Whenever I have a consultation with a client and ask if they run “hot” or “cold” about 95% of the time men tell me they run “hot”. This alone tells you there is a huge need for clothing that won’t absorb sweat and need to be washed or dry cleaned after each wear. Sound too good to be true? Let me tell you a bit about technical wear!
When you hear the term “technical wear” your mind jumps to gym clothing, but there’s a whole other world that you might not know of. Now days technical wear can be button down shirts, dress shirts, chinos, slacks, jeans, socks and underwear. If you hate wrinkles, sweat a lot, bike to work, travel or shrink your clothes… your problems are about to be solved. Come take an airy walk through the wonderful world of day to day technical wear!
What is Day to Day Technical Wear?
Modern technical wear takes fabrics gym clothes are made out of and converts them to everyday wearable designs like dress shirts, blazers, pants and suits. These garments offer excellent breathability, stretch and quality. Unlike traditional cotton clothing that can shrink or hold stains, tech wear is made up of synthetic materials like rayon and polyester, but with added softness. This is important to note because not everyone loves the feeling of synthetic fabrics, but if you want the benefits I mentioned, they are worth at least a try.
Photo Credit: @ministryofsupply
That photo above is no joke, one of the founders of Ministry of Supply, a technical wear brand, ran a half marathon in one of their suits. I’m telling you, if you are looking for breathability, moisture wicking, and odor controlling clothing, you’ve struck gold!
Brands Worth Checking Out
Are you ready for the days your jeans won’t rip when you bike or your shirt isn’t drenched after a dance off at a wedding? Awesome! Below are a coupe of brands that nail both style and quality.
Photo Credit: Ministry of Supply
Ministry of Supply is a pretty cool brand! If you have to dress up for work or travel a lot, their selection of dress shirts, blazers, polos, sweaters, pants and shorts will hit the spot. Made for movability, breathability and easy care, their clothes promise that and so much more. Their price ranges from $40 for a t-shirt to $495 for a blazer. Don’t let the price tag deter you, these clothes are meant to last for a while, so consider these a long term purchase. Keep a lookout for promotions like getting 15% off 3 or more of the same category, which they do often. Also, they offer free shipping and free returns, who doesn’t love that?
Photo Credit: Mizzen + Main
Mizzen + Main has been making waves with their dress and button down shirts. They even started carrying henleys, polo shirts, tuxedo shirts and accessories that have the same promise of wicking sweat, durability, easy care and stretch. What I like about M+M is they offer trim, standard and tall sizes and have a size finder on their website. Prices range from $55 for henleys to $125 for dress shirts. Keep a look out for promotions to score a deal. They offer free shipping and free returns and even Nordstrom carries them.
Photo Credit: Outlier NYC
If you are in the market for a pair of pants that will last you for years, Outlier is your brand. I really like Outlier for their quality and style. Most notably, their pants have won the hearts of many guys by coming in slim versions. Outlier offers denim, chino and dress pant styles you can wear to work, traveling and beyond. Their pants don’t come cheap, but the quality pays for itself. In addition to their pants, you can find shirting made out of merino wool, which don’t absorb odor and give you excellent breathability. Pants start at $198.
Photo Credit: Theory
Although Theory is not a tech first brand, they have excellent technical pieces season to season. Their Neoteric pants have a lot of stretch and movability, perfect for biking and traveling. I’ve put clients in their pants and they instantly fall in love with the style, fit and comfort. Theory makes slim and regular fits to keep you looking modern. Their pants start at $195, but keep a look out for sales at Bloomingdales or Nordstrom Rack to score a deal.
Photo Credit: Twillory
Men have been loving Twillory’s dress shirts. They offer dozens of patterns and keep their promise of easy care, moisture wicking, cooling tech, wrinkle resistant, and most importantly, comfort and stretch! From basic blue to classic plaids, you get plenty of choice. The shirts go for 2 for $119 or $55 each if you buy 4 or more, making them less expensive than the other brands I listed. With guaranteed fit and free shipping and returns, it’s definitely worth it to give these a go!
Photo Credit: Betabrand
This San Francisco brand has a special place in my heart because they are right in my neighborhood! Betabrand plays around with fun prints through their shirts and jackets as well as keeps comfort top of mind through their pants. If you want dress clothing to be bike, travel and karate kick friendly, they have your back. I especially like the pants color selection and appreciate they come in slim and ankle cut fits for a modern style. They also have bike friendly jeans!
What Should You Try?
Alright, now you’re curious and want to get your hands on one of these items and see what the fuss is all about. I say do it! Start with a classic white dress shirt. Next time you have to travel or attend a wedding, give this baby a spin and see how it goes. I have some friends who dance up a storm at weddings and really appreciate the stretch and moisture wicking technology. Best of all, you don’t need to iron them!
Since summer is coming up and you might have travel plans, also consider shorts or pants. Imagine being able to take one pair of bottoms that you can rewear without washing them when traveling. Sounds great right?
Wait, Let’s Not Forget Underwear
So you have your shirts, blazer, pants and henleys, but what about what goes underneath them all? Yes, underwear matters and finding a great one can really be a game changer. Here are a couple of brands that are killing it in the technical underwear game that you should check out. Type of underwear is a personal choice, but you can’t really go wrong with boxer briefs or trunks.
Photo Credit: Mack Weldon
If you’re open to upgrading your underwear, Mack Weldon is a name that says quality, comfort and longevity. They don’t come cheap at $24 a pair, but once you try them, you’ll never look back. Note: if you spend $100, you can get 10% off and if you spend $200, you can get 20% off on their site. Mack Weldon also offer loungewear, socks and basics like polo shirts and t-shirts.
Photo Credit: MeUndies
Alright, maybe you’re not ready to jump into a pair of Mack Weldon’s, no problem. Give MeUndies a try! I especially like MeUndies because they come in fun patterns that you probably wouldn’t gravitate towards on your own. Funky patterns not your thing? They have solids for the guys who like to keep it classic. MeUndies are made of Micro-Modal, which is a soft and lightweight fabric built to last. Undies go for $24, but if you subscribe, you can get a pair every month for $16. You can also get packs of 3, 5 or 10 that range from $15 to $18 a pair. MeUndies also offers lounge wear, t-shirts and socks.
Photo Credit: Uniqlo
MeUndies and Mack Weldon still seem a little out there? Give Uniqlo Airism a go! I love the Airism undershirts and their underwear should be coveted too! With each pair going for $9.90, these are definitely worth a try. Airism offers cooling technology that releases heat and moisture and is very breathable. If you like the underwear, definitely get an undershirt too. Tip: I always tell clients to go for the V neck undershirts because I don’t like when undershirts show.
Has your mind been blown by all that’s going on in the world of technical wear? It’s amazing to see that comfort and quality is taking a priority with day to day wear. Once you see the performance of these garments, it’ll be hard to go back to basic cotton. Like I said, some of these items cost a little more than the average, but you’ll be getting many more years of wear out of them, so don’t think small.