Western Rise Movement Short

Note: these were provided free for review.

Living in Houston can quickly make you appreciate a good pair of workout shorts, and also quickly exposes the shorts that are more hype than performant. When Western Rise let us know they had new active wear coming out, I personally could not wait. I’ve been testing their Movement Short during my workouts in 100°+ F weather, and they have been great.

Material

These are 100% polyester and come in at a feather weight of 94gsm. Western Rise has also applied a DWR coating to them, which gives a nice bit of water repellence to the setup. While these shorts have no spandex built in, Western Rise does note that they have mechanical stretch. In my experience when companies say this, you can expect very little stretch, but on the movement shorts I was surprised to learn there was no spandex in the material — because they do have stretch. Albeit very firm stretch, they do stretch.

The overall hand feel on this is fantastic. The shorts feel smooth but a little soft to the touch and I really like the material.

Fit & Style

These are workout/athletic shorts, so we can skip over the style portion this go round. Instead, the fit on these is fantastic.

I got my standard large size and they fit really well. Snug enough that I don’t need to use the drawstring, even with a phone in my pocket, while also not feeling too tight at any point. My thighs have ample room to freely move and breathe, while the leg openings are not so large that you risk any ‘exposure’. Which is not important in the likeliness of it happening so much as the mental security it gives for people used to wearing a short with a longer inseam. At 7” this is a shorter inseam which helps to keep you cool, and give you full range of motion.

This is also shorter than many guys are comfortable wearing. Personally I think these are cut really nicely and fit well.

Performance

I tested these during my normal Ruck style workouts, in 95°F+ temperatures with the humidity soaring. In other words: I wore these working hard in the hottest climate I can safely handle. They performed extremely well, better than any shorts I have ever tested before.

They dry really fast, and they never seem to collect moisture. The few drops water streaming from my face when taking a drink never stayed on the shorts, and in fact no matter the sweat coming off my body, the shorts themselves never looked sweaty and gross.

They also come out of the washer almost wrinkle free and ready to go (what you see in the pics is the shorts after they spent the night wadded up in a ball in the corner of my backpack). The front pockets work well and don’t reduce the breathability of the shorts at all. The added zippered pocket on the left side is a nice add, especially for those not working out with a backpack to store their stuff.

Lastly, as you might expect given the material, these shorts weigh nothing. They are surprisingly light weight, and really I think my boxer shorts weigh more than these. It’s impressive.

Overall

I love these shorts. Not only are they going to be my go to shorts for active use, but I see no reason not to always pack them in my bag when (if) I travel again. They perform great, and get by in a pinch as a swimsuit, and take up no room while adding essentially no weight.

Highly recommended.

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Western Rise Movement Short

Alex Mill Paper Cotton Popover

Popovers are all the rage for looking sharp and casual at once. Alex Mill offers a take on the garment using ‘paper cotton’, something I haven’t tried before. Here’s what it all adds up to.

Material

This is 100% cotton, so the difference in this is how the cotton is put together, not the material itself. The best way I can describe this is that if most shirts feel like construction paper (not super smooth, not rough, and maybe a little porous feeling) then ‘paper cotton’ feels like white copier paper. Dense and incredibly smooth, while still being very thin.

That’s paper cotton. It’s smooth (almost unrealistically so) and very thin.

Fit and Style

As I mentioned above, these shirts are very on-trend right now. They are somewhat like a mullet: business up top, party in the back? If you are only looking collar bone and up most will think you have a button-down on. But show the whole picture and — is this some weird polo shirt?

Either way, the fit is great, cut a little loose while still looking sharp. The style is what I am going to dub ‘laid-back but put-together casual’. Or maybe it’s more like ‘poolside cocktail formal’?

Performance

Nope. Sorry I thought it would perform much better. It’s wrinkly as hell, and thin, but somehow not that breathable. That’s not the entire story, but when I compare it to most of the other stuff I review for this site, it’s near the bottom for performance.

Here’s the deal: it’s made to be completely no-fuss. Toss in the washer, hang it dry, wear it. And in that sense the wrinkles and rumples become a part of the style. It’s what keeps it from looking weird. If you iron/steam this then the looks is really like a mullet. If you leave it be, the look is relaxed. So in that vein, there is a nice style-performance with the care of this.

The last point is that it is weirdly not the breathable. However the thinness also means it doesn’t insulate at all, thus it actually wears well in warm-to-cold environments. Think those that take you from a hot outside, to a chilly AC interior. You won’t be overly hot outside, and the shirt does dry fast if you sweat in it. And inside the AC doesn’t seem to be penetrating your soul through the shirt. Very hard to describe. It’s light without being breezy.

Overall

I still really like this shirt, and would wear it all the time for work from home. But it’s not performance. So while I recommend it, I don’t in the vein of performance, as a standard athletic poly shirt performs better. But, of all the shirt-sleeved items I have reviewed on this site, none look as good as what Alex Mill made here.

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Alex Mill Paper Cotton Popover

Alex Mill Blazer

Alex Mill is a small clothing house which makes items tailored towards a more modern casual to smart casual wardrobe. One thing which caught my eye about the brand is how they take a style first approach towards making functional clothing. It’s almost like classic items with modern cuts and subdued performance highlights. Their Mill Blazer seemed to fit a hole I had perfectly, so I snapped it up to throw on for work, or a night out.

Material

This is the cotton-twill variant which is 98% cotton, and 2% spandex. The jacket is unstructured with no lining or any other details. The hand feel is fantastic, thick and durable feeling but still soft to the touch.

Interestingly, the 2% spandex is actually noticeable when you wear the jacket. It’s not going to make you feel like you have full and free movement, but it is enough to allow give where and when needed. More than that, this allows the material to look and drape properly.

Fit and Style

Aces on both here. The style is great, it will dress up a casual outfit, and tone down a more dressed up look. The Vintage Kahki color is also great, and pairs well with most pants that I wear.

My standard size large produced a great fit, and you’ll find it is a more tailored fit than not. I think their size charts accurately reflect the fit of the items. The style itself is a casual blazer, which means it will dress up a pair of jeans, and dress down nicer chinos. Dead on smart casual for style here.

Performance

Unfortunately, the performance of this jacket isn’t there. It wrinkles when you wear it, the weight is mid-weight and will work well in cooler, but not cold weather. It soaks up water, no repellency here.

The only performance aspect is the minor stretch — which I think is quite nice, but certainly not enough to stand up to the Kinetic blazer. When compared to other performance blazers, this one fails. When compared to stuffier blazers I have owned in the past, this is a refreshing change.

Overall

Here’s the thing, it is super comfortable to wear this jacket all day long. I love the fit and style and that alone means that the touch of stretch is welcomed. However, it is hard to compare it to the other blazers I have reviewed for this site. Every other blazer listed on this site, is a better performing garment — flat out.

That said, every other blazer reviewed here to date, cannot hold a candle to the Mill Blazer when it comes to style. The Mill Blazer is cut better, wears better, and looks correct. There’s an odd balance there. When paired with a high performing shirt, the blazer works well and as long as you wear it in normal temps for normal tasks you are fine.

You’ll need to decide which is more important: style, or performance. I have yet to find a blazer that does both well.

For me, this will not make it in my suitcase when I travel for work, but will likely be my go to when I travel for personal trips. It will also likely become my go to blazer for the office as well.

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Alex Mill Blazer

Bonobos Short Sleeve Linen Henley

I’ve been looking for more warm weather shirts to wear and test out, and came across the Bonobos Linen Henley. I grabbed one to test out, and while nice, it is an imperfect shirt.

I’ve been testing it in the heat for some time now, so let us dive in.

Materials

This is a 100% linen shirt with a very open knit to it. The linen itself is still a little rough feeling, but as typical with linen it should soften over time. More than the fabric, it is the open knit of the shirt which really stands out here.

It can almost feel see through at times, and yet the fabric itself feels substantial. From that perspective, it is really neat.

Fit and Style

This is a great looking Henley, with a sweater like look, but still light and airy. There is a slight cuff around the waist and the arms to enhance the sweater like feel to the style. Overall the style of the shirt is fantastic.

The fit is where things get tricky with this shirt, I ordered my normal Large, but should have tried to get a large-tall in this shirt as I find the body to be short feeling. But in appearance it doesn’t look short at all — I can’t reconcile that for you. I think the cuff around the waist makes the shirt feel like it is constantly riding up your waist all day.

One thing to note is that the shirt does tend to shrink up vertically after being washed and hung to dry. You can pull it once dry to get the length back and it stays until washed again, which is nice. However be warned that any pull on this shirt, if not done carefully and evenly, will result in warping and stupid looking spots on the shirt. Very odd. The fabric, even when hung dry, tightens back up and requires a bit of tugging to get it back to the shape it came in, but that’s rife with problems as the fabric shows any little mishap in your tugging on it.

Performance

The idea with this shirt is that it is a sharp looking Henley which wears cool. Both the linen fabric, and the open knit lend itself to being exactly that. But, the shirt falls down a bit when you really put it to the test. Because in the hot and humid outdoor weather here in Houston, this shirt fails.

The shirt soaks up moisture and seems to hold on to it. While the shirt is breathable, that goes away once wet with sweat. This is one of the warmer shirts I own to wear outdoors, and yet it wears cool inside where the AC is in full effect.

My bet is that in a drier climate this would be great even outdoors, but otherwise it doesn’t work well in the humidity. It gets wet enough that I had trouble taking the shirt off, so yeah. Those of you in Arizona might love this.

I’ll stop short of saying it doesn’t perform, because it does wear very nicely indoors and on less humid days. But I will say to avoid this if you live somewhere humid. There are better options, even other linens perform better in humidity.

Overall

Not great for hot and humid, but still pretty solid and a really good looking shirt. If you can find it on sale, go for it. Otherwise you might look towards different options.

At $88, I would pass on it.

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Bonobos Short Sleeve Linen Henley

Baracuta G9 “Harrington” Jacket

The Harrington jacket is a classic design, which has been reimagined by most menswear brands out there. Each claiming to bring modern performance to a classic style jacket. I wanted one badly, and so I started looking, and decided to get the one I wanted, the original, the classic Baracuta G9.

In looking at how to size this jacket, and which color to pick, I learned that this wasn’t just cotton. In fact, it was originally made to be a performance jacket. I bought it not thinking of reviewing it here, but after wearing it and owning it for a while, we need to talk about it — because I am completely unsure why anyone thinks this is not a performance jacket.

It was made for the tough golf outings on a rainy and windy day. Something that allowed you move (swing a club) while keeping you warm and dry. Yeah, shocked me too…

Material

I figured this was going to be something all cotton, that’s what it looked like. But I was surprised to learn it is a 50-50 Cotton-Poly make up. The inner lining is Coolmax brand cotton-poly as well. What I find most interesting is the weight, despite looking heavy, it wears very light with excellent venting. You won’t find this great in Houston outside of winter, but I could see myself wearing this most summer evenings/nights back in the Pacific Northwest.

The material itself does wrinkle a touch when pressed and packed. However in most wear the wrinkles fall out and the jacket always looks sharp. The hand feel on the jacket is near perfect. With it mostly feeling like a strong cotton, and cotton always feels the best.

Fit and Style

Perhaps the two most iconic jackets a man can wear are the Trucker (jean jacket) and the Bomber jacket. But, that’s likely because most men simply don’t know what this style of jacket is called, Harrington. It often gets grouped up with Bomber jackets, and has been a staple of menswear and style since it arrived on the seen in the late 1930s. Made iconic by people like James Dean and many others in Hollywood.

There are two fits to this jacket: classic and archive/authentic (they keep changing the name). Classic fits slimmer, archive/authentic boxier. Either is fine. James Dean wore it loose, James Bond wears it slimmer. I went with the classic cut, and it looks amazing. Rarely does something bring a smile to my face the moment I put it on, but this did.

The sizing can be a bit tricky. They size in European sizes, but I found their online size guide to be spot on. They list a US Large as a 44, and that’s what I ordered. It fits perfectly.

Performance

This was always designed to be a high quality performance jacket. Here’s how Sven Raphael Schneider at Gentleman’s Gazette explains it:

It was therefore no surprise that initially it became extremely popular among golfers, as it was designed to keep the rain away from the wearer without compromising appearance. The angled flap pockets were ideal for keeping golf balls and its elasticised waist and wrists allowed for a free swing of the arms. There was also an element of ventilation in its design that made it ideal for sports in general. In fact, the “G” in the name designation stands for golf, and the Japanese named it a “swing jacket” because it was worn on the golf course.

I am amazed that this jacket performs as well as it does for understated materials. The jacket has decent venting and decent water repellency. I cannot imagine using it in heavy rain for long periods of time, nor would I want to wear it when the temps get above 75°F. That said, water beads off nicely, and the jacket does offer breathability.

Care tags have a little pocket inside the jacket.
Care tags have a little pocket inside the jacket.

Where I think this jacket really excels is in mobility. The cut of this jacket allows for a lot of movement. You can drive without the sleeves tugging back, and yes you can most certainly swing a golf club easily while wearing it. And yet it works with jeans and a t-shirt, all the way to business casual.

Overall

This is my favorite jacket I own, I love it, and I want more. It is not cheap, at $390 retail it really is out there, but I think the quality of the jacket speaks for itself. And it is telling that even at that price, I will likely buy another.

There are a lot of colors for this jacket, and so let me tell you why I selected ‘natural’ as my jacket: it contrasts almost all my pants the best. Basically the best advice I read was to look at the pants color you wear the most, and select the color jacket that will look best with those. I only own one pair of khaki pants, so the choice was easy for me. Navy, Black, Natural, and Green are the go to colors for this jacket, so use that as a starting point. I will say James Bond wears black, James Dean wore red… so to each his own — they all look amazing.

This jacket is a classic for a reason, recommended.

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Baracuta G9 “Harrington” Jacket

The New, Outlier New Ways

For 2020, Outlier updated one of our favorite pairs of shorts with a simple, but awesome change. There is only one thing about these New-New Ways (and New Way Longs that has been changed, and that is the pocket material.

Outlier has always billed the New Ways as a singular pair of shorts, which can do everything. They can be dressed up for a night out, the are durable and rugged for wooded adventures, and they are always pool ready. New Ways have been my primary shorts since 2016 (and the only ones I wear outside of items for review here). I have swam in them and traveled with them all over.

This update is fantastic.

A core part of any item which you rely on to keep you cool, is the ability for that item to breathe — to allow moisture to easily escape your body. One obvious area that most items gets tripped up is the pockets — the addition of any material makes for reduced breathability here. We’ve all felt that pain.

Pockets are also doubly important to be designed correctly to keep items in them. And, when talking about swimming, to drain water quickly out of them. To handle this, New Ways originally had a mostly Supplex pocket, with a strong mesh “port” full width along the bottom of each pocket. This allowed for the pockets to be durable, drain quick enough to swim in, and hold items well.

However they didn’t drain that well, and they held moisture on a hot and humid day.

This is no more. The updated New Ways have full mesh pockets in the front (it is a finer, elastic mesh) and the back pockets retain Supplex against your body, and full mesh on the outer face (this helps them lay flat).

Top: new. Bottom: old.
Top: new. Bottom: old.

This change is fantastic. If you swim in New Ways, the performance add is enormous. If you live in a hot and humid area (as I do in Houston) you will immediately notice that the breathability of the front pocket areas is tremendously better.

Blue: new. Gray: old.
Blue: new. Gray: old.

The one area of compromise: how the pockets carry. As I mentioned, they are elastic, and so really heavy items will bounce a bit in the pocket. But I have yet to find this to be problematic in use. To test how well they carried items, I have been alternating between the original New Ways and the updated variants around my house to see if I lose any items. Thankfully I cannot tell the difference at all, these hold items just as well as the old New Ways.

This is a great update, and one you might want to take the plunge into if your life has you doing a lot of impromptu swimming, or if your humidity levels live well about habitable. Great work all around.

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

The New, Outlier New Ways

Oliver Cabell Phoenix

Note: this item was sent for review purposes.

Oliver Cabell is hard to miss today, making a wide variety of fashionable shoes at reasonable prices. They boast performance claims as well, and so when I was offered a chance to take the Phoenix sneakers for a spin, I was happy to do so. This is a ‘3D printed’ shoe made from recycled water bottles also boasts a wide variety of claims, all for a really good price of $95 MSRP.

How I Tested

These shoes arrived just after lock down here, so I was worried it would be difficult to test. However, given that they were brand new, I wore them all day while I worked at home — at my standing desk for 8 hours which is a pretty close representation to a normal day at the office for me. As the lock down eased I was able to put some miles on them outdoors as well.

So while my testing didn’t perfectly mimic what I might see in the real world, I did wear them a ton and I think the only thing I cannot comment on is how easily the white will dirty up, because I didn’t get to wear them in a lot of scenarios where that might happen.

Fit and Style

Let’s talk about fit first, since that is the single most important factor in a shoe being comfortable. There are some interesting items to note with these:

  1. They only are sold in whole sizes only.
  2. Oliver Cabell notes: “Fits narrow and short, size up if between sizes.”
  3. Customer Reviews peg the sizing almost exactly at “true to size” maybe just a tick under that (which I attribute to the narrowness of the shoe).

With that said, I wear a size 11.5 in sneakers, and 11 in boots. Based on all that info I got size 12s, right? Makes sense. They are almost 3/4 a size too large. A size 11.5, would of course fit perfect, while I am almost certain an 11 would be too small. I think the advice is bad — if you wear a whole size comfortably in sneakers, order that, between sizes, you might try another shoe. That’s where I land on this one. For me, whole shoe sizes only is a big miss, especially for something 3D printed.

From a style perspective, I really dig them. Yes they are very white, but they are also narrow (not too narrow, average width feet should be fine) so they don’t look goofy. They look nice, simple, and pair with almost everything up to smart casual. Pluses all around for style.

The Claims

Alright here’s the good stuff, let’s look at what is claimed on the website about these shoes: “A shoe that’s light and cooling with cloud-like cushioning to fit your every move.” “Machine-washable 3D printed upper…” Further, I want to note that on many other sites I have seen these shoes marketed as some of the most breathable out there.

Here’s where I land on all these claims:

  1. Light: yeah, like these are super light, and not floppy either. They have plenty of structure and almost no weight. It’s awesome.
  2. Cooling: nope. Sorry, but for how hard these are marketed for cooling properties I say no way. I wore them with merino wool socks in an AC house and my feet came out sweaty. Not much better outside in Houston heat. I could see how in cooler climates you might find these cooling, but not in hot and humid, it’s just not there. Almost every Nike running/cross training shoes I have owned have faired better.
  3. Cloud Like Cushioning: it is comfy and there is good cushion, however I don’t know about cloud like. I will say, and credit to them — far more supportive and comfortable than Allbirds (our review).
  4. Machine Washable: yes, surprisingly they wash up really well — almost like new. But there were no notes for drying so I air dried and it has taken well over 24 hours to get them to damp but wearable. So do note that.

Before washing.
Before washing.
After washing.
After washing.

The last thing I will note is that tongue is a little bit of a sticky type of rubbery material. It has a hard time staying in place for sure, and really is hard to pull back up if you shove your foot in. It’s not a big deal, just something to get used to.

Overall

This shoe is a mixed bag, I think if they had half sizes, it would be a lot better shoe for me. I won’t give it credit for breathability though, but the eco statements are nice. For the money (and you can often find these on sale other places) it can be a good deal for a good looking and comfortable shoe.

If the sizing works for you, then these are better than other hyped shoes (like Allbirds, those suck) but if you are a half size person then wait until they come out with those. And don’t count on these being a super cool shoe for your feet if you live in the hot and humid southern US, maybe in cooler climates they feel better. I have a hard time with them in the summer heat.

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

Oliver Cabell Phoenix

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.

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

Everlane Bomber Jacket

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.

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

Everlane Performance Dress Shirt

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