GORUCK just launched their X-mas in July Sale with some great deals on their bags and clothing (although it is all final sale). A perennial favorite of ours is the GR1. If you are looking for some durable and performance workout clothing that can do double duty for everyday and travel (our general discussion), Ben loves the Stealth Polo and always travels with the Simple Pants as a backup pair.
When Everlane had their 25% off sale, I decided to take the opportunity to try The Performance Polo. Everlane bills this polo as “A modern polo for those who want performance comfort—without the technical fabric look or feel.” While it does somewhat live up to that claim, there are some shortcomings.
The polo is built from a 93% cotton, 7% elastane pique knit fabric. There is a good amount of stretch to the fabric.
Everlane only notes it as a two-way stretch, but in the hand it stretches in both directions. They also claim that the fabric is anti-microbial, so there must be some type of treatment on the fabric (which sometimes can wash out), although it is not disclosed.
It should be noted that this is a polo that has to go into the dryer to come out wearable. When I tried my normal hang-dry, it was unwearably wrinkly. With just two washes, the edges of the collar and sleeves are starting to look slightly worn.
Overall, this polo performs like a slightly upgraded cotton polo, but let’s dive into the specific claims made.
- Two-way stretch: Yep, it’s there, and feels more like four-way stretch to me. This is one of the highlights.
- Sweat-wicking: Nope, it performs like cotton.
- Quick-drying: Again, it’s cotton. Maybe it dries slightly faster due to the elastane content, but nothing to write home about.
- Anti-microbial: I can get a solid two days of wear, but since this property likely comes from some type of treatment it could wash out over time.
Fit & Style
The fit here is good, I’d say its a nice straight fit polo, not slim but not baggy either. The length is perfect for wearing untucked, which matches the style, as this is definitely on the more casual side of polo.
The hidden buttons make it look a little different and refined (although it makes it a pain to do the buttons).
One deal breaker for a polo is a floppy collar, and while the collar doesn’t look horrible here, it definitely isn’t sharp.
If you want a performance polo, look elsewhere. If you are set on a casual cotton polo with stretch, or you really like the hidden buttons, you might be happy as you do get an added bonus of odor-resistance.
Overall, $38 isn’t a bad price, but it’s not something I recommend.
I picked up the Faherty Brand All Day Shorts from a Nordstrom sale over the winter to see how they stack up against the gold standard Outlier New Way Longs (our review). Now that it is finally shorts season, I’ve been able to wear them through some warm weather.
Faherty updated the fabric here slightly for 2020 — my pair is 80% recycled polyester, 12% cotton, 8% elastane; the new blend is 75/17/8%. When I went to look at the tag to write this review, I was surprised there was any cotton at all as the fabric behaves like a 100% synthetic.
I find the material extremely breathable with just a slight stretch, the only caveat is that it has a slight technical sheen and swish. The heathering in the color helps hide the technical nature some (and I imagine the cotton helps as well), but the smoothness and drape of the fabric gives it away.
With the higher cotton content in the updated fabric, I’d expect the shorts to look slightly “more normal”. Faherty also claims “increased movement and breathability” with this change.
The performance of these shorts is excellent. They breath well and dry extremely quickly, something that is a requirement for versatile shorts. They also bead water well, a DWR is not specified but I suspect one was applied to the fabric.
Since these shorts are advertised for everyday and swimwear, there are some nice swim-ready features. The mesh bottoms of both of the side pockets and the (hidden) zippered back pocket help water drain out, and the internal drawstring allows you to tighten the waist without a belt.
Fit & Style
Faherty did a nice job with the cut of these shorts. I would say they have similar styling to the New Ways — tailored like a dress pant. This is what I look for now in a versatile short, and is why the New Ways are the standard. A functioning zipper fly is also a must and these check that box. The only shortcoming in the pair I have is the lack of belt loops, but they are now an option.
Looks-wise, the fabric gives away that these are technical, but I don’t think it takes away too much from the style. They also aren’t scarred with zippers and logos.
Another part of the update on these shorts is the availability of a 7” inseam (along with the 9” inseam on my pair). With inseam options and quite a few odd waist sizes, it shouldn’t be hard to get the perfect fit.
The All Day Shorts live up to their name and look good for everyday wear while performing for a hike or a swim. At $98, these are about 30% less expensive than the New Way Longs.
While they haven’t ousted the Outlier shorts from their top position, I think they are a worthy second, especially given their lower price point (and the much higher chance that you can find them on sale). These are going to get quite a bit of wear from me this summer.
Note: This shirt was provided by Outerknown for review purposes.
Now that it has finally warmed up here, I’ve gotten a chance to give the Outerknown BBQ Shirt a good test. The shirt is a camp style, so perfect for summer. While not a style I’d have picked on my own, I loved it as soon as I put it on, and it will definitely be in my rotation for casual summer wear.
The material is a lightweight 93% organic cotton, 7% hemp blend. Looking at the shirt, you’d expect it to be 100% cotton, but the addition of hemp adds some performance without compromising on the softness or texture. Of course, being from Outerknown, they also use corozo buttons here adding to the sustainability of the shirt.
The shirt comes out of the wash looking fairly wrinkled, but after hanging to dry, it is ready to wear. This is something I don’t often see with all or high cotton button-ups and was surprising. This makes it a no fuss and an easy choice.
Even though it doesn’t have a high hemp content, this shirt is light and very breathable. It keeps cool in the heat, although it hasn’t seen hot and humid summer weather yet I expect it to perform there as well. The performance of the hemp definitely comes through here in the breathability.
Of course this is a one or two wear shirt, but that’s not a surprise. The fabric dries quickly for a cotton blend though, and the lack of wrinkles makes it easy to toss in the wash and have it ready to wear the next day.
Fit & Style
The shirt is described as a “Classic Fit”, so it fits on the casual side, but not so much that it looks like you threw on your dad’s camp shirt from the 80s. I think it is spot on for this style of shirt.
I love how they interpreted the classic camp shirt. The style can sometimes be quite open in the neck, but the top button is higher here, so it works for me.
This shirt is going to be a top pick from my closet for summer evenings and weekends. If you are looking for a casual, comfortable, natural fiber shirt for the summer, the Outerknown BBQ Shirt is worth a look.
When I saw the Elements Jacket from Proof (a Huckberry brand), it looked like a good-looking lightweight jacket, something that was missing in my wardrobe. Since we’ve had good experiences with other Proof pieces, I decided to give it a try.
The fabric is what Proof calls ThermoTech (73% cotton, 24% polyester, 3% wool) with the claim that it “heats itself as you wear it, allowing you to stay warm without being weighed down with a super thick jacket”.
I was skeptical of that claim before trying the jacket, but it is a warmer jacket than it appears. I’ve found it to be comfortable down to about 40° F — much cooler than I had expected; yet still breathable enough to put on over a t-shirt or short sleeve polo in the 60s.
This is a great looking fabric. It has no technical sheen, and has an interesting texture.
The lining is 100% polyester, designed to make it easier to put on and take off the jacket. It does a great job, with no need to hold your cuffs to keep them from sliding up. To prevent cutting the breathability of the jacket with too much polyester, the lining in the body is mesh.
The performance here is excellent, in addition to keeping me warm in cooler temperatures than expected, the jacket blocks wind very well. Even on a chilly, breezy morning, I was comfortable walking around with just a midweight long sleeve tee underneath; this could go even colder with a sweater or heavy shirt underneath.
When warmer out, the jacket manages moisture well, so you remain comfortable even if you get a bit sweaty. This is where the two-way zipper comes in handy as well — you can open up the bottom to get some extra airflow.
The only negative is that since the fabric seems to retain heat like the claims discuss, it stays warm once you go inside. I always find myself at least un-zipping the jacket immediately, and if I was warm outside, often taking it off.
Proof also touts the water-resistance of the jacket. While a DWR isn’t specified, it reacts to a light drizzle like it is treated with one.
Fit & Style
The fit and style of this jacket are spot on to fit perfectly into the spot of a lightweight jacket for business casual that can also be dressed down for the weekend.
The XL fits me close, but with enough room to layer with a sweater for colder weather.
The hand pockets, button-flap chest pocket, and button snap cuffs add to the utility, and sharp look of the jacket. There is also an internal pocket towards the bottom of the jacket.
The Proof Elements Jacket is going to be my go-to for a lighter jacket that looks good while performing. Being lightweight and sharp looking but comfortable in a fairly wide temperature range, this is great jacket for work, travel, and around town.
Currently on sale for $111, I think this jacket offers an excellent value, and would purchase it again even at the full $148 price.
Beyond Clothing has been on my radar for a while, as they stand out from the numerous other outdoor performance clothing brands by building their whole line around a layering system. Every piece is designated as L1 through L8, making it easy to build your optimal layering system, with sizing to match. To make it even easier, they have a pre-designed matrix for functionality in climates anywhere from Hot (106 to 75° F) all the way down to Polar (-70 to -40° F).
While I’ve only been able to try it out at home and around the neighborhood, it has been a nice layering piece to keep warm, and definitely has earned them a spot on my list of brands to consider for outdoor gear.
The fabric here is Beyond Clothing’s 7.9 oz. Verso Weave™ 94% polyester/6% spandex. If you are familiar with Patagonia’s R1 fleece (a grid fleece), this is similar, except the grid is circles. They also went as far as using a lighter grid of circles on the side panels and under the arms to help vent excess heat while active.
Overall the fabric is stretchy, breathable, and comfortable, exactly what is needed for a good baselayer.
The performance here is great. It is a bit warmer than R1 fleece (the fabric here is 1 oz. heavier), but the lighter side panels help improve breathability even further.
Beyond describes the use case as “Below 45° F as either a next-to-skin or over an L1.”, however, I found it comfortable while sitting at my desk at 65° F — that shows the versatility, and also difference between active and non-active wear.
The long zip, higher collar, and ample hood make this a very versatile piece. You can dump heat with the zipper wide open or zip it all the way up for a snug fit around your neck and head to keep you toasty warm.
The stretch also makes the layer extremely comfortable, and I find it to be more stretchy than the R1.
Unfortunately, being mostly polyester, there is no odor control here. Over a shirt being non-active, I can get a good number of wears out of it, but I imagine it will get smelly pretty quickly when sweating.
Fit & Style
The fit here is athletic and what you’d expect from a second baselayer. Even though I got the “Regular” and not “Long” length (they recommend “Regular” for up to 6’2”), the body is still plenty long to tuck in if worn as part of a layering system.
The thumb holes are a nice touch to keep the sleeves from riding up as you put other layers over top. When not using the thumb holes, this makes the sleeves a bit long. There is also a small pocket on the left sleeve for something like a key or card.
Style wise, we are firmly in the outdoor performance category here. This isn’t going to be a layer for when you get chilly at the office or in a cold restaurant.
The Celeris Pullover will definitely stay in my rotation and will probably replace my R1 in my outdoors setup, depending on how the odor-resistance is once I get this sweaty.
If you are looking for a versatile outdoors-forward midweight baselayer hoodie, this one is definitely worth consideration. If you want something that can work more broadly style wise, the Patagonia R1 might be a better fit.
When I saw Everlane’s $50 denim sale back in March, I decided to give The Performance Jean from their Uniform collection a try — all Uniform pieces can be replaced if they fail or you are dissatisfied within 365 days of purchase. With that guarantee and at such a low price, it made it an easy decision to give them a try.
These jeans are made of a four-way stretch 94% organic cotton, 2% elastane, 4% other fiber. The “other fiber” seems unusual to me, but I’m betting it is something for extra stretch.
The Dark Indigo color I got is a nice mid-dark color, what I’d consider a standard dressier jeans color.
Fit & Style
Based on the size chart, I went with the Athletic fit. That gives a little extra room in the seat/hips and the thighs, which works well for me as the stretch is only slightly noticeable.
Being a larger company, there also is the benefit of Everlane offering odd-sized waists, four lengths, and four fits, so it should be pretty easy for anyone to dial in a great fit.
Style wise, these aren’t anything special. They are standard, athletic fit jeans with a little stretch — nothing more or less.
The athletic fit combined with the slight stretch makes these jeans comfortable, and about on par performance-wise with other stretch jeans you can find at this price point.
Surprisingly, the jeans bag out a little in the thighs and seat between washes (although the waist didn’t stretch). I’m guessing this has something to do with the 4% “other fiber” content.
I found these jeans to be average and about the same as other “performance” (meaning a little stretch) jeans you can find at this price point. The stretch and slight bagging out are what you’ll find in most of them.
Overall, not recommended.
Note: these pants were provided for review by Outerknown.
I’ve been really enjoying my Outerknown Sur Sweatshirt (our review) ever since I purchased it over the winter, so when I got a chance to give their Verano Beach Pants a try, I jumped on it, especially given the current work from home situation.
Another benefit of Outerknown is their dedication to sustainability, sometimes that is just greenwashing, but it seems like Outerknown has demonstrated their seriousness here.
Of course, no can make a bad piece of clothing good, so let’s take a look.
These pants are made from a 7 oz, 55% hemp, 45% organic cotton in a soft twill weave.
Even though the fabric content is the same as the Sur Sweatshirt, the weight and weave give this a whole different feel. While not a lightweight fabric, the fabric doesn’t have a heavy drape, and seems like it would be reasonably cool in the heat. There also isn’t any of that hemp roughness that can be in some hemp-heavy fabric blends.
The only negative to the fabric is that it gets quite fuzzy and a little bit pilly with the first wash, but it doesn’t seem to get worse.
Fit & Style
These pants are intended to be “trousers that wear more like joggers” and the claim is also made that “You could sleep in these and then wear them to a meeting and no one would think twice.”
As far as the fit, I agree they are trousers that fit like joggers. The elastic waistband and interior drawstring tie push them into the “joggers” category, with the shorter length (31 inseam on the XL) pushing them all the way over the edge. I was between the L and XL, so went with the XL. The elastic in the waistband isn’t particularly stretch/strong, so I do find myself relying on the tie if I have anything in my pockets.
As far as wearing these pants to a meeting, I don’t think I could get away with it for any meeting I’ve ever been to. Then again, Outerknown leans towards a west coast beach style, so maybe there are cases where these would be appropriate for a meeting. However, I can see that the slash side pockets and button back pocket do add a little extra towards the “less casual, casual” nature of these pants.
These have been great pants to wear while working from home. They are extremely comfortable (although not stretchy) and are warm enough for our still cool days here in the northeast. When taking the dog for a walk on some windy days, I did notice that these blocked the wind better than any of the synthetic joggers I own.
The magic of hemp here is that I think they will still be comfortable in the summer, as hemp in fabrics like this tends to breathe well.
The Verano Beach Pants will continue to be a comfortable pair of pants for around the house for me. I look forward to seeing how they perform as the weather warms up.
If you can push the casual style of these further, they could be a great, non-synthetic, summer replacement for jeans, as they are half the weight of a typical pair. Just keep in mind the fuzzy texture the fabric takes on. They also work well as a pair of casual pants for around the house, especially if you are looking for a more unique fabric blend or something different.
Note: some of the items discussed here were provided for no charge, see the reviews for more details.
We want to start by saying, if you are in an unsure financial position, or there isn’t anything you need, we are not advocating that you go out and spend a bunch of money. However, if you’ve been eyeing something, now’s a good time to save some money and support some small businesses through these tough times. Also, we will keep this post updated as we find new deals or deals expire (Updated 4/16).
Bluffworks is offering 30% off with 10% of sales going to Feeding America (Men’s, Women’s). If you are looking for a new button-up, the Meridian is a good choice (our review) or if you need some more tees before the summer, the Threshold T-Shirt is great (our review).
is having a Spring Flash Sale. The Proof Stretch Flannel (our review) is still available at a bargain price of $29. Also notable are the heavy flannel The Crater Shirt from Taylor Stitch, Proof Elements Jacket, and Flint and Tinder Wayfarer Wool Blazer.
Outlier is offering an unprecedented 15% off
with code S-O-E, or an extra 15% added to a gift card within 10 days of the state of emergency being lifted in NYC with code Final Sale – No Returns, of course, this makes your purchase non-returnable. For a great intro to Outlier, check out any of their pants or shorts (we love Futureworks, Strong Dungarees, and New Way Shorts) or an Ultrafine Merino Tee (our review).
Taylor Stitch is offering
25% off site wide 20-30% off select products with a $20 credit for orders over $200. Some items of interest include their Chore Pant and Camp Pant in their Boss Duck fabric (hemp-blend heavy work fabric) and The Jack in Dusty Blue Hemp
is offering a $50 gift card for each $100 you spend. We’ve reviewed many of their pieces, and you can’t really go wrong. We are really enjoying the Limitless Merino Wool Shirt and Polo (our review) and Diversion Pant (our review) for working from home.
is offering gift cards at a 10% discount that can be used starting April 15th. If you are looking for pure merino performance, you can’t go wrong with any of their offerings, especially their button-down shirts. Ben loves their socks for work, for whenever we get back to the office.
When I saw the Proof Stretch Flannel come up in the clearance section of Huckberry, I couldn’t help but grab one to try. Based on the description, I expected something heavy that wouldn’t get much wear until late Fall, but I was pleasantly surprised.
This shirt is cotton with 2.3% spandex added for stretch. It is more like brushed cotton shirting than flannel to me, which is a nice change over a traditional flannel. This gives it a soft hand while still feeling like it will be durable enough to hold up to weekend work.
The stretch is only slight, but combined with the back pleat, it gives the shirt enough give to move with you.
Fit & Style
The fit is spot on for me. It has a nice tailored cut, without being too slim. It works well either tucked or untucked, and definitely can be dressed up with a pair of chinos.
Some other nice touches that make the shirt more polished than a typical flannel are the button-down collar and the single pocket (without a flap).
The style leans casual, or as a casual Friday shirt for work, but not business casual.
This is a solid, more traditional, cool weather shirt. It breathes well and gives a little extra warmth over a typical cotton shirt. It will definitely continue to get wear into the spring, and I will bring it out again in the fall.
Odor resistance wise, I found this about on par with what I expected — two wears with an undershirt.
Shirts like this can come out of the wash with tons on wrinkles. Here, the wrinkles mostly fall out while hanging to dry and a light iron returns it to a crisp state.
The Proof Stretch Flannel turned out to be better than I expected. While it doesn’t have many performance features, it’s a solid shirt that I will get a lot of wear out of.
It is a steal on sale at $35, and would be at home in many closets (and I recommend the Navy Check, it is sharp).