Here are some of our favorites—
Prometheus Design Werx makes outdoor clothing, tools, soft goods, etc. and often makes their clothing in small runs with various fabrics.
Ben pointed the DRB Woodsman Shirt in Merino Red-Black-Gray Plaid out to me when it was on sale this Fall, because it would be way too warm for Texas. I picked it up, and this is a very warm shirt — the warmest I have.
Let’s dive right in.
The shirt is made from 18% 14 oz. Australian Merino Wool Melton/15% nylon. The cuffs and back of the collar are lined with 100% “Fine Brushed Poly Twill”.
In researching what Melton Wool actually is, I found that is often used in naval garments like CPO shirts and peacoat. It is also referred to as the equivalent of selvedge to denim or shell cordovan to leather. This is because it is a very dense woven and robust wool fabric, imparting both wind and water resistant properties.
In practice, this fabric is surprisingly wind resistant and does a nice job beading up a light snow or rain.
PDW mentions that their Melton is softer than typical Melton. While I’m not sure I’ve handled a Melton peacoat, this fabric is still stiff, but is somewhat softer than what I’d expect from a peacoat.
This fabric does put it firmly into the shirt jacket category. I’m not one to think wool feels rough against my skin, but wearing the shirt with just a t-shirt, it is uncomfortable against my arms.
As far as the weight, this is heavy. I thought my Patagonia wool shirt was heavy at 6.9 oz., the 14 oz. weight here is downright burley.
Fit & Style
PDW describes this shirt perfectly:
This is like your grandfather’s favorite outdoor shirt he wore to the cabin, or what your father threw on after an early morning session at his favorite break, but better. A modern regular fit for comfort and freedom of movement.
I don’t think I can do better than that. It’s fit like a shirt jacket (so plenty of room throughout the body, sleeves, and cuffs for layering shirts, sweaters, or hoodies), yet its designed well enough that it doesn’t look ridiculous over a long-sleeve tee or thermal.
The large chest pockets look a little out of place in the product photos, but I don’t think they look bad in person (they are sized to fit smartphones — my iPhone XS fits, but I’m not sure a bigger phone would). The slotted buttons also add to the rugged look (and the durability of the shirt — no more popped buttons).
This shirt is very interesting. When I first received it in early Fall, I tried it on inside and it made me hot very quickly. Now that it has cooled down, I can wear it unbuttoned inside if I’m feeling chilly, but it’s too warm for all-around inside wear for me. I wore it for socially distanced Halloween night and it kept me warm just sitting around in the high 40s °F with just a long sleeve tee under. In the 30s °F, this shirt still works well as an outer layer, with some warmer base/mid-layers underneath.
The only negative for colder weather performance is the length. Since it is a shirt length, there isn’t too much protection from cold air blowing up from the bottom.
The shirt also features full-length side arm panels (a strip of fabric that runs up the side of the shirt and down the arm) to help improve motion. It seems that this helps a little with the typical lifting of a heavy shirt when you raise your arms.
The double reinforced elbows are also a nice touch. As this is a shirt that is meant to take some abuse, the elbows are often the first place a shirt wears through.
Even though the shirt is listed as dry clean only, I don’t think that’s going to be an issue since its wool and is an outer layer.
The DRB Woodsman shirt is a great example of a classic shirt jacket in a very heavy fabric. While it is currently out of stock, PDW tends to release small batches of their clothing each year, so you might be able to find this shirt or something similar in the future.
If you’re looking for a classic warm wool shirt jacket when this is in stock, its definitely worth consideration, although if you find wool scratchy, it’s not for you.
I’ve seen moleskin blazers often in the past, I never really dug into the fabric. It was originally produced as a sturdy and comfortable fabric for farmers and hunters, and transitioned to military and factory use. I won’t go into the details, you can read more here if you’re curious, but it’s a dense cotton fabric that is shorn and brushed on one side for softness — and it’s the same as corduroy without the wales (the ridges).
When I saw that Outerknown had released a more modern cut shirt in moleskin, the Lost Coast Moleskin Shirt, I had to give it a try.
This moleskin is 100% organic cotton described as “woven tough and brushed for softness. It gets even better as it breaks in over time”.
While I’ve only been wearing it for a bit over a month, I already feel it getting softer without feeling like it’s wearing out or getting thin. The “Curry” color I have is also garment dyed (I assume they all are, but it’s not specified). This will also add to the improvement with age, as the color will likely fade a little at wear points. While they warn about color transfer, I haven’t seen any issues, but something to watch out for in the darker colors (think dark indigo denim).
Fit & Style
Outerknown lists this as their “Relaxed” cut. I stuck with my normal XL (the size I have in their “Classic” cut BBQ Shirt) and it fits well. It has room for layering with a long or short sleeve t-shirt, but if you intend to wear it as an over shirt, you will want to size up.
Even though the cut is “Relaxed”, it is good-looking and modern. It gives you room to move (since there is no stretch to the fabric) while not looking baggy. It is long enough to tuck in, but I wear it untucked with either jeans or other workwear style pants. The natural corozo nut buttons add a little sustainable flair.
It fits and looks great for an all-around weekend shirt — tough enough for the shop but with the good looks for (socially distant and outdoor) drinks with friends. The Curry color is great, with more of a brown tone than yellow.
Outerknown makes a big performance claim with this shirt “Tougher than a flannel…one of the best fabrics you can wear in cold weather.”
While I can’t yet judge if it is tougher than a flannel in practice, it certainly seems so. The density of moleskin fabric does make it a great cold weather shirt, as claimed. I found that it does a great job cutting the wind. For me, it’s comfortable on its own even into the low 50s °F, while also breathing well and still being comfortable inside.
Ben brought up the question of if the areas of wear get shiny like corduroy, it doesn’t seem like they do — I’m guessing because the whole outer face is brushed. This is a tough shirt that will get better over time.
Outerknown did a great job with this modern take on a moleskin shirt. I’ve been wearing it every weekend since it’s been cool enough, and foresee it being a go-to piece throughout the rest of the fall and winter.
Great value at the full price of $98, and a steal on sale. Highly recommended.
Note: This pullover was provided by Faherty Brand for review purposes.
With the pandemic and work from home still part of daily life, a good pullover has become an essential part of my wardrobe now that the weather is changing. My office is located in one of the cooler portions of my house, so I often find myself adding and removing layers throughout the day. Lacking a nice looking pullover, I had been resorting to a sweatshirt or one of my technical mid-layers, not the best look for video calls. Enter the Faherty Brand Epic Quilted Fleece Pullover which solved that and more.
The fabric is a three-layer, double-knit jacquard. The faces are cotton with a poly layer in the middle for insulation, bringing the content to 67% cotton, 33% polyester. An interesting part of the material is that rather than being stitched, the quilting looks like it’s fused through the fabric — no loose threads here.
The hand feel of the fabric is super soft, which is likely why the care instructions are to machine wash cold, inside out — the website states tumble dry low while the tag says lay flat dry. I haven’t seen any pilling on either side though, so that’s a great sign for long term durability. One note: it does not dry quickly.
Fit and Style
I am on the cusp of L/XL sizing, and since the large short sleeve button down I have from them fits closely, I decided to go with the XL for plenty of room for layering. A large would likely have fit, but I’ve been enjoying the extra room.
Faherty Brand states “”Sweatshirt-level comfort with extra polish” was our M.O. when designing this midweight layer.” and I think they hit that spot on. The quilting, chest pocket, snaps, and ribbed cuffs and hem make this a great looking layer. I’d have no problems wearing it into the office.
This pullover exceeded my expectations in performance. I was able to wear it over a t-shirt on a windy 40 °F day and be comfortable outside walking the dog. The ribbed hem was welcome here, keeping the wind out.
It also breathes well enough that I was also completely comfortable inside. The snap neck adds to the versatility, allowing for some adjustment of heat retention.
The only downside to the performance is how long it takes to dry. Definitely not something you’d want exposed to wet weather.
The Epic Quilted Fleece Pullover is just that, epic. It looks great from casual to business casual and is comfortable in a wide range of temperatures.
While I likely would have hesitated with the $148 price point before wearing it, but I think it’s fairly priced for the level of finish and quality of the materials.
It’s also available in a CPO style, for anyone who prefers a jacket over a pullover.
On Wednesday, we will be publishing the first issue of our newsletter The Editorial.
Here we hope to give you a behind the scenes look at what we talk about as part of the execution of Everyday Wear. We also will share our posts since the last issue, as well as sales or other things worth checking out.
In the first issue, we will to take you through our thoughts on boots, which stemmed from some discussions of what post-pandemic Men’s footwear will look like.
You can sign-up below if you are interested.
Taylor Stitch has quite a few standard items that they make in different fabrics. The Camp Pant is one of them, and I’ve been testing the pants in the Dark Olive Boss Duck. You can also find these in Corduroy, Wool, Herringbone, and Reverse Sateen.
Let’s dive in.
Boss Duck is Taylor Stitch’s workwear fabric. I believe there were iterations before this version, but here it is a 12 oz., light stone washed blend of 54% hemp, 30% recycled polyester, 14% organic cotton, 2% spandex.
That’s a mouthful, but what it comes down to is a heavy, tough workwear fabric that feels soft from the start. When I looked up the content, I was surprised to see the spandex listed. I hadn’t noticed any stretch in the fabric while wearing, but now that I’m looking for it, I can feel it by hand as just a slight stretch in the horizontal direction.
The hemp content here is what helps increase the fabric’s strength, gives it a great texture, and gives it some performant features.
Fit & Style
The Camp Pant and the more workwear styled The Chore Pant share a cut. I find it to be relaxed without looking baggy or sloppy and something that should fit in well with the trend towards less slim pants. These styles also come with a button, rather than zip fly.
The fit is spot on where you don’t ever feel restricted, even though the fabric doesn’t really have stretch to speak of. This is also helped by the availability of even and odd waist sizing, as you can make sure you have a good waist fit. This is important because the waist is the only place I occasionally noticed the lack of stretch.
To be noted — this fabric comes in the old 36” inseam, but they are currently transitioning to 34” inseam and offering free mail-in tailoring.
This style could find its way into a business casual wardrobe (front slash pockets, rear patch pockets), although not in this fabric. The hemp texture, for me at least, keeps it in the casual realm. It looks really sharp with a flannel or other casual shirt for the weekend.
The high hemp content of this fabric not only helps with the durability and abrasion resistance, but also with the breathability. I found these pants to have a wider range of comfortable temperatures than a standard cotton or cotton/poly workwear pant in this weight.
Even though they are breathable enough for a warmer day or heavy work, I also found that the weave of the fabric seems to keep cold wind from cutting through the pants — something I was wondering about when wearing these comfortably before the temperatures dropped. I’d call these three-season.
The Camp Pant in Olive Boss Duck is a great use of workwear fabric in a less-casual cut. These are at home anywhere from on the weekend hanging out with friends, to chopping wood or woodworking. The fabric is three-season for the northeast temperatures, and wouldn’t be too heavy for the colder months down south. They come broken-in, and I expect them to only soften up more with wear.
At $128 they are certainly on the high end of the pricing spectrum. I’m not sure I’d pay quite that much for them, but if you can grab them during one of Taylor Stitch’s sales, I think they are a great value.
The chore coat seems to be the new hot outerwear item this Fall. I’ve been wearing the Wellen Stretch Chore Coat for a few months now, with a lot of wear recently with the cooler weather.
This jacket is a lighter hemp canvas made from 66% organic cotton, 32% hemp, 2% spandex.
The texture looks like a tough canvas, but the hand-feel is quite soft since it is garment washed. The 2% spandex adds a slightly noticeable stretch while the hemp adds strength and breathability.
Overall, this seems like it will be a long-wearing, casual fabric.
Fit & Style
The jacket is listed as a “tailored, athletic cut” as well as a “Classic workwear silhouette made with sustainable materials you can feel good about wearing”. I’d put it more towards that tailored cut. I ended up with a XL, which is listed as a 48” chest (I have a 44” chest). It has room for layering with a heavy flannel, but wouldn’t fit something bulky like a hoodie. So if you want to wear this over a thick insulation layer, size up.
Style-wise this is fully casual workwear. Something that can look good with a flannel and boots, but not something that you are going to dress up or wear to an office job. The patch pockets and shank buttons work well with the style.
The performance is in the hemp content of the fabric. When I first got this jacket, it was still warm out, but the jacket was comfortable even in the 60s (ºF) — the hemp makes it quite breathable. I could even see this being a shirt to throw on over a t-shirt in the summer when you need some extra protection. While I haven’t abused it yet, the fabric seems like it will hold up quite well to the abrasion of using it for woodworking or the like.
The stretch content is not very noticeable in the hand, I don’t feel my motion ever being restricted, so it must be doing something since the cut is a bit tailored. Likely the splits at the side seams also help when the jacket is buttoned.
The pockets are what make a chore coat have its unique style and functionality. Here the lower two patch pockets are dual-entry, meaning you can store something in the top opening, while having a side opening available to warm your hands. There also is a generous interior chest pocket for something like a phone or wallet and an exterior chest pocket.
The functioning sleeve buttons also add to the performance, allowing you to easily roll up the sleeves
The Stretch Chore Coat from Wellen is a worthy contender in the sea of chore coats that have been coming out for the Fall. The lighter weight but durable fabric makes it a very versatile piece. A great option if you are going for a comfortable and casual chore coat or something you want to do heavy work in. Currently on sale for $75 ($128 retail price), it is a great deal. Recommended.
Note: These shorts were provided free of charge by Pistol Lake for review.
I’ve been wearing Pistol Lake since they released their Minimalist Tee (our review). They recently updated their All-Around Shorts, taking into account customer feedback, and I was excited to give them a try as they looked like a good combination of workout and casual shorts (more on this later).
These shorts are made from a 90% nylon/10% spandex blend with four-way stretch and a DWR coating. Weighing in at 213 gsm, it is a substantial fabric, but the weight doesn’t take away from the comfort, it simply adds to the durability.
There is no technical sheen here, and minimal texture — the fabric just blends in.
The inside of the fabric does have more of a texture with very low loops, making it feel comfortable against the skin.
Unfortunately, there is some “technical swoosh” while walking. It did tone down some with washing, but I don’t expect it to ever go completely away.
Fit & Style
The fit is great. It is slightly tailored to help make the shorts more versatile, but not so much that they don’t work for exercise. The size chart is spot on (just remember that the waist measurements are actual and not vanity sizing). The 9” inseam works well for me and is a nice middle ground for versatile shorts.
I’ve both worn these out of the house and for working out, and think they do well in both situations. They are certainly a step above gym shorts for casual wear, but remain casual.
The only negatives to the style are the lack of a button (they are elastic waist) and the pocket flare. Pistol Lake did reduce pocket flare with the 2.0 variant, but it’s still there for me, especially on the right side pocket where the cell phone pouch is located.
These shorts perform well. They stay out of the way, don’t bind, and don’t soak up sweat or get clammy. They seem breathable, but I wasn’t able to test them in hot weather.
Being elastic waistband, I’m glad they don’t have an external draw string, but found it strange there was not an internal one. While I didn’t feel like I needed a drawstring, it always is a nice addition on these shorts that are designed to be worn anywhere.
Pistol Lake also included their secure phone pocket, here as a snap secure pocket inside the right front pocket.
They “reshaped pocket bags so they fall toward the middle/outer part of the thigh” for the 2.0 version, and I think the pockets are great — nice and deep without allowing your phone or other larger objects to fall over/twist. There also is a nice back pocket, adding to the feel of them not just being workout shorts.
Pistol Lake did a great job making a pair of shorts that can be versatile. At a price point of $74, they represent a good value. Much cheaper than the New Ways and not too much more than a workout only pair of shorts.
The only caveats are the noise and slight pocket flare, but I don’t think that detracts from the value enough to not recommend these shorts. While not the best out there, they are certainly worth a look, especially at the price.
Lululemon has had their ABC line of mens’ pants around for a while, and they are widely talked about on the travel/one bag Reddit community. A long ways back I tried on some in a store and was not super impressed, but decided to finally give them a try with their new “Warpstreme” fabric.
Specifically, I tried the ABC Pant Classic Warpstreme.
These pants are made with Lululemon’s four-way stretch Warpstreme fabric, which is 100% polyester. It is heavier than I’d have expected and is smooth and has minimal texture.
While walking, these pants do make noise, and especially in bright light, they have a sheen that gives them away as technical — no mistaking these for your standard chinos.
Quite a few claims are made about these pants, so I’ll go through each:
- Shape retention: seems to be there, haven’t had any bagging out between washes, remains to be seen how this holds up long term. I’m guessing some of this comes because there is no elastane to stretch/wear out.
- Quick-drying: these dry about as expected for heavier polyester pants. Nothing magic, but will dry overnight.
- Four-way stretch: yep, these are stretchy. Not the stretchiest I’ve tried, but very comfortable.
- Breathable: in the summer heat and humidity, I didn’t find these very comfortable, so I’d challenge this feature.
- Wrinkle resistant: yep, no wrinkles, ready to wear right from the washer.
- Feels smooth & falls softly away from the body: not sure this is a positive, but true.
The performance features are rounded out by a crotch gusset, a nicely done hidden zipper in the right back pocket, and reflective tape inside the outside seams that is visible when the pant leg is rolled up, for bicycle commuters.
Fit & Style
These pants come in both a “Classic” and “Slim” cut. I have the Classic variation, and I’d say it fits straight with room in the seat and thighs, all while not being baggy. The fit works well for me and the style is classic five-pocket.
With no-to-minimal break, you wouldn’t ID these as technical fabric, but the drape seems like it could be off if you prefer more break. The sheen and noise, however, do give these away. While the sheen isn’t noticeable in normal indoor light, it really shows in the sun or harsh lighting.
The final straw to keep these pants from blending in is the seam across the back of the knee, these typically are added to very technical pants to keep the pants from binding when you bend your knee. It is disappointing that Lululemon decided to add these here, as with four-way stretch, they shouldn’t be needed.
I purchased the “Obsidian” color, which I expected to be grey (as it looks in the Lululemon website photos), but it turned out to be a blue-grey, leaning towards the blue side.
These pants retail for $128, and I don’t think they are worth that price. There are numerous other pants we’ve reviewed that fit in this category (high stretch but good looks) that are better (Olivers Passage Pant, Western Rise Diversion Pant, Aether Kelso Pant).
If you live somewhere where it’s hard (or expensive) to get our other picks, these aren’t bad, but wait for a good sale.
Jungmaven focuses on hemp-forward, casual apparel, and has been at it since the early 90s. The founder is a founding member of the industry association that helped make growing hemp legal again in the US. They are now working on helping to increase production and build the infrastructure to knit hemp in the US.
When I saw this mission and how long they’ve had to perfect the hemp tee, I grabbed their Baja Tee to try during a sale about a month ago.
The fabric is a mid-weight 7 oz. 55% hemp/45% organic cotton blend. This is the fabric they started with and I think it shows. The weight (they compare an average cotton tee at 5 oz.) makes it substantial and gives it a natural drape and handfeel.
Being a majority hemp blend, the fabric does have a slightly rough look to it, making it casual without looking worn out or sloppy. Hemp also gets softer with each wash while still remaining strong, making it a great choice for a casual shirt.
This t-shirt performs much better than its weight. Typically a 7 oz. fabric would be too warm for the summer, but with the breathability and moisture wicking of the hemp, this shirt remained comfortable, even on days into the 90s °F. The heavier weight also makes it nice when moving in and out of air conditioning, as it seems to keep that “AC chill” away.
As discussed by Jungmaven, hemp also has antibacterial properties and sheds dirt more readily than other materials. I found these claims to be true, as I got at least 3-5 wears out of the shirt between each wash.
The only area where this shirt is lacking is in its’ drying ability. When it gets wet, it takes a long while to dry. While the breathability keeps me dry while wearing it, when I got stuck in a rainstorm, I had to change shirts when I got home.
Fit and Style
This shirt has a great fit that I think is coming back in style, it is a little boxy and shorter than most of my XL tees, but in a good way.
The fit combined with the fabric makes puts it solidly in the casual category. The natural drape and classic look keep it looking good (and much better than a workout tee for those work from home video calls).
The Baja Tee has been my most worn t-shirt since I got it at the beginning of August. The weight and style make it perfect for working from home and around town. I think it will continue to get a lot of wear into the Fall, due to the great weight.
Highly recommended, and if you like something a lighter, there also is a 5 oz. fabric in the same blend.