Click & Choose: Online App lets you design Custom Jacket

“Design your own jacket.” That’s the theme with Wild Things’ new custom shop, where you choose your jacket color, stitching, zipper, pocket layout, hood, outer material, and insulation type to make a one-of-a-kind winter coat.

Using a template online, a shopper can pick from dozens of options to make a coat personalized to their exact style preference and performance needs. PrimaLoft insulation and Polartec fabric are among the options to choose from.

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A visual configurator puts you in charge of your coat design

In the outdoor category, large-scale apparel customization has pretty much been non-existent. Wild Things hopes to find a niche with its “Design Your Own” program, which launched in late 2012.

To get a feel for the process, we built a custom coat last month. It took less than 10 minutes to design online, and it was a fun and easy process. The coat was made in Wild Things’ New Jersey factory and shipped to our office within two weeks.

For now, the brand has two base jackets to pick from, a softshell (Wind Pro Hoody) and an insulated model (Insulight Jacket).

We designed the Wind Pro Hoody model. A slick visual configurator allows you to click and choose different fabrics, colors, detail trim, hood or no hood, and pocket placement.

As different options are selected on the site, the customization tool is instantly updated in 3D with zoom and rotation, giving you a detailed view of the product before you buy.

As we discovered, what you see is what you get. That is to say, the hoody I’m wearing as I type this looks exactly the same as the one I designed online a few weeks ago. Gotta love that.

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The author sporting a custom-designed Wind Pro Hoody

As a finishing touch, a “Share Your Design” feature allows you to immediately share your jacket build with friends via text message, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter. It’s a nice way to show off your new threads and keep your fashion sensibilities (or lack thereof) in check.

Wild Things is able to produce custom product on a large scale with quick turnaround because 100% of its production takes place in the United States. The brand is able to process custom orders, build the gear, and have it to customers within an impressive two weeks after the order is placed.

A final bonus: The products are reasonably priced, starting at $119 for the Wind Pro Hoody and $189 for the Insulight Jacket.

A second phase of the customization initiative is underway to launch early this year. Wild Things will soon offer its hard-shell Alpinist Jacket, pants, and packs as custom options.

—Patrick Murphy is an assistant editor.

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