Form, function and fashion for men

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Fashion often connotes impractical design and is generally ignored by those in search of functional clothing. For too long, men’s outfitters have ignored the basic design features that should be considered when creating everyday clothing. Fortunately, a handful of innovative clothing companies are beginning to embrace the idea that form should follow function.

These companies have taken basic urban garments and redesigned them to meet the needs of young active men who are tired of the poorly tailored alternatives. Three of these innovative companies are Outliers, Nau and H&M. Although each of these outfitters offer a unique aesthetic, all of these companies are focused on delivering products that will fit into a modern man’s lifestyle.

Outliers is a fairly new clothing company based out of Brooklyn NY that focuses on functional design for chic urbanites. Outliers is centered around a rigorous design process and the use of technical fabrics. The result of this design philosophy is a collection of simple and durable garments that work flawlessly in an active lifestyle.

Outlier’s original focus was on designing the perfect pant for cycling. After gaining popularity within the New York City biking scene, the company expanded their collection to include Oxford shirts, T-shirts, socks and shorts. All of these products include details that provide the wearer with a tailored fit that is both comfortable and functional.

Nau is another young company founded on the principals of functionality and simplicity. Nau strives to design timeless products that will last for multiple seasons and will meet all of the client’s performance needs. For example, all of Nau’s shirts use advanced textiles that are both lightweight and soft. Nau’s pants are just as innovative and offer features such as water-repellant, quick dry and a slight stretch for flexibility. Nau is probably best known for their coats and jackets, which usually feature lightweight, compressible, water-resistant material.

Nau is both sustainable  and funtional with clothing made by natural and renewable fibers or synthetic fabrics created from recycled materials.

The final brand, H&M, is usually not considered to be as innovative as Outliers or Nau, but this may change in just a few weeks. H&M has always been known for offering low price, simple clothing, however, just a few months ago the company announced that they would be releasing a line of men’s clothing specifically designed for commuters and bicyclists.  The concept of this new line is to give cyclists fashionable clothing that can be worn confidently on and off the bike.

For help, H&M turned to Brick Lane Bikes. H&M has used Brick Lane Bikes’ experience to create details on the new garments that are sure to impress even the most hardcore bike messengers. For example, the new coat design is cut longer in the back and will have the capability to be worn as a backpack. The new shirts will have reinforced material on the bottom of the sleeves, feature a larger pocket on the back, and will be breathable. The pants will be similar to a chino, but with a reinforced crotch, reflective seams on the bottom cuff and extra room for the knee to bend.

These garments probably will not surpass the quality of Outliers or Nau, but will likely meet the needs of most men and at a reasonable price.  The new H&M collection is set to be released on March 7 and will be available online.

When it comes to fashion, men should not have to choose between style and functionality. Outliers, Nau and H&M all offer garments that can function in the most austere environments and remain fashionable. Hopefully, more outfitters will pick up on this trend and begin designing clothes so that men no longer have to compromise their style for comfort.