J.Crew Classic Chino

You can never go wrong with a good pair of chinos. Many we have reviewed are priced at $100+, but J.Crew hits at a nice price point and balancing quality. With trends moving towards wide pants, J.Crew brought their Giant Fit Chino out. I originally tried a pair of those, but found them too wide (the name is perfect). After returning them, I picked up a pair of the Classic Chino and they quickly became my go-to pants for work.

Materials

These are 100% cotton. The fabric is quite substantial, but not so much so that they feel like they’d be uncomfortable in warm weather. They feel durable and stay crisp. A few other nice touches are the YKK zipper and nice quality buttons.

Fit & Style

J.Crew describes the fit and style as “inspired by the original 1940s military-issued pairs that crossed over into civilian life – especially on college campuses where they evolved into a quintessential element of Ivy style. Relaxed through the hip and thigh with a full leg.”

I’d say this is spot on. These feel like the chinos you’d see your grandfather wearing on a college campus, classic ivy. As compared to the Giant fit, these play better for an everyday Ivy style, and I don’t find them too wide. Another benefit of the cut is that they never restrict movement, even though they have no stretch.

The back pockets are both flap style, which is a great touch. The pants also feature a French fly.

Performance

Not much to cover on the performance side — these pants feel durable, wearable year-round, and the cut makes them extremely comfortable.

I’ve had my oldest pair for about three months, and they show no signs of fading, stretching out, or anything of that sort. I find that I get quite a few wears out of these between washes, which also helps. They are dryer safe, so the care is easy. I find they look great coming out of the dryer as long as you don’t let them sit for long before hanging them up.

Overall

I love these chinos, and I have three pairs. They present a good value at their full price of $98; but often are on sale (I’ve paid between $32 and full price). Highly recommended (and check out the Dill color).

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

J.Crew Classic Chino

Vuori Ponto Performance Jogger

In my life, the way I signal “yeah, I’m done for the day” is to climb into a comfortable pair of joggers before finding an equally comfortable place in the house to nestle into. One pair I love to wear is the Ponto Performance Jogger from Vuori.

You’ve likely seen the brand marketed all over, they do a good job of that, and if you know what you are getting into, the joggers can fill a nice niche for you.

Materials

The Ponto is made from Vuori’s ‘DreamKnit™’ fabric which is a fancy branding of: 89% Recycled Polyester, 11% Elastane. It feels exactly how that composition sounds: insanely soft with a lot of 4-way stretch. It has a slight brushing to the fabric to increase the softness.

These are not heavyweight joggers though. The material is about as thick as a standard polo shirt might be, and offers not much in the way of warmth. It’s a solid offering for a jogger that is focusing on comfort.

Fit & Style

This is a pretty standard jogger cut, with a strong taper to the ankles and a narrow calf. The thigh area fits me well, but that’s rarely an issue I run into. The waistband is comfortable and the drawstring is needed as the elastic isn’t overly strong.

Both pockets have small zippers which help to keep rather clean lines overall when they are zipped shut. The main issue with the fit is the lack of heft in the fabric means that anything behind the material is easily telegraphed through the material. That’s not to say you can see through them, but you can make out the shapes of say things in your pockets, pretty readily. Because of that, at least for me and a few other people I know who own these, they are strictly ‘in the house with no guest’ type of pants. This works out as this isn’t a style I would want to wear outside the home to begin with.

I will say that Vuori needs a slightly longer length in these, they are at the edge of wearability for me.

Performance

There’s two primary performance claims here: ‘ultra-comfort’ and moisture wicking. I’ll tackle those plus durability individually:

  • ‘Ultra-comfort’: I would be outright lying if I were to disagree with this. These are indeed ultra comfortable to wear. They move really well, and they are very soft. They never heat you up, but they will help dash a slight chill.
  • Moisture Wicking: I am rather dubious of this. It’s not that these don’t wick moisture, it’s that I don’t think they do it well. They can and do get damp if you are resting a non-permeable item on your lap (laptops, iPads, etc) and that feels pretty gross. When they get wet they don’t dry slow, but they also don’t dry that fast. Overall this is average at best.
  • Durability: these have held up well in the year I have owned them. The material face has a touch of pilling, but I also wash them right-side-out instead of inside-out as the instructions indicate. Perhaps that would keep this at bay, but generally it’s not enough to bother me.

The performance you should expect from these is purely comfort. Anything else is just extra, but shouldn’t be expected. I do find the strength of the waistband to be very welcoming, even though you need to use the drawstring, it means that the pants don’t feel like they are trying to squeeze you to death.

Overall

As I mentioned at the outset: I am a big fan of these. Not because they are a performance jogger, but because they are the most comfortable jogger I’ve tried. I love wearing these, and the $98 price tag doesn’t bother me that much, though I do think they are an instant buy if you can snag them at a discount.

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

Vuori Ponto Performance Jogger

Reigning Champ Midweight Terry Classic Full Zip Hoodie

I’m of the belief that everyone should own a hoodie, and I further believe that said hoodie should be full-zip in nature. I, for one, certainly do not look particularly coordinated taking off a pullover hoodie, and thus a full-zip is the correct choice for me. In my search for a new hoodie, Reigning Champ was recommended as a very nice premium feeling take on the classic.

Yes, it is a very nice premium feeling hoodie. After owning this for over a year now, I can confidently say that this is a fantastic hoodie.

Materials

This is a 100% cotton hoodie. Reigning Champ makes these in several weights, cuts, and some varied materials. The interior on this is a terry cloth finish, so there’s no real fuzz to this. All of the seams are flatlock and the cut is trim with semi-raglan sleeves. The zipper is a two-way design, and is smooth to operate, but a touch rough to slide your hand against.

The cuffs, hem, and side panels are ribbed and they feel robust and really nice. Perhaps the nicest ribbed material I have on any garments right now. The hood is dual layer with a ribbed interior — this makes the hood quite heavy, so it tends to sit down nicely on your back.

All in all, the materials and construction are top notch. The hand feel on this is perfect, smooth and soft.

Fit & Style

This is a classic hoodie, updated with a trimmer fit. It comes in two cuts: slim and classic. I have the classic cut, and it still wears trimmer than most hoodies you would go out and buy. This is a great look if you want to toss it over a t-shirt and look put together. But a poor fit if you want to layer it, or have something that looks slouchier.

Because of how this cotton material faces up, it looks quite premium in nature. There’s no pill to the face of this, and thus it looks a little more polished all around than a standard hoodie. It’s still a hoodie in formality, but it’s a classier take on a hoodie.

Performance

There’s not a lot of performance attributes here, but there are a few points worth talking about more, as items like this can be really hit or miss in quality.

  • Fade Resistance: my hoodie is black, and black cotton tends to fade out over time. And all of my black hoodies before this, did just that. Here I cannot detect any fading, and this gets a lot of wearing and washes. I am impressed by the fade resistance of this.
  • Stretch Resistance: one thing which can happen with the ribbing on hoodies is that they stretch and deform over time. Or they are so restrictive that you wish they would stretch and deform. Neither is the case here. The ribbing has held its shape and stretch, while also not being overly tight around the cuffs. These are spot on, I wouldn’t change them at all.
  • Ease of Care & Durability: I mentioned before, but it is worth mentioning again, there is no pilling on this item. I can’t see any notable signs of wear on this. For some (like me) this is a huge plus, for others this isn’t what they want from this type of item. I’ve tossed this in the wash as normal, and hung it to dry — no issues or fuss for me.
  • The Hood: I have a love hate relationship with this hood. It’s very heavy, so when you are walking around, this is great as it lays nicely on your shoulder blades and looks clean. But if you bend forward it tends to flop rather aggressively forward. And if you sit back on the hood, it’s quite bulky. I would much prefer a lighter composition to the hood here.
  • The Zippers: yes they are a touch scratchy if you scrape your skin across them, but I am not bothered by them. They move cleanly and offer no issues. What I don’t love is the dual zip nature of them. I find that this makes it a little more fiddly to zip the hoodie up, and a single zipper would be much easier for me to work with.

The warmth rating on this, I would put in the ‘light layer’ section. It’s not adding a ton of warmth, and there is not pile to the fabric to really retain heat. So it’s a solid layer for warmer climates, where you still might want to ward off a mild chill.

Overall

I am not sure I would spend the full $160 retail on this, but it’s decently easy to find these for upwards of 20% off MSRP. And if you can get one under $130, it’s spot on for the price. It’s a really nice hoodie, which looks clean and wears well. I’m a big fan of the material, and I’ll keep wearing this for some time to come.

Buy here, $160

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

Reigning Champ Midweight Terry Classic Full Zip Hoodie

Filson Ultralight Vest

I’ve long been wanting a warmer vest to wear stand alone, or as a layer. The Filson Ultralight Vest kept coming up top on my search, so I picked up a navy version on a sale at the start of the year.

This vest is excellent, and quite warm.

Materials

This vest has vertical baffles which house 60-gram PrimaLoft® Gold insulation inside a shell of 1.5 oz. Cordura® ripstop nylon. The inside of the collar, and the hand warmer pockets are lined with moleskin cotton.

The entire vest can be compressed well enough to make this a nice item for travel. While still being warm enough and performant in nature for the city. I was worried about the durability of the shell, but it’s proven to not be a problem at all.

Fit & Style

This vest is firmly in the outdoor style of vests. The cut and wear of this is low-bulk — this is not a puffy vest — while also wearing a touch thicker than a standard fleece vest. At the same time, it wears substantially warmer than a fleece vest, but not so warm that you find yourself wanting to shed it when you start to become more active.

Most reviewers note that this runs large, and while I wear a large in most items, I picked this up in a medium. It fits well except the shoulders being a touch short. If you want to layer under this vest, I’d buy your normal size, otherwise you can likely size down safely.

Performance

I am very impressed with this vest overall. The moleskin is a nice touch, and makes the collar feel very cozy and comfortable against my neck. The hand warmer pockets are nice, and placed well, and the interior zipped pocket is useful without being too in the way.

The warmth is exceptional on this. And with Primaloft Gold, there’s little worry about losing performance when getting wet or compressed in your bag. It compresses well into your gear when you need to pack it away, but is ready to go when you toss it on. There’s no water resistance on this, so you’ll need another layer in wet weather. I find this a better option to pack for the performance it provides versus the bulk it packs down to when comparing to a standard fleece vest for travel. However, the downside is you trade off on style with this, since it lends more to outdoors and workwear adjacent.

Overall

I would wear this vest more if I wasn’t in Texas, but as it is I take it with me whenever I travel to the much colder northern states. It’s warm, and easy to toss on.

I’m a big fan.

Buy here, $165

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

Filson Ultralight Vest

Relwen Fly-Waxed Trap Blazer

Look, full disclaimer, I have no relationship with Relwen, but I am going to be writing a lot about their gear. Because their gear is tremendously good, so far every single item I have bought. Today we are talking about the Fly-Waxed Trap Blazer they released just before fall hit — I picked this up right away and sat on it anxiously waiting for Houston to cool off.

And you better believe the moment it cooled down here, I was wearing this all day. I love this jacket.

Materials

This is not just another waxed jacket, it sounds like it, but the wax treatment on this is very unique in hand feel and appearance. It’s close to a well loved Barbour, but not quite the same. The make up of the shell is: “41% cotton, 43% polyester, 16% nylon, water resistant resin impregnated sheeting cloth, matte finished, 190 gsm.” For the lining there’s sateen bindings on the interior, and a small panel of chamois flannel which works nicely as positioned along the back of your shoulders. Relwen helpfully notes the temperature range they see for this jacket as 50º to 65º.

The temperature range seems accurate to me, and is also dependent on what you wear underneath the jacket. It is not a waterproof jacket, but will shed light rain drops from the shell. The sleeves all have working buttons, and you can button the jacket all the way up with a neck closure as well, or wear it as a 2 button jacket.

Relwen does indicate you can machine wash this, but I have not tried it, nor do I think I am likely to try any time soon. As with my other Relwen jackets, this is a well made item, with great materials.

Fit and Style

I typically wear a large in letter sizing, and so far a large in all Relwen tops, no exception here. The fit is fantastic. Relwen cuts the sleeves a little longer than standard, and the articulation they build into their patterns allows for a more tailored fit, without it having the restrictions of something which wears more trim.

This very much has British hunting jacket vibes, not waxed trucker jacket vibes. It’s not a formal jacket in any sense, it’s a layer meant to shrug the wind off. It has a game pocket at the back, which is noted that should not be used for actual game. It does feel a little more Americana than a Barbour which feels more British.

It’s best not to think of this as a blazer, and instead think of it as any waxed jacket and wear it accordingly. It’s any easy wear and fits a wide range of styles.

Performance

I can tell you with confidence that you’ll be much to warm trying to pull this off above 70°F as I was the day I wanted to wear it. But, I did wear this down a touch below 50°F without issue. In light rain, this jacket had no issues at all.

Where it really excelled was in an unexpectedly windy and chilly walk back from lunch. I buttoned the jacket all the way up, and while it added no warming insulation, it cut the wind effectively and made the walk tolerable. The movement in this jacket is great as well. A lot of times I might find myself wanting to shed a layer like this before starting my commute in the car, but with this jacket I tend to put it on, and wear it all day without issue.

I’ve had no issue with lint or fuzz being attracted to this fabric, as anything seems to brush off easily. It doesn’t get as many of the waxy scuffs others waxed jackets can get, so it has a more even appearance which will help it to be worn indoors as well.

The only thing lacking for me on this jacket is the pocket setup. There’s two patch pockets at either side on the front of the jacket, the game pocket in the rear, and a patch pocket on the chest. Inside the jacket is a single zipped pocket. Here I would love to see two interior pockets, as the jacket has plenty of structure to support this.

As it stands, this jacket is on par with the performance of most waxed items. If it truly can be machine washed without issue, that’s a big win, but I am unlikely to try that until forced into it.

Overall

This is a great layer for transitional weather, and is very easy to wear even for those who shy away from a blazer. It has just enough small details that it never feels like a hinderance to wear, like you chose a blazer when you needed a full jacket, as it can transform into one should you want it.

I keep grabbing this jacket, and I suspect that won’t change as our winters here in Houston live in the temp range for this jacket.

I highly recommend it, buy it here, $298

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

Relwen Fly-Waxed Trap Blazer

A few notable sales

Some solid deals to be had. In case you missed these ones:

There are a ton of sales going on and starting soon, great time to snag a few pieces you’ve had your eye on.

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

A few notable sales

Undershirts Update Late 2023

Back in May I took a look at five different undershirts, with the Mack Weldon AIRKNITx being the overall winner. Since then I have been testing three more, so I thought it was worth updating on where things stand.

What to Look For

Here’s a recap of what I am looking for in a good undershirt:

  • A deep enough v-neck, such that it cannot be seen on my neckline when I am wearing a button down over the shirt.
  • A long enough torso that the shirt stays tucked in.
  • Moisture wicking, dries fast.
  • Doesn’t feel like it’s a layer which adds warmth.
  • Machine wash and dry.
  • Doesn’t start to stink by the end of the day.
  • Any shirt that hits those criteria, is something I can use day to day.

What I Tried & Tested

For this round I tried two shirts I had been waiting on, and one that I was skeptical of. Let’s see how they did:

  • Minus33’s Micro Weight Wool V-Neck ‘Woolverino’ fabric (84% Merino Wool, 12% Nylon, 4% Spandex, at 145gsm). I have this in a crew neck and it’s one of my favorite shirts to wear, so I was very excited to get it in v-neck form. While the fabric is exactly what I hoped (quick drying, breathable, comfortable) the cut of the V on the neck is far too high of a cut for it to be wearable without being seen. Effectively defeating the purpose of this shirt as a v-neck undershirt. I wanted this to be the winner, but the neck line is all wrong, and making matters worse is the $69.99 price tag. Ouch.
  • Mack Weldon 18-Hour Jersey V-Neck Undershirt. Since I liked the other Mack Weldon shirts so much, I decided to try their more ‘standard’ undershirt. It’s a 47.5% Cotton / 47.5% Modal / 5% Spandex blend and fits rather close to the body. These are quite good undershirts. The V is the correct size, and the fabric feels really nice. The downside is that I found these to be a little less breathable than any of the others I have been testing, and certainly act as a layer which adds a touch of warmth. Not a bad option in the cooler months, but less than ideal in the warmer months. And because of the fabric makeup, they can feel a little damp in the armpits at times. At $68 (two pack) I’ll pass on adding more.
  • All Citizens Re:Luxe AirWeight Undershirt – High V. After the last write up of undershirts, someone requested that I take a look at these. So I did, and they are quite good. It’s rather hard to cut through the marketing hype on the website, but this (to me) feels like the Mack Weldon 18-Hour, but with mesh panels under the arms and up the side of your torso (the shirt label says 79% Recycled Polyester, 11% Silver, 10% Spandex). These shirts are comfortable, have a perfectly cut neck line, and fit trim to the body. They don’t wet out as much, and the mesh seems to keep the shirt wearing cooler than the other options on this roundup. The big catch for me is that I constantly feel this shirt against my body, especially at the back corners of my armpits. It fits so trim there, that I notice the seam and material and it simply feels weird. I really want to like this shirt, but I shouldn’t need to be annoyed by my undershirt. At only $22 this shirt is a good value, but not top tier.

Where I Stand

The Mack Weldon AIRKNITx remain the top choice for me, but none of these shirts have been so bad to be relegated to the donation bin. I still wear them each regularly. I tend to travel with at least one of the All Citizens or 18-hour as they are really easy to care for, and soft to the touch should I need/want to sleep in a shirt.

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

Undershirts Update Late 2023

White’s Boots Perry 6”

I love boots, and I wear them almost daily, but the one type I had not tried was the classic mock-toe with a Christy Crepe sole. I had heard from many friends that this type of boot was among the most comfortable, so after seeing a few reviews of the White’s Perry, and loving another pair of White’s Boots I have, I went for it.

Everyone was right, these are amazingly comfortable boots, and incredibly well made. I love them.

Materials and Specs

If you are wondering how good this boot is, it’s exceptionally good, regardless, here’s the run down on what we have:

  • 6” Full Grain ‘Water-Resistant’ Leather Upper
  • Leather Welt & Composite Shank
  • Vibram® Christy Crepe sole
  • 1972 Arch-Ease™ Last
  • A Goodyear welt

White’s sells a bevy of colors in two lines: Perry and Perry Select. There’s three core colors in the Perry, while the Perry Select comes in five colors. The main difference between the two (as far as I can tell, information is not great here) is that the Select uses a higher grade leather upper, a leather shank instead of a composite shank, and is priced higher. The Perry I have is the standard Perry in Red Dog leather.

Fit & Style

This style of boot is among the most iconic for American Workwear boots. People wear these pretty broadly these days, but I feel they are best paired with denim or a military/officer/workwear pant. They are not dressy at all.

The fit is based on the Arch-Ease 1972 last, and this is worth noting in case you have another White’s Boot, as you’ll want to check the last there. Generally, I think this is a pretty modern feeling last, and wears comfortably for my decently average foot. White’s is also super helpful if you email them about sizing, they provided me with a wealth of information. For the Perry I ordered a size 11. In most sneakers I wear something between an 11.5 or 12, so they run about a half size large.

These fit me perfectly, and I find the last/design to be really nice here. White’s does note that these have ‘virtually no break-in’, and I found that mostly true. They were a touch stiff for the first few days, but no blisters to be had. Now they are great to wear and got there more quickly than the average work boot would.

Performance

I’ve been trying to decide what performance means for a boot, but I’ll characterize it as: walking comfort, standing comfort, and durability. It is hard to extrapolate more than that, so I’ll also add some general thoughts on what it’s like to wear the boot.

  • Walking Comfort: the sole on these is thick and soft, so it can take a little adjustment to walk in these. The leather is also rather stiff out of the box, but over time does break in nicely. I had some rub at the top of the boot for the first couple of days, before the leather started to form better to my foot. Now I would say they are comfortable for walking in all day, while offering a lot for stability underfoot. The downside is that they are a heavy boot, and won’t give you a bounce in your step the way an athletic shoe would.
  • Standing Comfort: this is what I see as the stand out feature of the Christy Crepe sole. It’s very soft underfoot, so standing in this boot is exceedingly comfortable. I work exclusively at a standing desk on a hard floor, and it is a joy to wear these boots when I am working. They are more comfortable than any athletic shoe would be over the course of the day, as they offer more support and stability. I’ve not worn anything more comfortable for standing.
  • Durability: There’s really two facets here: the upper and the sole. The sole is likely to wear out faster than a lug or harder rubber sole would. But it’s a Goodyear welt, so replacing the sole will be trivial and it’s not really worth worrying about the longevity of the Christy sole as a buying factor. Even though these are not the higher grade leather, I am overly impressed with the leather upper. It’s stout, but flexible. It’s thick, but not overly thick. And more than any of that, there’s only two marks showing on these boots (and I got them in May of 2023). I have one stain from when I dumped coffee down myself (I must have missed cleaning this off) and one small scuff on the toe from who knows what. Most of the time, I care for my boots monthly to keep the leather looking free from marks. These boots don’t seem to collect those marks, and this gives me a ton of confidence on the viability of them surviving a lot of new soles.

What’s harder to encapsulate about these shoes is how large the toe box is, yet how not-large the boot feels in general. That is to say, this doesn’t look overly large, nor does it feel overly large, but your toes have a very large area in which they can wiggle about. This is great.

The boot also has a tongue which extends a touch higher than the collar above the ankle, and this touch seems to make the boot more comfortable to wear a little more snug. The lacing also is slightly different than most of the work boots I own, with two speed lace hooks, but with the top moving back to an eyelet. It took a couple weeks to get used to this, but the impact is great. Often if you wanted to wear the top of the boot looser, the lace will fall out of the speed hook, but not so with this system.

There is one odd, not ideal thing, about the boot. When I got them, the leather squeaked, like a lot. I thought it would dissipate after the first day, but it did not. Specifically, where the upper was rubbing against the tongue of the boot. To fix this I applied a rather generous amount of boot oil to the tongue where the rubbing was happening and the issue has gone away. But that was a first for me.

Overall

If it wasn’t clear from above, I love these boots. They are my favorite boots to wear, but the style pulls so casual that I also do not wear them as much as I would like. That said, if your day to day is wearing jeans, then do your feet a favor and snag a pair for these.

At $325 they are a fantastic value for what they offer, and I am not really sure you get anything more if you pay more. Oh, and one last note: they can be worn through TSA metal detectors without issue — which is a nice to have.

Buy here, $325

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

White’s Boots Perry 6”

Proper Cloth Reda Merino Wool Shirt Fabric

When I moved on from Wool&Prince shirting, I was not ready to move on from the performance of a good merino wool button down shirt. But, the trick would be finding one which was durable enough to stand up to washing and wear. My issue with the Wool&Prince shirts was that the fabric broke down quickly and they barely lasted me a year before they looked like trash.

Proper Cloth has been my go to for made-to-measure shirting since they first gave me a review sample. Something tailored to fit you is tremendous. They offer a lineup of merino wool fabrics from Reda, and I bought two to try out in a classic button down style.

They are stellar.

Materials

I have a Reda Sky Basketweave, which is 100s 2-ply, and I have a Reda Grey Tonal Plaid, which is 120s 2-ply — both are 100% merino wool. The hand feel on these both is exceptional. They are smooth, not scratchy, and much thinner than the Wool&Prince wool I had been used to.

These wear more like a classic button up shirt, than your classic button down. This is exceptional merino wool fabric, and I have no complaints about either.

Fit & Style

Since these are fully custom shirts, there’s not a lot to dwell with the fit and style. If you are building this shirt, it will be the style you selected, and the perfect fit.

And the thing about a custom shirt: the fit is amazing when it is made for you, and absolutely worth the time and cost.

My only bit of advice is to have someone measure you per the guidance on Proper Cloth’s website, as this is the best path to success for a good fitting shirt out of the gate. Using the smart sizer, or measuring off another shirt is likely to not get you the true ‘made-to-measure’ experience.

If you are building one, my favorite collar is the ‘Soft Ivy Button Down Collar’. Be sure to add allowance in the build for a watch, otherwise the cuff might struggle to get over larger dive style watches.

Performance

Alright, I have a bunch of thoughts on the performance of this fabric, but the short version is: excellent all around.

  • Breathability: the fabric on these are lighter and more breathable than most of the other merino wool I’ve had. They wear very nicely in the dead heat of a Houston summer.
  • Moisture Wicking: when these come out of the wash, they feel barely damp, still wet enough you wouldn’t want to wear them, but they dry very fast. Because of this, they don’t retain smells for very long. However, these are thin, so the shirt will suck up arm pit sweat, and show that rather easily, which is less than ideal at times.
  • Wrinkle Resistance: out of the wash, these are not wearable for me as they are full of wrinkles. Three minutes with a steamer and they are good to go. Even when folded and packed for travel, there’s never enough wrinkles that you cannot quickly get them to drop out with minimal effort. Really nice.
  • Durability: the reason I moved to these is because I found all other merino shirts to be less than durable. I’ve treated these shirts the same, and had one for 14 months, and the other for 13 months. They both look brand new. That’s machine washing, hang drying, and wearing like any other shirt. I’m impressed.

All in all: the merino wool performance you want, without the durability concerns I’ve seen from other brands.

Overall

I rolled the dice on the first one, and bought the second after only a month as I felt confident these shirts would hold up. That they look brand new over a year later is pretty astounding to me.

At $195 they are hard to put head to head with many others priced closer to $130, but that they are also designed and cut exactly how I want them — they are kind of a bargain at that point.

Buy here, $195+

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

Proper Cloth Reda Merino Wool Shirt Fabric

Relwen Flyweight Flex Blazer

Finding a single light layer, something you can toss on over almost anything, something you can wear when you fly, when you land, and out to dinner — that’s not an easy ask. The most versatile of the options is a blazer. This blazer is one I’ve been eyeing for quite some time, and after getting some hands on time with Relwen items — I picked this up in Navy.

It’s a very nice blazer, and walks that perfect line of something built to not be thought about, working across a wide range of scenarios, while also looking great.

Materials

This blazer is a bit deceptive with the materials, it’s 98% cotton, with 3% spandex. It’s a stretch sateen twill, says Relwen, which comes in at 190gsm. It’s thin and light, with a very smooth visual appearance. This is a 4 button jacket, which can be worn with a 2-button/3-roll look. There’s a through tab closure as well.

There’s no structure/padding to this, and it has a tapered waist. All in all, I’ve found it to resist wrinkling well, but picks up lint quickly and requires a more firm shake to get it back off the blazer.

Fit and Style

The fit on this is perfect for me, I grabbed this in a Large — my default size — and it’s spot on. The sleeves are cut longer than you might expect for a blazer, and have a slight articulation to them so that they flow very nicely.

The style of this is that of a heritage hunting blazer, complete with a working game pocket on the back (though Relwen notes that you shouldn’t actually use this for dead animals). This isn’t a blazer you’ll find in most stores, nor is it a true hunting blazer you’ll take into the woods. What it is is something that can be worn as a two-button blazer you toss over a button down. It’s a blazer with functioning buttons you can button all the way up, flip the collar up and button over your throat.

Essentially the style is a modern take on a classic a versatile blazer.

Performance and Durability

I’ve been wearing and using this blazer since late May, and I’ve been pretty blown away by how well it performs. The temperature range on this is something like 50°F – 75°F for a comfortable range. I’ve worn it up to 78°F and started to get a touch warm, where 48°F was a bit chilled — nothing too bad though.

The subtle stretch, and well designed sleeve shape, create a blazer you move freely in without restriction. Even with the jacket fully buttoned up, collar up turned, I was never restricted by the jacket itself. I am quite impressed with the overall comfort of this.

Another area this jacket nails is travel. I wore this through the airport, on a Houston – London flight, taking it off half way through and wadding it up at my feet. It’s been stuffed, rolled, and folded in various areas of my personal items. All it takes to get it back into commission is a strong shake, and you are ready to roll.

The only annoyance I’ve found is that it does tend to collect lint more than I would like. Not nearly as bad as a waxed jacket, but the lint certainly doesn’t brush off easily. It’s best to have a lint roller, or space to shake out the jacket hard — either works and gets you back on the move. Certainly lighter colors would avoid this trap entirely.

This is a thin cotton garment, there’s not a lot of wind resistance, or water resistance — it has more than your average poplin or OCBD would, but not much more than that. However, because it is cotton and extremely well made, you’re not likely to need to worry about the overall durability of this jacket. This was a huge selling point for me, as I am able to treat it pretty rough, without a care in the world.

Overall

I’m a huge fan of this, the weight is tremendous for general wear. I take it to the office, and it’s likely to be my go to jacket for travel. It’s easy to wear across a huge range of situations, while still being a useful layer for keeping the chill off, or adding to your outfit.

I highly recommend this.

Buy here, $298

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Relwen Flyweight Flex Blazer