Jul 26, 2023
Your Guide to Two-Way Zips
The two-way zipper is a popular feature on many seasonal jackets, particularly longer or heavier coats like winter parkas. While there are many benefits to the two-way zip system, not all of us understand exactly what those benefits are or when to take advantage of a two-way zipper.
In this practical guide, we’ve outlined the purpose of a two-way zip including what they’re for, how to use them, and even how to style them with your casual clothing and outdoor kit.
The Two-Way Zip: What It’s For
The two-way zipper was born out of a need for enhanced functionality and convenience in clothing (particularly jackets and gilets) that utilise zips. Unlike a traditional zip that closes from the bottom to the top, a dual zip can be opened and closed from the top or bottom. You can even have both open at the same time, with both zipper heads sitting centrally, functioning a bit like a button.
There are a number of reasons why this functionality is beneficial and what it can be used for. Primarily, the most popular reasons consist of:
Being able to open a zip on both ends of a jacket - especially if the jacket is long with inner pockets near the bottom - is convenient as it allows access without the need to fully open the jacket.
Whether you need to stretch your arms especially wide or want some extra give around your legs when climbing, hiking or even sitting down, the ability to create space near the bottom or top of the jacket (independently of one another) provides you with added mobility. Rather than taking your entire jacket or long-form gilet off when sitting or bending down, you can simply open the lower half while keeping warm on top.
Improved Temperature Control
A normal zip is fairly black and white - it’s either open or closed. However, with a two-way zip, you can have multiple combinations, allowing you to better control your temperature on top or bottom. You can easily keep a chill away from your neck while giving your back and legs a bit of breathing room by opening the lower zip. Or you can cool down on top without fully losing all your warmth by opening the top only.
A Better Fit for Different Body Types
Long jackets and gilets with this functionality may provide a better fit for those who would like a tighter fit in one area and a loosened fit in another.
How to Use a Two-Way Zip
The two-way zip is a fairly simple feature to use. However, if you have never used one before, it may be a little frustrating at first. By following these steps below you should have no problems at all with your two-way zip:
- Slide both zipper heads to the very bottom of the zip, holding them together. It is important that they go as low down on the zipper as possible.
- Insert the end of the zip (on the opposite side) into both zip heads, pushing it in fully until each size of the zip is level at the very bottom.
- With both zip heads held in place, gently pull the top zip head upwards while keeping the bottom zip secure.
- Once the top zip head is zipped up, you can now open and close the bottom zip head as you please for maximum adjustability and comfort.
For visual guides on the above steps, be sure to check out our two-way zip guide (link to PDF).
Tips for Styling a Two-Way Zip
Bottom Half-Zip - Casual
For a relaxed and casual look, you can wear your two-way zip with the bottom half open and the top closed. This not only provides a bit of a laid-back look, it also adds a bit of ventilation too. This is great for showing off your favourite walking legging and wellies as well.
Top Half-Zip – Add Some Colour
The top half-zip is great for adding a pop of colour to your outfit, especially if you choose to colour match with accessories. Opening the top zip just a bit to expose a bright pop of blue for example, that you can style with your accessories, is a great way to make a simple outfit all the more exciting.
Fully Zipped - Super Sleek
Keeping your jacket or gilet fully zipped provides a simple and sleek look ideal for those chilly winter days. A long padded jacket with a pair of leggings or skinny ankle jeans and your favourite trainers is a stylish outfit that you can easily adjust if you sit down for a coffee or need to hop in the car.
Asymmetrical - Versatile
If you want to show off a bit of your outfit on the top and bottom without losing warmth, asymmetrical styling is a great option when wearing a two-way zipper. Open it a bit at the top for a peek at your jumper, hoodie or t-shirt as well as at the bottom to show off your favourite jeans or chinos and your boots or trainers.
Fully Open - Layering Up
Your long two-way zip jacket can also be worn a bit like a cardigan over some stylish layers. The open look is popular in spring and autumn when it’s not too cold but the weather still warrants a cosy jacket. This way you can sport your favourite outfit and style it under a long two-way zip coat that can be done up fully or partly if the weather takes a turn.
Where to Find Two-Way Zip Jackets and Gilets
If you’ve never had a two-way zip jacket before, now’s the time to find the ideal option for you. Once you’ve experienced the convenience, comfort and versatility of a two-way zip jacket or gilet, there’s no going back - it’s no wonder we love them. You’ll find a range of two-way zip coats in a fantastic selection of colours at TOG24.