Ortiz Industry Rush Trouser ($295), Labor Button-up shirt ($225), and Daily Blazer ($450), ortizindustry.com
The Good: Technical apparel feel in officewear. Makes you feel like you’re working in your favorite gym clothes.
The Bad: The Daily Blazer’s taper is a bit too aggressive at the waist and give the jacket a bit of a feminine look.
The Awesome: Machine washable. All of it. No more dry cleaning.
Whether you’re stuck (voluntary or no) in an office job or you just like looking sharp every once in a while, the biggest pain of wearing dress clothes are threefold: 1) they’re restrictive, 2) they’re hot as hell, 3) they’re a pain to clean.
Los Angeles-based Ortiz Industry, founded by apparel vets Claire Ortiz and Heather Park, have addressed all these concerns (and then some) with a line of clothing that mixes classic office-friendly style with slim athletic cuts and the mobility, breathability, and sweat-wicking of top-tier athletic apparel.
I took Ortiz’s Rush Trouser, Labor button-up shirt and Daily Blazer along with my favorite tie out for a workout to see whether or not they live up to their claims. As far as fit and feel, the suit is spectacular. The stretchy material is not restrictive at all, the synthetic material breathes well, and the shirt is silky soft. People were constantly feeling the material. Seriously, it got creepy. If people touching you is your thing, you NEED this shirt. And everything, from dress slacks to the blazer is machine washable. I kid you not.
The athletic cut works great with people whose shoulders are wider than their waist, and for guys who need extra room in the glute and quad area (weight lifters, cyclists, and speed skaters rejoice). Between you and me, if I had work clothes like this, I may not have dithced the office life so quickly. Now, on to the good stuff: Ortiz says that you can run a 5k in this outfit and still look sharp enough to do a powerpoint presentation afterwards. So we decided to take them up on the offer with a quick 5k. And we threw in a crossfit WOD just for the hell of it.
The “I can’t believe I’m doing this” grin.
The 5k was no problem - the clothes wicked away sweat and dried quickly - very cool, actually. But the real test was in the Crossfit WOD. I did three sets of 21-15-9 reps of kettlebell swings and burpees with the shirt and trousers during a 90-degree day at Jefferson State Crossfit in Redding, CA. This stuff freaking shined. No movement restriction whatsoever - I felt like I was wearing a pair of workout shorts and a tech tee. The shirt didn’t even come untucked until the third set, thanks to the tacky band on the inside of the trouser’s waist. Boom. Soaked the shirt all the way through, too, and it was dry in about 10 minutes.
Forget about commuting to work on your bike. You could parkour your ass there with this stuff.