Supporting Our Favorites During The Lockdown

Note: some of the items discussed here were provided for no charge, see the reviews for more details.

We want to start by saying, if you are in an unsure financial position, or there isn’t anything you need, we are not advocating that you go out and spend a bunch of money. However, if you’ve been eyeing something, now’s a good time to save some money and support some small businesses through these tough times. Also, we will keep this post updated as we find new deals or deals expire (Updated 4/8).

Bluffworks is offering 30% off with 10% of sales going to Feeding America (Men’s, Women’s). If you are looking for a new button-up, the Meridian is a good choice (our review) or if you need some more tees before the summer, the Threshold T-Shirt is great (our review).

Everlane is offering 25% off everything. We are planning to review their Performance Jean and put their anti-microbial claim on their Performance Polo and Performance Dress Shirt to the test. Kimberlee has a number of their pieces as well, and is a big fan of their women’s denim, as well as a number of sweaters and t-shirts she has picked up over the years.

Huckberry is having a Spring Flash Sale. The Proof Stretch Flannel (our review) is still available at a bargain price of $29. Also notable is the heavy flannel The Crater Shirt from Taylor Stitch.

Olivers Apparel is offering 20% off with code INITTOGETHER. Their Passage Pant (our review) is worth a look as a great work from home option.

Outerknown is offering 30% off sitewide. The Sur Swearshirt is a great hemp-blend, lighter sweatshirt (our review). We are also currently testing out their Verano Beach Pant and BBQ Shirt.

Outlier is offering an unprecedented 15% off with code S-O-E, or an extra 15% added to a gift card within 10 days of the state of emergency being lifted in NYC. For a great intro to Outlier, check out any of their pants or shorts (we love Futureworks, Strong Dungarees, and New Way Shorts) or an Ultrafine Merino Tee (our review).

Taylor Stitch is offering 25% off site wide with a $20 credit for orders over $200. Some items of interest include their Chore Pant and Camp Pant in their Boss Duck fabric (hemp-blend heavy work fabric) and The Jack in Dusty Blue Hemp

Western Rise is offering a $50 gift card for each $100 you spend. We’ve reviewed many of their pieces, and you can’t really go wrong. We are really enjoying the Limitless Merino Wool Shirt and Polo (our review) and Diversion Pant (our review) for working from home.

Wool&Prince is offering gift cards at a 10% discount that can be used starting April 15th. If you are looking for pure merino performance, you can’t go wrong with any of their offerings, especially their button-down shirts. Ben loves their socks for work, for whenever we get back to the office.

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Supporting Our Favorites During The Lockdown

Proof Stretch Flannel

When I saw the Proof Stretch Flannel come up in the clearance section of Huckberry, I couldn’t help but grab one to try. Based on the description, I expected something heavy that wouldn’t get much wear until late Fall, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Material

This shirt is cotton with 2.3% spandex added for stretch. It is more like brushed cotton shirting than flannel to me, which is a nice change over a traditional flannel. This gives it a soft hand while still feeling like it will be durable enough to hold up to weekend work.

The stretch is only slight, but combined with the back pleat, it gives the shirt enough give to move with you.

Fit & Style

The fit is spot on for me. It has a nice tailored cut, without being too slim. It works well either tucked or untucked, and definitely can be dressed up with a pair of chinos.

Some other nice touches that make the shirt more polished than a typical flannel are the button-down collar and the single pocket (without a flap).

The style leans casual, or as a casual Friday shirt for work, but not business casual.

Performance

This is a solid, more traditional, cool weather shirt. It breathes well and gives a little extra warmth over a typical cotton shirt. It will definitely continue to get wear into the spring, and I will bring it out again in the fall.

Odor resistance wise, I found this about on par with what I expected — two wears with an undershirt.

Shirts like this can come out of the wash with tons on wrinkles. Here, the wrinkles mostly fall out while hanging to dry and a light iron returns it to a crisp state.

Overall

The Proof Stretch Flannel turned out to be better than I expected. While it doesn’t have many performance features, it’s a solid shirt that I will get a lot of wear out of.

It is a steal on sale at $35, and would be at home in many closets (and I recommend the Navy Check, it is sharp).

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Proof Stretch Flannel

Super Comfortable, Video Chat Ready, Work From Home Clothing Guide

Note: some of the items in this guide were provided for review.

A lot of people are going to be finding themselves working from home in the coming days. And while most people are focused on telling you to bother getting dressed, and to be video call ready, let my 4 years of work from home experience, and clothing review experience tell you how to get dressed and be video call ready, while feeling like you are are in sweatpants all day. Here’s my guide.

The Pants

Yes, you could wear sweatpants all day, and yes the point of this is to stay indoors, but there is no need to actually wear sweatpants when you can buy pants which are just as comfortable, but wearable anywhere. My top picks:

  • Western Rise Diversion Pant (our review): made to be your everything pant, these are super comfortable. They offer a ton of stretch and fuzziness. They are my top pick.
  • OLIVERS Passage Pant (our review): a close second, the Passage Pant doesn’t quite look as good, but offers a stretchier waist band, which only adds to the comfort.

Pick the Western Rise if you find your pants never get uncomfortable in the waist throughout the day, or you want to wash pants fewer times. Pick the OLIVERS for the ultimate in at home comfort, but know that the waist will stretch out and you need to wash them to get the waist to shrink back up.

The Shirt

Let’s face it, the collar of your shirt is all most people are going to be seeing on a video chat. My top pick for this is the Outlier S140 One Pocket. Sadly it is not currently available and there is nothing else on the market even close to this shirt. It is supremely soft and comfortable, while having a look which easily passes for video chat business calls. Since that is out, here are some other considerations:

  • Western Rise Limitless Merino (our review): I recently wrote about this shirt. It is super comfortable, and looks really sharp. The stretch alone will have you lounging in style. The merino will keep you from needing to wash it. It will wear a little cool though.
  • Western Rise AirLight (our review): I only have the short sleeve, but that or the long sleeve would be great for anyone who wants a shirt that requires no special thought or care. Wear, wash, dry, wear. And it is super light while looking sharp.
  • Unbound Merino Classic Button Down (our review): nice and heavy, crisp look, still comfortable. It could use more stretch, but if you find yourself running cool in your home, then this is a great option.
  • Wool&Prince Polo (our review): for a little more casual look, nothing can beat a 100% merino polo from W&P. So soft.

Lastly, for my friends who live in cooler climates, consider a shirt-jacket to throw over the top of a long sleeve t-shirt. I love my Triple Aught Design Catalyst Field Shirt (our review), but there are plenty of others which will be more business friendly.

And for everyone who just wants a nice looking t-shirt to be comfortable in all week without needing to wash it. Outlier’s Ultrafine Merino T-Shirt (our review) is the pinnacle of luxury t-shirting.

Feet and Underwear

You are at home, wear your comfy underwear. As for socks, I recommend these for around the house.


Stay comfortable, stay home.

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Super Comfortable, Video Chat Ready, Work From Home Clothing Guide

Mack Weldon WARMKNIT Waffle Long Sleeve Crew

Mack Weldon is known for their underwear, but offers a wide range of Men’s basics. We’ve previously taken a look at their 37.5 Oxford (our review) and SILVERKNIT Polo (our review), and I’ve been giving their WARMKNIT Waffle Long Sleeve Crew a test this winter.

Material

The fabric here is a micro-waffle knit blend consisting of 43% modal, 38% Thermolite polyester, 14% wool, and 5% spandex. The modal makes the shirt soft, the wool some enhanced odor resistance and moisture wicking, and of course the spandex for stretch. Thermolite is a hollow-core fiber that traps more heat than traditional fibers, allowing the shirt to be warmer than it’s weight gives away.

Fit & Style

Based on the sizing chart, I chose an XL, and that gave me a nice, close to the body fit that is great for layering. While I mostly wore this shirt as a layer, it works well on its own as well.

The shirt has a raglan sleeve, which, along with the stretch, makes it extremely comfortable. The ribbed wrist cuffs make for a nice finished look.

While overall I’d say this is a quite casual piece if worn other than as a layer, overall the cut and finish helps it look more polished.

Performance

With the 14% wool content, I didn’t expect much in the way of odor resistance, but I was pleasantly surprised. I’m able to get a few wears out of this shirt before it needs to be washed. The shirt also wicks moisture well, but I’m not sure the wool adds anything in this department (I would compare it to other polyester/modal/lyocell blends I have).

The stretch here adds to the comfort of the shirt. Even though it is 5% spandex, it’s not overly stretchy, so there is no bagging or weird draping.

And finally, the Thermolite. This hollow core polyester fiber does make a difference in the warmth to weight ratio. The shirt is quite light and thin, but it is nice and warm, making it a great layering piece. In addition to just being warm, it also regulates temperature well. I found it to be not too hot indoors, while still being warm when needed.

Overall

I was quite impressed with the WARMKNIT Waffle. It is very soft and comfortable, is warm without being bulky, and resists odor well enough to give a couple of wears.

The price is right at $68 but it is a great deal when you get it at the typically found 20% markdown (either a coupon or their loyalty program).

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Mack Weldon WARMKNIT Waffle Long Sleeve Crew

Winter Shirt Round-up

Note: Some of these shirts were provided free of charge for review; see original review for more details.

Now that winter is getting close to being over, I’ve had a good chance to wear many of my warmer button-ups, including some new ones added this year. So let’s jump into a round up of what I’ve been wearing and some of my favorites.

Wool & Wool Blends

Wool&Prince Button-Down Oxford 210 (our review): This was my first merino button-down and is still a favorite when I want to dress business casual and up. Made from a 2-ply, 17.5 micron, 210 gsm fabric, it has a traditional oxford look. It has a substantial feel, but regulates temperature well since it is 100% merino. While I usually pair it with a pair of Outlier Futureworks (our review)) or Wool&Prince Slim Chinos (newer versions), it looks equally at home with a dark pair of jeans. The burgundy color is amazing.

Patagonia Long-Sleeved Recycled Wool Shirt (our review): This is a great, casual, heavy wool shirt. It keeps you warm, without overheating, but it’s definitely not a shirt for the warmer months (other than maybe as an overshirt). The one caveat here is that the wool is a little scratchy, but I still love the shirt. One benefit is that I always wear this with an undershirt so it can go a long while between washes.

Western Rise TechWool Flannel Shirt (our review): Another great casual shirt, with by far the least amount of wool (only 5%), but it still maintains odor resistance. I’d compare the warmth here to a heavier oxford, but with more breathability.

Cotton

Taylor Stitch The Crater Shirt in Navy Plaid (Huckberry): This shirt is made from a heavy, 9-oz. 100% organic cotton twill flannel, heavily brushed on both sides. If I had one word to describe this flannel, it’s classic. Taylor Stitch did put their typical extra attention to detail though, with substantial and classy cat eye buttons. Overall this is casual, but with a little up scale look. I think the Navy Plaid is a nice subtle twist on a classic flannel pattern.

Taylor Stitch The Jack in Maroon Brushed Oxford (Huckberry): The fabric here is a 6-oz. 100% organic cotton heavily brushed on both sides. This shirt is a nice cross between a flannel and an oxford, similar to the style of the Western Rise TechWool Flannel. The color here is what drew my eye, but it is also a solid, warmer oxford that works well with chinos or jeans.

Patagonia Long-Sleeved Lightweight Fjord Flannel: I just picked up this shirt in the Patagonia end of season sale, but it’s worth a mention if you are looking for a reliable lightweight flannel or are looking for some unique flannel patterns (you also can’t beat the price). I got the “Unbroken: Piki Green” for something different, and I really like it. The fabric is an unbrushed twill, so it has a nice texture. While Patagonia doesn’t list a weight, it is definitely the lightest of the three cotton shirts.

Picks

For business casual wear that can be dressed down, you can’t get any better than the Wool&Prince 210. For casual wear, I have to go with two: Taylor Stitch Crater for the coldest months, and Western Rise TechWool for more versatile wear.

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Winter Shirt Round-up

What We Are Looking For in 2020

Note: We received some of these items for review purposes. See our original review posts for details.

With 2019 in the books, we look forward into what we need to round out our performance wardrobes. Those items we have yet to find, buy, or like.

Ben

There’s only three things I am really looking for:

  • Casual pants for warm weather: my go to pants for the hot Houston summers has been the Olivers Passage Pant (our review), but they are not quite ideal for me. So I am trying to find something else, and I’m not sure the Diversion Pant from Western Rise (our review) can be them or not, only time will tell. But I’d like something very passable as “normal” which handles hot and humid reasonably well. Why pants over shorts: the AC here is strong.
  • Versatile blazer to match my stuff: I have the Kinetic from Ministry (our review), and the Gramercy from Bluffworks (our review). Both are amazing, neither works as a versatile piece that looks good with jeans, or with my more technically derived pants. I’m thinking I need to go back to classic materials, or swing over to a performance cotton/linen. Either way it should be unstructured, and light weight. I’ll be keeping an eye out to see who releases what this summer.
  • Polo: I don’t understand why the performance wear market sucks so much at making a good polo shirt. But we’ve struggled here, and my go to Wool&Prince 100% Merino Wool Polo (our review) will need an upgrade this summer, likely with the Merino blend version (our review) unless something else comes along.

And that’s really all I am currently looking for, I finally got most of my wardrobe figured out, such that I probably need to shed a few items.

Steve

There are only two things I am really looking for:

  • Work pants: when I’m working around the house and need a pair of sturdy pants, I typically go with an old pair of jeans — not too comfortable. I really need something with more comfort for when you find yourself in a weird position. I have v1 of the Livsn Flex Canvas Pants (our preview), and am awaiting v2. I wore v1 for a few months in the wood shop, but the fit is off on them for me. The thighs are about as tight as I would like, yet the waist was too big and I had to hold them on with a belt. I’m hoping v2 will solve this fit issue, but if not, I will be on the hunt for something better. Likely I will go to the Patagonia Iron Forge Hemp Pants next.
  • Spring jacket, lightweight and breathable with style: when the weather warms up and I need just a light layer I’ve been grabbing my Myles Elements Jacket (our review) or my Patagonia Houdini Snap-T Pullover. While both great jackets, they don’t fill this niche. I just picked up the new Proof Elements Jacket, and am looking forward to giving it a try once the spring weather comes.

And that’s it for me, also mostly have my wardrobe figured out and could shed a few items as well, especially t-shirts.

Brand to Watch in 2020

Ben: Western Rise is poised for a big year, I’ll go on record with that one. (Note: they give us free stuff in exchange for review.) Outlier has been my perennial favorite but their style direction is veering away from wearable for me, and their staples are still good, but they don’t feel like they are pushing the bounds. The last three Western Rise products I have gotten seem like magic to me, a feeling I used to only get with Outlier. The AirLight (our review), insanely cool wearing and worry free care. The Diversion Pant is truly a modern and comfortable take on pants, and the Limitless Merino Wool Shirt (our review) actually lives up to its name. And it feels like they are just getting started.

My only complaint is that their styling lends more casual, but if they start to smarten that up with an eye towards the office, they are going to take off. And the other thing: their prices are fantastic, which is to say, they are pretty low prices relatively speaking.

Steve: I also will be watching Western Rise in 2020, but to not be boring, I am going to pick a fabric trend to watch in 2020 — hemp and hemp heavy blends.

Keeping cool this summer with my Outlier Ramielust T-Shirt (our review) turned me to other, non-merino fabrics. While merino will always be king for odor resistance, it does have weakness in that it can be delicate, and that in a t-shirt, it has a soft drape. In my search for other non-merino but still performant fabrics, I came across hemp. While on it’s own, it can be quite rough, it makes for a substantial but comfortable fabric when blended with cotton. So far, I’ve found a button-down (our review), sweatshirt (our review), and t-shirt in 55% hemp/45% cotton blends that work well for me.

I’m hoping to see some more fabric innovations in hemp (and other interesting natural plant fibers) this year.

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

What We Are Looking For in 2020

Western Rise Limitless Merino Wool Shirt and Polo Shirt

Note: Ben’s sample was purchased during the Kickstarter campaign, while Steve’s sample was sent by Western Rise for review.

I feel like I have been waiting forever for this shirt, as I backed it on Kickstarter right away. The premise of the Limitless Merino Wool Shirt is: “Looks like an oxford, is more comfortable than a t-shirt, and outperforms your activewear.” That’s a heck of a claim, but I think it actually holds true with this one, so let me explain why.

Material

Yes, this is a ‘merino’ shirt, but actually it is a lot more than that. The fabric itself is listed as: 53% Australian Merino wool, 47% polyester, with a weight of 175 gsm. The thing is, this does not feel like any merino button-down I own.

It’s heavy, where as typical merino button-downs are light. It stretches like crazy, whereas most never stretch. There’s no wool feel to the shirt at all. Honestly this just feels like a polyester performance button down and nothing more. Which defies logic a bit, because it doesn’t perform like one at all.

The fabric itself feels durable and has a great drape to it. It is a bit of a heavier drape, so don’t expect to have a more rigid starched look. This shirt certainly trends a little more casual just from the fabric.

Fit & Style

The fit is listed as tailored and I think that rings true. Steve had trouble finding one that fit him, and ultimately couldn’t find the right size. Whereas my standard Large sizing fit perfectly. This actually might be the best fitting shirt I own, Proper Cloth custom shirt notwithstanding.

The style is pretty interesting, as Western Rise wanted to make a shirt you could dress up, or down, so that you could wear it as your only shirt for any situation. So the button down collar helps the shirt stay casual (and it is a fantastic collar, which doesn’t look unnaturally stiff, while still looking relaxed), the cuffs are mitered to add a little flare to the shirt when you want to dress it up. The tailored cut makes it look great untucked or tucked.

But the real key here is the length of the shirt. When you tuck in a shirt you want it to be longer so it stays tucked in, when you wear a shirt untucked you want it to be shorter so that it doesn’t look out of place. This is a delicate balance to strike when you want the shirt to do both. For my torso they balance is perfect. I can wear it tucked or untucked without issue, and the stretch helps allow the shirt to remain tucked in when you are reaching and stretching your body.

On the style side, there is going to be no issue with casual wear. I’ve worn this to the office and while it is among the more casual looking button downs I own, I find no issue with it in a what I would call the bottom end of business casual. Layer it with a vest, or sport coat, and it looks fine. On it’s own you straddle that line a touch, but you can easily get away with it.

Performance

Merino wool always performs great in shirting as it is highly odor resistant and decently wrinkle resistant — all while having extremely good temperature regulation. This shirt is all of that, but with the added benefit of fantastic 4-way stretch.

Here’s the highlight reel for this shirt:

  • Stretch: the stretch is the best of any button down I own. When Western Rise says that they want this shirt to move like a work out shirt, they nailed it. Super comfortable because of that stretch. But the stretch also helps them make the shirt more fitted, which improves the overall looks of the shirt.
  • Breathability: is fantastic, you get the normal merino wool properties with a more airy feel. The only downside is that if your arm pits do start to sweat, you’ll see it.
  • Wrinkle-resistance: this is not the best performing shirt for wrinkle resistance, but it is very good, the the wrinkles do release well with wear.
  • Odor Control: excellent. I wore the shirt 5 times and it still smelled fine. I only washed it because I needed to for this review. On par with all merino shirts here.

This might be the best performing all around button down I have. The only thing I am unsure of is how it would hold up to a GORUCK backpack when traveling.

Overall

I love this shirt. I got the light blue and it is a fantastic color, and I’ll likely get the smoke color as well. I have worn it on the weekends hanging out with the kids, and to the office giving presentations. When I pack for a trip, this will be on my list of must brings, Western Rise really nailed this shirt.


Steve’s Thoughts

As Ben mentioned, I had trouble getting the fit right on this shirt. My normal XL Western Rise size was just a little too tight around the waist — the bottom button pulled a bit, making the shirt not look great. I assumed an XXL would be way too big based on the size chart, but I gave it a shot anyways because I really liked how this fabric felt, but of course it was way too big.

I did, however, get the Polo Shirt in my normal XL and it fits great. The curved hem and the button-down collar adds a little different look. I do like both, and I think the are functional additions as well. The curved hem helps the polo stay tucked in but also makes it look right when untucked. The button-down collar helps keep the collar looking sharp all day and through multiple wears.

Since this is the same fabric, I echo all of Ben’s comments. It does indeed live up to the advertising copy and makes for an excellent everyday and travel polo.

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Western Rise Limitless Merino Wool Shirt and Polo Shirt

Western Rise Diversion Pant

Note: Western Rise provided these pants at no cost for review.

Western Rise is one of the performance clothing brands which excites us the most, as they seem to be taking a rather unrestrained approach to making better performing clothing. The Diversion Pant is the latest offering from them, and is designed to be a person’s go to everyday pant, which makes it right up our alley. Further, Western Rise wants this pant to be: “tougher than workwear, more comfortable than sweatpants, and more stylish than jeans.” That’s a tall order, and I’ve had a chance now to wear these pants enough to know how they stack up.

Material

Western Rise markets that these pants took 3 years of research and development. Which all leads to what they call the ‘Diversion Double Weave Canvas’, and which I call: really stretchy and soft material. Soft is the key word when describing this, because most performance materials are either rough, or slick/smooth. Soft, outside of high cotton or polyester is pretty rare.

Specifically this fabric is: 94% nylon, 6% spandex and comes in at a hefty 286 gsm. All of that is coated with a DWR coating, and of course the pockets are non-standard, in this case Nylon 6,6. The stretch is 4-way, and the pants have a UPF rating of 50+. But none of that really shows what you get with this material, because it is quite good.

The face of the material looks and feels like a cotton canvas. It is matte, with not a hint of sheen — something very rare in very high performing pants. It is also soft to the touch, with a very broken in, favorite t-shirt, feel to it. The facing is fantastic.

Next, the inside of the pants is a dobby weave, which Western Rise hopes mimics the feel of sweatpants. On this I can comment, because sweatpants are my go to evening pants, and while they came close, it is a slight miss on the sweatpant mimicry. However, they do feel amazing against your skin with a softness to them that you rarely feel in an everyday pant. Almost like a nice pair of terry cotton sweat pants.

The stretch on these pants is extreme, so much so that I was actually quite surprised that they are only 6% spandex and not more. Kudos there, as the stretch makes them quite comfortable.

Simply put: yes, more of this fabric please.

Fit & Style

They are listed as a ‘slim/tailored’ fit, which I think is slightly off from reality. These are easily the most slim pants I have reviewed for this site, and the most slim I have ever worn. They border on being too slim for my taste, and I hope that they make a slightly more relaxed cut in the future. However, the wife says I look good in them and they have yet to be uncomfortable, so perhaps they found a nice balance there.

I was told the pants would stretch a half, to one full, size during wear, which is very common in this type of pant. After about a half day of wear I would say they stretched somewhere in that range, and have stayed there. The fit overall is a bit snug for me to call perfect, but none of that makes them any less comfortable to wear.

On the style front, Western Rise makes the claim that not only should these pants be better than jeans, but that they can easily be dressed up for the office. I call shenanigans on this thought. They most certainly can, and probably should, replace jeans for most people. They are more comfortable, and look better than jeans. I received the blue-grey color and find it very versatile and easy to wear. There is, however, no escaping the fact that they are a five-pocket pant style, which is not going to fly in many business settings.

There’s no way I can get away with wearing these at work, where I wear chinos and up styling. You could easily get away with these in a more casual to smart-casual environment. Basically if ‘nice jeans’ is all you ever need, these will be more than ample. But if ‘at least chinos’ is where you live, then these won’t dress up enough for your needs. This is all subjective though, and the black could likely dress up more.

That notwithstanding, the biggest style miss on these is the cuff on the pant leg opening. Western Rise stuffed some extra fabric in it so that you can easily adjust the pants from the standard 32” inseam they ship with to roughly a 33” inseam. This is great for product inventory, but if you leave the inseam at 32” the cuff looks a bit too thick and detracts from the style overall. I have it on my list to take these to the tailor and have that cuff redone.

Performance

I can sum this section up with one word: fantastic. These are one of the best performing pants I have. I wear them any time I am not going into my office, and I have yet to regret it. I wore them for an entire day of cleaning both of the kids rooms, and their playroom. That involved a lot of movement, crawling on my knees and everything else. These pants were fantastic for that.

Let’s break down the claims made about these pants one by one:

  • “unprecedented freedom and comfort”: yes, this is a very accurate statement. Typically the slimmer fitting the pants, the less mobility. I wore these on an all day road trip, cleaning the house, lounging, and more. They never once restricted me, nor did I find them uncomfortable. The key thing to know is that the waistband has a solid nylon lining on the inside face of it, which means the waist does not stretch like the rest of the pants. It will slightly loosen with wear, but not a lot. This is great if the pants fit you well, but will be uncomfortable if you are sitting in an uncomfortable position, or the pants fit too snug. The other upside of this waistband design is that your pants tend to actually stay up much better.
  • “ultra-soft, breathable inner lining”: yes, double checks here. The pants are soft, just not fuzzy soft. The pants are also very breathable, while it is winter, here in Houston we have touched 80°F a couple of times and have had some very humid weather. The pants performed admirable under those conditions.
  • “abrasion resistant”: this was my biggest worry with the facing material on the pants as it feels too soft to be durable. Yet, I crawled around on my knees across the carpet cleaning the play room with the kids for an entire day and even upon very close inspection I can see no signs of wear at the knees. I honestly find it hard to believe that pants this soft can be this durable. Time will tell, but so far I am impressed.
  • “helps the pant retain its shape”: one of the biggest problems with stretchy pants is that they do what many call “bag out” especially at the knees. Essentially over time they stretch out in areas with lots of articulation, and stay stretched out making them look oddly shaped. Typically this is easily fixed with a quick wash. However, thus far, nothing of the sort with these pants. I hope that holds true, because that can be the only reason I need to wash pants like this, and if they continue not to loose shape, then they will likely be the pants I can wear the longest between washes.

As I said, from a performance stand point, these pants are amazing. The 286 gsm weight seems heavy on paper, but on your body it does not feel that heavy at all. They feel like the perfect all around weight. Warm enough for cool to cold weather, and light enough for warm to very warm weather. They won’t replace shorts, but they can likely handle a large portion of the temperature range people face.

Overall

These are now going to be my go to casual pants. They are just too comfortable and look too good not to be. I do wish they were cut a little more relaxed, but none of that takes away from the pant itself. Not only will they be my casual pants, they will likely find themselves my airplane travel pants too.

I highly recommend these.

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Western Rise Diversion Pant

Bluffworks Trevi Pant

Note: These pants were provided by Bluffworks for review purposes.

In addition to the Threshold Women’s T-Shirt (our review), I’ve also been trying out the Trevi Pant from the new Bluffworks Women’s collection. These pants are really comfortable while looking dressy enough for a nice night out or a meeting where jeans are not appropriate.

Material

These pants are 98% polyester and 2% spandex, an easy-care lightweight material. After washing them I hang them up to dry, no ironing needed. They pack down nicely and are ready to wear which is always a plus when traveling. The fabric drapes nicely and has flattering front pleats, with the addition of spandex they are not as restricting as some dress pants.

Performance

I wasn’t sure how warm these would be in the winter months, the fabric description mentions that they are an all-season twill weave but the fabric does not feel heavy. Almost every time I have worn these it has been on the colder side (20°F-30°F), they are warm enough but I wouldn’t want to be outside in cold temperatures for a long period of time. I have not had the chance to wear them in warmer weather but they breath well which will be nice for hot days.

With 8 pockets it is easy to carry all of my essentials without the hassle of carrying a bag, the back pockets and one of the front pockets have zippers which provide extra security. There are also hidden stash pockets on the waistband if there is something small you want to carry and are worried about losing.

The odor resistance is a plus as I can see these being a great option for a long travel day.

Fit & Style

These pants have an adjustable hem via built in snaps, which is a great feature if you want to make them more casual. I do wish there was a longer option as the unrolled length is shorter than I typically prefer.

I really like the side closure on these pants combined with the semi-fitted mid-rise waistband, they are very comfortable. I have a couple of other dressier pairs of pants and with the typical button & zipper closure they can be uncomfortable if you are sitting all day or traveling, that is not the case with the Trevi Pant.

These can be dressed up with a button down shirt or dressed down with a nicer t-shirt. The one think I struggled with was what winter footwear to wear with them. I found they work well with a low pair of boots but I do prefer wearing them with flats or loafers.

Overall

Overall the Bluffworks Trevi Pant is a great option if you are looking for a versatile pant that can be dressed up or down. While the length is shorter than I typically prefer I know I will get a lot of wear once the weather warms up.

At $150 these are a good addition if you have the need to dress up on a regular basis or if you travel a lot and want pants that are low maintenance.

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Bluffworks Trevi Pant

Our Most Worn in 2019

Note: We received some of these items for review purposes. See our original review posts for details.

Looking back at 2019, we tested a ton of new stuff, and settled into some new habits. Here’s our most worn stuff, and some of our favorites from 2019.

Ben

Two things happened this year, which really caused a shift in what I wear: I moved from Seattle to Houston, and I started working in an office full time again. This meant both my weekend and weekday outfits had to change.

Weekend and Casual

For the most part I stuck to shorts and a shirt, but the AC is strong here in the summer so pants are sometimes a necessary evil. Here’s where I landed:

  • Olivers Passage Pant (our review): I wore these a ton. They were the only casual looking pant I owned that could remotely handle the hot and humid weather of Houston. I still felt too warm in them though. While I wore them a ton, I can also say that the olive green color I have is not a great color long term for me. Solid pants though, and they show no wear which is a plus.
  • Outlier New Way Shorts (our review): These have long been my go to shorts, and still are. I love them, and wear them basically all the time here in Houston.
  • Wool&Prince 100% Merino Polo (our review): This was my go to, and it was fine. I love the comfort and I feel great wearing it. But I think it looks crappy, and the bottom hem is a nightmare to keep flat after washing it. This needs a replacement.
  • Outlier Ramienorth Pivot (our review): If we were going out to eat, this was the shirt I wanted to be wearing in the evenings. Keeps you cool outside in the sauna, and keeps you from freezing out in the AC. This was a winner for me all year.
  • Western Rise AirLight Short Sleeve (our review): If this shirt was clean, I wore it. Dang, love this shirt. It’s like magic for when it is hot out, and it looks really nice too. I should get a long sleeved one for this summer.

Office Wear

Big changes here. I started the year mostly with my go to Futureworks, and while I still absolutely love these pants, a new player hit my closet that took over the majority of the wear time at the office.

  • Ministry of Supply Kinetic Pant (our review): If I had to pick one item which was the biggest game changer for me, it would be these pants. They look great, breath really well, and stretch like crazy. I wear them all day at work and never am bothered. These are really good office pants. So glad I found these, and I usually have to force myself to grab different pants to change things up, otherwise I would just keep wearing these. And some weeks I only wear these.
  • Outlier Futureworks (our review)): Still a far more versatile and tough pant, and if I weren’t between sizes with these, like they would be just as worn as the Kinetic. The biggest upside is they hide pocket bulges better and repel lint. The downside: the waist isn’t elastic like on the Kinetic.
  • Ministry of Supply Aero Shirt (our review): I don’t think there is a better office shirt to wear. They keep you cool, look sharp, fit well, and have tons of patterns to choose from. And while they don’t travel well, they do everything else fantastically well.
  • Bluffworks Horizon Vest (our review): I love this vest, and wore it everyday the weather allowed me to. I even took it with me to Washington State so that I could stay warm. This is a great, versatile, piece that I will likely be wearing for a long time to come.

Workout and Miscellany

A few odds and ends to wrap up 2019:

  • ExOfficio Give-n-Go Boxers: I know not everyone loves these, but I do. Still the only underwear that I wear.
  • GORUCK Simple Pants: I wear these to work out, and to wash cars in. They are light, so they keep me cool, but protect my legs from mosquitoes. Importantly they also dry really fast. I am always impressed with these.
  • YAthletics SilverAir Merino Shirt (our review): This is my go to for working out, and they prove themselves over and over again. Great shirts.

Steve

With no big moves for me, some things solidified in my wardrobe as well as a few new favorites.

Weekend and Casual

This year, I dressed up my casual wear a bit, so there are some new and old favorites here.

Outlier New Way Longs (our review): These are still the king of shorts. They may seem pricey for shorts, but they are worth it. They look sharp with a button-down or polo, don’t look out of place with a tee, and perform no matter what you are doing while wearing them.
Western Rise Evolution Pant (our review): These are a 5-pocket cut that can be dressed up if needed. They are lightweight, fast drying, and comfortable. Favored over my Outlier Slim Dungarees.
Bluffworks Threshold T-Shirt (our review): Bluffworks hit a sweet spot here, finding a synthetic blend that looks normal, performs well, and has almost merino-like odor resistance.
Outlier Ramielust T-Shirt (our review): Nothing beats ramie on a hot and humid summer day. Hard to even describe how good this is.
Taylor Stitch The California in Olive Hemp Poplin: This hemp-cotton blend from Taylor Stitch has been working really well for me. I’ve found that hemp blend fabrics to have a great casual look while having some good moisture management and odor resistance.
Western Rise TechWool Flannel Shirt (our review): This has been my favorite for cooler weather. It’s not too heavy, is cut well, and is odor resistant.
The North Face Ventrix Jacket (our review): This active insulation jacket is perfect for many temperatures and became my main jacket this year.

Office Wear

After testing a bunch of polos for my guide, I finally had some polos in my wardrobe that I could depend on.

Bluffworks Piton Polo (our review): This became the polo I grab first, as it is light enough to keep me cool, wicks very well, and resists wrinkles. The only caveat is that it needs a rinse to be able to get more than one wear out of it when traveling.
Wool&Prince Button-Downs (our review): These button-downs are still my favorite for everyday and travel wear. I have them in both the 130 and 210gsm fabric — this allows me to wear them no matter what the weather. Being 100% merino, their odor resistance is superb, and if they get wrinkled, they look sharp again with just a little steam.
Outlier Futureworks (our review)): Another long-time favorite. They fit me well and are versatile in the office environment, looking sharp dressed up or down. No issues with durability, and they still look great after a few years.
Western Rise AirLoft Quilted Jacket (our review): Great technical insulation and fabric package in a classic silhouette. Works really well for me when I want a jacket that looks nice.

Workout and Miscellany

YAthletics SilverAir Merino Shirt (our review): These are still the best workout shirts that I’ve found and are proving themselves every day for me.
Patagonia Essential Boxer Briefs: Grabbed a pair of these on sale from REI and they have become my favorite. Soft lyocell material that holds up and doesn’t get stretched out over time. I haven’t bought more because I still have pairs from numerous other brands, but as I need to replace, I plan to get more of these.
Darn Tough Socks: Haven’t tried a lot of other brands because these work, have them for workout, dress, and hiking socks.

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Our Most Worn in 2019