Over the past few years we’ve seen an influx in all things sportswear—women have taken to yoga pants in droves, sweats and sneakers have solidified their place in menswear alongside wingtips and chinos, and we’ve come to expect a little more comfort from our dress codes.
So, naturally, our collective love of all things athletic isn’t going away anytime soon. But, there are a few brands that are taking sportswear concepts and applying them elsewhere. One such example is Mizzen & Main.
The company focuses on making a better dress shirt—namely one that wicks away moisture and works to keep you cool, sweat-free and unwrinkled throughout the day. This unique and innovative approach to creating clothing is what sets Mizzen & Main apart from other menswear brands—but is it working? Let’s take a look at what you can expect from these innovative shirts.
It’s All About Performance Dress Shirts
The dress shirts you find nowadays, even from high-end names, are typically made of fabrics like cotton or polyester, or some type of blend. However, companies like Mizzen & Main are changing the way we look at performance fabrics. It stems from a place of practicality. Mizzen & Main co-founder, Kevin Lavelle got the idea for the moisture-wicking dress shirt during an internship on capitol hill. He saw White House staff sweating profusely through their traditional white shirts—and realized how much that can ruin a look—and ultimately the whole day.
As men, we try to stay dry during warmer months or stressful situations by wearing undershirts or a lot of antiperspirant, but it’s not always effective. The extra layers tend to add more heat, resulting in an uncomfortable day at the office or some kind of special occasion like an outdoor wedding.
The goal of Mizzen & Main is to provide men with dress shirts that not only look great, but also keep them cool and comfortable in a variety of conditions. The performance materials that the company uses to make men’s shirts that stretch and breathe and wick away moisture. Mizzen & Main has changed the way that office clothing feels. From the 1950s no-iron innovation, to the latest in shirt technology—menswear goes through some changes every now and again.
The performance materials build on the no-iron concept and now draw inspiration from the moisture-wicking clothing one might find in a Cross-Fit gym or hot yoga class, but the shirts look pretty much like your run-of-the-mill workwear.
With four-way stretch and wrinkle-resistant properties, the dress shirts from Mizzen & Main can be work all day at work and still look smart and crinkle-free in the evening—and according to the website, can withstand the crumpling of an airplane ride or other tough-on-shirts situations. Even better, you don’t need to worry about ironing or dry cleaning these bad boys—making them appealing to any guy who has lost a good shirt to the washing machine.
What’s Worth Checking Out?
The online store carries a range of clothing from casual shirts and pullovers to pants for all occasions, but they’re all listed as something of an afterthought. The real stars here are the dress shirts, the idea theat got this company off the ground.
Shirts aren’t cheap—they run for about $125 apiece and come in the typical whites and blues you’d wear in a more conservative office setting to a dizzying array of plaids and checks. If that sounds a little spendy, the Last Chance section offers some steep discounts.
The dress shirts come in three different iterations. The Leeward is the most traditional shirt, a sharp, crisp dress shirt with a bit of stretch. The Spinnaker collection is similar to the Leeward, but comes with extra stretch. And the Blue Label Spinnaker builds on the Spinnaker’s stretch, but adds more formal detailing—longer collar points and convertible cuffs.
Do They Hold Up?
Admittedly, our first instinct in looking at Mizzen & Main’s site was—if they’re not using cotton or polyester, what are these shirts even made of? Are they comfortable and do they look as good as the standard button down?
But, overall, Mizzen & Main does a pretty good job with both the look and feel of their shirts. Despite the fact that they might not be the softest shirt in the boardroom, we have to admit, the lack of, well, coziness, is worth the benefits. There are some past customers who mentioned that these shirts did sustain some wrinkles, particularly in the waist area. We can’t fault the brand too much, here, as we’d be hard pressed to find many brands that don’t cause this problem.