It’s not a secret that we are big fans of Outlier here at Everyday Wear. The Futureworks (now Futureslimworks) are our go-to business casual pants and are a great place to start with Outlier.
The Futureworks are made with Outlier’s F. Cloth, a 200 gsm 97% nylon, 3% elastane canvas with 35% two-way stretch and a DWR coating. The nylon is a Cordura grade nylon 6,6 that is air texturized, this means it is softer, stronger, and most importantly, more matte than what you’d expect from the usual nylon.
Comfort and Performance
While the stretch isn’t as noticeable as you’d expect from the claim of 35% two-way stretch (this means the stretch is only in one direction across the fabric, rather than both as in four-way stretch), I’ve found the Futureworks to be very comfortable due to the addition of a knee-length gusset. These move better than a standard pair of cotton chinos, but I wouldn’t want to wear them where I needed extreme motion constantly (that’s what the Slim Dungarees are for).
The fabric is lightweight enough to remain comfortable in hot and humid weather, but can still be OK in the winter when outside for a quick walk or back and forth to your car (or comfortable in any cold with a baselayer). The DWR does an excellent job of shedding a light rain (or a spilled drink). Also, since the fabric contains no polyester, there are no static issues in the winter.
The fabric dries extremely fast — when they come out of the washer they are almost dry and will be completely dry in a few hours. However, they can look quite wrinkly when they dry. Since you can’t iron synthetics, the wrinkles will work their way out from your body heat when you put the pants on. Or, while I haven’t machine dried mine (which is allowed per the care instructions), I imagine a few minutes on low would also take care of the wrinkles.
Looks and Fit
These are the most normal looking performance (non-cotton) chinos I have found. While no synthetic pant will ever look like its cotton counterpart, the Futureworks get pretty close. The only giveaways from afar are the slight sheen and slightly stiff drape. I think Outlier has done a great job cutting down on the sheen, but there is always is room for improvement. When you take closer look, the texture is also different from cotton.
The Futureworks have a great “straight” fit. They are looser than the Slim Dungarees, especially in the thigh. This gives the sizing an ability to work for more people. I think the fit works perfectly for a business casual look, however, there are a few adjustments I’d make.
Outlier only offers one inseam (33.5”) which is just long enough for me. So if you are tall, you may be out of luck. For me, the only fit issue I have is a slight gap at the back of the waistband. This could probably be solved with a higher rise.
If you are looking for a performance pant to replace your chinos, look no further than the Outlier Futureworks. I think they provide a great value at $140. As a core Outlier item, they are usually well stocked in many color options (I own the Phantom Grey and Dark Navy) and the return policy makes it easy to give them a try if you are on the fence.
The Futureworks are the first pair of Outlier pants I owned, and since I’ve been losing weight I have had the chance to own three different pairs. They are fantastic, and the Sandstorm color is the best khaki pant option you can get. I love these for flying, as they stay clean and look sharp even after six hours on a plane. These are perhaps the most underrated item Outlier makes and likely the first you should pick up. I’ve owned both the Dark Navy and Sandstorm, and both are excellent.
I’ve never had anyone comment that my pants look odd with these, or ask about them. They are stealth. They make no more noise than a standard cotton pant and perform leaps and bounds better.
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