Makers and Riders Trousers

I recently grabbed a pair of Makers & Riders Wool Trousers to try out for business casual garb at the office — specifically, the ‘4 Season AeroDri Wool Trousers F16’. I’ve long wanted to try a pair of Makers & Riders pants as they are well known as a merino wool brand, and well loved by many travelers.

I’ve been testing these pants now for over a month, and overall they are very good (especially given the price) with a few quirks about them.

Material

As I mentioned these are merino wool pants, and while I question how much one needs merino wool in pants, these are a blend. They come in at 190gsm, composed of 46% Merino Wool / 51% Polyester / 3% Spandex — and I’ll tell you up front that the spandex stretch feels non-existent in practice.

The pants themselves are very thin, with a lot of breathability. I would say these are my coolest wearing pants of everything I own and are very comfortable. The material itself is billed as being “soft touch”, but I find that hard to back up in person. The pants felt slightly scratchy, like wool of old — these are not luxuriously soft like most merino you are used to. They aren’t bad, but they are not sweatpants feeling either.

The material itself seems hardy, and in all the days of wearing them, I never once came into any issues with durability — I would guess they will hold up just fine. Further, the drape on them is exceptional, much better than any synthetic pants I wear.

Performance

Instead of commenting on how many wears you can get, I’ll just say that it is more than cotton. My pants never really develop smells, so multiple wears with pants is more about staining, and I had no issues with that.

When it comes to travel there’s three key metrics: comfort, wrinkle resistance, and how fast they dry. Let’s start with the later: they dry crazy fast. The material is thin, and has a high wool and synthetic content. As for wrinkles they do wrinkle, but those fall out fast. I only experienced wrinkles when packing them, not when wearing them.

Comfort is a whole different beast with these. If it is cold (cold being what feels cold to you) you need to know that a breeze will cut right through these. They will not keep you warm. The stretch isn’t there, and the lack of a gusset in the crotch means they don’t move as well as any other performance pants I own.

But in the heat, when it’s really hot, these are my favorite to wear. They wear cool, they breathe, and the pockets are mesh-like which keeps moisture from building up around the pockets.

In other words they are not my pick when I think I might be stuck on a plane, or in meetings sitting in conference chairs — they would need far more stretch. But if I need to be battling heat, and looking sharp, I’d grab these.

The only other factor in the comfort matrix with these is the scratchiness of the material. It’s not ideal, and I mostly feel it on my thighs when I sit. If you are sensitive to wool scratch, stay away. If you mostly are not bothered, you’ll be fine.

Fit and Style

Most of the pants we review have more modern cuts and tailoring. The pants legs generally are slim, or with a strong taper, and the rise is generally shorter than higher. With these trousers the cut is far more classic. It’s not boxy, it has subtle tailoring to it, but they are strongly classic.

The rise is also very high on them, higher than any other pants I own — this might be the biggest deal breaker for people and something you need to try at home. I actually initially ordered my standard size 34 waist and found I couldn’t button these. I returned them for a size 36 and I find those about a half a size too large for me. So size up, but know that the sizing is a little off for me on these. I wish they had more size options, like a 35.

I mention my sizing issues because I think the 34 fit every part of my body better, with exception to the waist. So if you really wanted a pair of these, tailoring might need to be budgeted.

Otherwise these pants are stealth. No one will think they are anything other than standard wool trousers, because they basically are. There is a hidden zip pocket, but it’s well hidden. Nothing to see here, move along.

Overall

I do also want to say that these pants are well made, and I point that out because they are a bargain at $118. The closest, most comparable pants (looks wise) that I own are the Ministry of Supply Velocity pants (our review). For me, the Velocity pants are better in every way except for durability.

There’s a choice to be made here, between price & durability, or comfort & performance. For me, I’d stick with the Velocity pants, but it is very hard to fault the Makers & Riders trousers. If the cut had a lower rise, I would probably wear them far more, and when the hot and humid weather returns this summer, I will likely wear them a fair bit.

Find them here.

Makers and Riders Trousers

Taylor Stitch The California in Olive Hemp Poplin

Ever since I got my first shirt from Taylor Stitch, I’ve been keeping an eye out on their “Workshop” and “Last Call” sections. These are great spots to grab good deals on items from Taylor Stitch.

A few months ago, I picked up their The California in Olive Hemp Poplin button-down shirt.

Material

This shirt is made from a 5-oz. 55% hemp, 45% organic cotton blend. The weight makes it a very versatile shirt, working well in the summer as well as the fall and spring.

The high hemp content gives the shirt a great texture that adds some interest to the shirt, and pushes the fabric solidly into the casual category for me.

The weight and medium color of the fabric also allow this shirt to be worn without an undershirt, a big plus for those warm summer days.

Fit & Style

Overall the fit works well for me. It seems like the Taylor Stitch shirts are cut quite consistently, which is not always a given. The body is trim but not slim and the sleeves have plenty of length.

While on the longer side, the length of the body lends well to wearing either tucked or untucked. I’ve only ever worn it untucked due to the casual look of the fabric.

The collar also lends to the casual look, as while it never spreads so far that it lays flat, it tends to spread out quite a bit.

Performance

Taylor Stitch bills this fabric as helping to keep you cool and dry when the temperature rises. Wearing this shirt since the end of the summer, I can say that this is true. I never felt like the armpits were wet and never noticed any sweat marks.

The shirt also does well with odor-resistance, as I am able to get a solid 2+ wears out of this shirt, depending on how much I was sweating while wearing it.

It also performs well for not having any stretch in it. I never felt restricted while wearing the shirt.

Finally, you will not get away without an iron here. When coming out of the laundry, it is very wrinkly. I even tried tossing it in the dryer and hanging it immediately, with no luck. While it does look good with some level of wrinkles, it is way too wrinkly after washing to wear.

Overall

I really like the shirt. The texture and weight of the fabric gives it a great look and it works really well for casual wear and the high hemp content lends to the durability and performance. While I’m not sure I’d recommend it at the full $128 price, it represents a good value at the marked down $89.

Taylor Stitch The California in Olive Hemp Poplin