Olivers Passage Pant

The item in this review was provided for review purposes by OLIVERS.

The Passage Pant is a highly technical pant which is marketed as: “your favorite jeans, updated for everyday performance.” They are cut from a very light fabric which moves well and breathes even better. I’ve only been testing these pants for a week now, but I’m confident I have a very good sense of what these pants are.

Material

The material is a little hard to sort out, as OLIVERS lists it as “Passage Stretch Weave”, and CORDURA with 4-way stretch. The tag in the pants tells me it is 91% nylon, and 9% spandex. That’s a lot of stretch.

The material is very technical looks and rather smooth to the touch on the outside, but to my legs to feels a touch rougher like terry cloth. Not bad, just worth noting the difference between what your hand feels and your legs. The drape on these is a standard technical drape, but this pant pulls it off (more on this later). There is no DWR coating on the pant, that I can tell or find mention of. Oh, and there’s only a slight amount of sound as you walk, nothing noticeable (I only noticed this as I was writing his section up).

Fit and Style

The fit runs large. I typically wear a 35, and ordered a 36 in the pants only for them to be far too large to wear. Exchanging them for a 34 worked well, but the waist is loose enough that I feel far more comfortable with a belt on, than not. Some of this is the cut, Some is the stretch which is noticeable in the waist as well. In other words, they tend to stretch out in the waist with wear, and snap back to form after a wash.

The styling is a classic 5-Pocket look, with the coin pocket being oversized enough to hold my iPhone XS just snuggly. I don’t recommend placing your iPhone there, as the look isn’t great and it tends to work up and out of the pocket when you sit down.

The big note about the style and fit is that these pants are very tapered. This gets rid of the technical drape look that plagues many pants of this material type, and provides a rather flattering and on trend look to the pant. I have plenty of room in the thighs, certainly more than other slim pants. The calves are where things really taper, as the pants can be a touch snug around my calves if the pant leg rides up at all. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a thing about these pants. I do wish more of my pants had a stronger taper like this, as I find the style quite nice.

Wearing Them

The review sample I was provided is the Olive color, which is almost a military looking green, and I love it. It’s a great color, and something my wife immediately gave a thumbs up to (note: she hated the last dark olive colored pants I owned). The big thing about these pants is that the gusseted crotch, as well as the 9% stretch mean that these feel like pure comfort in pant form.

They easily move with your body and are never tight and uncomfortable. I failed to change to joggers many nights, because I found these pants to be just as comfortable. However, even more so than the comfort is the weight of the pants. They are thick enough not to feel like paper, and yet, they really breathe exceptionally well.

iPhone XS in the 5th pocket.
iPhone XS in the 5th pocket.

It’s around 40 degrees these days in the Pacific Northwest, so it’s hard to say for sure, but I’d guess these are the best warm weather paths I own, and I’ve tried. For the colder weather my knees can feel cool at time, and wind seems to cut through the pants with ease. Stay about 50 degrees and I’ve found the pants very comfortable to wear. I’m excited to see how they perform in warmer climates, as I suspect they are going to be fantastic.

Overall

It’s hard to review these pants stand alone, without comparing them to other pants I own, or have owned. The best I can do is to say they are like Slim Dungarees if those wear made out of OG cloth. Though, they are probably better, because the only cost $158. The Outlier OG Climbers I had (they got too big) were the most comfortable pants I owned, which I also never wanted to be seen in outside the house. The Passage Pants are more comfortable than that, and I’ve happily worn them out to date nights with my wife. They also cost less than many other technical pants.

These are a winner, all around, and likely a staple in my closet moving forward.

One last note: OLIVERS recently expanded the size offering in these pants, they run from 30 to 38 now and as many others reviews point out, run about a size larger than stated.

Olivers Passage Pant

Outdoor Voices Merino T-shirt (Older model)

A few months ago Outdoor Voices was clearing out their older stock of merino t-shirts, so I grabbed one in navy. Then, a couple weeks ago, they released a new version of the shirt, which we are told is the same fit. This review focuses on the previous version, as we are not entirely sure what has changed with the shirt for the new variant.

Material and Performance

This is a blended merino t-shirt with 89% merino wool and 11% nylon. It’s very light weight, coming in a touch lighter than my Wool & Prince blended shirts and significantly lighter than my Outlier shirts. It is, thankfully, thicker than Icebreaker’s Anatomica line of shirts.

Since this is a high merino content it performs almost identically to a 100% merino shirt. I am able to get a solid 3-4 days of wear, whereas a 100% merino shirt would get me 4-5 days. The nylon content adds more structure and durability, which is why it’s become popular to blend merino shirts like this (it also reduces the price). Though I have not had issues with durability in any other merino shirts, it’s a nice addition with a very low hit to performance. Nylon also makes the shirt a better outdoor shirt as it will better handle bags and snags.

The shirt fabric is very smooth and comfortable, certainly on par with the Wool & Prince shirts. However, the micron size of the Wool is not noted by Outdoor Voices.

All in all, no complaints on the performance, and a pleasant surprise with the feel of the shirt.

Fit and Comfort

I love the fit of this shirt, and have found it to be an ideal everyday weight. It fits better than any other merino t-shirt I have, so I am very happy that the fit was not adjusted on the new model.

The comfort comes from the weight of this shirt as it is light, but heavy enough that you can wear it alone without a second thought. Additionally, you can throw a shirt over it for some added warmth using it as a base layer. Two thumbs up on fit and comfort, it’s easily the best cut t-shirt I’ve bought so far.

Overall

I thought I got a steal on this shirt when I bought it on sale, and I did, but at $55 for the current variant, this shirt punches far above its weight. That’s among the lowest price I have seen for a very high quality merino t-shirt. It’s not the softest you will find, but most under the $90 price will be far less refined than this. I cannot recommend it enough.

If you’ve yet to buy your first merino t-shirt, then this is the shirt I would recommend starting with.

You can find the latest version here.


Steve’s Thoughts

I agree with everything Ben said about this shirt. Is is also my best fitting merino t-shirt, and I agree the nylon content adds to the look and durability without sacrificing performance. This is now the merino shirt I would recommend first as well.

Outdoor Voices Merino T-shirt (Older model)

Bluffworks Meridian 2.0 Dress Shirt

Today Bluffworks launched a 2.0 variant of the shirt, the same shirt but with a revised fit. They sent me a review sample to check out, and since the shirt is mostly the same, I won’t do a new review of it, but will add some thoughts about the new fit. I’ve previously reviewed the Meridian Dress Shirt here, and I continue to love it. I take it everywhere.

The goal with the revision is to make it so that if you generally buy a size L shirt, you can buy a size L with the Meridian. But they’ve also done something else, something way better: you can buy this shirt in Slim+Tall variants. As someone with long arms, but a slim body, it is always a torture for me to get a shirt that doesn’t look too big with sleeves that are also long enough.

 

I received a size Large in Slim fit with Tall length and it is perfect. It’s very hard to find this type of a combination, especially in performance based shirting so I am very happy to say Bluffworks offers this.

One last note, they sent the Tattersall color, and it’s great. This shirt is one of my favorites, and with the new sizing it’s only gotten better.

Link

Watch Guide

We talk about clothing a lot on Everyday Wear, but part of a good daily wardrobe is having a good watch. Here’s a guide for those of you who want something which makes a better statement than an Apple Watch, while also wanting to spend less than an Apple Watch. We’ll skip talking about Rolexes for this guide, and instead offer a practical guide to some quality time pieces for many styles. Good, fashionable, and long lasting watches don’t have to cost thousands of dollars.

Dress Watches

A good dress watch, something you wear with a suit, is simple and understated. It should have a high quality leather band and a plain dial. The go-to for this is Orient’s Bambino line of watches. Not only are these mechanical, and thus take no battery power and are wound with the movement of your arm, but they are classic in style, practical in function, and very inexpensive (while looking fairly expensive).

Most of these can be had for under $200, which is a steal in the world of mechanical watches. The Bambino Small Seconds is my pick for a versatile watch. Get it with a white face and a brown strap and you can likely wear it as your only watch for a decade or more. A black strap or a black face will dress it up, but will limit the versatility.

A couple of other options:

  • Tissot has a couple options to consider as well.
  • Hamilton’s Intramatic is a fantastic choice, but is more expensive.
  • Dan Henry’s 1947 is more unique — something you are not likely to see on many people’s wrists.
  • Seiko 5 Automatic at $80 is about as inexpensive as it gets, but you’ll need to get a leather band for it.

Dress watches are about style first, and price second. Buy the one which speaks to you, but don’t waste money on needlessly expensive watches. I wear a Bambino Small Seconds for my dress watch with a brown band and a white face. It’s perfect for that. Look for watches that aren’t flashy, have a leather band, and don’t stand out.

Casual Watches

Most people will get the most value out of a good casual watch, of which the range of offerings are vast. To be clear, you can wear any watch in casual settings, the only requirement is to match your personal style. You can wear the above dress watches in a casual setting (tip: put a light grey suede band on the Bambino to dress it down), but if your casual wardrobe is jeans and a t-shirt, that watch may look more out of place. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Diver Watches: These are modeled after the classic Rolex Submariner, and could be dressed up in a pinch, but are best suited to casual wear. Take a look at offerings from: Orient, Casio, Seiko, and Steinhart. I’d start with the Seiko, but can vouch for the Steinhart being worth the price if you want a solid piece.
  • Field Watch: These are a more classic and timeless look, and are modeled after a military watch which was issued to infantry or officers. The top one to look at is Hamilton, for next to nothing at $40 you can grab a well known Timex, for in between the two take a look at MWC who makes all sorts of Field Watches with cool things in them (like tritium vials). Another to look at is Lum-Tec who does limited runs and makes beautiful watches which are very durable — but they cost more.
  • Aviator Watch: Like with field watches, these are basically what was given to pilots in WWII era. They are marked by having an triangle at the 12 position and don’t have standard hour marks. Seiko has a inexpensive option while the likes of Steinhart has much better looking and quality options. I generally would stay steer clear of these unless you already have other watches and want to branch out.
  • Chronographs: These are watches for timing things and generally have multiple push buttons on the case, with the most popular being Omega’s ‘moon watch’, the Speedmaster. You shouldn’t buy that, everyone owns one and there are better options. I’ll skip over the obvious choices and point out two ridiculously affordable options, which also make quite a bit of a style statement: Dan Henry’s 1963 and Undone’s Tropical Vintage line. Personally, I’m torn between which one will be my next watch.

Conclusion

The above run the gambit of prices, starting at just $40 and going up from there. The biggest thing to think about here is to get a watch which is very versatile, where you can buy many straps to swap them out for more variety (look for 20mm or 22mm lugs on watches, those are the easiest and cheapest to find bands for). Buy a few NATO straps, a Perlon, a leather, and maybe even a bracelet for your watch and you’ll likely be set for life. If you are getting one watch to start, I would start with a dressier looking field watch (something like the Khaki Field can be paired and dressed up a touch), or a more statement making dress watch like the Intramatic which can look sharp on a suede strap for more casual settings.

You can typically dress up a watch by adding a leather band with sheen to it, and dress down a watch by putting it on a NATO, or softer looking leather strap.

Watch Guide

Outlier Megafine Socks

Once you try wearing merino wool for your socks full time, it’s hard to go back to cotton. And once you go down this path, you realize there are quite a few companies which can provide you with socks. Steve and I are big fans of Darn Tough for most of our sock needs, but Outlier makes ‘Megafine’ socks in both traditional crew length and low (no-show style) (no longer sold, replaced with low lows, which I can only assume are lower). I’ve owned two pairs of each for quite some time, so let’s talk about them.

The Crew Socks

These socks fit somewhere between athletic socks and dress socks. They are too nice looking to be your standard white athletic socks, and too thick to be seen as dress socks. So they walk that line, which can make them a bit hard to wear — especially if your socks tend to show.

However, I have found that these are easily the best socks I own, and have ever tried. They are soft, almost luxuriously so, and they utilize compression, nylon, and venting in all the right areas. This means they are more comfortable than any other pair of socks I own, fit better, feel better, and generally perform better.

They are thick, but only slightly so when you wear them. In that regard they are mostly thick in how they look and fit in a shoe, not in the warmth they provide. I own both black and natural tan, and much prefer the natural tan (I’ve never been a black sock fan).

Outlier’s marketing states: “Designed for comfort, durability and style, we think they’re the nicest socks we’ve ever worn.” I completely agree with them, with a big caveat.

As you might have noticed, I don’t travel with these socks, because the color options and overall look don’t lend themselves to blending in well in business settings. Additionally they are $25 per pair, and while not overly expensive for merino wool socks, I tend to be able to find Darn Tough dress socks on sale for much lower prices. If money were no object, I’d wear these socks, but if value is important these are a harder sell.

There is one final thing to note, other than some pilling on the heel of the socks, these basically look brand new — they are holding up and lasting much better than my Darn Tough socks. Time will tell if this trend keeps up, but if it does, that might be enough of a value proposition to switch.

In short: if you don’t need a dressy looking sock, then there’s no better option for crew socks than these. Your feet will love them.

The Low Socks

These are your standard no-show socks which are meant to completely hide themselves in your shoe. They are constructed in a very similar manner to the crew socks, just without the part which runs up your leg. They are also decidedly not as good as the crew variant.

I have not tried the new ‘low lows’ Outlier is making, but the issue is that the lows themselves do not stay put. Pull your foot out of a shoe, they come off. Have your heel slip up in the shoe, the socks come off.

These are insanely comfortable, but they also fail at one of the more crucial tasks a sock has: staying on your foot. And because of that, they are a constant battle. In addition, they also have gotten quite fuzzy over the two years of use, but amazingly have held their shape and have no holes in them.

Over the same time span I have tossed 3 pairs of Darn Tough low socks, as they have had holes worn in them. So while they simply do not stay on my feet, they are extremely well made and comfortable as a sock. Overall, I won’t be buying these again, but I do wish they had some mid-low socks or something which would stay on my foot better.

Outlier Socks Overall

I really like the crew variant of the Megafine socks, and if they continue to hold up as well as they are (and as well as the lows) I can see myself moving over to them. The main issue is that they are extremely basic looking, with no patterns and very few color options. What is amazing about these socks to me is that they are not only very comfortable, but also very durable. When you put them on, you won’t think they will hold up, they are too soft feeling. But they do.

Personally, the lows are not good enough for me to want to buy again, but I think that will depend more on your foot than anything else. The crew socks though are most excellent. I think Darn Tough offers better designs, colors, availability, and value — but if you want the best sock out there, then you’ll want a pair of Outlier Megafine socks.

Outlier Megafine Socks

Triple Aught Design Rogue RS

A while back I picked up Triple Aught Design’s Rogue RS Jacket which is made from a nylon-cotton blend. It’s a light layer, suited to cooler weather, and is overbuilt as most items from Triple Aught Design are. I was hoping to find a layer which was versatile, but mostly suited to casual wear. After a year of wearing and using the jacket, here are my thoughts.

Fabric

This is a heavy 52/48 Nylon Cotton (NYCO) ripstop which comes in at about 6.5oz and has a DWR coating. Surprisingly, the DWR is quite good, and even though the jacket mostly feels like a heavy canvas, it repels light water well enough that you won’t regret wearing it if a light sprinkle happens. I would not wear it in the rain though.

Because of the high cotton content, the jacket looks standard. The nylon gives the jacket added strength, which has proven effective for car camping outings I have taken the jacket on. Overall the fabric looks heavy it doesn’t feel too heavy, it generally looks good. Performance wise, it dries slow, repels light water, but is very durable. After more than a year, it still looks brand new.

Fit and Looks

The fit was tricky for me when I bought the jacket. I originally bought an XL in Deception but that proved much too big. However, I liked the jacket enough that I exchanged it for a Large in ME Green, as that was the only color available in size Large. The large fits me perfectly, however TAD has since redone the sizing on the jacket, so be sure to read the size guide.

The fit is listed as “standard” but I would say it’s more of an athletic fit, which I find quite nice. The overall style is very military inspired. Note that TAD sells two variants: with and without patches. I chose the version without, and the difference is that on the biceps of each arm, the patch version has an area of Velcro loop for applying morale patches. There is still one small Velcro loop area with a TAD logo on it. This can be removed and replaced by any hook backed patch (the size you want is “eye”).

Still, the jacket trends towards military/tacticool look. I think it looks less tacticool and more military without the patches on the sleeves. Overall, I think Deception (which is like a deep olive, but constantly changes depending on surroundings and lighting) is a better color, but it is harder to pair with other clothing.

If you like the looks of the jacket, it looks as it does on the web, it is nice as a non-rain light jacket for spring and summer.

Comfort and Performance

The jacket itself is unlined, so wearing it means you feel the heavy seams. This is the only uncomfortable part of the jacket, and something that I stopped noticing after a few wears. Overall, I find the weight to be very nice, and comfort wise it is familiar and easy to wear.

On the performance side, it’s fine. The garment design allows for a ton of range of motion in the arms, even though the fabric itself has no stretch. The DWR is more impressive that I would have assumed, however, the material itself picks up odors (like from a campfire) quickly. The performance this jacket gives you is durability.

To that end, I’ve taken it camping and worn it to work in the garage and other projects. The jacket shows no wear, and the reinforced elbows give me a lot of confidence that this jacket will last for a long time.

There are a few other really nice touches with the jacket. Both hand warmer pockets have a smaller inner pocket stitched inside which is angled towards the pocket opening. These are large enough to hold most knives or flashlights and go a long way to keeping your gear accessible. During the fall and spring I often keep all my gear in this jacket, so all I need to leave the house is my jacket and shoes. The back of the collar on the inside has a heavy duty hanging loop which works really well to hang the jacket.

The zippers are robust but are problematic for me. They are not the smoothest zippers I have used and can be frustrating to pull closed at times. Typically they require more than one hand to get going and can be a bit annoying. Since the pockets have space to securely stow gear, you have to work the zipper less frequently but still I wish they were better.

Overall

I really like this jacket. It’s a solid weight for fall and early spring, and is great even on rainy days if you are going to spend most of the day in the car or dodging rain drops walking in and out of buildings. The only negative I have beyond the zippers is that the style isn’t for everyone.

Triple Aught Design Rogue RS

Outlier Strong Tee

One of the common complaints I have about t-shirts is that it is hard to find a t-shirt that is white and performs well. There are lots in the undershirt realm, but few in the wear everyday, performs better than cotton, realm. It seems Outlier wanted to do their take with a 100% nylon shirt, called the Strong Tee (currently noted as discontinued, but available on the secondary markets).

Material

This shirt is 160 gsm nylon, which sounds very boring. In fact, it’s quite interesting, as Outlier notes:

A jersey knit made from fibers that are chopped and spun like cotton to create a soft and comfortable yet remarkably durable fabric. It breaks in like an old cotton jersey except its strong enough to feel a bit like it will stay that way forever.

It feels like cotton in a very uncanny way. It’s not quite right, and you can sense that with the handfeel, but I cannot describe how it doesn’t feel like cotton. The closest I can come to explaining this is it feels like it has less friction than cotton, but don’t take that to mean it is smooth.

Texturally this is a fantastic fabric and I do hope they make more garments out of this.

Comfort & Performance

I am lumping these two sections together because this doesn’t fall into the normal performance category we talk about. It has no inkling of odor resistance — it needs a wash after every wear. It does dry quickly, but that’s about it.

From a comfort perspective, it’s fantastic. I’ve been wearing and washing it a lot to break down the fabric as Outlier notes it will do. It gets softer each time, without ever feeling like the material itself is breaking down. This is not a shirt I pack when I travel, but it is shirt I wear often solely because of how comfortable it is. When I need something with more performance, I opt for merino.

Issues

There are two issues with this shirt: pilling and the cut itself. Almost after the first wash you will see that the fabric has begun pilling on the surface. From 4-5 feet you can’t see it. Get closer and you can see it. It’s not like a sweater where you are pulling off fuzz balls, but the texture goes from smooth to worn. Many have noted that this is a deal breaker (and perhaps why it is discontinued?), but I personally don’t take issue with this at all. Looking at some of my softest cotton t-shirts, this pilling is exactly on par with them.

This is nylon mimicking cotton.

The big issue for me is the cut. The shirt is extremely long, even on my overly long torso. Because of that my wife often notes that it looks like an undershirt on me, which is exactly what I don’t want. I have considered getting it hemmed, but I’ve yet to do that.

Instead I tend to wear it around the house, and I suppose if tucking in a t-shirt is your thing this would be great. For me, it’s just too long.

Overall

I’m surprised this shirt was discontinued, and I wonder if a revised shirt based on this might come out some time in the future. The biggest complaint about merino is durability. The biggest complaint about nylon is looks and softness. This shirt is durable, soft, and looks like cotton. For me, I love it. I don’t need every shirt I own to be worn for days in a row, but I do like my shirts to be comfortable and to last.

This checks both those boxes.

Outlier Strong Tee

OLIVERS Porter Hoodie

The item in this review was provided for review purposes by OLIVERS.

The Porter Hoodie is an athletic take on a 100% merino wool hoodie. I’ve been testing this hoodie for almost two years now, and it still looks brand new. With that in mind, let’s take a look at it.

Material

This is a 100% merino hoodie, but the fabric itself is what OLIVERS calls “merino luxe terry”. If you’ve worn terry cloth before, I think that name accurately describes this hoodie. As the outer face is smooth and looks clean, while the inner face has a distinct waffle pattern. Unlike cotton hoodies, there is no soft or plush interior. OLIVERS doesn’t specify a weight for the fabric, but I would peg it somewhere around 220 gsm. It’s light for a hoodie but heavier than some of my other merino garments.

Overall this is not a soft merino, but it feels closer to a merino nylon blend. This gives it the durable feeling that you want in a garment of this type.

Warmth and Comfort

I like to think of this as a mid-layer. It’s perfect for a cool evening, a quick warm up layer, or a hoodie to wear around the house. It’s a layer, not something you likely will throw on to stay warm in the deep of winter.

This makes it much more versatile than the other (heavier) hoodies I have. With a heavier hoodie, I often start to overheat indoors and find it harder to layer when it is very cold out. I think the best application is for this to be an indoor hoodie, or an active layer when the weather is colder outside. Overall, I find it to be a great weight and very comfortable to wear.

Durability

It’s not often that we can comment on the long term durability of the items we review here, but since I’ve been testing this since November of 2016 I can in this case. After almost 2 years of wear and washing, the hoodie looks brand new. I can’t find anything to indicate this amount of wear.

It’s not the most worn garment I own, but it certainly has been used quite a lot and I would have expected more evidence of wear. It is a very durable garment.

Fit

OLIVERS describes the fit of this hoodie as athletic and it is spot on. The sleeves are narrow and the body is wider through the chest with a definite taper leading down to the waist. You can combat this by sizing up, or enjoy a trim hoodie as designed.

One thing to note about the fit, is that the athletic fit means you might find it more difficult to wear over certain looser fitting t-shirts. I have never had an issue where I couldn’t layer it, but I do often have to adjust the sleeves of a t-shirt to not appear lumpy. The fit works well for me, but its not the normal boxy look of a hoodie.

Overall

Other elements of this hoodie, like the lack of a front pocket, the hidden side pocket, and the collar inside the hood itself lead to a really smart look. It’s a bit of an enigma for me, as it fits right in as an athletic/workout hoodie but can be made to look nicerwith the right pairing of pants.

I liked this hoodie when I first got it, and I still like it to this day. It finds itself being worn a lot when the weather cools off and packed as a just in case layer when I head out in the summer months. If you are ok with the fit, then it’s a great merino hoodie with all of the merino wool properties we love.

OLIVERS Porter Hoodie

Outlier Ultrafine Merino T-Shirt

A staple item among Outlier fans is their Ultrafine Merino T-shirt, which is a 100% merino shirt made for daily wear. I own two, and have been wearing them for quite some time. These are my favorite t-shirt without any caveats.

Material

As mentioned, this is a 100% merino shirt made from 17.5 micron wool. It comes in at a heavier 195 gsm. However, these specs sell the fabric short — there’s a reason why Outlier dedicates a full four paragraphs to talking about this merino. It’s simply not like other merino.

The key to understanding the difference is in this line from Outlier:

This means a standard 17.5 micron fabric will actually include much larger fibers in the mix. The Mackenzie blend is tight spectrum and low variance to create a more consistent and precise yarn. More importantly the Mackenzie 17.5 is top capped at 17.5 microns, there are no larger fibers making it a softer and smoother fabric, and in fact the yarns and fabric actually average a number lower than 17.5 micron.

In other words, it may be 17.5 micron merino, but it feels a lot finer to your hand. The best I can do at describing it is: luxuriously soft. It’s like a cotton t-shirt that is so soft it feels like it is falling apart, all while feeling substantial.

Cut

Most of Outlier’s clothing is cut rather tailored, but not this t-shirt. I find the cut to be on the boxy side, though not overly so. It’s on par with most every t-shirt I have.

This is both good and bad. A more tapered cut would be nice, but would also make the shirt stand out more. As it is, it looks like a normal t-shirt, nothing to see here.

Comfort

These are the most comfortable t-shirts I own, without a doubt. I’ve worn them in 80 °F heat, playing capture the flag with kids, and remained comfortable. Did I sweat? Yes, however it dried fast and I didn’t feel like I had to get the shirt off my body.

The fabric has all the classic properties of merino wool, with the added benefit of the softest hand-feel for merino that I have ever encountered. I would wear this shirt everyday all day if I could. As it is, I wear mine quite a lot.

Overall

I’ll say it again, these are my favorite shirts. Soft, odor-resistant, thermoregulating, fast drying, and all of the above. They are also very soft and look quite nice. Accounting for all shirts I’ve worn, and not just performance minded ones, these are the most luxurious feeling shirts I’ve ever owned.

At $110 they can be a tough pill to swallow, but I could easily get away with just the two I own. I’ve had them for over a year and they are just as good as they were when I got them.

Outlier Ultrafine Merino T-Shirt

Outlier Breezy Linen Short Sleeve

It’s summer, and it’s hot out — when the weather gets like this you don’t want to be weighed down with clothes that don’t breathe. You want to feel cool. Merino wool does a pretty good jobh, but there’s a limit to how hot you can go. When you find that limit, you’ll want to look at linen.

Outlier’s Breezy Linen Short Sleeve is designed for just such occasions. It is a classic short sleeve button down made to handle very hot, and dry climates. I’ve had mine for a year now, and it’s my go-to for hot days.

Material

This is 100% Italian linen, coming in at 113 gsm. There are two things additional to note about this particular shirt and how it was constructed. The first is the Pivot sleeve design, which is something unique to Outlier shirts, and allows for a fantastic range of motion. The second is the open weave design of this linen — allowing for it to wear very light, which is where the name comes from. Comparing this to other linen shirts I own, my older linen button downs are not even in the same league. By comparison they are heavy and bulky, whereas the Breezy Linen shirt almost feels invisible.

Fit

The body of the shirt is short, the sleeves as well. It’s made to keep you cool, and thus has a very flow-y nature to the cut. It’s too short for me to tuck in, nor would you want to. The collar itself is shorter and more low profile than on other Outlier shirts, making the shirt blend nicely in all casual situations. I’ve very happy with the fit, and it fits exactly as I expected from reading the size guide.

Performance

Here’s what Outlier claims about the shirt: “Linen absorbs moisture while staying dry to the touch and has an open weave to let air flow through. And it breaks down beautifully, softening with wear like no other fabric.” I think that’s a spot on description, but there’s also more to it.

The linen itself feels slightly rough to the touch, even after a year, but it never feels uncomfortable. It feels stiff, while also being full of wrinkles. Linen itself is a style, and if you are looking for a shirt with no wrinkles, move along. Linen wrinkles each time you look at it, but the wrinkles also fall out easily. So it’s always wrinkled, but almost never wrinkled more than is acceptable.

Wearing it though is very unique. It’s by far cooler to wear than not wearing a shirt at all. The air almost passes right through it. It draws the moisture right off your body, and the linen itself dries very fast — this certainly has a cooling effect when you wear it. There are times when I’ve been far too cold indoors to wear this shirt.

And because the sweat dries so fast, the shirt rarely stinks. This isn’t merino with anti-odor properties, but I can often wear this shirt for 3-5 days without it smelling at all (with hanging it to air out at night). It’s impressive, and truly makes this shirt better than it otherwise would be.

Outlier notes that this shirt is best for drier heat, whereas their Ramie shirts are better for humid, but I’ve worn this in both desert heat and in humid climates. I’ve found it to be excellent in both. On a performance metric, this shirt is awesome.

Overall

For $125 (last time they were available) this shirt is hard to beat. It’s a fantastic summer shirt and my go to anytime the mercury goes about 80°F. I am pleasantly surprised by how well it resists odors and how fast it dries.

While I won’t be buying another, that’s only because I’ll be getting the long sleeve version of this shirt next. I highly recommend The Breezy Linen Short Sleeve as a summer shirt, with the only downside being that sometimes you can’t stay warm enough when you wear it.

Outlier Breezy Linen Short Sleeve