Woolrich Byrd Cloth Parka

Posted on January 20, 2012

We’re spending this January as we have spent every January since we became a “thing,” lo these many years gone; by trading a cold back and forth, taking turns being sick and expecting the other one to wait on them because “I did it for you when you were sick last week!” A dismal place is T Lo ville this month. Cats get fed and holiday decorations get boxed up, but that’s about all we can manage in the way of domestic maintenance until February. And every January, as we dig out of the piles of tissues and make our way through the fog of eucalyptus steam, we vow, like Scarlett herself, that as God is our witness, we will NEVER leave the house without proper protection from the cold again.

And then we get better and subsequently completely forget about our vow. But it’s good to know yourself, don’t you find?

Anyway, with an introduction like that, who needs a segue? The subject is winter outerwear and we love these classic parkas from the Woolrich John Rich & Bros. Fall/Winter ’12 collection in some very non-classic colors:


In fact, it’s those very colors that are allowing us to overcome our seventies childhoods, where we and every single other male child (and a large percentage of the females) who lived in climates where it got cold during the winter owned what we called “snorkel jackets.” It’s hard sometimes to return to the clothes of your youth without feeling a little silly about it, but these are awesome updates to a classic piece of outerwear. Best of all, they’re made of a water-repellant cotton, which means none of the constant swishing that comes from nylon rubbing together. Seriously, the schoolyards in the seventies and eighties sounded like a herd of whistling animals when you put 300 cheap nylon parkas out to play at a time.

Anyway, our question to y’all is:


The Woolrich Byrd Cloth Parka: YEA or NAY?


Orange for Lo and blue for T is what we’re thinking.


[Photo Credit: woolrich.com]

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  • One in yellow here, please!

  • R. L.

    Yea.  A fabulous way to stay warm and dry.

  • Anonymous

    Yea! I love the colors. The waterproof cotton is a great touch, too. And modern cold-weather fabrics are so much better than the ones that were around when we were kids. They are much lighter, better insulating, and breathable.

    I’ve been sick off and on the past two weeks, and I’m down to my last box of Kleenex!! Deciding whether it is worth leaving the house for or whether I’ll force a family member to go buy some.

    Feel better, T Lo.

    • I’m sorry you’re sick, AD, and for so long. Send a family member. That’s what they’re for.

      • Anonymous

        Aw,you’re sweet. thanks. I am feeling better, actually.

  • Anonymous

    I’m with Lo (if we’re taking sides).  I want the orange one, too!

  • Can I have the green? LOVE!! YEA!

  • Anonymous

    “trading a cold back and forth”….isn’t that what January meant originally? Be well soon!

  • Anonymous

    Any but the green.  Reminds me of a tall kid who wore a green jacket and got called “Pine Tree.”  I still feel his pain. 

    • Anonymous

      I had the green coat when I was a kid.  I wasn’t tall or male.   It was just ugly.

      • Anonymous

        I had the green coat, also. I also wasn’t tall or male. I loved it though. It made me feel tough.

        I wore a lot of clothes other people thought were ugly, back in the day, mostly because they made me feel tough.

        ETA: Self-delusion has been a strong theme in my wardrobe choices throughout my life. Unfortunately, I am blind to it in real time, only seeing it in retrospect.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Oh, those are lovely! Can I share the orange as well?

  • Anonymous

    Totally yea!

  • Yea! Practical and handsome!

  • Anonymous

    Love the parka!  Hope you feel better.  

  • Anonymous

    These are great looking coats but the Woolrich fit is lousy. The arm holes seem to be in the wrong place. In fact, each color fit a little differently. Where is the famous Woolrich quality?

    • Anonymous

      I work at the flagship store…you’d be amazed by the **** we put on the racks lol. I once found a shirt with the arm sewn to the neck. Woolrich quality doesn’t exist anymore.

  • YEA – and thanks for the memory of the olive drab parkas my brothers sported in their youth

  • Greg Yoder

    I would like the blue one, please.  The orange is also fab, but orange and I do not get along, alas. 

  • Anonymous

    Those are pretty fab looking parkas.
    My husband should buy the blue one, but I he thinks outerwear should be dark (aka: boring)

    • Anonymous

      Sounds like my hubs, who would look good in the blue as well. He’d think it was awfully bright. Good thing I’m here to balance out the color ratio, hehe.

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely yea.  I am so sick of seeing almost exclusively black (or at least very dark) outerwear that this is a very welcome relief.

  • I’ve had the same cold for what seems like 3 weeks straight now, and I keep promising to take better care of myself, too. I wish they made these for women; I’d buy one right now.

  • Anonymous

    Blue and orange: gorgeous! 

  • Anonymous

    I have to have that orange parka.

  • Anonymous

    These are great.  Blue for me.

  • I live in new england, I still own a coat like that.  Although mine is nylon and wine colored with fake fur trim 🙂
    I love the idea of non swishy cotton. 

  • Anonymous

    Great coats but does it bother anyone else that the buttons are asymmetrical? Like it’s double breasted but someone forgot to sew on a row of buttons? EITHER WAY, I like the green ;-).

  • Love them. And I’d want to walk in a line with a bunch of friends who owned the other colors.

  • Lori

    The coats look great, but if you’re hoping to avoid getting colds you’d have better luck focusing on being a little OCD about washing your hands.

  • Blech. I loathe puffy plastic coats–they look like sleeping bags to me. I live in Chicago, home of pretty brutal winters, and I haven’t encountered anything a plush cashmere topcoat can’t handle.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Ha! I remember the 70’s and 80’s and those parka’s. I’ll have to get my husband one in memory of when I first met him-in his parka. 🙂

  • I love the blue. It would look dashing against the snow.

  • Anonymous

    Yay!  I love them!  For men or women! Of course, I live in Colorado.  😉

  • Sara__B

    Yea to the colors and the waterproof cotton. Nay to the furry collar (too rainy where I live) and the asymmetrical buttons.

  • Boys, I have no comment on these coats, but might I make a suggestion for next winter?  Set up a humidifier in the house and run it regularly — rhino virus is more prevalent in the winter not because of cold temperatures, but because it thrives in lower humidity.  I also like the children’s gummy vitamin immune support.  Just eat one whenever you remember, ideally several times throughout the day. 

    • Anonymous

      This is good advice. I’d add using a neti pot to that advice. Many people don’t like neti pots, but when i use mine regularly, I don’t get colds. I haven’t used it this winter and now I’ve been sick twice this month!

      • You do need to be careful with those, though.  Make sure you disinfect it THOROUGHLY after EVERY use — I put ours through the same sterilization routine I use on baby bottles.  There’s a serious health risk if you don’t;  a lot of people have ended up with infections from using them without proper cleaning. 

        That’s my PSA for the day!  😛

        • Anonymous

          I know, you’re right. I do clean it well, but I am going to buy distilled water to use it in, too, as some of the microbes that cause the infections are in the water.

        • And ALWAYS boil the water or use bottled!  There were two recent cases in Louisiana of people dying from amoeba’s in the brain because they didn’t boil the water before using it in their Neti pots.

    • When I was living in PA (only a couple hours from our lovely hosts), a humidifier kept me from being absolutely miserable. The winters are damp, by which I mean there’s a wet coldness that gets in your bones in November and doesn’t leave until May. But our house was as dry as a bone. It got to the point where I had nosebleeds. Thank god for that humidifier, or I would have jumped into the Susquehanna river because I felt so awful.

  • Anonymous

    Two thumbs up!!!

    I’ll take a green or an Yellow one, please!  

  • Anonymous

    I want that coat for myself as well as The Husband, but godtopus almighty, did they have to make the model look like a complete tool?

  • Judy_J

    A big ol’ YEA on this one.  These parkas look like they’d keep you toasty warm and stylish all winter.  I particularly love the blue one!

  • Anonymous

    Yea — lovely writing on your parts — so evocative and sweet.  Here’s to hoping you both feel better soon and, yes, dressing for the cold does help — a good looking coat with a hood makes a big difference.  Love that blue — would look great with black slacks and a good scarf.  PS … So true on the sound of 70s playgrounds!

  • Definitely yea. I’ve avoided getting sick this winter by being unemployed and avoiding public transport. It’s pretty drastic, but it means I haven’t had to experience anyone else’s germs for 3 months! Keep warm, drink lots of fluids.

  • Laura Korth

    Yea, yea, yea, yea, yea! One for every color and a last one for effect. But seriously about that green one.

  • Anonymous

    Yea! and I love the choice of orange and blue for yourselves. 

  • Anonymous

    Yea, Baby!  For my males and maybe one for me.  Feel better you two.

  • Yup. Yes. Absolutely. 

  • Terence Ng

    God help me, I love them all.

  • Anonymous

    I LOVE Woolrich.  Everything about that company.  YES to the orange!

  • My dream guy wears the orange.  Love it!

  • CQAussie

    One in blue and one in green please!

  • Yea. They are all lovely colors.

  • I want one in orange – and I’d like to lobby for the coats in a nice stoplight red or warm plum, too.

  • Anonymous

    Yea! My man should have one…

  • Daisy James

    Yea, definitely. It’s hard to find a good warm coat that doesn’t make you look inflated, and these have a timeless sort of look to them.

    Also, if it helps, going out in the cold has absolutely no bearing on whether or not you’ll get sick. But you should get the coats anyway.

  • MilaXX

    YAY! I like this as an alternative to the puffy coat. I’ll take one in either blue or green please.

  • Anonymous

     I love the yellow.  Now if only those were around back then!I have a picture with me and my sister standing in front of our house in 1976-77–she in a red jacket (looking just like above) and mine is a pea green.   It was such a lovely fashion choice for two girls!   Of course these coats were always a size too big-so we could grow into them.   Now I suspect they were boys coats but considering what else I wore in 1976 the coats was the least of my worries!

  • Anonymous

    Hell YEA

  • A big Yea to the coat and all the colors. The orange is especially fab.

    I hated those nylon puffy coats so much that I refused to wear one. A few layers of clothes and a nice wool coat kept me as warm as I was going to be.

    Now that I live in NC, I don’t really need a coat that heavy, but I want one just the same.

    Feel better, boys. Maybe you’ll have to give up snuggling for a few days. :- (

  • Anonymous

     Yea! We called the Anteater…my brother always zipped his all the way so that he was looking out a 3 in hole.

  • I want Willem DaFoe in the blue one!

  • * lemon ginger echinacea juice * Whole Foods and Trader Joes have it. I need the eucalyptus steam myself this week.
    Oh the parkas. Cool. I had a flower print one back in the day.
    Feel better!

  • Anonymous

    Like OMG!! I had a “snorkel”. We called them that in north NJ too. Hideous color army green with a stretch binding at the bottom so it cinched at the waist or right below. I was in high school and had to walk everywhere and my ass was always freezing. I give these a yea and while I normally don’t care much for yellow clothing, I dig the yellow one.

  • Anonymous

    Yea, even though I, too, was a kid in the 70s and remember those parkas in navy blue.

  • kjthorp

    YEA!! And I want green please.

  • Love them all!  The butterscotch one is quite yummy.

  • Anonymous

    Hope you feel better!!  
    Have you ever tried a neti pot??  
    Love these parkas… especially the yellow one!

  • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

    Yea- and I love your color choices!

  • Lexie

    YEA! Would love to get that hunter green one for the bf. I’m sure you gentleman would look fetching in the blue and orange 😉

  • Anonymous

    “OH ADMIRAL BYRD, YOU LOOK FAAAB-ULOUS!” – all the gay eskimos

    • Anonymous

      Today’s laugh out loud.  I don’t know why, exactly, but it had the power.

  • Anonymous


    A very, very, enthusiastic yea. 

  • I like them, but for some reason they remind of Rick Perry.  Ick!

  • Anonymous

    That was one of the sweetest ruminations on long time love, life, sniffles and parkas that I may have ever read. Oh how I adore you TLo! And the parkas get a YEA and I get a pat on the back for not having to wear something like that here in Atlanta.

  • Anonymous

    Yea. Inspired update.

    As for the cold, it must be the neighborhood. I was in Bucks County a couple weeks ago and came home with the worst cold I’ve had in years. Which also happened the last time I visited your part of the world.

  • I JUST bought an orange parka. Not Woolrich, but glad you guys approve of the idea.

  • Stephen Bornstein

    I would like it in a lovely red please…feel better boys.

  • Anonymous

    Yay all the way!

  • Not much you can do with a parka but update the color and they chose well.

    *sends virtual hot toddies to TLo*

  • Anonymous

    I love these, the colors are fabulous, especially the butterscotch.But – am I right to assume the collars are real fur – ???  Then, not so much.

  • aimee_parrott

    YEA, and I completely embrace your color choices, as well.  Feel better soon!!

  • Anonymous

    Very nice, but no fur, faux or otherwise, for me.

  • YEAH! I want one in a woman’s size… the sky blue one please!

  • Green, please!

  • Anonymous

    It’s nice, but can you take the fur off?

  • Anonymous

    Never needed one here in CA – but I love the colors.

  • Anonymous

    How about the orange? I love colorful outerwear. The green is just too reminiscent of the parkas we all wore in Kodiak. They certainly weren’t stylish but boy, they did keep us toasty. 

  • Anonymous

    Wonderful — love the colors!!

  • Anonymous

    Yea. My man would look great in the green one. 

  • Anonymous

    I work the flagship Woolrich store in Woolrich, PA. Our arctic parkas are a huuuuge seller. PPeople actually buy them in bulk so that when we run out they can sell them om ebay lol. Crazy people, these things are ridiculously expensive!

  • Updated my cute derriere!  This is LL Bean circa 1994.  Out. Practical maybe, but I expect more than that.

  • Yellow yellow yellow!!!

  • I love the blue one and the green one!

  • Anonymous

    Nay. It’s a parka!

  • akprincess72

    I don’t think they are warm enough for where I live (it’s been colder than -30 for a month & we are forecasted for -50), but they look great!!

  • Yea! My husband would look great in the green.

  • Anonymous

    Yay!  Also, yea.

  • Melvis Velour

    I saw these and all I could think of were those awful cheap snorkel jackets that were in drab green – they’re cute but I’ve moved on…

  • Stephen Trask

    I want one.  I’ll take the one with the model in it.

  • Anonymous

    Doctor John Watson wore this Woolrich Army Green Hooded Down Parka in the last episode of the first series of Sherlock: http://wearsherlock.tumblr.com/post/10731032334/woolrich-army-green-hooded-down-parka-as-worn-by#notes  

    So I’d say–go with Woolrich.  (Sorry you’ve been sick–at least we’ve had a mild winter in Houston, so far.)

    The site above shows some outfits & props from the second series of Sherlock–just finished in the UK.  Might I request some coverage when PBS shows it in May?  Not just for the wardrobe….

  • Must have orange parka.

  • Anonymous

    YEA love the yellow and orange

  • Anonymous

    YEA!  Your January sounds a lot like mine. I always get sick.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll take one in blue. YEA.

  • YEA, and both my man and I would look good in one.

  • Totally diggin’ that green one 😉

  • Anonymous

    Very basic, decent-looking (though nothing new) outer covers. Green one for me, please.

  • No red one?  SAD FACE*  Eh I already have a Parka, black with bright orange highlights.