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

GORUCK X-mas in July Sale

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.

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

GORUCK X-mas in July Sale

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 The Performance Polo

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.

Material

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.

Performance

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.

Overall

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.

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

Everlane The Performance Polo

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

Faherty Brand All Day Shorts

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.

Material

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.

Performance

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.

Overall

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

Faherty Brand All Day Shorts

Outerknown BBQ Shirt

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.

Material

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.

Performance

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.

Overall

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.

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

Outerknown BBQ Shirt

Proof Elements Jacket

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.

Material

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.

Performance

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.

Overall

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.

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

Proof Elements Jacket

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