When I bought the Kinetic pants and blazer (our reviews: pants, blazer) from Ministry of Supply, I did so with the intention of seeing how they work together. My hope was, that like the Bluffworks Gramercy (our review) setup, they would look good enough together. I didn’t anticipate that this would be a thing I would avoid writing, but I have — frankly I can’t make heads or tails of this.
There’s a huge argument as to whether you need a performance travel suit, over a nice say merino wool actual (née Traditional) suit. Everyone seems split on this, with some (like me) preferring performance materials for ease of care and durability. And others citing that the reason you wear a suit is to wear a suit, so wear a suit.
If you are looking for a performance suit to travel with, this is a good option, but I don’t think the best option. The heads up comparison would be with the Velocity pairings also from Ministry and the Bluffworks Gramercy line.
Either, likely, would be better — to a degree. Here’s how I would break them down — do keep in mind I have not put my hands on the Velocity suit jacket, so I am basing this off my assumptions from the pants alone (our review).
- Velocity: this is going to be the best looking of the bunch. The styling and overall material is fantastic. It has great stretch and is very breathable. The downside is going to be durability. I don’t see it being more durable than a nice wool suit. Certainly easier to clean though.
- Kinetic: this will be the most comfortable, by a wide margin. Also very durable and easy to clean. The downside is that the style is not very formal, and the material doesn’t look very suit like and the patch pockets on the blazer trend casual. It doesn’t have sheen, but it almost needs sheen to look right. More than that, it wrinkles easily.
- Gramercy: this looks better, more suit like, than the Kinetic, and is very durable. I can’t wrinkle any of this material easily, and it cleans up nicely. The big downside is that it isn’t much more comfortable than a good wool suit, and not much more breathable — so you’re really only adding ease of care and durability.
This is the issue with everything, each option has substantial trade offs, so it’s no wonder people advocate a classic wool suit. Where I come from is that the pants on each of these options is better than standard wool suit pants, and thus you could get away with only then needing to pack a jacket. And regardless of which you pack, these jackets are easier to pack than a wool suit jacket. So if you travel light, that’s when these suits make sense.
Back to the Kinetic then, the style itself is lending towards casual. Let’s leave the material out completely, and assume that you accept this will look different. Instead the blazer itself is the key here.
Because this is a blazer, and not a suit jacket, certain detailing is missing — and it is that missing detailing that makes this blazer wear more casual. First, the blazer has no buttons on the cuffs, which I didn’t notice, until I did notice it and then it’s all you see. It’s an odd omission and one that I think is a subtle clue that this is a different beast altogether.
The second, as mentioned above, are the patch pockets. A standard suit jacket has openings for pockets with a flap that goes over the opening — that flap can be tucked into the pocket or not. That’s a suit jacket. This is a blazer and thus it has patch pockets — which is just a piece of material sewn on to the face of the jacket to create a pocket. This is what makes the jacket look less formal.
Here’s the thing though, when it comes to style, you are talking about fashion. And I am going to make the argument that for most people in 2019 you simply do not need anything more formal than this. I wore it to our company management conference and blended in fine. Most of the world now considers business casual dressing up, and this certainly will work just fine there.
If I were a wedding guest, not family, I would wear this without another thought. I care more about being comfortable. If I need a suit for work, I’ll wear this. The only time I would steer away is if I needed to be in court, at a board meeting, or something where a suit-suit is called for. And then I am opting for wool.
In short: this is the most comfortable suit looking attire I have ever worn, and likely as formal as anyone needs in 2019. I dig it.