Essay: Windbreaker

May 8, 2020

Many years ago, my husband gave me a blue nylon windbreaker—very simple and lightweight, with side pockets and a hood.  I loved that jacket and wore it everywhere—jogging, camping, canoeing, and just hanging out on the back porch.  I had washed it a hundred times and it always came out looking like new.

Until it didn’t—and I had to finally acknowledge that the windbreaker I’d worn forever was worn out.  The zipper was unreliable and the nylon had starting to shred.  This made me sad, of course, not only because I loved that jacket but because I knew I couldn’t find another.

I knew because I tried.  Dick and I wandered around various sporting goods stores and browsed catalogs in search of a simple, lightweight windbreaker.  No such thing.  Nowadays, outerwear is multi-purpose, multi-layered, high-tech and bulky with improvements I don’t want.

No, I don’t need a durable water-repellent finish or zippered pockets with storm-flap design.  Nor do I need a polyester lining or an adjustable hood or a hem draw cord.  And I surely don’t need it to pack into its own pocket.  

I only need it to be exactly like the one I have—a simple, lightweight beloved blue windbreaker that no longer exists.  That cannot be improved upon or replaced.