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

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

Ministry of Supply Velocity Dress Pants

I’ve been wanting to try the Ministry of Supply Kinetic Dress Pants for a while now, but when I went to get a pair to try, I saw these new Velocity Dress Pants, and I decided to give them a go instead. They quickly became a go to part of my work wardrobe, so let me explain why.

Material

These are a very soft, stretchy, and thin pair of pants made up of: 61% polyester, 33% viscose, and 6% spandex. I’d swear there was more spandex in them than that just given how they feel — and I do believe it is 4-way stretch, if it isn’t I would be blown away. Additionally, Ministry notes that it has a curved back yoke to add in comfort.

The material itself is soft, with no sheen, and no noise at all. They are smooth, so if you think about a pair of athletic warm up pants, and take away the sheen and add stretch, that’s basically what these feel like. I’ve found that the drape is acceptable, which is was a pleasant surprise.

Fit & Style

I purchased the regular cut in these, and found them to be very slim — about as slim as I would want. The stretch means that you don’t want to order or wear a pair which is too large in any way. I wish these did odd sizing, but as it is the pair I got are comfortable all day long.

Overall, I think the pants look sharp. They don’t quite stealth pass for say wool trousers, but they won’t give the vast majority of people a second thought. The heathered pattern looks nice as well.

Silly double pocket.
Silly double pocket.

The only issue with the style is that the left front pocket has two pockets, neither of which close. The rear of the two pockets is shallow and small, great for keys or a pocket knife. The front pocket is the standard front pocket. This causes an issue with the pockets looking a little weird on the left side, and is super annoying when you try to grab something out of the front pocket. I always stick my hand in the wrong pocket.

Performance

These pants are marketed to really perform well in two aspects: stretch and breathability. They knock both out of the ball park. They are the most comfortable pants I own, and that’s across any category. When I wrote my Outlier OG Climbers review I really wished I could wear those into an office, well the Velocity Pants are just as comfortable and work in an office.

Living in Houston breathable pants are a huge concern of mine, and these pants are plenty cool. Add to that the movement of them, and they are comfortable to wear all day long.

Lastly, I got stuck in an absolute monsoon of a downpour one day, wearing these pants, and I had to walk to the bus. When I got the the bus, they were soaked, but the time I got to my car, 45 minutes later, they were mostly dry. And by the time I got home, they looked like this:

Durability Concerns

If I have one concern with these pants it is the durability — I don’t think they are very durable. I haven’t had them long enough to know for sure, but I don’t think they will last me much more than a year. There’s two issues springing up:

  1. Snags. In more than a few spots I can see some snags on the material. Hopefully that’s a limited thing, but given how new these are, that’s not acceptable.
  2. Fuzziness. Across my lap, where my seatbelt rides, the pants are starting to look a little fuzzy. Now, I don’t notice this when looking at the pants at any other angle than simply looking down at them from the vantage point of me wearing the pants. Again, this really isn’t acceptable given the high price tag.

I wish these pants were more durable, but I fear that to do so they would be far less comfortable.

Snags like this all over.
Snags like this all over.

Fuzzy from seatbelts.
Fuzzy from seatbelts.

Overall

If you can’t tell, I love wearing these pants. They are very comfortable no matter what I am doing. The downside is the high price tag and the lack of durability I am seeing with this pair. But there’s one more downside: they never look as crisp and sharp as my Outlier Futureworks.

For now, I’ll keep wearing them because I have them already, but I wouldn’t spend my money on them again until they fix the durability. The Futureworks are almost as comfortable, far more durable, and less expensive at $148 vs $185.

Ministry of Supply Velocity Dress Pants

Faherty Brand Malibu Short

In searching for some summer pieces which differ from what we normally cover, I came across Faherty Brand. They use a lot more traditional fibers than we usually see, but their Malibu Short, is something different and interesting to try for the summer.

Material

These shorts are made from a 55% linen/45% cotton blend that is specially washed for softness and over-dyed.

When they claim a “soft, lived-in feel”, they are not kidding. These were extremely soft right out of the package. Not only are they soft, but they have a great linen texture and airiness.

I ended up going with the Light Blue for something different, and the over-dye gives the shorts a really nice, casual, summer look.

Fit & Style

The fit was great for me. With a 9” inseam, they are neither too short or long and fall just above the knee.

Without stretch, I was a bit concerned how comfortably the shorts would move, but the cut takes care of it. They fit loose enough to move with you and stay airy, but still look presentable for dinner.

Performance

Being used to my Outlier New Way Longs (our review), I wasn’t sure how I was going to like these shorts performance wise. After my first day of wearing them in the heat, I was sold. The seem to have enough linen content to keep the weave of the fabric nice, light and airy. I wore them for an outside dinner on one of the hottest nights of the summer and I remained very comfortable.

In comparison to my New Ways (100% synthetic), these were more breathable, but the cotton content made them feel a little moist. For me, the tradeoff here is worth it for the hottest weather in a situation where I am not active and sweating a lot.

When it comes to wrinkles, despite the high linen content, they only wrinkled slightly more than a standard cotton chino short. The wrinkles that were there were natural wrinkles from sitting in the shorts, rather than the inevitable linen wrinkle.

Overall

Overall, these shorts are good looking casual shorts that can easily transition to dinner. They are very breathable and airy due to the linen content, but the cotton blend keeps them from wrinkling just from looking at them.

If I could only have one short, I would still pick the New Ways, but these are an excellent contender if you are looking for something a little less expensive, made from natural fibers, and/or something you don’t need as much durability from. However, these will certainly remain in my summer wardrobe.

You can pick them up from Faherty Brand or Huckberry.

Faherty Brand Malibu Short

Taylor Stitch The Short Sleeve Bandit in Heather Grey

Taylor Stitch has been around for a while now, mainly focusing on traditional fabrics like cotton. A few years ago, they came onto our radar with their performance line, CIVIC. Since then, they’ve snuck some higher performing fibers into their Taylor Stitch line as well.

Since I finished up my polo roundup, I’ve been looking for some summer short sleeve button-ups to fill out my warm weather wardrobe. So, when I saw The Short Sleeve Bandit in Heather Grey during their Summer Sale, I couldn’t turn it down.

Material

This shirt is made from a 4-oz. 86% organic cotton, 14% linen blend. The material is thin enough that I felt I needed an undershirt under the light color. Something to keep in mind, but certainly not a deal breaker for a summer shirt.

The linen also brings an eye catching texture and color variation to the fabric without being rough.

When I ordered the shirt, I wasn’t sure if the low linen content was enough to impart some linen performance, but I was proven wrong. After wearing it in some of the hottest days of the summer, I can say that the fabric performs better than 100% cotton for breathability and moisture management.

The fabric also tends not to wrinkle like pure linen. You get some of the benefits of linen while avoiding its biggest pitfall — wrinkles as soon as you put it on.

Fit & Style

The fit was spot on for me. Designed to be worn untucked, I found the length to work equally well with shorts or pants. Taylor Stitch notes a tailored fit and high armholes. Sometimes high armholes can make shirts fit weird for me, but they struck a nice balance of making the shirt look sleek while not taking away from the comfort.

As for the band collar. I was not sold immediately, in fact it took a few tries before I decided to keep the shirt. Once I wore it, it really grew on me. It is a great look for a casual summer shirt (and even makes ironing a little less of a pain, as does the lack of back pleats). In fact, I even got some complements.

Performance

This shirt exceeded my expectations in how it performed in hot weather. I expected it to perform mostly like a cotton shirt, but the linen was able to significantly pick up the performance.

Sitting outside to eat on one of the hottest nights of the year, I remained comfortable. While I was sweating, the shirt did an admirable job. Where the shirt was soaking up sweat, it felt a little moist but was drying quickly enough that it never became wet. I think the linen helped some here managing the moisture and with its cooling effect. Even better, when I went inside, the shirt dried very quickly.

Overall

This shirt exceeded my expectations as a casual short sleeved button-down. The linen blend fabric looks great and performs surprisingly well and is certainly a fabric I’d hope Taylor Stitch keeps using. While the band collar might not be for everyone, it really grew on me and is going to be something I will keep my eye out for in the future.

Taylor Stitch The Short Sleeve Bandit in Heather Grey