If you hadn’t noticed, it’s rather cold outside right now. And I’m not great in the cold weather (just ask those at Dapper Chapper HQ who must listen to me whimper when we venture out for a walk to clear our heads) But I think it’s partly because I’m more concerned with wearing the clothes I want, rather than the clothes best suited for the weather: fashion over function if you will.
So I’ve decided to change that. A close friend – whom I often have very open and honest discussions with about our mental health – told me to check out Frahm. “They make proper jackets that actually work” and “they give money from each jacket to the mental health charity ‘Mind’. “Oh, and they look pretty cool too.”
So, function, fashion, and money to a great cause? Take my wallet.
Frahm, meaning (in old German) ‘noble, man of good character’, was set up by Nick Hussey and his wife Emmalou in 2018. Nick, who I spoke to before receiving my jacket, very candidly told me about his mental health “wobble” back in 2017 and how he’s gone from pretty much giving up, to setting up and enjoyable and exciting brand in Frahm. You should definitely check out his story.
Based on my shudders even when we talked about the cold weather, Nick recommended I go for the Thermal Military Parka. So I did. From the pictures I saw on the website, this tank of a jacket looked heavy. The model looked ‘locked in’ thanks to the Italian stainless steel exploration clasps on the chest, and I’ll be honest – I just saw it as another ‘winter jacket.’
But I couldn’t have been more wrong when I unboxed it. The Parka really is built like a tank but boasts an incredibly flexible and lightweight body; it’s centred around three layers of fabric: a heavy grade of washable waxed cotton, insulation is a recycled breathable microfibre, and a lining made from delightfully soft brushed cotton flannel.
Let’s take this Parka for a spin.
Thankfully, we’ve had all sorts of miserable weather of late, so I’ve had plenty of opportunities to take the Parka outdoors. The jacket is both robust and flexible, giving me plenty of natural movement: I am locked in, but locked away from the elements which I’m thankful for.
I have a couple of layers on underneath the Parka, expecting to be either sweltering or shivering the minute I step out the front door. Again, I’m wrong. This jacket breathes. It keeps me at a comfortable temperature and allows the perfect amount of ventilation. This means I get to enjoy my walk – and not worry about having to remove or add layers.
I’ve then got plenty of poppers, buttons, clasps, zips and pockets to keep my ‘stuff’ protected, all made from grade-A materials. There’s even a couple of great zips on the lower part of the back of the jacket to help getting up and down out of seats more fluidly, and they also get into your trouser pockets without having to undo the entire front each time. No wonder Nick’s work is exhibited in the Design Museum in London and The Victoria & Albert Museum.
Frahm jackets are by pre-order only. Why? Nick explains: “We’re not trying to be a massive corporation. We don’t make many jackets and we don’t want wastage; we care about the planet and want to do our bit. We also want you to buy one of our jackets knowing it will last a lifetime, we don’t want you needing a new one in a couple of years’ time. What’s the point?
“So, our customers pre-order to reserve the exact jacket they want, before it’s gone,” added Nick. “We give you 20% off for that, to say thanks. You’re helping us after all, so we should help you.”
My verdict? This is a serious piece of kit. I just love that it looks great, too.
Dapper Chapper HQs verdict? They now have to listen to ramble on about how good a jacket it is whilst on our walks. Which, by the way, is a great thing to do when your mind is a bit fuzzy. My walks are now made that little bit better too, knowing Mind is getting more support thanks to the guys at Frahm.
Pre-orders for the Thermal Military Parker 2022 is open now: £596 www.frahmjacket.com