I'm an Alaska girl.
There isn't much to separate this vest from all the other fleece vests out there. It's really a matter of fit, because there aren't many features. For me, the Patagonia Synchilla is a winner. This is an all-around great piece. The fit is the best for my body type. The feature that I appreciate is that it's made from recycled polyester. The technology to do that makes it a little more expensive for now, but I think that it's worth it in the long run to encourage its use and development.
If you like to play outside, and you don't want to be hampered by the cold, this is the piece for you. It's 800-fill goose down; it doesn't get much warmer than that. What I love the most about it is that it's also very compact, so you're not going to feel like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
Because I live and play in Alaska, it's hard to tell when things are going to get a bit chilly in the evenings. I bring mine camping with me. Stuffed into its pocket, it makes a pretty decent pillow for a mummy bag, but since it's serving double duty as a warm-up, I don't feel guilty at all about the extra space or ounces.
I prefer dressing pretty modestly; I find it more comfortable not to have to worry about which body parts are showing, and whether it's too much. This top fixes that handily. The neckline follows the collarbones, which shows off great posture in a very elegant way. I can also count on this top to fill in the blanks when layered under v-neck tops and do it without making the outfit seem heavy.
I've worn this for yoga, and it performs well. There's enough movement that you never feel constricted. I've also worn this to the office and got compliments on its unique design. This is a very clever shirt. Much more flattering and elegant than your standard hoodie.
I really didn't need a new fleece when I bought this, but the beauty of the northern light color broke me down and I brought it home. i previously had a Marmot Radiant jacket, which is very similar, but this one has a little something extra. The fibers are just a little softer, and I like the fit just a little better.
Right now, the temperature is hovering at about 30 degrees. This jacket is just about perfect on its own for a still day in that range. If there's a warm south wind, it's good for about 40 degrees. As with my Marmot jacket, I wear it when the office turns the A/C up just a little too high.
I love the fabric and fit of these pants. They move perfectly with me, whether I'm relaxing or doing dhanurasana. I love that I can roll the waistband down, or wear it up, because I'm not a huge fan of showing my belly, but the folded waistband helps to camouflage underwear lines.
I have them in northern light, but I'll probably pick up a few of the others, as well.
I love wearing this shirt to the office. It's comfortable and graceful under a suit jacket, and it's always ready for lunchtime yoga. I've also never seen a woman look bad in this top. As long as you stand up straight, you'll stand out.
I got my first one a couple years ago in lupine, and I just bought a black one as well.
There are no hip straps.
This shoe is all man made materials. Chaco also makes a similar shoe in leather, available at www.chacousa.com
I would suggest a 7, since Chacos don't come in half sizes.
It looks like all sizes currently available are medium.
I wouldn't wash it in a regular load. If you use a detergent made for use with down items and a front-load washing machine, it will do fine. It doesn't do too badly with the feather-loss. The shell is a quality fabric.
I would imagine so. I'm a 6-8 and take a medium.
The ink blue is really beautiful in person. If I were in the market for a long coat, that would be my choice. The vintage white gives a very clean and classic look. I would shy away from it, personally, because it's not easy to keep clean (at least for me).
A large would probably be a good choice, especially if you're planning on wearing sweaters.A medium would give you a tighter fit.