- Buyer's Guide
Bluffworks: The Brand Behind The Best Women’s Travel Pants, Plus More
Over the years, Bluffworks has gathered a dedicated following from male travelers who love their wrinkle-free chino pants and Gramercy blazer. As of late 2019, ladies can now get in on the fun with the new Bluffworks line for women.
Having heard rave reviews of Bluffworks, but, as a woman, never having tested any of their clothes myself, I was beyond excited to give their new capsule wardrobe a spin. It includes:
I was especially excited to give their Trevi pants a spin, considering how many men have claimed their Chinos to be the “best travel pants” out there. Whether you’ve been eyeing the new Bluffworks women’s line, or you’ve been searching for the best travel clothes for women to add to your travel wardrobe, use this in-depth Bluffworks review to figure out if their new Trevi pants and other items are right for you.
Trevi Ankle Pants
Hands down, the Trevi ankle pants are my favorite item in their collection for their performance, features, and modern, versatile look and feel. At $150, they’re not cheap, but the price is competitive and the pants are durable enough to warrant the investment.
Look, feel, and fit
The Trevi ankle pants hug all the right places, but have a modern, loose fit. The cut is more fashionable than most professional pants, which lends to its versatility for both professional and casual situations. Rather than feeling dowdy (my general impression of “work pants”), they felt chic and fashionable. I can easily pair them with a t-shirt and sneakers for a street look, or flats and a blouse for a more dressed-up outfit.
Additionally, they come in regular and petite sizes—which was great news to this 5″3′ writer. I ordered a pair in their petite size, which were actually ankle-fit; no hemming required.
Overall, I found it flattering—even as a woman with a booty—and can see this cut working on a diverse array of body types.
Features and quality
Made from a machine-washable (yes!) polyester-spandex blend, these pants are designed to be breathable, sweat-wicking, and control odors. After wearing them for several days in a row, I can confirm they held up to all of these promises comfortably, even that last one. The fabric is also incredibly easy to clean. I got some dirt on me while playing with my nephew and a dog, and simply wiped it off.
Unfortunately, the breathability doesn’t make them very warm in cold weather. While traveling in Montreal in January, I layered a pair of Uniqlo long underwear underneath but the looser fit made adding the extra layer feel comfortable, not restrictive.
Beyond the fabric, these pants are packed with pockets and thoughtful details. They have two discreet zippered pockets in the back, two side pockets in the front, and a hidden zipper pocket at the waistband. One of the front pockets even has an inner pocket designed to securely hold your phone in place. Have I said pockets enough times yet?
The hems of the pants are adjustable, so you can shorten them about an inch for a more cropped look. I also found this feature handy while biking to prevent the hem from catching on my bike gears. Additionally, the pants have an inner, elastic lining to help hold them up before you button them shut with discreet side clasps in the waistband.
When Bluffworks set out to create clothes for women, one of the main issues they wanted to tackle was that much of women’s clothing puts form before function, “and women are simply expected to narrow their actions and expressions to the limitation of their clothing,” said one woman in a customer interview.
In my opinion, they nailed that with their pants. Although they don’t have the kind of stretch you might expect from, say, your yoga pants, they’re still generous in all the right places, and incredibly easy to move around in. After snapping them up into their shorter mode, I can comfortably bike for miles.
My only complaint, and it’s minor, is that the snaps in the bottom of the pants will dig into your legs if you sit cross-legged. A tad annoying, but not enough to keep me from loving them.
At $150, these pants aren’t cheap. But, considering how durable and versatile they are, you can expect them to be a long-lasting part of your wardrobe. Unlike other materials, these technical polyester fabrics tend not to pill or fade, so they’ll still look new even after a year of frequent wear. The line has only been out for a few months now, so I can’t 100% confirm that this will be the case with the Trevi pants but so far so good. And, if the reviews of their men’s clothes are any indication, they’ll be pants you can live in for a while.
Overall, the Trevi ankle pants are one of the best pairs of women’s travel pants I’ve ever tried. Not leggings: real, actual pants that I can just as easily wear around town as I can to a professional event. They are well crafted, designed with both function and form in mind, and after only two months of testing, prove durable enough to be worth the $150 price tag.
Threshold V-Neck T-Shirt
Made from a 66% Polyester, 29% Lyocell, 5% Elastane blend, the Bluffworks Threshold t-shirt is comfortable, soft, and — girrrls — actually opaque. This t-shirt may look simple at first glance, but its features are buried in the fabric. It’s moisture-wicking and quick-dry, has SPF 50 for sunny day sun protection, and is both odor and wrinkle-resistant. When testing it, I actually spilled some water on myself (and the t-shirt) and it was dry within a few minutes.
The cut is a simple, flattering v-neck with a hem that ends just below the hips. It’s on the loose side which can be a good/bad thing depending on the kind of fit you normally look for in a t-shirt. A close friend, for example, mentioned she prefers her shirts a little longer while me and my average-sized torso found the length perfect. As a traveler, the best part of this t-shirt is that it’s versatile enough to wear for active, outdoor activities and everyday situations.
At $45, it may feel like a lot for a t-shirt if you’re used to buying cheaper stuff. However, it’s on par with most other performance tees, and cheaper than many merino wool t-shirts on the market. Overall, the price is competitive and a good value for what this t-shirt delivers.
The Trevi Dress might look business, but within the folds of this simple LBD (or red, or navy, whichever color you prefer), this dress packs a ton of features.
Thoughtfully placed slits at the hem give you a wide range of motion while walking and, yes, even biking. Tiny loops of fabric under the sleeves are there to hold your bra straps in place and keep them from slipping off (um, can I have this in all of my dresses, please?). And, like the Trevi pants, the fabric is durable, odor resistant, sweat wicking, and impossible to wrinkle. This is not a dress that will turn into a rumpled, sweaty mess by the end of a 12-hour conference.
Then, there are the pockets. Like the Trevi pants, this piece is packed with pockets: one on either side of the dress and a discreet underarm zipper pocket in the side. A dress with pockets is really every woman’s dream, and Bluffworks knows that (why? Because they listened to the ladies.).
For the most part, I liked the cut and fit of the dress. However, while it felt flattering on my upper body, the pockets did seem to accentuate my hips a little bit. Additionally, the hem hits my knees, rather than my mid-thigh, like their product shots led me to expect (#PetiteProblems). Even so, I’d still recommend this dress for its quality, thoughtful design, and timeless cut. Like most other business casual dresses, it’s clean cut and simple. Unlike most other business casual dresses, you can actually move around in it. Office dance party: commence.
The final item in the new Bluffworks women’s travel capsule wardrobe is their like-silk, but not silk, Azores Blouse. Made from a polyester-spandex blend, this blouse achieves many of the same high-performance features as the rest of the line, but with a soft and airy feel. It’s odor and wrinkle resistant, quick-dry and sweat-wicking, lightweight, and breathable.
As for fit, it has a loose cut with slits on either side to fit around hips easily, and hangs slightly longer in the back for comfortable coverage. The Azores Blouse also has a couple of breast pockets but, considering how lightweight the fabric is, I wouldn’t use them for much more than a single credit card, chapstick, or hotel key. Anything heavier would make it sag awkwardly.
From customer interviews, Bluffworks found that “fit – especially across the chest – is a challenge,” for women’s jackets and blouses, which they solved by adding a discreet snap button at the bust line to prevent any awkward gaping. Other features that are fairly unique to this piece include stretch cuffs, which allow you to push your sleeves up a bit and have them stay in place, and a front placket that hides the buttons for a clean look.
The one thing I struggled with with the Azores blouse was styling it for anything other than a professional event. If you’re looking for high-performing travel clothes for your next vacation, this may not be the top for you. But if you like this style or want work clothes you can travel in or that just perform well, then the style might be perfect.
At $98, it’s a competitive price and similar to other similar options on the market. In fact, it’s exactly the same price as Everlane’s actual silk blouses — but you won’t have to pay the dry cleaning bills that come with those — this blouse is machine washable.
TL;DR: It may look like a polished fashion piece, but the Azores blouse is all performance.
Returns and customer support
Bluffworks accepts returns for all unworn items within 30 days of receiving them. However, they will charge a $7 shipping fee if you return all items in an order. They also provide free 2-day shipping within the U.S. So, go ahead, order two sizes and see which one fits best.
Who It Suits
For now, the women’s capsule wardrobe by Bluffworks leans towards professionals and business travelers. The dress and blouse, while simple and modern, both feel a bit too polished for a casual weekend brunch. Though, of course, if you have a nice dinner or work event that you want that look for, these pieces are thoughtfully designed, well crafted, and competitively priced.
However, their pants and t-shirt are much more versatile and would suit a much broader range of styles and situations. Additionally, they plan to release a more casual line in the spring of 2020 so keep an eye out for new styles.
Who It Doesn’t
The current women’s line isn’t well suited for outdoor activities or adventure travel, except for the Threshold T-shirt.
As die-hard fans of the men’s line know well, these clothes are high-quality but not cheap. If you’re not prepared to make an investment in a well-made piece you’ll wear frequently, maybe this isn’t the line for you.
- Pockets pockets pockets
- Simple and easy to match styles
- Machine washable and easy to clean
- Wrinkle, pill, and odor resistant
- Attention to female-friendly features, like the extra clasp on the Azores blouse and loops to hold your bra strap in place on the Trevi dress.
The Not So Good
- The collar on the button-down feels a bit masculine
- The dress and blouse are too polished for casual outfits
- These styles may not fit everyone’s fashion preferences