- Buyer's Guide
Here at Carry HQ, we’re always searching for the ultimate crossover gear. Those wardrobe staples that can pull double duty and move between situations and scenarios with ease. And Mizzen+Main‘s stable of clean cut men’s apparel does just that.
The performance menswear brand was born from the frustrations of commuting through Washington DC in professional attire. Standard shirts and slacks just weren’t cutting it – they didn’t breath, weren’t soft on the skin, and creased up when packed in your gym bag at lunch.
Now they have a curated catalogue of staples that work in the office, on the bike, and on your next work trip or weekend jaunt. So we’ve tested the lot, and landed on our very favorite pieces that might very well deserve a spot in your wardrobe or weekender.
The Versa Polo is the spring and summer staple, but updated. Light and airy, this polo features UPF50 protection, and four way stretch. Those two dominant features make it an easy choice for either travel or a commute, offering protection and comfort while on the move.
The most noticeable characteristic of this polo (and all of the Mizzen+Main gear) during testing is the way it all drapes over all types of body shapes, available in Trim or Classic cuts. I went with Classic and found it very comfortable. I personally like polos to be a little looser – I don’t want them tucking into my armpits – and the polyester/spandex blend prevented that and any wrinkling, too.
I packed this with me on a wedding weekend, and it came out of the bag looking like it had just been ironed. Add in some good antimicrobial (anti-stink) and anti-pilling properties, there’s no reason that this won’t last multiple wears between washing.
Coming in a wide variety of colours and patterns, The Versa Polo is a timeless classic updated for the modern man.
This is the shirt that started it all and put the brand on the map. The Leeward was designed to be the best dress shirt in the land, allowing the wearer to go from work to play in a matter of moments without having to worry about sweating, stains, or creases. If you would like the original dress shirt that you can tuck in, you’ll find it here!
The No Tuck version has lots of subtle features that make it an excellent shirt in both form and function. At 2” shorter than the standard model, this will always ride at just the right height. Not too long, nor too short.
It’s wrinkle-resistant fabric is manufactured from a 88/12 polyester and apandex mix. This means you can whip this out of a bag while traveling and be ready to go. The four way stretch and quick drying properties mean you needn’t worry if you work up a bit of a sweat while using it.
The hidden button down collar is a favourite of ours, it’s a simple touch but solves the age old problem of curling collars. The Leeward strikes us as a great halfway house for those needing a blend of formal fashion and function. It can float between the office, bar, and activity without breaking a sweat.
Good pants can be hard to come by, particularly in the crossover space, and Mizzen+Main have done an excellent job with the Helmsman 5 pocket pant. These are arguably our favourite piece from the selection that we tested. With a similar four way stretch, wrinkle resistant fabric found in the Leeward shirt, the Helmsman can do it all from brisk city walks to day hikes. The stretch waistband provides all day comfort for your escapades, and the stretch pocketing is also great in a pinch when you need to fit slightly larger items.
The great property of this stretch material is that, by design, it moves with you. No longer do you have to worry about popping a seam when getting into a car or lunging unexpectedly. The matte finishing is classy and muted, which isn’t always the case with polyester pants. These are a slim fit, and we found them to be true to size. They’re also moisture wicking, which really comes to the fore in the moments you’re active. A zippered back pocket is great for a wallet or keys, particularly if traveling. These pants are duplicitous in the best way, and very comfortable too. If you’re looking for a new pair of pants for travel, these should be on your list.
If you’re looking for a more traditional work pant, the Helmsman Chino is the option for you. While similar in fit to the five pocket pant, the Chino has some different touches that are more sartorially focused. The elasticated waistband keeps your outfit looking pulled together and refined, and the same waistband has silicone grippers (in the shape of M+M logo) to keep your shirt tucked in for that special work presentation. The self closing slip pockets on the rear are subtle, and just enough for any smaller accoutrement you might need in a day at the office. The slim fit is refined and not too skinny, a trap that some “slim fit” styles fall into. We found them to have plenty of room in the thigh and seat area, but slimmer towards the hem, a good balance between modern style and traditional lines. The Helmsman comes in a variety of colours that can work for any palette.
Traditionally, when you think of quarter zips, you may think of Dads and Sunday dinners. You’d be forgiven for doing so, as they are a staple of many wardrobes. However, they’re also often heavy cotton or wool, and reserved for the cooler months of the year. Well, not anymore.
The ProFlex line (it also comes in hoodie form) is a very simple, comfortable, and understated update to a classic. Featuring the same four way stretch and wrinkle resistant properties as the majority of Mizzen+Main’s catalogue this is another excellent candidate for travel. With a 68% rayon, 27% nylon, and 5% spandex mix, this feels like a traditional sweater, but performs like an athletic piece.
It provides some extra warmth in brisker moments, but isn’t a heavy overpowering winter sweater. The heather texture is subtle and makes the ProFlex ¼ zip blend in, rather than standing out like some sportier sweaters can.
However, the best part of the ProFlex line is the drape of the material. They fit like a glove, and it feels like the sweater is tailor-made for you. It falls nicely from the shoulders, while giving in all of the right places. This is a very comfortable piece to wear, and we’d have no reservation going straight from the airport to the boardroom or dinner in this sweater.
Mizzen+Main are the type of company we like. They have a curated collection of goods that they intentionally add to, but only when necessary. That attention to detail shows in all of their products, and each one serves a purpose, particularly for the traveling man. They’ve taken classic items, given them a modern injection, and kept it at a wallet friendly price point. If you’re a fan of the clean classic style, but you like to be on the move, look no further than Mizzen+Main for your next wardrobe update.