KOY Gear KG Tee

Note: This t-shirt was provided by KOY Gear for review purposes.

KOY Gear is a relatively new Canadian tech wear company which came onto my radar through their current Kickstarter campaign. They currently offer a Silver Boxer Brief which was launched in 2018, and this campaign is to launch their KG Tee and KG Socks.

Diving into their mission a little further, their design philosophy of “Invisible Technical” stuck out as a good fit for what we look for here — they provide performance features that are ‘invisibly’ integrated into their clothing.

When KOY offered me a chance to check out their KG Tee, I was excited to give it a try. After a few weeks, I can say it lives up to the claims and has an interesting combination of technologies.

Material

The material on this shirt is packed with some interesting features. It is a 200 gsm 4-way stretch blend consisting of 47% Modal, 47% cotton, and 6% Elastane. The outside has a hydro-repellant treatment while the inside has a special treatment to make it highly moisture wicking (which combines with the special weaving pattern for breathability). The overall fabric is then treated with a silver ionization technology for anti odor.

With all of the mixed treatment and technologies in this shirt, I wasn’t sure if the fabric would live up to the claims of being soft and smooth. However, it really is extremely soft, smooth, and comfortable.

Fit & Style

The fit of the shirt is very slim/tapered. In fact, if you are looking for a true tapered shirt, this is probably most like what you are looking for out of all the t-shirts we’ve reviewed. KOY recommends sizing up if you are looking for a casual fit, and that is definitely true. I am at the upper end of the chest measurements for Large, and with an Extra Large, the shirt is even still a little more snug than I typically wear my shirts.

Style wise, this makes it different from a lot of performance tees with at most an athletic fit. Paired with the fact that the shirt has a substantial weight and looks just like cotton, it is certainly a fashionable tee that can easily go from the gym to everyday.

Performance

This shirt is described by KOY with five words — “comfort, odorless, antibacterial, stain resistant, and breathable.”

I’ll tackle each in turn, starting with comfort. The fabric has enough weight to not feel clingy and is very soft and smooth. This, along with the flat lock stitching and 4-way stretch, makes the shirt extremely comfortable.

Of course, odor resistance is something we look for in a performance tee. The (antibacterial) silver treatment does a great job at keeping the shirt odorless. In fact, I was able to wear it as many times as I can a merino tee for working out. After 4-5 wears, I washed it, but probably could have gotten more wears.

When it comes to stain resistance, the shirt does a great job repelling water, so I can see it repelling any spills you throw at it.

Typically, cotton with as much water repellence as this shirt has can feel stiff. Not so here. I didn’t feel that the breathability of the shirt was impacted by the treatments or weight.

One other feature of the shirt that I was surprised by was the moisture wicking interior. Even when sweating profusely from a hard spin or row, the inside of the shirt would get wet, but you could not see that wetness through the face of the fabric. In principle, this sounds like it could be uncomfortable, but I never felt like the fabric was weighted down or felt clammy from the moisture. This seems like it could be a good feature if you get sweaty when biking or walking but want to show up at your destination looking dry. The only caveat is that the shirt tends to stay moist longer than a synthetic shirt (I’d compare it to a merino tee).

Overall

The KG Tee is full of a combination of interesting technologies. If the unique features and the fit of the shirt are compelling, the price is right at the retail price of about $30. It will stay in my rotation for active pursuits.

Unfortunately, the Kickstarter is sold out of rewards with just the t-shirt, but for about $37 you can get the tee with two pairs of their KG Socks. Pledges are open through October 17th, with a retail launch in 2020.

KOY Gear KG Tee

Patagonia Long-Sleeved Capilene Cool Daily Shirt

I’ve worn Patagonia Capilene baselayers for a long time now, but never had tried any of their lightweight shirts until recently. Before a camping trip in the hot and humid southeast this summer, I decided to grab one of the Capilene Cool Daily shirts. I had heard a lot of praise, so I had high expectations.

Material

This shirt is made from 100% polyester, with 50-100% recycled content depending on the color. The version I have is treated with Polygiene odor control technology, however, they just launched them with some new treatments: miDori bioSoft for added wicking and softness and HeiQ Fresh for odor control.

Even without the softening treatment, I found this fabric to have an excellent, smooth hand feel. Even better, it was also extremely lightweight while still maintaining a UPF 50+ sun protection rating.

Despite the lightweight nature of the fabric, I saw no indication of pilling from my GORUCK bag, which I have seen in the past on some of my other outdoors shirts. I typically don’t have issues with my GORUCK bags, but the combination of sweat and hours of exertion can take their toll. I suspect the silkiness of the fabric helped here.

Fit & Style

Patagonia lists this as a “Regular Fit”, however, I found it to be cut on the smaller side. In my normal Patagonia size (Large), the shirt was tight. I’m guessing they use their base layer sizing here, so that is understandable. If I were wearing this as a baselayer, Large would be the correct fit, however, wearing it as my only layer, I prefer the fit of an Extra Large.

As far as style goes, there isn’t much to say. It’s a technical-looking shirt, so I’m not picking this up for the looks. However, there is almost no sheen to the fabric — quite impressive for 100% polyester.

Performance

The shirt performed very well when it came to wicking away sweat. The shirt did get wet, but never felt heavy, and in fact, I think the sweat evaporation helped keep me cooler.

Secondarily, the UPF 50+ sun protection rating kept me from having to worry about sunscreen on my arms, which was initially why I wanted to go with a long sleeve shirt. Ultimately, I also appreciated the sleeves because I no longer had sweat running down my arms and dripping off my fingers.

When it came to odor resistance, the Polygiene did not work for me. The shirt stunk after just one day of hiking. Unless the new odor treatment is better, this is definitely a one wear shirt despite any claims.

The silky nature of the shirt also helped prevent chafing. If you are a hiker, you will be familiar with the dreaded nipple chafing — none of that here.

Overall

Overall I was impressed with the Capilene Cool Daily fabric. The wicking exceeded my expectations, and even though the odor treatment did not seem to work for me, I still think this is a great fabric.

The long sleeve version I tested has the extra benefits of protecting your arms from the sun and helping keep you comfortable even when you are sweating profusely. I can see this shirt staying in my hiking lineup and becoming a lightweight baselayer for the cooler weather.

If you are looking for a durable, comfortable, lightweight shirt for active pursuits, I think the Capilene Cool Daily line represents a great value.

Patagonia Long-Sleeved Capilene Cool Daily Shirt

Y Athletics House Shorts

Note: these shorts were sent to us for review purposes.

A while back, Y Athletics contacted us wanting to send over some new shorts they had developed. These are a hybrid merino wool short, and called simply ‘House Shorts’. I’ve been wearing them for quite some time now, and they have become a regular part of my wardrobe.

Material

This is a 265 gsm double knit fabric with the inner face being a 70% Merino Wool (19.5 micron), 30% Nylon blend, and the outer being 100% Polyester. In a nutshell they are thick, heavy, and very soft.

On the website Y Athletics notes that this product is a single run and is being sold at a discounted price because “The face fabric of this garment is below our specified tolerance for abrasion. It is prone to pilling with no effect on performance.” Oddly I have not seen any of this pilling on my shorts, what I have seen is a lot snags. Both of the seam stitching and on the general shorts as well.

Lastly, the exterior fabric is very smooth with a slight sheen. I wouldn’t say they are shiny, but they are also not matte.

Performance

I still think shorts/pants made out of merino are a bit overkill. It’s not an area of your body prone to a lot of body odor, nor an area most people smell that often. However, I think the goal with merino use here is in moisture wicking and thermoregulation.

To that end these shorts need to be judged based on comfort. And so I will now say these are the most comfortable shorts I have ever owned. I have worked out in them, but I mostly lounge about in them. They are supremely comfortable, a mix between basketball shorts and sweatpants.

When I did work out in them they felt too warm, but it was also 90°F outside. At home I find them to be the perfect weight, and something I look forward to changing into after a long day at work. They are likely to be something I consider packing when I travel, which I typically wouldn’t worry about packing lounging shorts — but the luxury of them is hard to ignore.

Fit & Style

The fit on these is pretty odd. They are very slim fitting, with almost a little outward flare at the very end. They fit tight enough that I wouldn’t want to really be seen in public in them, nor do I think the style lends themselves well to outside of the house. I suspected at first the the flaring was more a byproduct of stretch from wear, but looking close at the product pictures I can see a similar thing happening.

I suspect that this is an optical illusion, but one that actually becomes a thing after wear. In other words the silhouette of the shorts is so close to the body at the upper portions that is is noticeable how loose they become at the opening of the shorts.

Overall

I love these shorts. The only comment my wife has ever made was: “Those look nice, a little like a wet suit or something, but nicer than basketball shorts”. I am going to mark that down as pretty high praise.

One thing I will also note is that the pockets have zippers, and generally I hate this. However in this case it makes sense and works to keep your phone from constantly falling out of your pocket. Given the discount of these down to $54, they are a no brainer. Good deal, super comfortable, great indulgence.


Steve’s Thoughts

For me, while these are definitely the most comfortable shorts I have for lounging, they run a bit too warm for me for the warmer weather. Hence, I haven’t gotten a ton of wear out of them yet, but I definitely see them becoming something I go for often this fall.

As far as the fit, I also agree with Ben. They are very slim, so definitely are relegated to house shorts.

Y Athletics House Shorts

Civic Jack Shirt

A while back Taylor Stitch created a sub-brand called “Civic” which focused heavily on selling Merino wool based clothing, using the brands classic but modern styling. The go to item in that collection is what they called the Jack shirt, made from Merino 4S fabric.

This shirt, which is on last call now, is one I have been wanting to test for quite so time. So I picked it up and gave it a spin, it seems the entire line is being discontinued so act fast if you want one.

Material

As I mentioned, this shirt is made of a custom Merino 4S fabric which is listed to contain: 70% merino wool/30% Sorona with a 220 gsm fabric weight. Sorona is a partially bio-derived synthetic fiber that is described as the best of polyester and nylon.

But to be honest, it could be 100% wool and I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, so good on them for reducing wool usage I guess. This shirt feels almost exactly like the Wool&Prince button down shirts we love (our review), with slightly less stiffness to the fabric.

Fit & Style

I picked this shirt up in Stone Green Chambray, it is a fantastic color which I have found overly difficult to pair with pants. It’s too medium in color, so much so that it is too close in shade to my khaki pants, and not quite light enough to wear with my darker pants. As it is I tend to wear it with dark gray Outlier Futureworks (our review).

The fit is very trim, with the 42 being just large enough for me to wear. I find the sleeves also barely long enough, and wish they had tall sizes. More than any of that, the body length on this shirt is very short, making it great to wear untucked, but a tad tricky to wear tucked in. Depending on what you buy this shirt for, this is awesome, or terrible.

For me this placed the shirt in casual, non-office, wear scenarios. It looks sharp for that.

In addition to the cut, the Merino 4S, is a bit slouchy in appearance. Such that the collar has a classic Oxford rumple to it, as does the placket and cuffs. This makes the shirt look more casual, even when steamed free of all wrinkling. Again, this fits with the cut of the shirt quite nicely.

This is one of my favorite looking casual merino button downs.

Overall

Typically we write a section for performance, but I’ll instead skip that with this shirt. It has no stretch, and is 70% merino wool — it performs like a 100% merino shirt. Generally you get a few wears out of it, and it doesn’t wrinkle too badly.

Instead, I will say that I am surprised to see these shirts being discontinued. The fabric and price points are great, the cut is even better. If they cut it in long, I could easily see this being something I wore to the office more. As it was the tail length was tricky to navigate commuting in a car and working in an office — too much potential for the shirt coming untucked.

That said, it will certainly be a shirt I toss in my bag when I am traveling somewhere an want a versatile button down shirt. I like it, and its too bad it is on its way out. That said, you can pick them up for a solid price right now.

Civic Jack Shirt

Faherty Brand Short-Sleeve Stretch Summer Blend Shirt

I recently reviewed the Faherty Malibu Short, along with them, I also picked up a linen-blend shirt, the Short-Sleeve Stretch Summer Blend Shirt. I’ve given it a good test through the warm end of the summer and while not necessarily along the lines of what we normally test, it is a nice shirt.

Material

The fabric here is a 76% cotton, 21% linen, 3% spandex blend.

While stretch is in the name of the shirt, I didn’t find it apparent while wearing, but being a short sleeve shirt, that isn’t a huge deal. However, when examining the fabric by hand, their is definitely a little stretch in the horizontal direction.

The high linen content gives the fabric both the loved and hated properties of linen. The shirt is very light and airy. Of course, this also means the fabric wrinkles if you just look at it. To be noted here — wrinkles in linen look great in a casual situation if they are wrinkles from wearing it, but not so great if they are from it being packed in your bag. So this shirt is simply not for packing (unless you want to iron).

Fit & Style

Faherty is one of the brands of shirts that seems to always fit my body. Once you find one or two of those, you’ll be happy to continue being a customer. Not to mention, I also think the build quality is also above average.

Style-wise, this is a nice casual button-down for wearing untucked with shorts. I find the Mint Buffalo color I got pairs very well with my Navy Outlier New Way Longs (our review). Additionally, the texture of the fabric, a combination of texture from the linen and the weave of the fabric also lends to the casual look.

Performance

This shirt is built for the heat. The fabric is built to be light and airy and the linen only improves that. I wore this shirt on some warm summer days and it kept me cool, the only thing that might beat it is something made from Ramie by Outlier like the Ramienorth Pivot (our review) or Mojave Shortsleeve.

As far as odor resistance, I can get about two wears here. The shirt doesn’t dry too quickly though, so don’t plan on washing the shirt in the sink and wearing it again the next day.

Speaking of washing, I found the shirt to come out of the washer quite wrinkly and even after hanging to dry, it needs an iron.

Overall

Overall this is a nice casual summer shirt. It’s not going to ever be a travel shirt for me (unless I’m planning to wear it just once and on the first day), but it’s a nice one to have in my lineup for weekends at home.

At a full price of $128 I can’t recommend it due to the high cotton content — for not much more you can get a 100% linen shirt. However, if it hits the Faherty sale, it’s worth a look.

Faherty Brand Short-Sleeve Stretch Summer Blend Shirt

Travel Clothing is a Ridiculous Trap

One of the reasons this site came to be, is because both Steve and I found ourselves traveling a lot for both work and leisure. And when you start traveling a lot, you start to look at how you can pack fewer items — this seems almost universal, as humans are generally uncomfortable out of their normal habitats and thus you really want to know you have the right clothing. Which means you inevitably google something like “best travel clothes for X”. And you get back a big mix of some really weird clothing.

The truth is, most travel clothing is some Frankenstein mix of stereotypical retiree clothing and hiking clothing. This type of clothing is marked by:

  • Zip-off anything
  • A lot of pockets, with some very dedicated pockets
  • Zippers, like a lot of zippers
  • Polyester or nylon

Some, but not all, of the above describes even some of the clothing we talk about here on this site, but if you look closely the clothing we really like is that which most people can’t even tell is anything out of the ordinary. But what’s really odd is that anyone who has spent time traveling knows exactly the clothing I am talking about.

There’s always a bunch of people wearing zip-off pants, button down shirts treated with bug repellant and with mesh venting. Pockets galore and more. People really seem to buy into these travel clothing traps, and I cannot understand why.

These clothes look terrible. And they also generally perform terribly too. In most cases you would be better off with blue jeans and a pair of swim trunks than you would with any zip off pants. There’s a few reasons why:

  1. You have to wash most of those travel pants more than blue jeans.
  2. You can’t swim in zip-off pants.
  3. You’ll never use all the pockets.
  4. Cotton will hold bug spray just as well as that bug treatment on your clothes.
  5. You look like a target because you are specifically wearing travel clothing when you are traveling. So it’s not hard to target you.

But more than anything else, if these clothes are so good and so versatile: then why don’t people wear them everyday? Why only relegate them to travel?

It’s because you don’t want people you know to see you wearing this stuff unless you have a specific reason to wear them. Because they look terrible.

That’s why you read both Steve and I praising Outlier’s Futureworks (our review). These are nylon pants with a gusset crotch, stretch, and are highly breathable while also resisting some light rain. And yet you can’t tell it’s a technical pant. They drape well, make no noise and only have a zipper on the fly. They are stealth and superior to all other business casual/chino like pants I have tried to date.

They also aren’t marketed for travel, and that makes them hard for a lot of people to find.

My goal when I started down the rabbit hole of finding better clothing was to merge the two aspects of my life. What I wear everyday should be what I wear when I travel. It should perform to really high standards, because that’s just convenient for me and comfortable as well.

I don’t wear this clothing because I travel a lot any more. I don’t wear it because I write here at this site. I wear it because it’s more comfortable than any other option, while looking just as good.

So don’t fall into the travel clothing trap, and avoid anything with zip-off extremities.

Travel Clothing is a Ridiculous Trap

What We’re Wearing: August 2019

The summer is coming to a close, and it’s time for the second edition of “What We’re Wearing” here at Everyday Wear. Here’s what we’ve been wearing and enjoying through the summer.

Steve

We had a crazy start to the summer with some really wet stretches, but the second half has been quite hot. I’ve spent a lot of time outside enjoying the weather — here’s what I’ve been wearing.

Business Casual

The Outlier Futureworks (our review) are still my favorite pants for business casual dress. For the hottest (and on the causal side of business casual), the Western Rise The Evolution Pant (our review) still can’t be beaten with their extremely lightweight fabric.

After finishing my review of the Wool & Prince Slim Chino (provided for review by Wool & Prince), they ended up staying in my closet because I find them to be too warm for the summer. I am looking forward to bringing them back out in the Fall, however.

As far as shirting, I’ve been mostly been wearing the polos I discussed in my Polo Guide, and my Bluffworks Meridian 2.0 Dress Shirt (our review).

Shoe wise, my Allen Edmonds Higgins Mill boots are holding up well and still are my go to, always with Darn Tough socks.

Casual

I’ve stepped up my summer casual game some with some great linen blend short sleeve button-ups — Taylor Stitch The Short Sleeve Bandit (our review), Faherty Brand Short-Sleeve Stretch Summer Blend Shirt (look for a review soon). I also found nylon/Tencel/spandex shirt at REI that I’ve been enjoying. To continue on the linen theme, I also picked up the Faherty Brand Malibu Short (our review).

I’ve recently also tried my first piece with hemp fiber, the Nau Kanab Short Sleeve T-Shirt.

Obviously, natural fibers were a theme this summer for me and I quite enjoyed everything I purchased. Of course, linen wrinkles quite a bit but looks great for casual wear. Some of the linen/cotton blends kept wrinkles away better than others, and hemp blends seem to be a little better than linen. Overall, to me, the hemp blends I’ve seen tend to feel a little stiffer/coarser than linen.

I’ve continued to wear my Western Rise pants for casual wear as well, and my Outlier New Way Longs (our review) continue to be my favorite shorts.

I did also finally find a pair of casual sneakers that I like to wear with shorts — a pair of Seavees with a linen upper.

Finally, while not really summer shoes, I found a great deal on a pair of Red Wing Merchant boots in a light brown suede that look great with a pair of causal pants. These are defiantly going to get a lot of wear as the weather cools down.

Exercise

Nothing new exercise clothing wise, but I did discuss my long term opinion on the athletic t-shirts I’ve been wearing for over a year now.

My go to shorts continue to be the Myles Apparel Momentum Short 2.0 (our review). I’ve also recently purchased the Coalatree Trailhead Shorts (look for a review soon).

Shoe wise, I’m still wearing my Trail Gloves (gym) or Altra Lone Peak 4 (rucking/hiking).

Outerwear

Of course not much outerwear is needed for the summer, but I’ve still been wearing my Outdoor Research Helium II (our review) for rain. I also just picked up a Patagonia Houdini Snap-T Pullover Windbreaker in their current sale. I haven’t received it yet, but I’m looking forward to giving it a try.

Travel

I’ve continued to wear and pack the above when traveling. Of course, still carrying my trusty GORUCK GR1 26L backpack. The Trail Gloves pack down nicely if I want to bring a pair of exercise shoes.

Ben

Since moving to Houston I’ve had to change quite a few things wardrobe these past few months: working in an office, and living in a very hot and humid place will do that to you.

Business Casual

My go to outfit for work was pretty easy to sort out, despite all the pants and shirts I have been testing, I have settled on wearing Futureworks for the vast majority of the work week (Dark Navy and Space Grey being my go to colors) and a mix of Ministry of Supply Aero Dress Shirts (our review), as well as Bluffworks Meridian shirts. I still mix in a few other options I have, but these are what I would pare back to if forced to do so.

On the shoe side of things I have settled on rotating between my Thursday Boots (our review), and a pair of Cole Haans. Both work well, and are comfortable all day with the boots running a little warmer come the very end of the day.

Casual

I’ve been ruined on the casual side of clothing. It’s been to hot out to wear my Outlier Slim Dungarees (our review), so I have been forced to spend most of the summer in my Outlier New Way shorts. I only have one pair in charcoal, and surprisingly that’s been more than enough for me. I love these shorts, and they are basically all I wear. Occasionally for a nice dinner I will toss on some Sandstorm Futureworks, or if I want pants my Olivers Passage Pants (our review).

On the shirt side I typically wear the Western Rise AirLight Short Sleeve (our review) if it is clean, or my Wool & Prince 100% Merino Polo (our review). I’ve found myself rarely wearing t-shirts, but I do wear the Outlier Ramienorth Pivot (our review) quite a bit for going out to dinner, though it’s a wear once and wash shirt.

My shoes for casual wear consist of flip flops, or a pair of Nike Flyknit running shoes.

Exercise

This setup hasn’t changed at all despite the weather. I wear my GORUCK Simple Pants, Y Athletics SilverAir Merino (our review), and GORUCK MACV-1 boots. I tried wearing shorts, but there are still enough mosquitoes that get my legs if I do that, and the pants don’t overheat me much so that’s an easy fix there.

Travel

I have not been traveling at all this summer, only one weekend road trip. So my clothing for this is the same as my casual clothing. I did pack in my trusty GR1 as it is clearly the best backpack out there.

What We’re Wearing: August 2019

Coalatree Trailhead Shorts

Coalatree designs eco-friendly clothing that is designed to wear from the mountains to the city. I remember seeing their Trailhead Pants on Kickstarter, but didn’t love the loose ties at the bottom of the legs. When I saw their Trailhead Shorts for a great price on Huckberry, I decided to give them a try.

Material

These shorts are made from a ripstop nylon 4-way stretch blend with a DWR coating (88% bluesign nylon/12% spandex). The outer face of the fabric shows a prominent grid pattern (characteristic of the ripstop nylon) while the inner face has a soft weave and is borderline fuzzy.

This gives the shorts quite a bit of weight and makes the fabric quite thick. While I don’t feel like the weight hurts the warm weather wearability, I think it would put the pants into a cooler weather category for me. As far as the stretch is concerned, these are by far the stretchiest shorts I own.

Fit & Style

At an 8.5” length, I think Coalatree nailed the length, at least for me. I find them short enough that they don’t get in the way during active pursuits, but long enough that they are my style for wearing in other situations. Additionally, the weight of the fabric gives them a better than average drape for performance shorts.

Unfortunately, the grid pattern gives these shorts away as performance apparel, and for me makes them solidly in the casual wear category. They look better than my Patagonia Baggies Longs (our review), but other than those, these are my most casual shorts.

That brings me to what I see as some confusion over what the shorts want to be — they have elastic, an external draw string, belt loops, and a false-fly. The false-fly helps step up the looks a little bit when wearing with an untucked shirt. For me the wide elastic band does a great job keeping the shorts up (and is very comfortable), making the belt loops and external draw string unnecessary. If I were to redesign the shorts, I’d put the draw string inside the waist band and get rid of the belt loops.

Performance

These shorts perform excellently for active and everyday wear. The high level of 4-way stretch combined with the gusseted crotch keeps these moving with your body in any way you manage to stretch them. The DWR does a great job keeping them dry in a drizzle, which is needed since the thicker fabric doesn’t dry instantly.

As far as pockets go on this type of shorts, Coalatree did a nice job. The front pockets are designed appropriately so your phone doesn’t try to fall over on its’ side (a problem I have with the Baggies pockets). The two rear pockets are a nice touch as well, with the right rear pocket having velcro on the closure. There is also a small pocket inside the front of the shorts sized for a key.

These are also packable into the right front pocket. I don’t find this necessary, as they pack better folded or rolled. This doesn’t detract from the shorts, however, as there are no extra closures or anything needed to add this feature.

Lastly, Coalatree claims these shorts are anti-microbial, but doesn’t indicate any special treatment. In my testing, I found them to perform the same as my other nylon shorts odor-wise.

Overall

Overall, these are nice casual shorts. They have taken over my Baggies as my favorite casual shorts, and I like that they go easily from casual to active activities.

If you are looking for an active short that looks decent enough to wear into town, these are worth a look and I’d certainly recommend them over Baggies.

You can pick them up from Huckberry or directly from Coalatree (Men’s, Women’s).

Coalatree Trailhead Shorts

Proper Cloth Performance Shirt

The market for men’s button down shirts seems split on what ‘performance’ means. To some companies it means stuff it in a suitcase and wear it anywhere. To others it means building a shirt that is quietly more comfortable to wear. Proper Cloth seems to be in the latter camp. Their big claim to fame, if you will, is making fully custom sizing for their shirts.

I decided to take one of their more ‘standard’ sized shirts for a spin, and it’s quite interesting.

Material

First, Proper Cloth has many shirt materials ranging from standard to ‘performance’. And then when you get to performance there are many varieties which makes this review tricky. The shirt I ordered is the ‘White Performance Twill’ which is listed as 95% nylon, 5% Spandex. You can find it directly here.

This material is not like any other I have encountered. It has no sheen or noise to it. It is incredibly thin, to the point where it is opaque at times. It is very smooth and crisp looking. It looks like a really nice cotton dress shirt, but feels like not cotton. The stretch is solid, but not earth shattering — it’s enough to be comfortable but not enough to be the type of shirt you feel you could do anything in.

Fit and Style

Ok, so style with these shirts is basically whatever you want it to be — to your hearts content. There’s a ton of options for the collar, cuffs, front yoke, and on and on. So style is always going to be exactly what you want.

Fit is where Proper Cloth looks to own the market, and I am impressed. I decided to take a lazy approach, and what I mean is that instead of sending in all my measurements I went with a ‘standard size’ which is nothing like most standard sizing. The reason I did this is because this is likely how most of you will buy these shirts, and my measurements were also close to their standard sizing.

I went with — Standard Size: 16.5 Collar, 35.5 Sleeve, Slim Fit. That nets out to:

  • Collar Circumference 16.50
  • Sleeve Length 35.50
  • Chest Width 24.50
  • Midsection Width 22.00
  • Shoulder Width 18.00
  • Shirt Length 32.00
  • Sleeve Width 9.25
  • Cuff Circumference 9.00
  • Bottom Width 23.50
  • Watch Allowance None
  • Shoulder Slope Normal
  • Forearm One Pleat
  • Shoulder/Armpit Full
  • Rear Pleats None
  • Back Darts None
  • Posture Normal (default)
  • Top Button Standard
  • Buttons on Front 8

So yeah, they have some detail on these shirts. When you get the shirt, it has very good info on how to send it back if the fit is not perfect. For me, the fit was surprisingly exactly how I wanted it to fit. It’s by far my best fitting shirt — if I had to change one thing I would add watch allowance to the cuff, but I didn’t realize that was an option until long after I had the shirt. Not a big deal.

Performance

This shirt is an odd duck for performance. It doesn’t do anything for odor resistance (wear once and wash it), but resists stink better than Ministry’s Aero shirts I normally wear. But this shirt is also wrinkle prone — more so than a cotton no-iron style shirt. You need to iron this shirt before wearing it, and then it stays smooth relatively well. Out of the wash, or after folding it, the shirt is a mess for wrinkles,which is odd for a performance shirt. That said, there’s more to this shirt.

For starters it is really comfortable. It dries very fast. The collar is excellent. But more than that the entire shirt moves and breathes very well. In the heat of Houston’s summer, it is easily the most comfortable dress shirt I own for that heat.

Where it falls down a bit is on the opacity, because I have to wear an undershirt to keep from my nipples showing through the shirt. I suspect a non-white color would remove that concern. The reason I chose white was simply because it’s not often a choice with the shirts I review, so I wanted to see if I could find something that would be a good shirt to wear with a suit.

Overall

This is easily the best white dress shirt I have found, and the best overall dress shirt if you want to take your wardrobe to the top end of business casual or wear something with a suit. I wear the shirt often, but I would wear it all the time if I had chosen non-white. The good news for me, I guess, is that I will be buying another one in a different color and style.

The thing about Proper Cloth is that they know the key to looking really good: tailoring. But tailoring has historically been a pain to do, and costly for most people. Here, you just need to buy a cloth measuring tape and you can get a perfectly fit shirt. It’s just icing on the cake that they make really nice performance fabrics too.

Recommended.

Proper Cloth Performance Shirt