I have a crush on Columbia Sportswear. Okay, it’s more than a crush. Way more. I have always been a basic jeans and t-shirt person. My first piece of Columbia was a pink PFG long-sleeve shirt. I wore it out, well not exactly. I still have it; I just don’t wear it in public anymore. A friend bought me two more. Bless her enabling heart. They too are now barely fit for public visibility. It’s not that the shirts don’t hold up well, it’s that I wear them every day. Every. Day. My day is not complete without my PFG’s.

The affair that started with those PFG shirts layered over my jeans and tees has now blossomed into the makings of a great wardrobe. Once I started adding shorts, pants, and tees from Columbia, it was an easy leap to outerwear then to my new favorite dress. Gary now fears trips to Academy.

My love of Columbia was put to the test when I was invited to Milan to preview EXPO Milano 2015. I happened to be researching an IKEA story (and yes, when you are a freelance writer, even shopping counts as research as long as you write about it later) with the same friend who gave me those PFG shirts when the email invite hit my phone. My very first response was “What the heck will I wear in Milan?”

She assured me that I would figure it out. I’m not sure she was thinking about my Columbias at that moment, but I was. Turns out that outdoor clothing can hold its own, even in one of the world’s fashion capitals.

Exploring the art inside the Duomo Museo.

Exploring the art inside the Duomo Museo.


In the photo at left, I am in the center of a group of fellow journalists  wearing Sage PFG Aruba Convertible Pants. My fav fleece jacket in what Columbia calls “Haute Pink” was the perfect light-weight, cool-weather option for walks through the City Center between museums.


Can you spot me in my Columbia "Haute Pink" fleece?

Can you spot me in my Columbia “Haute Pink” fleece?




As a guide led our group through crowded Piazza del Duomo, Gary stopped for some amazing photos. After the second time he lagged far behind, the guide stopped to wait for him, I assured her that he would catch up. How could he miss spotting me in my Haute Pink?








A bit of rain won't slow me down in my Columbia black pants.

A bit of rain won’t slow me down in my Columbia black pants.




My black Columbia pants were the real workhorse of the Milan trip. Topped with jackets and scarves, I wore those pants shopping, dining in Michelin Star restaurants, and touring in the Franciacorta wine region.






I don’t get paid to write about  clothes. I get paid to write about travel. I need clothes that work for me, wherever I happen to be. Milan may have been a bigger fashion challenge than most of my destinations, but I feel better now knowing that there really is no limit to where Columbia Sportswear can go with me.


Travel and product policy.