7L and ArkAir make great allies

The strong military influence in modern menswear continues to endure. Some brands distance themselves from this, while others are more faithful to their lineage. 7L and ArkAir share this characteristic, and they’ve decided to celebrate their synergy in this Overhead Half Zip Smock, which I can only really describe as absolutely gorgeous.

Most men of a certain age and background will always revert back to a spell in their childhood where their version of a superhero was some form of an all-action military man. Whether it be Action Man himself, Action Force, GI Joe or whatever your regional equivalent was, in the 1970s and 1980s, playing army or messing about with toy soldiers was very much the thing to do for most lads. We had relations who had memories of the actual Second World War and there was rarely a news bulletin that didn’t report on some sort of armed conflict, much as it is today.

Despite the obvious grave consequences of war, we were just kids, and making a mad noise while pointing an improvised tree branch and trying to convince a friend that he’s now dead was actually more fun than it may sound to anyone under 25 today. Ok, it’s not Call of Duty but when the closest thing to video games we had was a ZX Spectrum, re-enacting battles was all we had.

Of course now we’re all older, hiding in a tree wearing camo pants from the army and navy store and throwing pine cones as if they’re grenades is probably inappropriate. That obsession with the comics and toys of our childhood remains though, we just need to express it in more socially acceptable ways. We can show our understanding and appreciation for the history we grew up with in a more mature, enlightened way, and in doing so indulge that deep-rooted desire to be the hero.

That’s where I reckon 7L and ArkAir come in. 7L have methodically built a brand they’re rightly proud of, while ArkAir’s own credentials barely need an explanation. While they’ve made a name manufacturing gear for the military, particularly through camo, this project sees them help 7L stand out rather than fit in with their surroundings, with an amazing smock in striking orange.

Designed and engineered in the UK, the New Classic Military 7L x ARKAIRĀ Overhead Half Zip Smock is manufactured from 100% organic cotton from Dinsmore Kells in Northern Ireland. It comes completely drop-lined which makes it fully waterproof with a DWR finish. Not only do its hydrophobic properties repel water and create a beading effect that protects the fabric and wearer from heavy downpours, it also boasts a fully taped breathable mesh membrane too, providing the appropriate barrier between the elements and the wearer.

The watertight properties not only ensure moisture doesn’t intrude on the wearer, they means body heat will have to work that bit harder to escape and as such, the smock is ideal for winter weather.

We’re due some snow soon. You could do a lot worse than bagging yourself one of these. Not only will it protect the fully grown man you’ve become, but it’ll also quietly delight the child you used to be.

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Mark Smith

I had pizza for tea.

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