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A lot of brands talk about bringing function to style, but when you’re talking about your outer layer, that function means a whole lot more than just a cleaner stitch or a tougher fabric. It means keeping you dry during Manhattan’s monsoon season, shiver-free through your next heli-skiing jaunt, and thoroughly protected from any element you happen to run across.

Which is where Aether comes in…although they’re making no promises about fire. They use poly weaves and ripstop fabrics to make shells that are both breathable and water-repellent, with a slimmer cut and a more fashion-ready feel than you’ll find in most outerwear. The result is, in layman’s terms, some very handsome stuff. Other tech-y touches include loops to hold your iPod earbuds in place on the fleece hoodies, sealed seams, and some technologically toasty linings, but the real gold is buying a shell that can get you through just about anything nature throws at you.

Trust us. It’s science.

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—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom