There are many great fleece jackets out there, but the Warm Up Fleece from Brooklyn-based brand Battenwear stands out. Designer Shinya Hasegawa, who previously worked at Woolrich Woolen Mills, takes his inspiration from late-sixties to early-eighties surf and outdoor culture. As a year-round East Coast surfer, Hasegawa is focused on creating warm clothes he can wear to the beach and on the train out to Montauk.
Battenwear's fleece hits all the marks, taking the requisite materials (dense polyester fleece and cloth snap pocket) and combining them into a sportier new form. This jacket takes cues from old baseball jackets, hence the ribbed hem and cuffs, but the details also serve to keep in body warmth, lending the piece a more slender shape. The collar also lies flatter than on many similar jackets, which makes for a dressier look. The two-way zip front and zip pockets, retained from classic fleece styling, maintain ease of wear, so you've got the best of both worlds – outdoor utility and everyday versatility. [$215; indigoandcotton.com]