As the season’s higher temperatures set upon parts of the world, a wardrobe change isn’t just for style, it’s to incorporate technical advancements. Not everyone is an athlete, but in summer everything from boardwalk runs to tennis matches and late-night strolls become easier with the right gear. The following six pieces all incorporate advancements, either in material or design. They also carry a distinct style—some sportier, some more fashionable, all of them a mix of the two. All are variations of the color blue, while they don’t all go together, they will easily pair with plenty of your existing wardrobe.
Athletic Propulsion Labs Perfect Bomber Jacket
Athletic Propulsion Labs makes a bold claim in naming this the Perfect Bomber Jacket ($500) but after a few weeks of testing we can attest to its eye-catching style and comfortability. Made in the USA and featuring an Italian stretch-satin shell, it’s the perforated performance elastane and nylon lining that delivers advanced functionality. The tailored fit—and ribbed cuffs, collar and hem—give it a truly premium look. A few summer scenarios call for a jacket, and this tackles them all.
Everest Isles Shawl-Collar Polo
Another made-in-the-USA piece, Everest Isles’ Shawl-Collar Polo ($175) isn’t an average pullover. Crafted from an Italian mercerised cotton-piqué, the entire piece is lightweight and breathable. From a style perspective, it also varies from the classic polo thanks to a subtle but considered touch: the shirt’s sailor’s collar has been hewn from luxury Italian cotton. Polos serve a purpose; they work for certain athletic activities but the collar makes them applicable in slightly dressier scenarios. The Shawl-Collar Polo taps into both ends of that spectrum.
Sunspel + Iffley Road Trent Technical Cotton Short
Sunspel’s collaborative Trent Technical Cotton Short ($165) with Iffley Road uses 100% technical, lightweight polyester. This guarantees quick drying. Elements like the fly and button-opening offer a stylish variation on the drawstring, while the length and fit are more sleek than your average gym shorts. Designed and crafted in England, these shorts can be worn for running, sitting poolside or socializing.
North Sails Chino
Carefully invoking the relaxed look of sweatpants, North Sails’ Sweat Chino ($62) are cut for comfort though don’t forego style. Importantly, they incorporate the technical advantages of double-knit, bonded fleece cotton. More than looking like tailored sweatpants, they also feel like them (emphasized by the adjustable elastic draw-cord at the waistband) but features such as inner jersey binding and a waterproof zipper at the pocket increase functionality. These are durable pants ideal for myriad uses.
ONU Reversible Long Sleeve
Long sleeves serve a purpose in the summer sun, acting like a shield from the sun. With the ONU Reversible Long Sleeve ($140) there’s a small percentage of Cordura Combat Wool, which actually activates moisture-wicking. The nylon portion of the blend feels cool to the touch. Bonded darts on the chest and ergonomic seams increase the article of clothing’s range of motion. As the name implies, this all-season piece is reversible but the teal blue certainly makes a statement.
Columbia Force 12 Zero Woven Long-Sleeve Button Down
The most technical piece here, Columbia’s Force 12 Zero Woven Long-Sleeve Shirt ($98) features sweat-activated super-cooling, hints of stretch thanks to its rip-stop nylon composition, airflow vents and tabs on the sleeves to roll them up. Bonded seams offer extra durability and reflective detailing makes it viable day and night. The sharp collar and the geometric striped chest pockets add more than a dash of style.
Hero image courtesy of APL, all other images courtesy of respective brand