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

Triple Aught Design Latitude

I’ve been looking for a shirt that is a bit of a weekend warrior type of shirt. Something I could toss on for days when I am not certain what I might be doing. From playing with the kids, to lounging on the couch, to taking an impromptu hike, working in the yard — whatever. I was looking for that type of shirt, and so I focused in on the Triple Aught Design Latitude shirt for its warm weather properties, high UPF rating, and long sleeves (so I don’t get sunburn, I never remember sunscreen).

Material

This material is the same as the outer facing on the Triple Aught Design Catalyst Field Shirt I reviewed here, it is a 120 g/m² 100% Nylon Ripstop with a UPF 50 rating. The material is very thin and holds almost no structure. It has a grid pattern throughout the fabric as well.

The material is made to be light, breathable, and quick drying. You might assume durable, but there’s one main issue with this fabric that I have seen in both the Catalyst and this Latitude shirt: pilling. Even after just one wear and wash, there is light pilling throughout. It’s just a thing with this material. It cleans up easily, but if stuff like that bothers you, stay far away. What this does mean though, is that the fabric itself is quite pleasant to feel — that’s your trade off.

Fit & Style

This is basically a hiking shirt look. Though Triple Aught Design took care to make it look like a really great hiking shirt, the collar is slouchy and well, so is the entire shirt. The vertical breast pockets further exacerbate the hiking aesthetic.

However, you don’t go into buying a shirt like this called a ‘modern expedition shirt’ thinking that you will be able to sneak in out of board rooms unnoticed. You buy a shirt like this to have a button down to wear when you want to get stuff done. That’s the style here, take it or leave it.

Performance

My first go with this shirt was a tough one. I needed to go an unpack the items in my garage after moving. A garage in Houston is a special kind of place. The kind of place where it feels like all the humidity and all the heat all at once. If I had to guess the heat index in the garage that day was around 102°F — probably should have waited, but it needed to be done. I chose the Latitude for this task because I wanted to protect my arms from the boxes, and I wanted to try and stay cool.

Much to my surprise the shirt is very breathable, more so than even the Western Rise AirLight I recently wrote about. It never restricted me, and the material held up to a great many box edges sliding against the arms. And those mesh vents in the arm pits, thank you for those.

Finally, I tested the straps to roll up the sleeves and found them to be a nice touch when I was done with the boxes part.

Here’s the crux of the performance: by the time I was done in the garage I was soaked with sweat. The entire shirt was, but it wasn’t heavy and it wasn’t at all uncomfortable (well any more so than being soaked in sweat already is). And when I came back into the house, the shirt started drying out very quickly.

There’s no avoiding getting hot in a situation like that, but the Latitude shirt did exactly what I hoped it would: keep my skin protected from the boxes and my core temp as cool as it could be. After washing it I quickly noticed how fast it dried hanging in the laundry room. As a quick drying hiking and outdoors shirt — this shirt performs as good (if not better) than anything else I have tried. And it looks better while doing it.

Overall

Even though this is a button down shirt with a collar, it’s as casual to wear as a t-shirt. I’d wear it more if it wasn’t so casual, but as it is I generally wear it only when I want my arms protected. It is great to throw on, no regrets on the purchase.

For me though, the style keeps it from being an everyday wear item.

Triple Aught Design Latitude

Long Term Testing: Athletic T-Shirts

Note: These shirts were originally provided for review purposes, please see the original reviews for more information.

We’ve been testing and reviewing here on Everyday Wear for about two years now, so it’s about time we take a look at how some of our long term favorites are holding up.

Something that I wear almost every day is an athletic t-shirt. I wear these for working out and often as a shirt for around the house. The two that have stuck as my favorites are the Pistol Lake Minimalist Tee (called the Minimalist Performance Tee at the time of our review) and the Y Athletics SilverAir Merino T-Shirt (our review). I’ve had the Pistol Lake tee for a year and a half now and the Y Athletics for one year.

Pistol Lake Minimalist Tee

As a refresher, this shirt is made from a custom fabric blend Pistol Lake calls Eudae (76% polyester, 19% Tencel, and 5% spandex). It looks and drapes like a cotton t-shirt with stretch, but performs almost like merino.

As it’s not dependent on any odor treatment (like some synthetic fabrics), I can still get about 4 workouts from the shirt before it starts to smell. Unfortunately, the shirt seems to get small pills all over pretty quickly.

I own the shirt in both black and heather grey, and while both are pilled, it seems that the black is either pilled more, or the pills are just more noticeable. I’m not too concerned about this, as these are workout shirts for me, but this would come into consideration if I were buying these as everyday shirts. I’d also expect that a backpack could accelerate the pilling.

For summer wear I find the fabric very comfortable. It dries very fast and wicks well, however it does retain enough moisture during a hot and sweaty workout that it does get weighed down somewhat (I’d put it between merino and a traditional full synthetic workout tee).

Y Athletics SilverAir Merino T-Shirt

This shirt is is 17.5 micron merino wool with pure silver threads running throughout on the inside, while the outside is plated with nylon.

The merino interior of the shirt continues to give me the same odor resistant performance and moisture wicking of a 100% merino shirt. The thinness of the merino layer helps keep it from getting too weighed down from the sweatiest of workouts (although it still can’t beat a traditional full synthetic workout tee).

As far as the durability of the nylon plating goes, the only pilling I’ve seen is from a sweaty week of hiking with a GORUCK bag. It certainly is much more pill resistant than the Pistol Lake shirt.

One other item of note: The black color of this shirt seems to be showing more of the silver thread through the plating as it ages, while it remains invisible (except for some “indentations” where the thread is) on the blue color.

Overall

I am very satisfied with these shirts as my athletic tees of choice. If I was forced to pick just one with versatility in mind, it’d be the Pistol Lake, as it looks completely normal and could fit into more situations. For pure performance, I’d go with the Y Athletics.

Long Term Testing: Athletic T-Shirts

Western Rise AirLight Short Sleeve Shirt

Note: this was provided by Western Rise for review.

It’s summer, which means in the performance apparel world there is an endless supply of clothing being made promoting it’s ability to keep you cool. To that end, Western Rise recently released the AirLight series of shirts in a variety of styles, and options.

I’ve been testing a short sleeve variant in the ‘fog’ colorway for a couple of weeks in the hot and humid Houston climate.

Let me tell you why this shirt is awesome.

Material

The material is a blend of 51% Recycled Polyester / 49% SUPPLEX® NYLON coming in at a featherweight 104gsm. It also boasts a UPF 30+ rating. The fabric is very thin feeling, but not at all see through which is something you always need to worry about with garments of this weight.

The material is also very soft when you feel it, and has quite a nice drape to it. It won’t look like cotton, but it also doesn’t have that weird ‘hiking shirt’ drape that a lot of shirts like this have. I have noticed that it will take wrinkles easily, especially when packed, and they don’t fall out quickly. A quick, and I mean very quick, steam is all the shirt needs to regain its smooth appearance. And that smooth appearance is an interesting one, this shirt almost lacks all texture. It’s matte, so kudos there, but it’s also oddly smooth looking, but not shiny smooth. Really hard to describe.

Fit & Style

Western Rise notes that this shirt can go “from business casual to summer parties” to which I say: perhaps. It certainly is a great casual shirt, but business casual is going to be situational at best. If you can get away with untucked shirts and jeans in your office, then you won’t stand out (in a bad way) with this shirt, otherwise I don’t see it passing muster.

That said, the general styling and fit of the shirt is one I really love. It’s cut very well for a smart and trim look. The collar is excellent, with hidden buttons to hold it in place so the collar can feel natural and look sharp. The hemline at the bottom is also great for wearing untucked with pants or shorts.

Performance

The thing about this shirt is that it performs at another level. Look, right now here’s the weather at my house: 90°F dew point of 72°F and 56% humidity for a feels like of 98°F — in other words, that’s a cooler day here. That’s the lowest temperature I tested this shirt in, and it’s one of two shirts I own that I actually look forward to wearing in this weather.

Quick hits of why this shirt is so great at performing in the heat:

  • It dries insanely fast. I soaked the shirt cleaning some chairs with the hose, it was dry before I thought about being wet.
  • The odor resistance is actually really good, and I really sweat in it. You can get probably two wears out of it on average, but it dries fast enough that washing it after each wear isn’t a chore.
  • The front pocket closure is kind of crazy. It’s this weird plastic snap thing that keeps the pocket cleanly closed, not bulky, but effective. I don’t know what this is called, but it’s really cool.
  • The stretch is really good, and is only noted as “mechanical” which typically means “not much stretch”. Here I was shocked to read there wasn’t like 6% Lycra in this. It is pretty stretchy.

Here’s the cherry on top with this shirt: it packs down to nothing. It weighs nothing, and it folds up very small. I feel like you could pack an endless supply of these shirts, not that you really need more than a few of them.

Overall

I absolutely love this shirt, and likely will be picking up another one of them. This is superbly well done, it is my favorite short sleeve shirt to wear, and looks pretty sharp. It performs very well in warm weather and doesn’t freeze you out when you hit the AC.

I highly recommend this.

Western Rise AirLight Short Sleeve Shirt

Outlier Ramienorth Pivot

After reviewing Outlier’s Ramielust T-Shirt, I was waiting on the edge of my seat from them to drop some more ramie gear. They released the Ramienorth Pivot, Ramielight Breezy Pivot, Ramielight Camp Collar Shortsleeve, and Ramielight Mojave Shortsleeve. So many choices, I went with the Ramienorth for the heavier weight and better nipple coverage. I’ve now been testing it for many weeks and doing so in a climate the shirt was made for: the hot and humid summer of Houston, TX.

There’s something fun about wearing a long sleeve shirt when the feels like index hits 105°F and still feeling comfortable. Well, as comfortable as you can possibly be.

Material

This is straightforward, 100% Ramie woven in a 200gsm cloth. It is a really heavy fabric, and as such is not the most breathable fabric. I’ll get more into that later, but for now the fabric itself.

This shirt is very prone to wrinkles, similar to linen, but a different type of wrinkles. These are more along the lines of creases, which can be quite annoying. They drop out quickly if you steam the shirt, but release very gradually if you decide to just wear the shirt.

The big thing with this shirt is the hand feel. The Ramie is decently rough feeling, bordering on scratchy to some with more sensitive skin. I notice it when I put it on, but after a few minutes I don’t notice it again. One thing to note is that the Ramienorth is a completely different feeling and looking fabric than the Ramielust we tested. The Ramielust is like an open weave with a slight sheen, whereas the north is like an oxford workshirt with a true matte finish.

One nice thing about the weight of this, the drape is fantastic and the rigidity of the fabric gives a really nice look to the shirt.

Fit and Style

First, let me start with the Pivot sleeve. This is something only Outlier does, I believe they have a patent on it or something. Here’s the thing, it’s the best sleeve out there. Tons of motion without a need for stretch in the garment. It’s dangerous, because you forget you are wearing a light colored, rather expensive shirt and probably shouldn’t be moving around furniture and stuff. Anyways…

This shirt has a great cut and a fantastic fit. I have absolutely no complaints about any of it, top marks at every turn.

Performance

Here’s the big question: how does this shirt feel when you are wearing it in 95°F sunny weather with 78% humidity and a dew point hovering at 75°F (for those who don’t know, that’s pretty darn hot and leads to something feeling well over 100°F). This shirt works, and it works insanely well.

Ramie works better than linen down here in Houston, and not just because of the moisture wicking. Let me back up. This shirt dries absurdly fast, I would say it is the fastest drying button down I have, by a decent margin — even over synthetic shirts. It is almost wearable straight out of the washing machine, certainly wearable in a couple hours. Because of that, it keeps you really cool, but because of the weight you don’t get cold like you can with the Ramielust shirt.

Here’s the deal, in hot climates like Houston most of your time is spent quickly moving from one AC area to the next. With periods of “why do we live here, oh my god” in between those zones. Ok, yes, I did wear this around outside and all that, but here’s the thing. This shirt performs very well when you are in the heat, but where most ‘cool’ shirts fall down is back in the AC. Because you want to be comfortable inside and outside.

That’s where this shirt is a home run. When you come inside it doesn’t give you chills wearing this shirt. I suspect this is because it is not as breathable as the Ramielust, or even a standard linen shirt. That does hurt you a little in cooling outside (get the Ramielight to solve that), but it really helps you out once you get into the AC. Which is where I want to be anyways.

This is the best performing shirt I have found for Houston weather. Hands down.

Overall

My Twitter summary review then is: So good, I wish I could wear it to work. I partly bought the Ramienorth thinking it might be able to work in the office on say Friday. I don’t think I can, it’s to sloppy looking with the rumples and wrinkles the shirt gets. Just like how it is hard to pull that off with linen, it is hard with Ramie. That’s fine, because I wear this shirt a ton. I can only get about 1-2 wears out of it, but it dries so fast I simply wash it after every wear.

Highly recommended.

Outlier Ramienorth Pivot

Bluffworks Ascender Chinos

Note: These pants were provided by Bluffworks for review.

The Bluffworks Ascender Chinos were recently released along with a new travel polo and t-shirt. These chinos were designed as an update from their Classic Chino (our review) with a new fabric and security features. Being Bluffworks, they have 10 pockets (6 special travel pockets), which you either willlove or hate.

Fabric

The fabric is 100% polyester and weighs in at 180 gsm. It has a soft hand feel and nice matte texture in most lighting (but does have a sheen in direct sun).

While these won’t pass for cotton chinos up close, they also don’t immediately give themselves away as technical. However, I do get a technical swoosh while walking in these. It seemed to quiet down a little with washing, so I wonder if it will go away over time. As advertised, they came out of the wash wrinkle free.

Fit & Comfort

Even though the fabric has no stretch content, the pants feel like they have a lot of stretch. In the hand, the stretch feels similar to many of my other chino style pants, but while wearing them, they feel like they have significantly more stretch. In fact, I had to size down one inch from my Gramercy sizing for the waist to fit.

With the right waist size in the Tailored Fit (they also come in Regular Fit), I still felt like there was some room in the thighs and hips. They don’t look sloppy, but they also don’t look as polished as my Outlier Futureworks (our review). If you typically find nice performance chinos to be too slim, you certainly should be able to find a good fit here.

The stretchiness of these pants also makes them very comfortable and forgiving for travel. I would go as far to say that I feel like I could hike in these if I had to. While the fabric here is actually lighter than that of the Futureworks (180 vs. 200 gsm), it feels thicker to me. This translates to them running a little warmer as well. They are breathable and don’t get clammy, but I wouldn’t pick them for the hottest weather. Conversely, I imagine they would perform better in cold weather.

Travel Pockets

With 10 pockets on these pants, you can protect almost anything you’d carry.

Inside both front pockets, there is a zippered pocket.

The right front pocket also includes a phone patch pocket and a small utility pocket (to hold a small knife or multi-tool). The left front pocket has a pocket on the inside of the pants with a velcro closure (for money or a passport).

While it may seem that all these extra zippers and pockets might get in the way, I haven’t yet felt like they have gotten in my way like they can on the Gramercy Pants (our review).

Moving around to the back of the pants, the waistband above the right pocket has a phone pocket.

I’ve yet to find this type of pocket useful, but it doesn’t detract from the look or comfort of the pant. Finally, the left back pocket has a zipper right at the opening. I find that the zipper pull stays tucked away most of the time, but can occasionally pop out if you don’t get it stowed away.

Overall

Overall, the Ascender Chinos are a solid performance/travel pant. If you are looking for a chino style pant with travel security features, these are certainly the best I’ve seen. Even without all the extra pockets, these represent a great value at $125. With a little work on the sheen and sound of the fabric, these could come close to my Futureworks; I’ll also be interested to see how they compare in cold weather.

Bluffworks Ascender Chinos

Western Rise Liberated Hemp Band-Collar

Note: this shirt was provided for review.

When it comes to shirts for warmer weather, the prevailing advice is linen but as all of us reading this know: there is more to it than that. There’s Ramie for hot and humid, there are various synthetic options, and so much more. Western Rise has their Liberated Hemp Band-Collar Shirt they feel warrants a go.

I tested this shirt in the hot and humid weather of Houston, TX in 90°F weather with humidity around 70% and a dew point sailing north of 70°F. In other words: I tested this in insanely hot and sticky weather when my body was hardly acclimated to the climate.

Material

This is a hemp blend shirt coming in at 170 gsm, which is heavier than you might think you want for a warm weather shirt. The blend is 53% hemp / 43% Repreve (Recycled Polyester) / 3% elastane — though it feels like a heavy cotton shirt to the touch. Look closer and you notice little pills on the shirt, like many fabrics made for hot weather — but a tighter weave than most hot weather shirts.

At first the shirt was scratchy feeling, but after one wash that went away to a soft but thick material. As for stretch, it is not very noticeable — I didn’t even realize it was there until I looked up the precise blend of the fabric this review.

This blend is stated to resist odors and wrinkles and to absorb 20% moisture while remaining dry to touch. It lives up to this.

Fit and Style

This is a boxier and looser fit with a polarizing band collar. I found it works best paired with a more casual outfit like linen pants, boxier chinos or a pair of clean shorts with rolled up sleeves. Since the weather here is very warm, I wore it with shorts and rolled up sleeves. I like the style of this shirt, and I think the band collar offers a nice departure from what most people wear — but if you don’t like it in the photos you will not like it in person.

Performance

The hemp blend performs in line with most linen shirts. The material has a tighter weave so it is not as breezy, but breathes well enough and dries fast. It’s not hot wearing — despite feeling heavier than a comparable linen shirt.

The most impressive attribute is the wrinkle resistance. Most shirts made of linen live to wrinkle, but this shirt stays flat and tidy most of the day. It doesn’t have much of the linen look — so if that has always kept you from linen, this is a fabric you should look into.

As for odor resistance I only get 1-2 days of wear out of it. To be fair, I have been sweating a lot in the shirt, but it still starts to stink after a longer wear. You can rinse most of the smells out, so that is nice to know if you plan to travel with it. And, importantly, it dries fast — faster than linen.

My unscientific analysis is that this shirt wears 25% warmer than Outlier’s Breezy Linen and about 5-10% warmer than my linen shirts from Banana Republic. It is warmer than linen, but it keeps it’s composure much better than linen such that I think it is a better choice overall unless you are comparing it to something like the breezy linen from Outlier.

Pit sweat is another interesting part. I was sweating a lot in this shirt and should have been pitted-out, but instead I never felt that wetness under my arms. And I never noticed pit stains. This likely has to do with the amount of water it can absorb, coupled with how fast it dries. I bought a car in this shirt, going in and out of the dealership with a lot of stuff going on — I was sweating, but the shirt never showed it.

A-plus.

Overall

I’m a fan. And if you want linen like performance but you can’t stand that linen wrinkles the moment you look at it, you should consider this shirt. I hope they use this fabric in more styles as I would love to see a short sleeve variant with this same fabric.

Find it here.

Western Rise Liberated Hemp Band-Collar

Wool&Prince Polo

When it comes to wool shirting, Wool&Prince is our go to. Ben gave their 100% Merino Polo (our review) a test last summer and loved it except for the weight, it was too heavy for warm climates. As part of preparing for a roundup of polos (coming soon), I gave the merino blend Polo a try.

Fabric

This polo is made of a 160 gsm blend of 78% 17.5 micron merino and 22% nylon. I’ll let Wool&Prince explain the yarn, as it doesn’t sound like a traditional core spun fiber:

“Traditionally, blended yarns are constructed by mixing fibers from two different sources and then spinning the mixed fibers. We took a different approach and spun a 17.5 micron wool core with two small nylon filaments.”

As advertised, the drape and hand feel of the fabric are great. It drapes heavy, so it looks a little more dressy than your standard cotton, t-shirt-like polo. The fabric feels soft and doesn’t have any of the itch some feel from the Wool&Prince button-downs, most likely due to the finer micron wool used here.

Fit

The fit on the polo is slim but not athletic. It has a classic straight shape, but doesn’t look boxy. I wear a L Regular in Wool&Prince shirting, and an XL fit me well here. With the traditional split drop tail, the length was a little long for me to wear it untucked in all but casual situations.

Overall, the style makes this polo fit in any situation where a polo is appropriate.

Comfort and Performance

The softness of the fabric makes this polo soft and comfortable like your favorite merino t-shirt. I found the weight of 160 gsm to make it substantial enough to not be see-thru, while remaining cool even in warm weather. However, since merino does hold more moisture than 100% synthetic fabrics, you tend to feel sweat a bit. This is somewhat counteracted that the fabric dries fairly quickly.

The collar is always a dealbreaker on a polo. In order to look sharp and blend in with a performance polo, the collar has to look right. In this case, they did a nice job stiffening this collar up a little bit with some interfacing between two layers of fabric. If you make sure the collar dries in the shape you want, it will remain sharp through multiple wears (and even packing).

Speaking of packing, I did find the shirt to pick up wrinkles fairly easily when packed. A quick steam and they are gone, but something to keep in mind if you want a polo that can be pulled out of your bag and be ready to go.

Finally, odor resistance. As expected, the nylon content in the fabric reduces the resistance some, but not enough that this isn’t my most odor-resistant polo. Surprisingly, what has made me wash this polo so far has been smells picked up from the environment (food odors).

Overall

This is a great polo, and if you are looking for merino performance, this is the one to get. The softness of the fabric makes it just as comfortable as a t-shirt while keeping you looking sharp with a dependable collar. Even more compelling, at a price of $78, you aren’t paying a huge premium for that merino performance.

Wool&Prince Polo