Apparel

From performance and high-tech to lifestyle & outdoor ‘fashion’ clothing, for men and women.

Gear Review: Atayne POV Tech Shirt

The idea for Atayne, a new sports-apparel company in Arlington, Va., was sparked when red dye from a brand name running shirt unexpectedly bled onto company co-founder Jeremy Litchfield's skin. Since then, Litchfield and his business partner Michael Hall have developed short- and long-sleeve technical shirts made from recycled plastic bottles that are free of toxic chemicals. They use natural Cocona (activated carbon from coconut shells) as a microbial inhibitor. Read More...

January 1, 2009

Gear Review: Wilderness Wear Merino Wool Base Layer

I've never given an I.Q. test to a ram, or an ewe for that matter, but those who have agree that sheep are a notch or two dumber than cows and pigs, and certainly far below dogs. How is it then that sheep are so absolutely astute when it comes to high-performance fabrics? Read More...

December 12, 2008

Review — Merrell Men’s Rove Tech Jacket

Remember those suave Members Only jackets from the '80s? Well, Merrell might hate me for saying it but the Rove Tech Jacket, something I've been wearing all fall, is reminding me of that Reagan-era fashion staple. . . Read More...

November 26, 2008

Review: Mountain Hardwear Quark Jacket

The Quark Jacket from Mountain Hardwear is described as "mosquito netting with a waterproof and breathable laminate." It is indeed light weight, though it does its job to keep rain out while granting a noticeable amount of breathability. . . Read More...

November 10, 2008

Arc’teryx going Aerobic in ’09

Arc'teryx will release multiple collections of aerobic-oriented apparel and outerwear with its spring 2009 line. This is a sneak peek, from tights and running tops to a "skort" designed for mountain marathons. . . Read More...

July 18, 2008

Workout Wear

Preparing for outdoor adventure, be it backpacking, biking or mountain climbing, can require ample time training indoors. Here are a few pieces of apparel -- for men and women -- that make the sweaty work (maybe) somewhat easier. . . Read More...

April 1, 2008

Patagonia Synchilla Marsupial: An “Icon”?

Among the most jaunty and bourgeoisie of gear reviews I wrote this year was a short piece for Travel + Leisure magazine on Patagonia’s Synchilla Marsupial fleece top. It appeared in the publication's November edition. The blurb turned out fine. But it was the context that struck me, as it ran in the magazine's "Icon" section, a column that highlights -- as its name implies -- iconic products in the realm of Converse Chuck Taylors and the VW Bug. . . Read More...

November 29, 2007

Outdoors Clothing Coming of Age, part II

Yesterday I mused on function versus form in the apparel industry, where beauty in design often comes at the cost of versatility, performance or comfort. My argument -- that a niche of young, energetic outdoors-industry companies are the only ones getting clothing right -- might bump up weird with an editor at Glamour or Vogue. But I'm sticking to my guns, and here are a handful of additional apparel products I feel make my point: Read More...

November 20, 2007

Outdoors Clothing Coming of Age, part I

I have a weird theory that the outdoors industry is ahead of the game in the world of clothing and apparel. My logic is that there are companies in this industry that now make nice-looking -- trendy even -- duds that are also -- and this is the kicker -- FUNCTIONAL. Form and function. That old maxim. Yes, my Icebreaker zip turtleneck -- as an example -- looks nice and wicks; and keeps me warm; and has eco advantages; and doesn't need to be washed very often; and . . . Read More...

November 19, 2007

Arc’teryx Alpha LT Jacket

Arc'teryx designs and manufactures outerwear that's pricey, high-performing, and highly modern. According to company press materials, its design team doesn't focus on incremental advancements, but on "radical improvements that heighten the user experience and affect the landscape of the outdoor industry." The Alpha LT Jacket, a $499 shell I put to the test this month, so far has held up to that criteria. . . Read More...

November 6, 2007

Gear Junkie Fashion Week, part II

In this second, brief -- and final! -- installment of my "High style in the great outdoors" coverage, I look at a so-called "windshirt" jacket from Cloudveil, cargo shorts from Horney Toad, and a Nau item that looks transported from the set of Star Wars' Cloud City, with Lando Calrissian as the model. (Sorry for that geek reference there. . . .) Read More...

October 3, 2007

Gear Junkie Fashion Week, part I

High style in the great outdoors used to entail a flannel shirt and some stout leather boots. Now you're as likely to see The North Face on the back of an urban "explorer" flagging a cab in Manhattan as on the summit of K2. I take responsibility as a provocateur of this trend, wearing my Cloudveil and Arborwear and Icebreaker apparel not only in the outdoors, but now maybe just to dinner at the place around the corner. . . Read More...

October 1, 2007

Sneak Peek — Sugoi Helium Jacket

Helium is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, inert element, and it exists only as a noble gas except in extreme conditions. What that has to do with the new Helium jacket from Sugoi is hard to say. But this jacket -- which will block wind, breathe, and keep you warm enough when needed -- is nearly as light as air. Indeed, did I mention its weight? See this scale? 90 grams, or just 3 ounces! Read More...

August 6, 2007

eVent fabrics overview

Gore-Tex may have the name. But the new kid in town is eVent, a waterproof/breathable laminate manufactured and marketed by the BHA Group Inc., a subsidiary of General Electric Company. Read More...

July 9, 2007
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