What's AFTER FLEECE?

The NEXT go-to mid-layer, the GORPIEST country, Fibonacci Fit Math and more "unbeatable recon"

Support the SPYPLANE, have FUN!

Blackbird Spyplane is a 100% subscriber-supported miraculous newsletter so caress the upgrade button and enjoy a LEGION of perks behind our “unbeatable paywall”…

Also?? Blackbird Spyplane is yr no. 1 source for “unbeatable mathematical epiphanies,” so the other day we fired up several Texas Instruments devices, unfurled a roll of industrial-grade graph paper — and decided to theorize a whole new kind of Fit Check

Until now, fit checks have gone only 2 ways — “Top —> Down” or “Bottom —> Up” … And as anyone who has listened to Throwing Fits can tell u, one of these directions is incorrect, i.e. if u don’t start from the footwear, U R exhibiting Narc-like Tendencies.

“But what if another kind of Fit Check is possible??” we wondered, entering COOL integers and SURPRISING variables into DOPE formulae. We looked like the math-lady meme, except MORE SWAGGY…

After 3 minutes of intense brainpower, we had our answer, illustrated above — a NEW, MULTIDIMENSIONAL fit-check that retains an option to start “soles up” with the footwear, ACAB-style, before rising to the pants, swinging out over to the wrist, then curving back to the dome piece and down to jacket / shirt(s) and finally spiraling inward to the HUMAN SOUL.Holy moly,” we hear you saying. “This is a paradigm-shifting fit-check technique AND if you opt to reverse it and go ‘SOUL —> OUT’ ?? U R not a police officer!!”

Exactly. It’s called the “Fibonacci Fit Check,” it can go “soles up” or “soul out,” and it relies on complex but elegant principles of natural harmony. Blackbird Spyplane has once again changed everything.

✌️⚖️🌍🌹 — Jonah & Erin

Now let’s answer some Mach 3+ reader questions….


☯ “What’s the next mid-layer warm garment to take over? i.e. what is post-fleece?” — @mattlbrnche

We love fleeces & consider them perennial … And yet, the eye wanders, the Polartec fades, and even the most resilient jawns go in and out of phase, meaning it’s only natural to ask, “What’s next?”

The answer as far as what’s next post-fleece is simple: ROOMY, HEFTY BUTTON DOWNS. Specifically, denim / chambray or flannel / chamois shirts. (A worn-in, heavier-weight blue Oxford could do the trick, too.)

HEFTY BUTTON DOWNS have long enjoyed their own noble place in the GORP lineage, as evidenced by the RARE & EXQUISITELY TATTERED Patagonia workshirt below (lifted from a GQ story Blackbird SpyFriend Sam Hine wrote about visiting the ‘gonia archives)…

Some California brands besides Patagonia used to do this kind of jawn CORRECTLY. Erin has a very similar denim shirt from ‘80s-era Gap, and I have a MAD POPPING perfectly faded / fraying triple-stitch denim button-down from ‘80s-era BANANA REPUBLIC, when their tags still said “Mill Valley.”

We found some great CHEAP vtg Gap and Banana Republic joints: Here in S, here in M, here in L, here, here and here in XL and here in L with LEATHER TRIM!

ALSO we are feeling BIG HEFTY FLANNELS, whether SOLID, CHECKED or — to make them feel that much fleecier — with PRINTS, like the 2 vintage L.L. Bean stunners up top — the “southwestern” print one is here; the “camo” one here.

Above left is a KILOTON-WEIGHT pink-and-tan natural-dyed Visvim “Black Elk” flannel that LOOKS and FEELS like it was cut from an ANCIENT JAPANESE HAND-LOOMED RUG…

We dug up a bunch more INEXPENSIVE & HEFTY VINTAGE GEMS and put them in a special BLACKBIRD SPYPLANE CLA$$IFIED DEPOT” for you, such as the oversize Indian-made SLAPPER above right…

We R not the only ones feeling HEFTY FLANNELS right now, as the “viral frenzy” last fall over Brad Pitt’s beautiful $2,000 cashmere flannel demonstrated.

For some non-vintage, non-$2,000 options, this $185 Japanese brushed-flannel shirt from Dancer is great; the $282 Orslow ecru joint above left is perfect; and the $500 Mountain Research “No Sew” shirt above right has snap closures instead of seams (!), making it a WILD yet rockable alternative to Needles’ “7-cuts” flannels.

NYC’s Corridor makes some beautiful flannels as well, currently on sale starting from $100.

Now, the HEFTY BUTTON DOWN is not a lightweight breathable performance-tech jawn, but that makes it more versatile in other contexts — U can incorporate one into GORPY and NON-GORPY outfits alike, and wear one by itself on a WARMER day, or toss one on top of a crewneck sweatshirt with the CUFFS ROLLED when the air turns chilly-willy….

Bonus HEAT: Hefty Shirt Cla$$ified Depot


☯ “Where (what?) does that blissed out look come from?!” — @rayrayboisjoly

I have achieved higher levels of consciousness, which I share with you, the most “unbeatable” newsletter readership in the game, and this combination of enlightenment and generosity makes my skin shine. Beyond this I floss twice daily, a.m. and p.m. — there R studies linking the onset of dementia to gum health so yr boy keeps the mint waxed garotte IN HEAVY ROTATION and this keeps the smile radiant…


☯ “What will be this year’s must-have quasi-orthopedic footwear?” — @hautepop

Thanks to the Italian sole-lords at Vibram, there’s been no shortage of STYLISH ORTHO-ADJACENT JAWNS over the past few years, whether it’s the Hoka Tor Ultra; the Our Legacy Mono Runner and Raphael; or the Roa Neal…

But when it comes to LEGIT NON-FASHION ortho shoes that are swaggy in a totally unintentional way, a friend of Erin’s just tipped her off to a Portuguese brand called Arcopédico, and she is feeling them. Specifically she is feeling their (POSSIBLY UNISEX??) slip-ons, pictured above, because YOOO they also make a bunch of other WACK models (no disrespect to any cool ppl who work there).

The GOOD Arcopédicos have a machine-washable knit upper and grippy molded outsoles — real talk, they R not a million miles away from the Row slippers that Spyfriend Laia Garcia-Furtado shouted out in the ‘sletter a few weeks back when we wrote about “Ugly Genius Jawns”… But they cost WAY less, especially if U cop a pair at resale, which is where Erin snagged some taupe slip-ons for $20.

Also if u wanna get nutty there’s a legit German orthopedic sneaker called the MediFlex that has palpable Roa / Our Legacy vibes (in certain colorways) … the Germans know their way around a d*mn ortho-kick, shout out Worishofer the OGs…


☯ “Best approach shoes that city slickers can also stunt with?” — @thekleschprince

The La Sportiva TX4 ! We’ve shouted it out in the ‘sletter before but it remains A) a great answer and B) surprisingly slept-on…


☯ “GORPiest country?” — @natewooding

Ranking countries by GORPINESS?? Never occurred to us, and just goes to show how much we here at Spyplane H.Q. can learn from YOU, our Mach 3+ readership…

(BTW if you haven’t read our definitive essay on blessed vs. cursed GORP mindsets, enjoy it!)

Ok so we crunched the numbers, and here’s a definitive ranking of the 16 GORPIEST countries on Earth, minus any we forgot. Heavy hitters in the mix include Canada, home to Arc’teryx and Nathan Fielder’s Summit Ice; Tanzania, home to Mt. Kilimanjaro; Peru, home to Machu Picchu; Argentina, home to the Patagonia logo; Nepal, homeland of god-tier Sherpa Tenzing Norgay; Italy, home to Vibram and the Dolomites; France, home to Salomon and some Alps; and of course Japan, home to a thriving outdoors-culture and also Blackbird Spyplane’s #1 favorite GORP brand, And Wander, whose s**t is unparalleled.

Some wild cards include Cuba, which beyond the familiar Havana imagery actually contains huge beautiful national parks and is Communist, which is the GORPIEST ideology. America is obvs home to spectacular nature and sick GORP brands but we R also a deeply cursed nation who do as much as / more than any other country to hurt Gaia so we lose in the first round. India, home to Dharamshala, makes a strong play, as does New Zealand, which contains stunning nature and also Lorde, who famously gave BBSP our most GORPED-OUT interview to date…

But Tibet has Mt. Everest and Buddhist monks who live on mountains, so it is the GORPIEST country.


Support the SPYPLANE, have FUN!

Blackbird Spyplane is a 100% reader-supported electronic-mail miracle so tickle the upgrade button playfully and enjoy MANY perks in the “inner $anctum”…

… such as EXCLUSIVE posts, EXCLUSIVE interviews, EXCLUSIVE giveways, EXCLUSIVE access to the Blackbird SpyMall, where we find BEAUTIFUL RARE jawns for our SpyFriends, and the Classified SpyTalk chatroom, where we share ELITE insider recommendations … & more.

Every “Blackbird Spyplane Interview,” w/ such luminaries of the arts & jawn sciences as Jerry Seinfeld, André 3000, Emily Bode, Lorde, Online Ceramics, Nathan Fielder, Phoebe Bridgers, Rashida Jones, John Wilson, Ezra Koenig, Antonio from 18 East, and more, is here.