Everlane Bomber Jacket

This is a bit of a coronavirus fatality for me, but the long and short of it was that I had been planning to meet up with friends in San Diego to watch the premiere of Top Gun: Maverick (one of our friends is a huge Top Gun fan) and thus I needed a lightweight bomber jacket to complete the look. Everlane came out with this jacket in their uniform collection — it has the right (classic) looks I wanted, is made as a very light layer and impressively is only $88 before you find any promo codes for it. Amazing, really.

There’s not many claims beyond durability, color fade, shrinkage, and light water-resistance (from a coating). However, I do think that with jackets we have to let go of some of the things we would talk about with any other top, because jackets are a different beast all together. That said, let’s dive in.

Material

I’ll confess to not actually looking at the garment fabric before buying this, I had wrongly assumed it would by all polyester (as that’s a traditional bomber style, with sheen included) but instead it is a cotton-poly blend. More specifically: 68% Cotton, 32% Recycled Polyester.

In practice this means something that feels a bit like a cotton canvas with decent rigidity to the fabric. The hand feel is great, and the matte finish makes for a more modern look than a pure polyester otherwise would. In fact, I’ll go further to say that few people would guess this is as inexpensive as it is from the fabric alone.

Fit and Style

Bomber jackets have a distinct style: elastic cuffs, elastic waist, elastic collar, with a short body and longer sleeves. Sometimes other details will be present as well. This jacket ticks all those boxes and adds a pocket with pen slots on the left bicep, which is a nice nod to actual bomber jackets.

For me it fits really well, but is shorter in the torso than I expected. I think it works, but just barely. So beware that you might need to size up just for the length — and with a bomber having it wear big is better than small, though for this particular one you want it to look a touch more fitted.

While the short body can be tricky for the longer torso folks out there, it works well enough for me. My only real complaint is the zippers. I really wish the zippers were a brighter nickel color than they are, as that would add a more classic contrast to the jacket. That said, the subdued nature and the materials mean that you could most certainly wear this with anything from jeans and a t-shirt, to a layer with your business pants and a button up. It works, well done.

Performance

There’s basically no performance elements here. Yes, it has a DWR coating, but I would say that means you will not be in trouble if you get splashed. It is more to help with keeping the jacket clean, than making it something to wear in wet weather. (Which actually means it will last longer, as you tend not to wash jackets as often.)

The outside flaps and interior pocket are held closed with magnets.
The outside flaps and interior pocket are held closed with magnets.

So instead I will focus on a performance aspect not listed: the weight. It is very thin, with just a medium weight fabric for the outer shell and a thin lining inside — there’s no insulation at all. Which means you can wear it easily in a large range of climates. For most this will make a good transitional weather layer in the 50 – low 70s range of temps. For Houston, it works well when I travel outside of Houston (whenever that is allowed again) or for the winter months here. In the Pacific Northwest, ideal for the late spring, summer evenings.

In fact, it is the weight of this jacket that seals it for me, it is hard to find something that is light, and still looks good. Everlane nailed that.

Overall

I am a huge fan just from the garment alone, but you have to remember that this is $88 and you can instantly knock that down to $80 just by signing up for their email list. That is a bargain. It is rare I can say that here on this site, but what a deal. And I cannot see how this would not last a good long time.

Recommended.

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Everlane Bomber Jacket

Everlane The Performance Polo

When Everlane had their 25% off sale, I decided to take the opportunity to try The Performance Polo. Everlane bills this polo as “A modern polo for those who want performance comfort—without the technical fabric look or feel.” While it does somewhat live up to that claim, there are some shortcomings.

Material

The polo is built from a 93% cotton, 7% elastane pique knit fabric. There is a good amount of stretch to the fabric.

Everlane only notes it as a two-way stretch, but in the hand it stretches in both directions. They also claim that the fabric is anti-microbial, so there must be some type of treatment on the fabric (which sometimes can wash out), although it is not disclosed.

It should be noted that this is a polo that has to go into the dryer to come out wearable. When I tried my normal hang-dry, it was unwearably wrinkly. With just two washes, the edges of the collar and sleeves are starting to look slightly worn.

Performance

Overall, this polo performs like a slightly upgraded cotton polo, but let’s dive into the specific claims made.

  • Two-way stretch: Yep, it’s there, and feels more like four-way stretch to me. This is one of the highlights.
  • Sweat-wicking: Nope, it performs like cotton.
  • Quick-drying: Again, it’s cotton. Maybe it dries slightly faster due to the elastane content, but nothing to write home about.
  • Anti-microbial: I can get a solid two days of wear, but since this property likely comes from some type of treatment it could wash out over time.

Fit & Style

The fit here is good, I’d say its a nice straight fit polo, not slim but not baggy either. The length is perfect for wearing untucked, which matches the style, as this is definitely on the more casual side of polo.

The hidden buttons make it look a little different and refined (although it makes it a pain to do the buttons).

One deal breaker for a polo is a floppy collar, and while the collar doesn’t look horrible here, it definitely isn’t sharp.

Overall

If you want a performance polo, look elsewhere. If you are set on a casual cotton polo with stretch, or you really like the hidden buttons, you might be happy as you do get an added bonus of odor-resistance.

Overall, $38 isn’t a bad price, but it’s not something I recommend.

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Everlane The Performance Polo

Everlane Performance Dress Shirt

It’s rare that we test mostly cotton clothing here — while cotton can be performant and is comfortable, it struggles to beat out many other materials both natural and synthetic. But, today we are testing Everlane’s Performance Dress Shirt, because this shirt packs a bold claim. Here is the description directly from Everlane:

The Performance Shirt has the performance of a technical fabric—stretch, wrinkle-resistant, sweat-wicking, quick-dry, anti-microbial, and with stain-resistant cuffs and collar—with the look and feel of cotton. From long commutes to even longer meetings, this shirt looks good all day long.

And you get all that for the low price of $68, a generally good deal for a cotton dress shirt, but an outright steal if the performance claims are met. So not to keep you in suspense any longer: the performance claims are not met. It’s not a complete bust of a shirt, but that description is highly disingenuous.

First this is a wrinkle-free shirt, it’s the second claim made, and yet when I pulled it out of the packaging it was a wrinkled mess. So yeah, not a good start, but let’s dive in.

Material

As I mentioned this is a high cotton shirt at 97% cotton, 3% elastane. There must also be chemical treatments to the fabric to even blink at some of these other claims, but none are listed and none are readily apparent to this layman reviewer.

Overall this feels like a cotton shirt, and has mild stretch which will allow you a greater range of motion than you would otherwise get in a slim shirt. And because it is cotton it looks like a normal shirt, so aces there. Lastly the shirt itself is very thin, so beware if you run into any, well, nipple issues generally in shirts.

Performance

I am just going to run through the bullet points of the claims:

  • Technical Fabric Level Stretch: False. It does have stretch, but if we are comparing it against some of the best stretching dress shirts, your Ministry of Supply Apollo, or Bluffworks Zenith (our review) — it doesn’t hold a candle to it. The shirt does have stretch, most noticeable horizontally across the back as you reach forward. But it is modest stretch. Is it better than a standard cotton shirt? Yes. Is it on par with the other technical dress shirts I test here? Not even close.
  • Wrinkle-resistance: as I said at the outset, this shirt looked like a mess when it came. But it washes and hang dries and comes out looking mostly wearable. A quick touch with a steamer and you have a wearable shirt — I have technical shirts which need that after washing too. But I think the key tell here is that the elbow areas of this shirt become a rumpled/wrinkled mess over the course of wearing it in just a few hours. This shirt is not what I would call wrinkle-resistant.
  • Sweat-wicking: it’s cotton, so no. I mean, no, just no.
  • Quick-dry: it dries faster than other cotton, but I can’t tell you why. I suspect that the thinness of the shirt is what is causing the dry times here and nothing else.
  • Anti-microbial: they must have a coating on this, because you can sneak almost two days of wear out of the shirt, but you will need to iron/steam it in between and I am not sure if you want to do that to a shirt you have worn for a day already. Coatings also likely wear off over time. But I think the most important thing here is that you can wear this all day without smelling like body odor. And that really is the claim Everlane is making. So I’ll give them that.
  • Stain resistant cuffs and collar: honestly I have no clue. I know the stains they are talking about, but that is going to require months of wear and testing before I would expect to see any of it. I haven’t seen anything to doubt this yet though.

Is this a performance shirt? No, not by Everyday Wear standards.

Sleeve wrinkles after an hour of wear.
Sleeve wrinkles after an hour of wear.

Fit & Style

The fit is almost perfect on me, which I am quite happy with. The one miss is the location of the top most button: it sits much too high. While this helps to keep the collar from laying down flat, it is rather uncomfortable for me — in the sense that I notice it and don’t like it.

Style wise, is it generally better than your average cotton shirt? No, it lacks the style of something like an OCBD, and lacks the general texture. So if you are going to wear cotton, why not wear cotton? And while this is a dress shirt, the collar is not thick enough to wear a tie with, so it’s not going to make for a good suit & tie shirt by any means.

This is a dress shirt you wear without a tie, and not with a suit, something to dress up chinos or jeans. In that sense, sure, the style is fine.

Overall

If you want a cotton shirt which has a little more movement and is overall crisp: this is a great price and a nice thin shirt for the summer office months. But if what you want is true performance you are better offer with something else, and you can get true performance shirts for close to this price during sales.

For $68, it is an ok offering, if you get it on sale it becomes even more attractive — but it’s not something that I recommend.

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Everlane Performance Dress Shirt

Faherty Brand All Day Shorts

I picked up the Faherty Brand All Day Shorts from a Nordstrom sale over the winter to see how they stack up against the gold standard Outlier New Way Longs (our review). Now that it is finally shorts season, I’ve been able to wear them through some warm weather.

Material

Faherty updated the fabric here slightly for 2020 — my pair is 80% recycled polyester, 12% cotton, 8% elastane; the new blend is 75/17/8%. When I went to look at the tag to write this review, I was surprised there was any cotton at all as the fabric behaves like a 100% synthetic.

I find the material extremely breathable with just a slight stretch, the only caveat is that it has a slight technical sheen and swish. The heathering in the color helps hide the technical nature some (and I imagine the cotton helps as well), but the smoothness and drape of the fabric gives it away.

With the higher cotton content in the updated fabric, I’d expect the shorts to look slightly “more normal”. Faherty also claims “increased movement and breathability” with this change.

Performance

The performance of these shorts is excellent. They breath well and dry extremely quickly, something that is a requirement for versatile shorts. They also bead water well, a DWR is not specified but I suspect one was applied to the fabric.

Since these shorts are advertised for everyday and swimwear, there are some nice swim-ready features. The mesh bottoms of both of the side pockets and the (hidden) zippered back pocket help water drain out, and the internal drawstring allows you to tighten the waist without a belt.

Fit & Style

Faherty did a nice job with the cut of these shorts. I would say they have similar styling to the New Ways — tailored like a dress pant. This is what I look for now in a versatile short, and is why the New Ways are the standard. A functioning zipper fly is also a must and these check that box. The only shortcoming in the pair I have is the lack of belt loops, but they are now an option.

Looks-wise, the fabric gives away that these are technical, but I don’t think it takes away too much from the style. They also aren’t scarred with zippers and logos.

Another part of the update on these shorts is the availability of a 7” inseam (along with the 9” inseam on my pair). With inseam options and quite a few odd waist sizes, it shouldn’t be hard to get the perfect fit.

Overall

The All Day Shorts live up to their name and look good for everyday wear while performing for a hike or a swim. At $98, these are about 30% less expensive than the New Way Longs.

While they haven’t ousted the Outlier shorts from their top position, I think they are a worthy second, especially given their lower price point (and the much higher chance that you can find them on sale). These are going to get quite a bit of wear from me this summer.

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Faherty Brand All Day Shorts

Outerknown BBQ Shirt

Note: This shirt was provided by Outerknown for review purposes.

Now that it has finally warmed up here, I’ve gotten a chance to give the Outerknown BBQ Shirt a good test. The shirt is a camp style, so perfect for summer. While not a style I’d have picked on my own, I loved it as soon as I put it on, and it will definitely be in my rotation for casual summer wear.

Material

The material is a lightweight 93% organic cotton, 7% hemp blend. Looking at the shirt, you’d expect it to be 100% cotton, but the addition of hemp adds some performance without compromising on the softness or texture. Of course, being from Outerknown, they also use corozo buttons here adding to the sustainability of the shirt.

The shirt comes out of the wash looking fairly wrinkled, but after hanging to dry, it is ready to wear. This is something I don’t often see with all or high cotton button-ups and was surprising. This makes it a no fuss and an easy choice.

Performance

Even though it doesn’t have a high hemp content, this shirt is light and very breathable. It keeps cool in the heat, although it hasn’t seen hot and humid summer weather yet I expect it to perform there as well. The performance of the hemp definitely comes through here in the breathability.

Of course this is a one or two wear shirt, but that’s not a surprise. The fabric dries quickly for a cotton blend though, and the lack of wrinkles makes it easy to toss in the wash and have it ready to wear the next day.

Fit & Style

The shirt is described as a “Classic Fit”, so it fits on the casual side, but not so much that it looks like you threw on your dad’s camp shirt from the 80s. I think it is spot on for this style of shirt.

I love how they interpreted the classic camp shirt. The style can sometimes be quite open in the neck, but the top button is higher here, so it works for me.

Overall

This shirt is going to be a top pick from my closet for summer evenings and weekends. If you are looking for a casual, comfortable, natural fiber shirt for the summer, the Outerknown BBQ Shirt is worth a look.

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Outerknown BBQ Shirt

Proof Elements Jacket

When I saw the Elements Jacket from Proof (a Huckberry brand), it looked like a good-looking lightweight jacket, something that was missing in my wardrobe. Since we’ve had good experiences with other Proof pieces, I decided to give it a try.

Material

The fabric is what Proof calls ThermoTech (73% cotton, 24% polyester, 3% wool) with the claim that it “heats itself as you wear it, allowing you to stay warm without being weighed down with a super thick jacket”.

I was skeptical of that claim before trying the jacket, but it is a warmer jacket than it appears. I’ve found it to be comfortable down to about 40° F — much cooler than I had expected; yet still breathable enough to put on over a t-shirt or short sleeve polo in the 60s.

This is a great looking fabric. It has no technical sheen, and has an interesting texture.

The lining is 100% polyester, designed to make it easier to put on and take off the jacket. It does a great job, with no need to hold your cuffs to keep them from sliding up. To prevent cutting the breathability of the jacket with too much polyester, the lining in the body is mesh.

Performance

The performance here is excellent, in addition to keeping me warm in cooler temperatures than expected, the jacket blocks wind very well. Even on a chilly, breezy morning, I was comfortable walking around with just a midweight long sleeve tee underneath; this could go even colder with a sweater or heavy shirt underneath.

When warmer out, the jacket manages moisture well, so you remain comfortable even if you get a bit sweaty. This is where the two-way zipper comes in handy as well — you can open up the bottom to get some extra airflow.

The only negative is that since the fabric seems to retain heat like the claims discuss, it stays warm once you go inside. I always find myself at least un-zipping the jacket immediately, and if I was warm outside, often taking it off.

Proof also touts the water-resistance of the jacket. While a DWR isn’t specified, it reacts to a light drizzle like it is treated with one.

Fit & Style

The fit and style of this jacket are spot on to fit perfectly into the spot of a lightweight jacket for business casual that can also be dressed down for the weekend.

The XL fits me close, but with enough room to layer with a sweater for colder weather.

The hand pockets, button-flap chest pocket, and button snap cuffs add to the utility, and sharp look of the jacket. There is also an internal pocket towards the bottom of the jacket.

Overall

The Proof Elements Jacket is going to be my go-to for a lighter jacket that looks good while performing. Being lightweight and sharp looking but comfortable in a fairly wide temperature range, this is great jacket for work, travel, and around town.

Currently on sale for $111, I think this jacket offers an excellent value, and would purchase it again even at the full $148 price.

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Proof Elements Jacket

Ministry of Supply Chroma Denim Pants

Note: I was sent these pants by Ministry of Supply for the purpose of review.

One of the most popular items out there is to make performance denim — to take your standard blue jeans and tweak them somehow to make them better than denim. Typically this is through an infusion of a modern material or two, namely: spandex or some sort of polyester to help them breathe more.

Generally the benefits are very slight and the pant looks like denim, or the changes are robust and you end of losing some of the versatility that denim naturally has. For the Chroma denim, Ministry of Supply seems to have went for all of that, and then some.

Here is the claim: no color fade, ‘smart stretch’, and durable construction.

Material

Let’s start with what these pants are from a materials stand point: 69% Cotton, 29% Polyester, 2% Elastane. I had not read this before I started writing this, and I will say that I am surprised by the low elastane content, and more surprised that there is polyester in the pants.

To be quite frank, these feel 100% as though they are your standard, albeit high end feeling, denim with stretch added. And they stretch far more than that 2% elastane number would have you believe. That could be helped by the looser cut, but I don’t know it feels like there is more going on.

The denim is stiff. It feels slightly rough on your skin. It feels like the type of pant that is going to wear well over the years.

Fit and Style

When these arrived my wife happened to be standing next to me, so I tried them on right away. Her first comment was that she thought they looked quite nice. That’s a bigger deal than you might think, because my wife has seen me try on a lot of crazy pants for this site.

The fit is fantastic. They look modern without being too slim. The wash on this ‘black’ pair I got is a deep and dark indigo — I asked for indigo, but am glad I got this color instead. It is fantastic looking.

More than that, the style is excellent because they look like a nice clean pair of jeans. The pants leg can be cuffed and it holds that cuff extremely well — all day long. These are things you generally do not get in a performance pant — but you get them here. Aces.

Performance

Ok, so let’s dive into those claims. The first claim is that the pant doesn’t fade. I have washed them four times now, and there is zero sign of fade, but that’s 4 washes — hardly enough to know for sure. But they are dark, very dark, and I washed them with white t-shirts — no color bleed which leads me to think this claim is probably going to hold.

‘Smart stretch’ is what these pants are billed as having, which Ministry of Supply defines as: “Chroma’s use of polyester and elastane perfectly balances flex and structure, resulting in denim that can move comfortably without losing its shape.” Yeah so this is the crazy part, that undersells what is going on here. They are very stretchy and basically never bag out. It is weird. It is magic, it must be. I don’t know but they stretch more than they should for such a low elastane content and such a stuff feeling pant, and yet they really don’t ever bag out — in the knees or the waist.

Lastly: durability. I can’t judge this, but they still look brand new to me, so I am guessing these are going to hold up — I don’t have a way of testing the 25 lb strength of the seams. To each his own.

But let’s dive more into my performance metrics, what we normally talk about here. First they dry very slowly, so don’t get in your head you can wash these hand hang them dry to wear tomorrow — add about 10 hours to that. They dry like denim.

They don’t breathe well, but not any worse than any other jean. They breathe and wear like denim.

I like them overall, but there is one thing about the performance where I find they fall short: dirt repellence. They don’t repel dirt or water at all. I am so used to having pants with DWR of some sort, that I forgot how easy it is to get pants dirty. I made the mistake of clumsily (apparently) eating a chocolate bar, and I could not wipe these jeans clean of that, I had to wash them. That’s a minor thing for how ‘normal’ they look.

Overall

Of all the performance denim I have tried, these are my favorites. I love them, and I suspect I am going to get a lot of wear out of them once the weather cools back off here in Houston. In the meantime, while I am stuck working from home, they are a part of my staple wear for the days the A/C is blowing a little too strongly in my home office. Well done.

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Ministry of Supply Chroma Denim Pants

Beyond Clothing Celeris Pullover

Beyond Clothing has been on my radar for a while, as they stand out from the numerous other outdoor performance clothing brands by building their whole line around a layering system. Every piece is designated as L1 through L8, making it easy to build your optimal layering system, with sizing to match. To make it even easier, they have a pre-designed matrix for functionality in climates anywhere from Hot (106 to 75° F) all the way down to Polar (-70 to -40° F).

I’ve recently been testing the Celeris Pullover (Huckberry), which is designated K2 (KYROS line, L2, Midweight Baselayer — imported but same quality and compatible with the US made AXIOS system).

While I’ve only been able to try it out at home and around the neighborhood, it has been a nice layering piece to keep warm, and definitely has earned them a spot on my list of brands to consider for outdoor gear.

Material

The fabric here is Beyond Clothing’s 7.9 oz. Verso Weave™ 94% polyester/6% spandex. If you are familiar with Patagonia’s R1 fleece (a grid fleece), this is similar, except the grid is circles. They also went as far as using a lighter grid of circles on the side panels and under the arms to help vent excess heat while active.

Overall the fabric is stretchy, breathable, and comfortable, exactly what is needed for a good baselayer.

Performance

The performance here is great. It is a bit warmer than R1 fleece (the fabric here is 1 oz. heavier), but the lighter side panels help improve breathability even further.

Beyond describes the use case as “Below 45° F as either a next-to-skin or over an L1.”, however, I found it comfortable while sitting at my desk at 65° F — that shows the versatility, and also difference between active and non-active wear.

The long zip, higher collar, and ample hood make this a very versatile piece. You can dump heat with the zipper wide open or zip it all the way up for a snug fit around your neck and head to keep you toasty warm.

The stretch also makes the layer extremely comfortable, and I find it to be more stretchy than the R1.

Unfortunately, being mostly polyester, there is no odor control here. Over a shirt being non-active, I can get a good number of wears out of it, but I imagine it will get smelly pretty quickly when sweating.

Fit & Style

The fit here is athletic and what you’d expect from a second baselayer. Even though I got the “Regular” and not “Long” length (they recommend “Regular” for up to 6’2”), the body is still plenty long to tuck in if worn as part of a layering system.

The thumb holes are a nice touch to keep the sleeves from riding up as you put other layers over top. When not using the thumb holes, this makes the sleeves a bit long. There is also a small pocket on the left sleeve for something like a key or card.

Style wise, we are firmly in the outdoor performance category here. This isn’t going to be a layer for when you get chilly at the office or in a cold restaurant.

Overall

The Celeris Pullover will definitely stay in my rotation and will probably replace my R1 in my outdoors setup, depending on how the odor-resistance is once I get this sweaty.

If you are looking for a versatile outdoors-forward midweight baselayer hoodie, this one is definitely worth consideration. If you want something that can work more broadly style wise, the Patagonia R1 might be a better fit.

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Beyond Clothing Celeris Pullover

Aether Kelso Pant

The Aether Kelso Pant is billed as an active traveler’s pant, something that is comfortable, stretchy, and doesn’t wrinkle. This is a highly technical material pant — it’s not something trying to be a stealth dress item, it is a performance pant which has been cut and designed to be fashionable and comfortable.

Material

Aether calls this a stretch woven nylon, which comes out to be 93% nylon, 7% spandex. In reality, that description sells this pant short. This is a material that feels like a dead ringer for Outlier’s OG Cloth, and extremely similar to Oliver’s Passage Pant (our review) material. It has a smooth outer face, and a somewhat brushed inner face — giving it almost a soft shell like feel.

All the while being breathable and stretchy.

Performance

I really did not know what to expect with these. There are basically only a few ‘performance’ claims about them with Aether: comfort, stretch, and they don’t wrinkle. I mean, not a ton to go on.

It exceeds all those claims, by the way. If you hang the pants weird, they will wrinkle and those wrinkles will disappear almost immediately when you put the pants on — there is some sort of magic there. They are also very comfortable, whenever I test pants made of this material I am giddy because it truly is only rivaled by the comfort of sweatpants, or ‘joggers’ in modern parlance.

And yes they stretch. The 7% stretch does not tell the full story because the pants are actually cut pretty close to your body — they are skinny — and yet I have no ever once been limited in my movement. I can’t imagine anyone concluding that it would be nice if these pants had more stretch.

They also dry fast, as you would expect from a mostly nylon pant. They do a good job resisting stains and wiping clean. They breath well, not as well as the similar fabrics from Outlier or Oliver’s, but that also makes them a little more versatile as those breath so well that they can wear cold in strong A/C or in cooler temps.

A good performance pant is defined by a pant that you can put on when you wake up, and never need to change out of until it is time to go to bed. These are 100% that. They are probably 10% less breathable than others I have tried, but they move better the the Oliver’s material. In fact, I think these give OG Cloth a run for their money — but I don’t have any pants in OG Cloth on hand to directly compare to.

A-plus performance.

Fit & Style

The fit and style of these is different than anything else I have tried. They are very skinny, and most skinny pants hit me very tight in the calves. But these are somewhat tight in the calves. They are very snug in the knees, which I have not experienced before.

But unlike most skinny pants, they are extremely comfortable as the waist itself stretches too. The entire pant, fits very well, and because of how close cut it is, the technical nature of the fabric looks far better than it should.

I would not wear these to the office, but I wouldn’t balk at wearing them for almost anything else. And, I will say that they do not bag out like other fabrics of this nature — at least not before I need to wash them anyways. I have worn them for basically two weeks straight, and while they stretch out a tad, the knees and the waist doesn’t get so stretched out that they need to be washed so you can keep wearing them.

So fit: excellent. Style: about as good as one can hope with this type of material.

Overall

One of my all time favorite pair of pants is Outlier’s OG Climbers. I had to sell mine because I lost weight and they were too large — I have wanted another pair ever since. The problem with Climbers is that the style of that pant is stupid. The pockets are dumb. Also, they are discontinued.

Aether’s Kelso pant is a better version of Outlier’s Climbers. Just as comfortable, without all the stupid style choices. I absolutely love these pants, and highly recommend them.

NOTE: where possible all product links on this site may earn the site money when you buy using those links.

Aether Kelso Pant

Proof Merino-Blend Travel Shirt

Proof has long offered casual t-shirts made of merino wool, and cotton performance button downs made of cotton and stretch. Here though they marry those two to try and create a button-down travel shirt, I have been testing it for some time and I have fallen in love with it.

Material

Ok, first, I think calling this shirt merino wool is a bit disingenuous, at least for this site, because this shirt is 88% polyester, 12% merino wool. There is just not a lot of wool here. That said, the shirt material is quite nice, as the outside has a very slight brushed finished making the shirt almost feel more like a traditional flannel than a button down.

The weight is nearly perfect for a smart casual level shirt. It’s not thick enough that it will drape like a flannel, nor is it thin enough that it becomes opaque in any light. It’s very well done and the hand feel of the material is amazing.

Fit & Style

This is a shirt that has a very tailored fit, especially through the sleeves where I find that rolling the sleeves can be tight, while the cuffs are loose enough I can wear a watch under them with no issue. The fit is very flattering and right out of the gate, I love it. The collar sits properly, the top button placement is excellent.

What is really going to make or break the this shirt for most is the body length. It is primarily cut to be worn untucked, and that works extremely well in this shirt. But it does have just enough length in it for me that I can tuck it in so I can dress it up a little.

So for travel, tucking it in to go to a nice restaurant, I think this shirt plays that card extremely well. But as a shirt to walk into a business casual setting, I don’t think it works well. The brushing on the face is too soft, and makes it look too casual. This is casual to smart casual all day long. Which for most people should be all you need.

Performance

The big question is how does such a low merino wool percentage shirt perform. And the answer is: reasonably well actually. This won’t be the most performant shirt from an odor resistance perspective but 2-3 wears is pretty reasonable. More if you are wearing an anti-perspirant or something of that nature.

The variant I got is an ivory color for the most part, and the dirt will show first on that, well before odor is a factor. To that end, the shirt also has two vents on each armpit to help the shirt breathe a little more, which is a welcomed addition from my view.

What does bode well for travel is that the shirt washes up rather nicely. It dries reasonably fast, and with not a terrible amount of wrinkles, and even the wrinkles it does dry with, tend to be visually hidden by the fabric itself.

All in all the performance of this shirt is better than pure polyester, but not as good as wool. But it should last longer than wool and be more durable.

Overall

Given that most of my testing was done in my home for this shirt, I have fallen in love. The cut of it is sharp, and the comfort is off the charts. It feels great to wear, and I find my self reaching for it first, and having to remind myself that I wore it yesterday, and I should wait a day.

Will I travel with it in the future? Yes, but only for leisure travel. It will not however fit into my office rotation, whenever we return to offices.

Great shirt, and I think most people will get more use out of this than a pure merino wool shirt as it lends itself to a more carefree garment care.

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Proof Merino-Blend Travel Shirt