live your life in it. You make memories in it. And for a season, you live in it.
I certainly recommend living in this stylish, highly functional jacket this winter. My only complaint? The material is a little loud when it slides together. But hey, if you get stopped as many times as I did, strangers compliments will drown it out.
And if you find yourself in New York City, check it out for yourself at Concept’s brand new store at 99 University Place (opening soon) or at its other locations in NYC, Shanghai, Dubai, and Boston.
Tanner Saunders is the Associate Digital Editor of Travel + Leisure. He’s very warm right now. Follow him on Instagram @Tizanner.