Founded by MIT grads, Aman Advani and Gihan Amarasiriwardena, Ministry is a brand that is all about performance. We’re talking dress shirts, blazers, and slacks that promise to stay crease-free and actually move with your body. And, if you’re like any other guy on the planet, well, you know that the average suit and tie get-up isn’t exactly known for its flexibility or cooling technology.
Another Kickstarter clothing brand, Ministry’s hook is, they’ve designed work-appropriate clothing that will keep you as comfortable and sweat-free as your moisture-wicking gym clothes during that stressful meeting or on that crowded train into work.
The Ministry Origins
The idea behind Ministry is, the company set out to create a clothing line that essentially optimizes workwear. The guys started the brand after acknowledging that sweating is kind of a big deal for a lot of guys—especially if you’re wearing traditional button-down shirts during that summer heat wave. Or, maybe you bike to work and don’t want to change in the bathroom.
So, the brand got going on their prototypes—making chinos and dress shirts based on a very of-the-moment merger between athletic clothing and business attire. One of the founders mentioned that these items were made for the guys that want to throw their pants in the wash and wear them for a few days in a row, without looking like a real mess. They then realized that they could do even more and with that, changed the way dress wear is made, creating performance work clothes that are stylish and feel cool and comfortable throughout the day.
Keeping Things Sharp…
Calling it “performance professional,” Ministry began creating a new category of clothing, re-inventing sharp, classic styles for the workplace in fabrics that synchronize with the human body. A writer from Racked aptly dubbed the brand, the Soylent of clothing companies, another attempt at disrupting an industry that maybe didn’t need much disruption.
The company’s mission was to solve the issues of dress clothes that are normally stiff and require lots of maintenance and replacing them with more comfortable clothing by engineering high-performing materials. These materials have more breathability and stretch so that the wearer stays cool and efficient while keeping it professional at the office.
Sounds.. High Tech, How Does It Look?
Okay, so there’s a lot of jargon to sort through. At the end of the day, most of us are after the same thing—clothes that look good, feel good, and last for a long time.
While the company says this on the website, they do not recommend that customers purchase a larger size. This creates a bit of a problem as it is difficult to know how the item will fit unless you try it on. This is a minor drawback in what are otherwise really incredible products.
Ministry has brought technology and innovation—the $115 Apollo 3 shirt features NASA technology--into clothing for the office. No more sweating, or tugging and adjusting your clothes while trying to stay comfortable and maintain your efficiency and productivity in the workplace.
Of course with Ministry’s scientific approach to dressing, they offer a Men’s Movement System—a package that includes a shirt, pants, and a jacket. The science, we suppose is, these three items can be worn together—hardly a revelation… but you can bundle and save.
One of the downsides of the materials used by Ministry is that they can make a piece of clothing a little too snug for, say someone who does not have a six-pack. Little evidence regarding how performance brands like Ministry and Mizzen and Main actually perform. Many of the brands in this workwear 2.0 category tout benefits such as suits that can better regulate your internal temperature.
Performance products really standout in the sense that they give you this feeling of dryness. So, if you’re someone who deals with changing temperatures or sweat when you’re nervous, Ministry’s offerings will prevent that cold after the sweat feeling you’d normally get with a cotton shirt. Cotton absorbs water while polyester wicks it away. The downside is, it can get smelly from interacting with sweat.
The brand has taken some preventative measures here, though. Responsive tees, for example, contain coffee inside the fabric, which offsets the smell-factor you’ll often get with polyester.
In the end, Ministry provides a really unique approach to clothing, one that certainly appeals to those parts of us that want to make our basics better—heck even, NASA featured the Apollo on their site. Again, Ministry makes most sense for the biohacker—the guy who bikes to work and drinks Bulletproof coffee to kick off the day.
As far as fashion is concerned—clothing is very minimal. Shirts come in a few plaids, but you’re mostly getting white, grey, black, and navy. The flashier guy isn’t going to feel he can properly express himself here.