Who says fashion and function can’t meet? These seven essentials bridge the style-performance gap.
Because I live and work in Boulder and play the dual role of “professional” (as a lawyer) and “professional athlete” (adventure racer, trail runner, etc.), I am constantly navigating between two worlds and my wardrobe reflects that attempt. (My mother, who much prefers the professional to the athlete, laments my apparel choices and queries, “don’t you have any normal clothes?”) The following are my picks for bridging the gap that often separates fashion from function. These apparel choices will get you to and from work without looking like a jock but still feeling like the one you are.
1. Patagonia Fezzman Shirt
This slim-fitting shirt is ideal for hot weather thanks to its cool recycled polyester and organic cotton blend. It’s a great travel piece because it shuns wrinkles and looks fresh after a tough commute or RTD ride.
2. Ibex’s Mechanic Shirt
This versatile merino wool top that is well suited for offices that overdo it with the AC because merino wool is naturally temperature regulating. A narrow cut, contrast collar and detailed stitching lend it a stylish look.
3. Ibex El Fixie Commuter Knicker
I’m often told I can “get away with” or “pull off” man-pris or knickers and so I wear this pair around town with pride. These sturdy 18-inch inseam knickers are made of organic cotton canvas and feature an array of pockets. The articulated knees give a nod to their semi-athletic purpose.
4. Lululemon Athletica’s WDW Boxer Brief
Security, comfort and moisture management are crucial qualities for my base layers. This, one of my favorites, is made of soft, moisture-wicking Coolmax fabric. The flat seam construction prevents chafing.
Nau Confident Short (NOT SHOWN)
This merino short is dressy enough for when I need to assume a more conservative look—but it’s also durable, odor resistant, breathable and manages moisture well (a.k.a, the boys don’t get schvetty).
GEAR I COVET
5. Salomon Reelax
They won’t be on the market for another four or more months, but I hope to be on them before then—after all, they’re made by my sponsor. A friend in Germany who already has a pair describes this après-sport shoe as a “fluffy slipper.” Sounds like their mattress-like midsole should keep my feet quite happy after a tough race.
6. Gregory Vibe
This messenger-style day pack may look too sleek to carry much, but inside it’s busting with generous cargo and compartmentalized internal capacity. The heavy-duty shell sheds water, and a large flap-style lid shuts out inclement weather, while the comfy molded-foam padding and sternum strap hold the bag firmly in place without constricting breathing—or crinkling your adventure-casual top.
Adam W. Chase practices law with the Boulder firm Hutchinson, Black and Cook, is a sponsored trail runner, adventure racer and snowshoer, and is the trail editor of Running Times magazine.