In September, I turned 25 years old. To celebrate my birthday, my Aunt Terri sent me a lovely card that had a crisp $50 bill inside—“spend it on something nice,” she wrote. At first, I had sights set on the extreme: Why not I ~treat myself~ and put the cash toward a fancy massage, or maybe that Insta-famous bag everyone is posting about? But my sensible, just-entered-my-mid-20s side kicked in: I placed it in my wallet, and moved on. The moment will present itself, I thought.
A week later, it did: I was picking up an online order at a Uniqlo store (it’s free, people!), when I decided to meander around the racks of fall/winter clothes. I tried on a puffer coat, a cashmere hat… Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw it—a a tailored fleece jacket that I absolutely needed to have. (When you know, you know.) It was so cozy, but also neutral, so I could see myself wearing it with pretty much everything I own. My instinctual reaction was confirmed when I looked at the price tag: $39.90.
Without even thinking, I walked to the counter, handed over Aunt Terri’s $50 bill, and floated out of Uniqlo with $10 to spare. And I’ve been wearing the fleece jacket nonstop ever since, even when it’s not actually cold enough for fleece. I’ve had multiple strangers—and my dental hygienist—approach to ask about it, and I proudly respond with how much I paid for it. Now, I’ve started hunting for more under-$50 fleece to add to my closet, and have been pleasantly surprised with my findings. Check out some of my favorites (including the Uniqlo jacket that started it all, obviously), ahead.
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