Taylor Stitch The California in Olive Hemp Poplin

Ever since I got my first shirt from Taylor Stitch, I’ve been keeping an eye out on their “Workshop” and “Last Call” sections. These are great spots to grab good deals on items from Taylor Stitch.

A few months ago, I picked up their The California in Olive Hemp Poplin button-down shirt.

Material

This shirt is made from a 5-oz. 55% hemp, 45% organic cotton blend. The weight makes it a very versatile shirt, working well in the summer as well as the fall and spring.

The high hemp content gives the shirt a great texture that adds some interest to the shirt, and pushes the fabric solidly into the casual category for me.

The weight and medium color of the fabric also allow this shirt to be worn without an undershirt, a big plus for those warm summer days.

Fit & Style

Overall the fit works well for me. It seems like the Taylor Stitch shirts are cut quite consistently, which is not always a given. The body is trim but not slim and the sleeves have plenty of length.

While on the longer side, the length of the body lends well to wearing either tucked or untucked. I’ve only ever worn it untucked due to the casual look of the fabric.

The collar also lends to the casual look, as while it never spreads so far that it lays flat, it tends to spread out quite a bit.

Performance

Taylor Stitch bills this fabric as helping to keep you cool and dry when the temperature rises. Wearing this shirt since the end of the summer, I can say that this is true. I never felt like the armpits were wet and never noticed any sweat marks.

The shirt also does well with odor-resistance, as I am able to get a solid 2+ wears out of this shirt, depending on how much I was sweating while wearing it.

It also performs well for not having any stretch in it. I never felt restricted while wearing the shirt.

Finally, you will not get away without an iron here. When coming out of the laundry, it is very wrinkly. I even tried tossing it in the dryer and hanging it immediately, with no luck. While it does look good with some level of wrinkles, it is way too wrinkly after washing to wear.

Overall

I really like the shirt. The texture and weight of the fabric gives it a great look and it works really well for casual wear and the high hemp content lends to the durability and performance. While I’m not sure I’d recommend it at the full $128 price, it represents a good value at the marked down $89.

Taylor Stitch The California in Olive Hemp Poplin

Choosing Cotton vs. Synthetic

Recently, I’ve been trying out a few button-ups (and a polo) that are either all, or majority cotton. This has shifted my thinking some when choosing a shirt to wear.

Previously, all of my button-ups were either merino or 100% synthetic. Of course, I am able to get multiple wears out of the merino shirts, but the synthetic shirts either need a rinse or wash after each wear.

The synthetic shirts come out of my bag ready to wear, the merino sometimes need a steam in the bathroom. And when it comes time for a wash, the synthetic shirts are ready to go after hanging dry, while the merino shirts need a steam.

Now that I have some mostly cotton shirts in my wardrobe, I see some areas where they fit in. I’m specifically talking about a few from Taylor Stitch (The Short Sleeve Bandit in Heather Grey, our review and The California in Olive Hemp Poplin) and the Mack Weldon 37.5 Oxford. On the polo side, I’m talking about the Mack Weldon SILVERKNIT Polo (our review).

Being someone who often wears an undershirt under my button-ups, I’m able to get two wears out of each of these shirts. In the case of the Hemp Poplin fabric from
Taylor Stitch I’ve gotten two days of wear out of it even without an undershirt.

I find myself favoring these mostly cotton shirts in a few situations:

  1. When I need a casual shirt, these, specifically the Taylor Stitch shirts are perfect. They look normal, have great drape, and the small amount of linen or hemp blended in give them a little edge on performance.
  2. On my travel days, I tend to go for something a little more durable than a merino shirt. Synthetic was previously my go-to, but I found they could start to smell by the end of a long day of travel.
  3. When I want a shirt that just looks absolutely normal and simple, the heavy cotton of the Mack Weldon shirt gives that classic Oxford look and drape and the polo looks just like your standard pique polo.

While the Mack Weldon shirts do have some extra tech to up their performance to some extent, the Taylor Stitch shirts just rely on a small portion of other natural fibers to make them something special.

Wearing these shirts for a few months has made me more likely to give mostly cotton shirts a chance. There are many cases where cotton will suffice, or even be a better choice. If you’re looking for a shirt to wear once or twice before washing, and don’t mind ironing or steaming, merino might not be worth the extra expense and synthetic might not be the best for keeping fresh all day. For me, cotton blends come out on the top in these cases and if I’m going to spend a lot of time out in the heat, a blend with hemp or linen is my choice.

Choosing Cotton vs. Synthetic

KOY Gear KG Tee

Note: This t-shirt was provided by KOY Gear for review purposes.

KOY Gear is a relatively new Canadian tech wear company which came onto my radar through their current Kickstarter campaign. They currently offer a Silver Boxer Brief which was launched in 2018, and this campaign is to launch their KG Tee and KG Socks.

Diving into their mission a little further, their design philosophy of “Invisible Technical” stuck out as a good fit for what we look for here — they provide performance features that are ‘invisibly’ integrated into their clothing.

When KOY offered me a chance to check out their KG Tee, I was excited to give it a try. After a few weeks, I can say it lives up to the claims and has an interesting combination of technologies.

Material

The material on this shirt is packed with some interesting features. It is a 200 gsm 4-way stretch blend consisting of 47% Modal, 47% cotton, and 6% Elastane. The outside has a hydro-repellant treatment while the inside has a special treatment to make it highly moisture wicking (which combines with the special weaving pattern for breathability). The overall fabric is then treated with a silver ionization technology for anti odor.

With all of the mixed treatment and technologies in this shirt, I wasn’t sure if the fabric would live up to the claims of being soft and smooth. However, it really is extremely soft, smooth, and comfortable.

Fit & Style

The fit of the shirt is very slim/tapered. In fact, if you are looking for a true tapered shirt, this is probably most like what you are looking for out of all the t-shirts we’ve reviewed. KOY recommends sizing up if you are looking for a casual fit, and that is definitely true. I am at the upper end of the chest measurements for Large, and with an Extra Large, the shirt is even still a little more snug than I typically wear my shirts.

Style wise, this makes it different from a lot of performance tees with at most an athletic fit. Paired with the fact that the shirt has a substantial weight and looks just like cotton, it is certainly a fashionable tee that can easily go from the gym to everyday.

Performance

This shirt is described by KOY with five words — “comfort, odorless, antibacterial, stain resistant, and breathable.”

I’ll tackle each in turn, starting with comfort. The fabric has enough weight to not feel clingy and is very soft and smooth. This, along with the flat lock stitching and 4-way stretch, makes the shirt extremely comfortable.

Of course, odor resistance is something we look for in a performance tee. The (antibacterial) silver treatment does a great job at keeping the shirt odorless. In fact, I was able to wear it as many times as I can a merino tee for working out. After 4-5 wears, I washed it, but probably could have gotten more wears.

When it comes to stain resistance, the shirt does a great job repelling water, so I can see it repelling any spills you throw at it.

Typically, cotton with as much water repellence as this shirt has can feel stiff. Not so here. I didn’t feel that the breathability of the shirt was impacted by the treatments or weight.

One other feature of the shirt that I was surprised by was the moisture wicking interior. Even when sweating profusely from a hard spin or row, the inside of the shirt would get wet, but you could not see that wetness through the face of the fabric. In principle, this sounds like it could be uncomfortable, but I never felt like the fabric was weighted down or felt clammy from the moisture. This seems like it could be a good feature if you get sweaty when biking or walking but want to show up at your destination looking dry. The only caveat is that the shirt tends to stay moist longer than a synthetic shirt (I’d compare it to a merino tee).

Overall

The KG Tee is full of a combination of interesting technologies. If the unique features and the fit of the shirt are compelling, the price is right at the retail price of about $30. It will stay in my rotation for active pursuits.

Unfortunately, the Kickstarter is sold out of rewards with just the t-shirt, but for about $37 you can get the tee with two pairs of their KG Socks. Pledges are open through October 17th, with a retail launch in 2020.

KOY Gear KG Tee

Patagonia Long-Sleeved Capilene Cool Daily Shirt

I’ve worn Patagonia Capilene baselayers for a long time now, but never had tried any of their lightweight shirts until recently. Before a camping trip in the hot and humid southeast this summer, I decided to grab one of the Capilene Cool Daily shirts. I had heard a lot of praise, so I had high expectations.

Material

This shirt is made from 100% polyester, with 50-100% recycled content depending on the color. The version I have is treated with Polygiene odor control technology, however, they just launched them with some new treatments: miDori bioSoft for added wicking and softness and HeiQ Fresh for odor control.

Even without the softening treatment, I found this fabric to have an excellent, smooth hand feel. Even better, it was also extremely lightweight while still maintaining a UPF 50+ sun protection rating.

Despite the lightweight nature of the fabric, I saw no indication of pilling from my GORUCK bag, which I have seen in the past on some of my other outdoors shirts. I typically don’t have issues with my GORUCK bags, but the combination of sweat and hours of exertion can take their toll. I suspect the silkiness of the fabric helped here.

Fit & Style

Patagonia lists this as a “Regular Fit”, however, I found it to be cut on the smaller side. In my normal Patagonia size (Large), the shirt was tight. I’m guessing they use their base layer sizing here, so that is understandable. If I were wearing this as a baselayer, Large would be the correct fit, however, wearing it as my only layer, I prefer the fit of an Extra Large.

As far as style goes, there isn’t much to say. It’s a technical-looking shirt, so I’m not picking this up for the looks. However, there is almost no sheen to the fabric — quite impressive for 100% polyester.

Performance

The shirt performed very well when it came to wicking away sweat. The shirt did get wet, but never felt heavy, and in fact, I think the sweat evaporation helped keep me cooler.

Secondarily, the UPF 50+ sun protection rating kept me from having to worry about sunscreen on my arms, which was initially why I wanted to go with a long sleeve shirt. Ultimately, I also appreciated the sleeves because I no longer had sweat running down my arms and dripping off my fingers.

When it came to odor resistance, the Polygiene did not work for me. The shirt stunk after just one day of hiking. Unless the new odor treatment is better, this is definitely a one wear shirt despite any claims.

The silky nature of the shirt also helped prevent chafing. If you are a hiker, you will be familiar with the dreaded nipple chafing — none of that here.

Overall

Overall I was impressed with the Capilene Cool Daily fabric. The wicking exceeded my expectations, and even though the odor treatment did not seem to work for me, I still think this is a great fabric.

The long sleeve version I tested has the extra benefits of protecting your arms from the sun and helping keep you comfortable even when you are sweating profusely. I can see this shirt staying in my hiking lineup and becoming a lightweight baselayer for the cooler weather.

If you are looking for a durable, comfortable, lightweight shirt for active pursuits, I think the Capilene Cool Daily line represents a great value.

Patagonia Long-Sleeved Capilene Cool Daily Shirt

Faherty Brand Short-Sleeve Stretch Summer Blend Shirt

I recently reviewed the Faherty Malibu Short, along with them, I also picked up a linen-blend shirt, the Short-Sleeve Stretch Summer Blend Shirt. I’ve given it a good test through the warm end of the summer and while not necessarily along the lines of what we normally test, it is a nice shirt.

Material

The fabric here is a 76% cotton, 21% linen, 3% spandex blend.

While stretch is in the name of the shirt, I didn’t find it apparent while wearing, but being a short sleeve shirt, that isn’t a huge deal. However, when examining the fabric by hand, their is definitely a little stretch in the horizontal direction.

The high linen content gives the fabric both the loved and hated properties of linen. The shirt is very light and airy. Of course, this also means the fabric wrinkles if you just look at it. To be noted here — wrinkles in linen look great in a casual situation if they are wrinkles from wearing it, but not so great if they are from it being packed in your bag. So this shirt is simply not for packing (unless you want to iron).

Fit & Style

Faherty is one of the brands of shirts that seems to always fit my body. Once you find one or two of those, you’ll be happy to continue being a customer. Not to mention, I also think the build quality is also above average.

Style-wise, this is a nice casual button-down for wearing untucked with shorts. I find the Mint Buffalo color I got pairs very well with my Navy Outlier New Way Longs (our review). Additionally, the texture of the fabric, a combination of texture from the linen and the weave of the fabric also lends to the casual look.

Performance

This shirt is built for the heat. The fabric is built to be light and airy and the linen only improves that. I wore this shirt on some warm summer days and it kept me cool, the only thing that might beat it is something made from Ramie by Outlier like the Ramienorth Pivot (our review) or Mojave Shortsleeve.

As far as odor resistance, I can get about two wears here. The shirt doesn’t dry too quickly though, so don’t plan on washing the shirt in the sink and wearing it again the next day.

Speaking of washing, I found the shirt to come out of the washer quite wrinkly and even after hanging to dry, it needs an iron.

Overall

Overall this is a nice casual summer shirt. It’s not going to ever be a travel shirt for me (unless I’m planning to wear it just once and on the first day), but it’s a nice one to have in my lineup for weekends at home.

At a full price of $128 I can’t recommend it due to the high cotton content — for not much more you can get a 100% linen shirt. However, if it hits the Faherty sale, it’s worth a look.

Faherty Brand Short-Sleeve Stretch Summer Blend Shirt

What We’re Wearing: August 2019

The summer is coming to a close, and it’s time for the second edition of “What We’re Wearing” here at Everyday Wear. Here’s what we’ve been wearing and enjoying through the summer.

Steve

We had a crazy start to the summer with some really wet stretches, but the second half has been quite hot. I’ve spent a lot of time outside enjoying the weather — here’s what I’ve been wearing.

Business Casual

The Outlier Futureworks (our review) are still my favorite pants for business casual dress. For the hottest (and on the causal side of business casual), the Western Rise The Evolution Pant (our review) still can’t be beaten with their extremely lightweight fabric.

After finishing my review of the Wool & Prince Slim Chino (provided for review by Wool & Prince), they ended up staying in my closet because I find them to be too warm for the summer. I am looking forward to bringing them back out in the Fall, however.

As far as shirting, I’ve been mostly been wearing the polos I discussed in my Polo Guide, and my Bluffworks Meridian 2.0 Dress Shirt (our review).

Shoe wise, my Allen Edmonds Higgins Mill boots are holding up well and still are my go to, always with Darn Tough socks.

Casual

I’ve stepped up my summer casual game some with some great linen blend short sleeve button-ups — Taylor Stitch The Short Sleeve Bandit (our review), Faherty Brand Short-Sleeve Stretch Summer Blend Shirt (look for a review soon). I also found nylon/Tencel/spandex shirt at REI that I’ve been enjoying. To continue on the linen theme, I also picked up the Faherty Brand Malibu Short (our review).

I’ve recently also tried my first piece with hemp fiber, the Nau Kanab Short Sleeve T-Shirt.

Obviously, natural fibers were a theme this summer for me and I quite enjoyed everything I purchased. Of course, linen wrinkles quite a bit but looks great for casual wear. Some of the linen/cotton blends kept wrinkles away better than others, and hemp blends seem to be a little better than linen. Overall, to me, the hemp blends I’ve seen tend to feel a little stiffer/coarser than linen.

I’ve continued to wear my Western Rise pants for casual wear as well, and my Outlier New Way Longs (our review) continue to be my favorite shorts.

I did also finally find a pair of casual sneakers that I like to wear with shorts — a pair of Seavees with a linen upper.

Finally, while not really summer shoes, I found a great deal on a pair of Red Wing Merchant boots in a light brown suede that look great with a pair of causal pants. These are defiantly going to get a lot of wear as the weather cools down.

Exercise

Nothing new exercise clothing wise, but I did discuss my long term opinion on the athletic t-shirts I’ve been wearing for over a year now.

My go to shorts continue to be the Myles Apparel Momentum Short 2.0 (our review). I’ve also recently purchased the Coalatree Trailhead Shorts (look for a review soon).

Shoe wise, I’m still wearing my Trail Gloves (gym) or Altra Lone Peak 4 (rucking/hiking).

Outerwear

Of course not much outerwear is needed for the summer, but I’ve still been wearing my Outdoor Research Helium II (our review) for rain. I also just picked up a Patagonia Houdini Snap-T Pullover Windbreaker in their current sale. I haven’t received it yet, but I’m looking forward to giving it a try.

Travel

I’ve continued to wear and pack the above when traveling. Of course, still carrying my trusty GORUCK GR1 26L backpack. The Trail Gloves pack down nicely if I want to bring a pair of exercise shoes.

Ben

Since moving to Houston I’ve had to change quite a few things wardrobe these past few months: working in an office, and living in a very hot and humid place will do that to you.

Business Casual

My go to outfit for work was pretty easy to sort out, despite all the pants and shirts I have been testing, I have settled on wearing Futureworks for the vast majority of the work week (Dark Navy and Space Grey being my go to colors) and a mix of Ministry of Supply Aero Dress Shirts (our review), as well as Bluffworks Meridian shirts. I still mix in a few other options I have, but these are what I would pare back to if forced to do so.

On the shoe side of things I have settled on rotating between my Thursday Boots (our review), and a pair of Cole Haans. Both work well, and are comfortable all day with the boots running a little warmer come the very end of the day.

Casual

I’ve been ruined on the casual side of clothing. It’s been to hot out to wear my Outlier Slim Dungarees (our review), so I have been forced to spend most of the summer in my Outlier New Way shorts. I only have one pair in charcoal, and surprisingly that’s been more than enough for me. I love these shorts, and they are basically all I wear. Occasionally for a nice dinner I will toss on some Sandstorm Futureworks, or if I want pants my Olivers Passage Pants (our review).

On the shirt side I typically wear the Western Rise AirLight Short Sleeve (our review) if it is clean, or my Wool & Prince 100% Merino Polo (our review). I’ve found myself rarely wearing t-shirts, but I do wear the Outlier Ramienorth Pivot (our review) quite a bit for going out to dinner, though it’s a wear once and wash shirt.

My shoes for casual wear consist of flip flops, or a pair of Nike Flyknit running shoes.

Exercise

This setup hasn’t changed at all despite the weather. I wear my GORUCK Simple Pants, Y Athletics SilverAir Merino (our review), and GORUCK MACV-1 boots. I tried wearing shorts, but there are still enough mosquitoes that get my legs if I do that, and the pants don’t overheat me much so that’s an easy fix there.

Travel

I have not been traveling at all this summer, only one weekend road trip. So my clothing for this is the same as my casual clothing. I did pack in my trusty GR1 as it is clearly the best backpack out there.

What We’re Wearing: August 2019

Coalatree Trailhead Shorts

Coalatree designs eco-friendly clothing that is designed to wear from the mountains to the city. I remember seeing their Trailhead Pants on Kickstarter, but didn’t love the loose ties at the bottom of the legs. When I saw their Trailhead Shorts for a great price on Huckberry, I decided to give them a try.

Material

These shorts are made from a ripstop nylon 4-way stretch blend with a DWR coating (88% bluesign nylon/12% spandex). The outer face of the fabric shows a prominent grid pattern (characteristic of the ripstop nylon) while the inner face has a soft weave and is borderline fuzzy.

This gives the shorts quite a bit of weight and makes the fabric quite thick. While I don’t feel like the weight hurts the warm weather wearability, I think it would put the pants into a cooler weather category for me. As far as the stretch is concerned, these are by far the stretchiest shorts I own.

Fit & Style

At an 8.5” length, I think Coalatree nailed the length, at least for me. I find them short enough that they don’t get in the way during active pursuits, but long enough that they are my style for wearing in other situations. Additionally, the weight of the fabric gives them a better than average drape for performance shorts.

Unfortunately, the grid pattern gives these shorts away as performance apparel, and for me makes them solidly in the casual wear category. They look better than my Patagonia Baggies Longs (our review), but other than those, these are my most casual shorts.

That brings me to what I see as some confusion over what the shorts want to be — they have elastic, an external draw string, belt loops, and a false-fly. The false-fly helps step up the looks a little bit when wearing with an untucked shirt. For me the wide elastic band does a great job keeping the shorts up (and is very comfortable), making the belt loops and external draw string unnecessary. If I were to redesign the shorts, I’d put the draw string inside the waist band and get rid of the belt loops.

Performance

These shorts perform excellently for active and everyday wear. The high level of 4-way stretch combined with the gusseted crotch keeps these moving with your body in any way you manage to stretch them. The DWR does a great job keeping them dry in a drizzle, which is needed since the thicker fabric doesn’t dry instantly.

As far as pockets go on this type of shorts, Coalatree did a nice job. The front pockets are designed appropriately so your phone doesn’t try to fall over on its’ side (a problem I have with the Baggies pockets). The two rear pockets are a nice touch as well, with the right rear pocket having velcro on the closure. There is also a small pocket inside the front of the shorts sized for a key.

These are also packable into the right front pocket. I don’t find this necessary, as they pack better folded or rolled. This doesn’t detract from the shorts, however, as there are no extra closures or anything needed to add this feature.

Lastly, Coalatree claims these shorts are anti-microbial, but doesn’t indicate any special treatment. In my testing, I found them to perform the same as my other nylon shorts odor-wise.

Overall

Overall, these are nice casual shorts. They have taken over my Baggies as my favorite casual shorts, and I like that they go easily from casual to active activities.

If you are looking for an active short that looks decent enough to wear into town, these are worth a look and I’d certainly recommend them over Baggies.

You can pick them up from Huckberry or directly from Coalatree (Men’s, Women’s).

Coalatree Trailhead Shorts

Faherty Brand Malibu Short

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

Material

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

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

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

Fit & Style

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

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

Performance

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

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

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

Overall

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

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

You can pick them up from Faherty Brand or Huckberry.

Faherty Brand Malibu Short