My husband recently asked why I never wear the robe he bought me. It’s a beautiful soft bamboo terrycloth product that has sparked so many online raves that it has spent what we both think is a ridiculous sum on something you wear after a bath. But it has been hanging on our shower room door unused for two years, and I thought I just wasn’t a robe. It turns out it’s me – but only if it’s made of fleece and doesn’t really look like a robe.
What converted me The Kari Traa Røthe Hoodie ($ 100), an extra long zip made of high-pile polyester. From above the waist it looks like a typical casual mid-layer. There’s a drawstring hood, a zipped chest pocket big enough for my cell phone, and the stretchy, striped cuffs of a track jacket. It just goes up to my knees, like a cozy lap blanket. That presentable aesthetic is key. I can wear the Røthe to various Zoom meetings and online work appearances, and no one on the other side of the screen has any idea that my jacket is actually the length of a bathrobe – and just as comfortable. This allows me to feel comfortable without looking like a full-time slipper.
(Photo: Courtesy of Kari Traa)
No wonder I’ve been wearing the Kari Traa Røthe since November when temperatures dropped in my teenage hometown, Steamboat, Colorado. The expanded coverage still makes me feel cuddled in blankets as I pull them over my pajamas to do my morning chores. Later, when I come home from skiing, I slip it over my underwear and sit down at the computer to continue my work day. This is Røthe’s genius: it behaves like a robe, but it doesn’t look like one.
When traveling to cabins and huts in the woods, I have appreciated the modesty offered by the Rothe’s unusually long cut. I’m not particularly comfortable just wearing base layers when out with groups of people, so the Røthe provides the coverage I crave. Meanwhile, I greeted his warmth on trips to the outbuilding and while shoveling snow from the deck.
This is not an overly technical garment. The old-school polyester fluff is warm but bulky, with no DWR finish to repel rain and no moisture wicking mesh or lining to fight sweat. But it’s absolutely brilliant for life in the mountains. Just don’t call it a robe.
Main Photo: Courtesy of Kari Traa