I remember the first time I saw a Buff. I thought it was ridiculous. “You expect people to wear these stretchy bandana things in public?!” I think I exclaimed. The saleslady assured me that yes, they were already doing so in (where else) California. I skeptically accepted a sample model which I waited a couple years to wear.
I admit I am still a little dubious about the fashion sense on display here. I can’t help but feel that in twenty years we’ll look back on all the Buff-wearing photos of 2015 from our hoverboard heads up displays and have a little chuckle. Nevertheless, I have become completely sold on the usefulness of these versatile, although admittedly somewhat ridiculous scraps of fabric. I recently had occasion to use the Polar Buff, a double-barreled affair which is a normal Buff on top (or on bottom depending on how you flip it ) stitched directly onto a super burly wind-blocking Buff. I use the windproof side as a neck gaiter and the normal side as a facemask, which works especially well on open water runs in skiffs–even better when paired with a second buff above to hold your hat on and provide ear protection. Is it a good look? Is winter clothing *ever* a good look? It works, and that’s what counts.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5 (demerit for ridiculosity).