Love & Sex

Louis and His Optical Illusion Jacket

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Louis for ToA

Sometimes an ensemble comes together through juxtaposition. You gather all the statistical outliers in your closet: the oversize Tweety Bird tee, that cozy brick-colored flannel, a Red Sox rubber bracelet, and combine them, and head to that party your sister dragged you to on Chicago’s near north side. Meet Louis, a native of Maine visting Chicago, who was wearing the coziest, most 90’s flannel jacket I’ve seen on a guy since middle school.

“I call it my Optical Illusion Jacket,” he told me, because the inner layer of hoodie and outer layer of flannel are sewn together, giving the appearance a sweatshirt/jacket combo, but it’s actually one piece. And if there’s anything more in than flannel these days, it’s irony.

So, if you happen to be in the market for both layers of meaning and fabric, you can find the Optical Illusion Jacket (the Hooded Quilted Flannel is its official name) in four color styles at the Kittery Trading Post, a Maine-based outfitter of rugged wear. One of the drop-down menus at KTP.com is “Used Guns,” which should give you a quick idea of their ruggedness, though the ladies may prefer to add a bright pink bomber hat to their shopping cart instead.

To complete the illusion, all you need is livestrong-style rubber bracelet in your choice of team, available at the NFL shop. "It’s the only man jewelry I wear," Louis told me. When I mentioned my statistical outlier theory of style, he laughed. “Not to get all Malcolm Gladwell on you,” he said, “but the outliers are supposedly the geniuses!”