6 November 2018

Review: Uniqlo Fluffy Fleece

Uniqlo Fluffy Yarn Fleece - £19.90
For reference I am wearing a Size Small, and am 184cm/68kg

Please note: this is not a sponsored post, the item was personally purchased


My wardrobe goal for this Autumn/Winter season is pretty simple - keep is cosy.

I have only recently started paying attention to Uniqlo again, thanks primarily to the Christophe Lemaire collaboration. The collaboration started off super promising, but has since descended into cheaper fabrics and construction than I had hoped (and probably also why the name of the collaboration dropped the 'Lemaire' and in favour of 'Uniqlo U'). I have been buying pieces each season to check it out, and for the past two, they have all gone straight back. However I have been curious to see what general Uniqlo quality was like, having stopped shopping there a number of years back. I still have fond memories of Uniqlo before their aggressive expansion here in the UK. The quality of the fabrics and general fit in those days was second-to-none on the High Street for that price (...well ok, Muji has always been better, but then there are only a handful of Mujis around). I can still remember going into a Uniqlo for the first time and seeing the wall of coloured socks, and for whatever reason, that was what sold me on them more than anything else they carried. Indeed there was actually a time when the vast majority of my wardrobe was from Uniqlo. 

However with Uniqlo's expansion, around the same time as their push into the American market, a number of years ago came cheaper fabrics and shoddier construction. I remember seeing Uniqlo adverts in tube stations and in newspapers like never before, and knew that cost cutting was around the corner. And, lo and behold, things got cheaper and quality declined. I stopped shopping at Uniqlo shortly thereafter. I still reminisce over the quality of the first Jil Sander collaboration collection, but even that got worse over time. And yet, having said all that, I am happy that I gave them another chance recently because they really do appear to be slowly focusing on improving their quality, even if the Uniqlo U stuff has been something of a red herring. A man can't live on high fashion pieces alone (especially not a man with my bank balance), and so I have been slowly but surely trying out different Uniqlo pieces to familiarise myself again with their cuts, construction, and general quality. I saw this fluffy fleece zip up when it dropped and it seemed quite fitting for the cosier direction I want my wardrobe to take this season.

Plain fleece tops and jackets are easy enough to find, whether you want to drop the money on something more practical from an outdoors company, or something a little more casual to wear with pyjamas around the house from a department store. But I saw this fleece and was immediately taken, because it looked so fluffy and soft. My constitution as of late has been rather delicate (to say the least) thanks to the double gut punch of a Crohn's flare and chronic fatigue hitting hard. As such, cosy clothes have most certainly been at the top of my list when it comes to dressing each day. I already own a borg fleece hoodie, which I like to think of as my teddy bear hoodie, but it is a little too chunky for everyday wear. It is suited primarily for the worst of the Winter weather. I wore it last year in the snow, and it was super cosy, but wearing it in the current weather would be a little too much. That idea of a teddy bear has stuck with me though, and I want to try and find super snuggly clothes that will keep me cosy through the Winter.

 I ordered this zip up fleece in two different sizes - a size small and a size medium, because I usually wear either depending on the type of fit I am looking for. I settled with the size small, although the size medium would have worked had I wanted to wear this fleece as a jacket, rather than as a cardigan as I have currently been using it. The fit is quite close to the body, although the sleeves have a decent amount of room so as not to feel too restrictive, and I like the wider shoulders. The body is perhaps an inch shorter than I would like, but at my height that is to be expected I suppose. It has two hard warmer pockets at the front, which are well placed, however they do tend to bag a little and make it look like you are carrying some extra weight around your midsection, so you may want to be careful with that. I was pleased to see that the stitching was all neat, and the construction overall appears to be solid. I have machine washed it twice on a standard 30 degree cycle now, and thankfully the fabric remains soft and the size is unchanged, with no wrinkly zipper. I like the fact that you can simply hang dry it and wear it without ironing, so it is quite practical in that respect.

The feel of the fleece is super soft, because those fluffy fibres feel so plush, and I do find myself stroking the fabric mindlessly when wearing it. Thankfully I have not had any shedding, but will report back if I do run into any issues. I would liken it to wearing a plush dressing gown, and it really does feel comfortable for everyday use. It is nice and warm, in fact more so than ordinary fleece I would say, because of that extra surface area and insulation. Being fleece there is however the dreaded static issue, and while throughout the day I do not tend to notice any static build up, I will say that taking it off at the end of the day most certainly reminds you that you are wearing polyester. That goes with the territory, but it is something to be aware of, because obviously depending on what you are doing throughout the day, a static charge building can be somewhat annoying. But overall, for the price, I think it beats any standard zip up fleece you might find. Not only is it super soft and tactile, but the texture also plays with the light and adds a nice element of visual depth (especially when you wear all black like I do!). I am actually tempted to double up, but knowing Uniqlo it will hit the sales or be discounted soon enough, so hopefully I can snag even more of a bargain.

xxxx 

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