Dressing for a bike commute usually means picking between trip and destination: mangle or sweat through work clothes; ride in...
Dressing for a bike commute usually means picking between trip and destination: mangle or sweat through work clothes; ride in performance apparel and change in the office bathroom. Both are badges of honor, of course, but urban cyclists are troubleshooters, and it was time this riddle got solved.
In New York City in 2008, Tyler Clemens and Abe Burmeister conceived Outlier, a line of "tailored performance" apparel. The pair's offerings are built from performance fabrics in flexible cuts-the kicker is that they're styled on a par with traditional officewear. "We see ourselves right in the middle of three different clothing worlds," says Clemens. "The athletic companies, the fashion companies, and the outdoor gear companies." A typical item, the OG Pant, has an appealingly clean profile, but also features a slew of postmodern fabric tricks. Think Nike times Nudie, divided by Patagonia.Outlier's collection-bendy button-front shirts and slim merino hoodies are standouts-is certainly priced with its peers in fashion, not sports: Triple digits are the norm. But the stout materials and adamantly local production make it hard to quibble. There is also an intriguing psychological component to clothing that's built to work in every situation. Clemens can sound downright philosophical as he describes what it means to feel right in your clothes. "Comfort comes on a lot of levels," he says. "Some of it's technical but a lot of it is social."The obvious Outlier follow-up is how far into formal clothing the young clothiers dare to venture. Tuxes are probably a non-starter-but could a full Outlier suit be in the offing? Clemens promises they're looking into it: "The suit is our holy grail!"
Photos courtesy of Outlier.