Apparel from the four-year-old label Bridge & Burn checks all the boxes: good looks, great fit, ease of wear, decent prices. A man can outfit himself nearly head to toe at the flagship shop on Portland's SW Morrison St., but – not to shortchange the well-conceived lineup of flecked chambray button-ups, graphic tees, and khakis – the brand's signature range of jackets is the main attraction. And for good reason. When designer Erik Prowell, a former computer programmer from Bend, went looking for a better life (one that allowed for more snowboarding anyway) by launching Bridge & Burn, the new label started by creating jackets for West Coast mountain men who wanted to look slick at the microbreweries back in town.
"When I design a jacket," says Prowell, whose outerwear spans the range from cotton zip-ups to wool parkas. "I want it to be sharp, practical, and a pleasure to wear."
The coats tend toward the uncomplicated and are clearly meant for both weekdays at the office and weekends in the wilderness. Many Bridge & Burn coats have cheerful, haberdashery-inspired linings in fabrics like red gingham or striped blue shirting, a thoughtful touch when you're dealing with relentless gray skies from October to May. And the brand's new fall collection offers more of the excellent, efficient same. The Harden jacket, set to hit stores this week, is a quilted bomber-style short jacket in water-resistant cotton. The Parson, arriving next month, is a heavier-duty coat in water-shedding cotton/poly with a bit more length and a drawstring hood. (Tip: You can also grab last season's minimalist tan McCloskey model on sale now.)
In a city known for its committed bike commuters and proximity to outdoor adventure, Prowell relies on functionality to set his handsome products apart. Because he weds form and function so smoothly, his company's jackets offer a welcome change of pace from both technically-focused outerwear and style-centric city goods. [Harden jacket, $198 and Parson jacket, $230; BridgeandBurn.com]