17 Comments.

Hey Gents,

I was recently sent over a few items from Ministry of Supply. I found the clothing’s technology interesting (I’ll get to specifics in a minute), so I told them I’d check it out and let you guys know my thoughts in case you were interested yourselves.

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First off, I have to say, these clothes aren’t made for me. Here’s why:

  • I don’t sweat very much (thank God).
  • I don’t mind sacrificing a little bit of discomfort to look well-put-together.
  • I don’t have a long, grueling, physically-active commute.
  • I’ve never witnessed a hybrid anything that functions as expected and actually looks good (case in point, the hybrid work / casual / hiking shoe… thing).

So you won’t be surprised when, at first, I wrote off Ministry of Supply and their line of “technologically advanced” clothing.

What’s wrong with regular cotton? What about a little extra antiperspirant? Is complete comfort really that important?

As time went on, I couldn’t escape MoS. Mentions of their goods were everywhere I looked.

Being the curious, inquisitive men’s style writer, I couldn’t help but ignore my preconceived notions and dig a little deeper. Coincidentally, around the same time, they reached out to me and offered me a chance to take a closer look.

Who is Ministry of Supply?

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I first heard of MoS after their crazy successful Kickstarter campaign. In fact, they go into a lot of detail regarding the technology behind their clothing, so I won’t do too much regurgitation (you’ll also find a more succinct version on their website).

Most interesting to me are the problems MoS’ clothes solve, even if I’m not directly suffering or experiencing these pain points on a regular basis.

Let’s go through a few of them:

You’re a sweaty mess.

The material that makes up the Apollo shirt and Aviator chinos is a special polyester knit that “encourages moisture to move away from your skin.”

“What about polyester? Isn’t it hot / bad for ventilation / not as good as natural fabric?”

I suggest going for 100% natural fabrics when you can, but in this case, we’re talking about gear built with a specific purpose in mind.

The Apollo’s polyester fabric isn’t the same stuff your grandma’s lilac leisure suit is made from (bless her heart).

This material feels light, airy, and soft, yet maintains its crispness like a nicely-pressed dress shirt. On top of that, you get the benefit of moisture wicking, which I previously mentioned.

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While I don’t sweat too much, I do tend to get hot quickly. Both the shirt and the chinos have ventilation inconspicuously designed into the garment, strategically placed in areas that often radiate the most warmth. I didn’t even notice this feature at first, but it’s certainly a nice addition.

I have to mention this: the inside of the shirt is ridiculously soft. It feels like the softest fleece sweatshirt you own, pressed down to the thickness of a dress shirt. Just looking at it you wouldn’t even know, but once you put it on, you’ll certainly notice.

You have a long, grueling, physically-active commute.

My commute is about 12 seconds, from my bedroom to my office. Doesn’t take much effort (or clothing, for that matter) for me to make it to work.

Then again, my situation isn’t common. I know most people endure long commutes, which can be made even more miserable by large fluctuations in temperature.

If you ride your bike or foot it to work, you can’t help but break a sweat before reaching your air-conditioned destination. And don’t you hate when, after a few minutes, that AC suddenly feels too cold, and your shirt a wee bit too damp?

If this situation sounds like your own, you’d benefit from MoS. They take the best stuff from NASA’s spacesuit technology (namely their temperature regulation system) and bake that directly in to the fabric they use.

Put simply, your body heat is pulled away from your skin when overheating, and redistributed back when your temperature drops.

I’d test this out more thoroughly at my gym’s sauna if not for the weird looks I know I’ll get from the old Asian ladies that monopolize the place. If you live somewhere that gets hot, humid summers, this will be worth your while.

You’re leery of hybrid anything.

Hey, I get where you’re coming from. I’m typically the same way. But think of MoS like performance gear for the working professional. Under Armour in a dress shirt. Your body doesn’t care if you’re at the gym or on your way to the office, it will sweat whenever it needs to. So why not prepare accordingly?

This isn’t high fashion clothing (not that I ever steered you towards high fashion anything), but is certainly built with high performance in mind.

I consider the MoS line to be utilitarian, and that’s a good thing. They’re very similar to the basics I tell you to stock your closet with, but with a nod to the active lifestyle, taking into account how you move, stretch, and overheat.

The brand accommodates for slim and standard fits. If you have a little extra weight here and there, you can wear the clothing and not feel like you’re stuffing yourself into children’s sizes. At the same time, the clothes still seem slim throughout, without being too tight (I opted for standard fit samples, so I imagine the slim fits to be even more form fitting.)

A quick look at the Aviator chinos

While the Aviator chinos share plenty of the same specs as the Apollo shirt, they have a few unique features.

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One particularly useful highlight is the rubber seam tape on the inside of the waistband. This helps keep your shirt tucked in and in place as you move throughout the day. If you’ve never owned a pair of pants with this little strip of rubber, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

The pants are comfortable to a point where it almost feels like you’re wearing track pants. It probably has to do with the amount of stretch in the material as well as the fabric’s brushed finish on the inside, very similar feeling to the Apollo dress shirt.

On the wearer, they look like regular, work-appropriate chinos, so you can rest assured you looked polished.

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Mesh pockets, extra cool

My only qualms about the pants—and this is just personal preference—is that they’re more of a straight leg model, and I tend to prefer a slight taper to the ankle. I’m sure a majority of their customers prefer a straight leg design, so I can understand why they went this route.

(Ed. note: MoS reached out and let me know their slim fit model has a tapered leg, while their straight leg model—the one featured in this article—has no taper. If you like the tapered leg as I do, your best bet is to go with the slim fit.)

Another slight inconvenience is that the pants come in a single length inseam, so you’ll have to go to a tailor, unless you’re an exact 34″-36″ inseam.

Not that big a deal, especially since most of us have to hit up the tailor for our pants anyway. You could also ask for a slight taper in addition to hemming the pants since you’ve already made the trip.

Thinking of checking MoS out?

If you’re an active guy and can’t help but work up a sweat during your work day, Ministry of Supply’s goods are worth your perusal. The clothing’s technology and design coupled with contemporary fits make this a worthwhile consideration.

Ministry of Supply was kind enough to offer Effortless Gent readers a free Generation 3 Core Baselayer with any purchase. Just add it to your cart, and use code Effortless14 at checkout.

Quick question…

What’s your commute to work or class like? Do you have to battle the elements and wish your clothes helped you out a bit? Let’s hear it below.

PUBLISHED May 15, 2014


Barron is the Founding Editor of Effortless Gent and the Cladright Association. He's from San Francisco but currently living in New York. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Tumblr.



  • Chris

    Can you compare the pants to Outlier’s?

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Never tried Outlier’s gear before unfortunately

  • Joshua

    I might order one when I get home. I love their feature of “What size am I?”

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Yes, that’s a cool sizing tool, isn’t it? Helps you hone in on your size more accurately.

  • beardedman

    My usual commute is probably shorter than yours, more like six seconds! But, on days when I do go into the corporate office space, it’s in the 90’s and beyond right now due to climate change here in SoCal. San Diego is on fire and it is hot, hot, hot! The idea of putting on a long-sleeve shirt and even a wool-silk-linen lightweight blend suit is not at all appealing. But maybe something like this would work because folks at the office know it’s hot. Thanks for the nice article.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      I was just in LA this past week, and it is crazy hot down there. Even when I went out in the evenings, it was painful putting on a standard oxford cloth shirt + linen sport coat. I guess I run hot.

      I’m sure those days you do have to commute in that heat, these items will come in handy. Thanks for checking out the article!

  • Matthew

    I have a 40+ minute drive each way. Ride the motorcycle when I can, so when it’s 90+ and 70+ humidity I’m wearing boots, jeans, and a jacket over my shirt. Will have to try out the shirt, for sure!

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      That sounds painful, haha. I’d be curious to see how the Apollo holds up underneath all those layers in that heat!

  • Kevin

    1.25 mi walk in the suburbs + 48 min Bart train + 2 block walk in SF. Winters are 20 degrees colder in the AM in the suburbs than SF; summers are 20 (sometimes 30+) degrees warmer in the PM than SF. I’ve made it a habit to bring a change of clothes daily, leaving several pairs of shoes at work.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      sounds like my old commute! except mine started off with a 25 min drive to Bart instead of 1.25 mi walk in the burbs. I think yours is worse :)

      Good idea having several pairs of shoes at work, and bringing a change of clothes with you. MoS’ goods might help regulate your body temp a bit better, so you don’t always need to schlep around extra clothes. Worth a try, if you’re ever feeling experimental

  • Undershirt Guy

    great stuff barron. thanks for sharing!

    while i’m a fan of newer fabric technologies as well as mos from a brand pov, i haven’t yet found a temperature regulating product that really made a notable difference to my overall wearing experience.

    also, the idea of making an investment in clothing like this to make a “active commute” more comfortable seems a bit gimmicky to me — a strange marketing angle if you ask me. if the activities of my commute left me feeling sweaty or unclean, i’d much prefer to equip myself with some commute gear and change when i got to the office. as kevin mentioned, leaving clothes at the office or in a backpack seems a bit more practical.

    with that said, i know mos makes quality products, and based on some of the descriptions, it sounds like both of these products have some really nice and thoughtfully designed features.

    personally, i like the idea of the brushed inner finish/lining, the stretch material, and the ventilating mesh in the pockets. i also really like the silicone band in the chinos to help keep shirts (or undershirts) tucked, but i question how it feels against the skin for those who wear their shirts untucked and don’t wear undershirts.

    i would likely buy these products moreso for the above features than the phase change, temperature regulating features.

    not sure about the laser cut holes in the underarm. conceptually, i like the idea. but in real-life situations i question whether or not it really makes a difference in helping you sweat less in that area, or if the vents simply let more sweat reach the surface of the fabric faster in the underarm area.

    without a doubt, mos has put some great thought into their product lines, and i wish them continued success.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Thanks for your thoughts! I do agree that if you knowingly have a grueling daily commute, might be best to cover all bases by carrying extra sets of clothes. Sometimes, though, you may not expect to get sweaty, and in these cases, I think MoS’ gear would come in handy.

      I didn’t mind the rubber strip while my shirts were untucked. Then again, I didn’t spend a whole day with my shirt untucked so I couldn’t say for sure. I think the benefits outweigh the potential discomfort (and if it’s super annoying, one could just keep his shirt tucked in, or not wear the pants when planning on wearing a shirt untucked).

      The brushed inner finish is pretty great. It’s a small thing, one I didn’t even really notice at first, but once I did, I really appreciated it. And I think the stretch definitely helped as far as comfort. I’m not one to care much about comfort beyond great fit, but having the option is always a bonus.

  • StuBeef

    Hey, any reason I can’t get that free offer code to work? Also, I’d suggest that even in moderately warm temps these clothes are still a great idea just for their comfort, fit, stretch and the fact that they can help you feel more comfortable than the usual dress shirts will do.
    Cheers.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Worked for me. Tried it just now. You have to select the shirt in addition to whatever else you were going to order. Fill out all your info in step one, then in step two, enter the code Effortless14. Then your total will update.

  • Milliebts

    I went on to check it out and the free t shirts are not available. They need to make good on their offers yes?

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      They are available. You have to select the shirt in addition to whatever else you were going to order. Fill out all your info in step one, then in step two, enter the code Effortless14. Then your total will update.

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