Reflective jackets from Addict and Spiewak
Addict Reversible Wind Cheater VS Spiewak Golden Fleece Reflective Fishtail Parka
I'm a big fan of reflective materials on clothing, footwear and bags almost entirely because it just looks awesome. As for practical reasons, with it being dark when you leave for, and from work, now is the perfect time to be seen.
For AW15 the best looking affordable jacket I have seen so far comes from one of the UK's longest running streetwear brands Addict, in the form of their Reversible Wind Cheater. The jacket is fully reversible with one side made from thermal fleece and the other a reflective shell. I caught sight of this piece some months back at Jacket Required and was very impressed by the look and feel of the jacket overall. The question will be how it stands up to actually being worn. I brought this up at the time and was told that tests had been positive and they were all too aware of issues faced by producing a jacket with a completely reflective outer shell.
At the other end of the price scale I happened across the Golden Fleece Reflective Fishtail Parka from New York brand Spiewak. A classically styled parka featuring the reflective 'Universal Camouflage Pattern' (also known as the $5 Billion disaster by the US Army) and a waterproof exterior. As amazing as the jacket looks in the video below, the obvious flaw with this jacket is when not exposed to direct light, the jacket looks pretty dull. The jacket does have a redeeming feature albeit a hidden one, that being the photoluminescent pixelated military print lining.
For a versatile jacket you can wear daily the Addict wind cheater is the perfect choice and being reversible means you are more likely to find reasons to wear it day and night. Anyone considering the Spiewak probably cares more about how fucking awesome it looks in the dark than the fact it's 5x the price and looks less than illuminating during the day.
It's been my experience that most fashion pieces made entirely with reflective materials don't often hold up well when worn. This eventually leads to something of great expense looking considerably less desirable after just a few outings. There's a misconception that something made from a well known material such as 3M™ must be the best choice and fit for the purpose. In workwear this is most likely true, and surprisingly cheaper although to be fair most use strips rather than entire sections. But with fashion pieces unfortunately the material serves as more of a marketing tool than functional addition to the makeup of the product. Practical use aside a highly reflective product is undoubtedly eye catching and many brands now feature something in their winter collections. Despite what I've said up to this point I would still recommend acquiring at least one good piece of reflective outerwear for the winter.