This spring, military-style anorak jackets are popping up in department stores and boutiques across the United States. Simply put, an anorak is a pull over jacket that features a hood and drawstrings, usually at the waist and cuffs. Originally, anorak was actually an Inuit word. Inuit people wore anoraks made from waterproof caribou or seal skin. There jackets were usually lined with fur and regularly rubbed with fish oil. Inuit people wore them to stay warm and dry while hunting and these jackets are part of the official dress for men in Greenland. Anoraks were adopted by militaries in Sweden, Great Britain and several other countries and now they are in high demand with American fashionistas.
The anoraks that you can pick up in your favorite stores today are inspired by Inuit and military anoraks, but are not identical copies. These anoraks come in all sorts of materials, most of them are not lined in any kind of fur and they are more lightweight than the military or Inuit versions. They are appropriate for spring weather, especially since many of them are waterproof and can help to protect you from the rain. They might be pull over or they might open in front, some of them have drawstrings and some are belted and they even come in all sorts of bright, fun colors.
Available for about $50 from American Eagle, this anorak looks like a traditional military anorak with a hood and drawstrings at the waist and hip. This anorak comes in olive green and is lightweight and waterproof. The hood zips into the collar and the jacket both zips and snaps up in the front, so you will be protected from the rain or any strong winds. The AE Surplus Anorak is slim fitting and a good choice for an everyday jacket.
Although H & M calls their jacket a parka, it is technically in between a parka and an anorak. This lightweight jacket comes with a hood and drawstrings at the waist, cuffs and hips. It opens asymmetrically down the front with a hidden zipper and snaps. This anorak is oversized and baggy and is manufactured in water resistant polyamide. It has concealed zippers on the pocket so you can keep your stuff dry in the rain. The anorak comes in a dull beige color or a fun, bright apricot shade that will brighten up cloudy days. At about $50 in store, this jacket is a good buy. Best of all, a portion of the purchase price goes to Fashion Against Aids.
Another parka anorak mix, the River Island Parachute Parka is available from ASOS for about $135. This anorak is a bit dressier than the other two and comes in a lightweight, silk tough finished polyester. River Island describes the color as beige, but really it is more of a warm, dusty peach shade. This jacket features a grey contrast asymmetrical zipper with a hood lined in a matching grey mesh. The chest has draped panels and the jacket has multiple ruched seams.