Always an Outlier at Heart

Outlier Workwear pants and Empire Merino Tee

Interbike day two found me holed up in my hotel room without a hope in hell of making it to the show. I was halfway through a 16 hour editing session when the Twitter invite from Outlier, cassette, Swrve and Gage&DeSoto arrived. They were hosting a collective trunk show one floor below mine, so before you could say garment district I was taking a break and heading for the elevator.

I was happy for the break and another chance to catch up with Kaiko Shimura who writes the terrific pedal-strike blog, contributes to Embrocation Magazine, co-founded cassette, sews smart cycling caps, models on Fridays and in her spare time studies law. Yes, all that, AND she rides. After a great chat with her and cassette cofounder Mike Spriggs, I spent some time with Tyler and Abe from Outlier.

Up till that point Outlier was a brand I'd watched from a distance. They had an urban, hip appeal and produced small runs of trousers, shirts, caps for people who cycled using quality fabrics and everything was made in NYC. Once or twice I'd come close to buying a piece of Outlier clothing but I hesitated, and with short runs, the sizes went fast. I think I liked their philosophy straight off.

From About Us on We believe in strong communities and we see both our production people and our customers as an integral part of our personal community. We are here to build a long lasting company dedicated to quality. Quality in our product of course, and also quality in how we relate to the world. We treat people fairly and we treat our environment like it's not just our home, but the home we want our grandchildren to ride their bikes in. We think we are making clothing for a better way of life, and hopefully you'll join with us to get there.

Outlier Workwear pants and Empire Merino Tee

Well it wasn't long before Abe had me trying on a pair of Outlier Workwear slacks and a super soft Empire Merino Tee. Putting them on dispelled a lingering doubt that the clothes might not fit an ordinary build like mine. When I mentioned that to Abe he made it clear that Outlier wasn't limiting itself to pencil-thin 20 somethings and that their designs targeted a broader audience interested in classic, good-looking, functional clothing. That philosophy and smart tailoring made for a good fit, and thanks to Abe and Tyler's generosity I got to keep both pieces. Consider that full disclosure FTC.

Outlier Waxed Cotton Cap

A couple of weeks later I noticed Outlier's Waxed Cotton Caps and ordered one in black. This is a true hat, made in collaboration with NYC master milliner Victor Osborne. Double lined in bengaline with grosgrain banding it's more substantial than any other cap I own. It fits great under helmets from Specialized, Giro and Catlike. More than anything else I love its comfort. The Outlier cap eschews a constricting piece of elastic in favor of a true fabric sweatband. You won't get a headache wearing this hat.

Outlier Waxed Cotton Cap under my helmet

I will say that because of its lining and medium weight the hat absorbs a lot of moisture worn under your helmet. Though I'm fond of salt stains that prove you actually put in the miles, the cap can be rinsed and spot cleaned with cool water as required. The instructions indicate dry clean only, but Tyler confirmed the rinse/air dry treatment is fine.

Though it's rare for me to ride without a helmet, it looks good by itself and I've taken to wearing it when shooting. This is a new standard that's going to get a lot of wear.

The Outlier Waxed Cotton Cap is available in black, navy, stone blue and army green, $60

The Outlier Workwear Pants are available in slate gray, $188 (limited sizes)

The Outlier Empire Merino Tee is available in black, $75

14 Responses to Always an Outlier at Heart

  1. Martin says:

    Looking quite natty! It’s a tough job but someone has to do it, right?

  2. Michael, I think we own
    a lot of the same clothes. It’s a little scary frankly. Makes me think we ought to get together ride and compare notes. Get in touch if something brings you to NYC. :)

  3. Pingback: Outlier |

  4. slate says:

    Looking sharp Michael.

  5. Jon Moss says:

    As picked up on the blog a couple of posts up, this triggered me to get an order in to replace my disgraceful chinos. (Old friends, yes. Doing me favours in the style department? Certainly not).

    Looking forward to them arriving now all the way over here in England!


    Jon :-)

  6. Dustin says:

    Finally! You’re back. Whoooo. I was worried. Wondering if you’ve had the chance to compare the Rapha Gent hat (the waxed green one) with the Outlier? Let me know

    • Don’t have the Rapha Gent Hat Dustin. I’d be interested if it was available in black. I don’t have anything green to wear it with, though it looks quite nice with the bomber jacket… hmmm.

    • marco roy says:

      I buy both , i must tell you that i own all single piece of Rapha collection. (i’m a fan) but if you need to choose for a cap. The outlier is more confortable, better finish.

  7. marco roy says:

    Michael, for the Outlier pants, i want to order and could you tell me the fit compare to the Rapha trouser? What seize you fit? ( i dont want to be indescret!!) and for Empire Merino is it the same fit that Fixed shirt?

    Nice eyewear can fit with the style RYE & LYE check it!

    Tanks very nice Blog, picture are terrible!!!

  8. Nic says:

    I visited Chari & Co. while in New York this summer specifically to check out Outlier. Unfortunately, they only had one pair of shorts available at the time, and they looked very skinny and very short. Disappointed to say the least, but mostly at the lack of product- seems my timing may have been between production lines. Based on your photos though, it looks like the line is coming along nicely. I’m curious to compare with the Chrome messenger pants…