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Once the temperature starts to dip, there's no denying the appeal of a soft and cozy fleece sweater. This season, sherpa jackets and fleece outerwear have taken over street style — and we couldn't be happier.
Not only is it a practical choice to beat the chill of Canadian weather, but they're also an easy layering piece that works well in just about any closet. One fleece jacket caught the Yahoo Lifestyle team's eye in particular: the Women’s Cragmont Fleece Jacket from The North Face.
Retailing for $200 CAD/$149 USD, this button-up fleece is part sweater, part jacket, and 100 per cent perfect for fall. It comes in five shades for the season, and is made entirely from recycled polyester for style that both looks good and does good for the planet.
We decided to put this versatile jacket to the test over the past few weeks, and here are the results.
Kate Mendonca, Shopping Editor
I've been on somewhat of a fleece binge lately, since I'm still working from home full time and haven't really been turning to any of my dressier coats this season. After adding The North Face's Cragmont Fleece Jacket to my collection, I don't think my obsession will be ending any time soon.
I've worn this jacket for neighbourhood walks, while running errands on the weekends, and even as an extra layer while visiting family and friends. The fleece is lightweight yet still manages to keep you warm — just don't make the mistake that I did by getting caught wearing it in the rain without an umbrella or waterproof layer on top (you will get soaked).
I love how this jacket has several zip pockets that are perfectly sized to stash my phone, keys, mini tube of hand sanitizer and a face mask. The combination of forest green and teal is also a fun and unexpected choice for fall. The one thing keeping me from giving this fleece a perfect rating? It only features snap button closure, rather than a full zipper for easy wear.
Kayla Kuefler, Shopping Editor
Here's the thing — I am not exaggerating when I say I have worn this fleece at least three times a week since receiving it (minus those few long-gone days in Toronto when it was still over 20 degrees).
To put it plainly: I'm obsessed. Even though I'm Alberta-born and bred, I have never owned a fleece. Why? Couldn't tell you. The North Face's Cragmont Fleece Jacket is so cozy that I almost want to buy a second one for my future self so that I'll never be without it.
It's lightweight, super cozy, and thus far, has kept me warm enough during my evening walks. I love the addition of the chest pocket to hold my keys and cards and the high neck to keep the chill out. While I'm normally a bright jacket stan, I chose the bleached sand-Hawthorne khaki colour for versatility and have not been disappointed. My only issue (if you could even call it that) is that, like Kate, I would have loved a zipper in addition to the snap closure. With that being said, it has still transformed me into a fleece enthusiast and is sure to become a staple in my cold-weather wardrobe.
Elizabeth Di Filippo, Lifestyle Editor
For all those who think this is TLDR, let me save you the time: This fleece is amazing.
I am not usually a fan of fleece, but I've been wearing this jacket non-stop. It's soft and cozy with a throwback feel that goes with jeans or leggings. Since I'm chronically cold, I wore this fleece while traveling for my honeymoon recently, and was toasty warm on the plane. I've been wearing it to walk my pups and when I'm a little chilly inside and it's so perfectly cozy, I never want to take it off.
The one thing I will caution people about is the sizing. I ordered a medium, which gave it just enough of an over-size fit. However, in hindsight, I would have ordered a large just for the added length, especially if you're planning to wear the jacket with leggings. I was able to layer this with an oversized sweatshirt, which proves that even though I felt it was a little short on me, there was plenty of room to add layers!
Hilary Hagerman, Lifestyle Managing Editor
I've been a fleece fan for years (shout out to my mom and dad for my first neon floral pullover!), but I've struggled to find the one for me. They're either too boxy or too trim, too short or too long, too bright or too boringly neutral.
Trust me when I say: This is the perfect fleece. It's lightweight yet cozy, and the fun colour pairing and vintage après ski vibe give it an edge over other fleeces I've tried. What I especially love about this North Face fleece jacket is that its style doesn't sacrifice function — the full-length buttons, stand-up collar and pockets are thoughtfully designed and make it a great choice for pretty much any fall condition. I've worn this jacket fully buttoned for chilly hikes, thrown on over PJs for a dog walk, and under a rain jacket on dismal days — and I know I'll continue to wear it as the temperature continues to dip.
In terms of size, some reviewers suggest to size down, but I stuck with my usual size small and was happy I did. It's relaxed without being boxy and allows me to wear a sweatshirt underneath on colder days. If you like a more formfitting fleece, though, you may want to size down. At $200, it's not cheap, but I'm confident I'll be turning to this cute yet functional jacket for years to come.