Clothes to feel good and to look good
September 17, 2006 1:57 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for clothes to feel good (best fabric) and look good (in a casual, perennial way), and am looking for ideas about a backpack to go with that.

I've never paid much attention to what I wore, but I thought I'd give it a shot.
The characteristics I'm looking for in order of importance:
* Feel good (best, most comfortable materials? silk, microfiber maybe?)
* Support semi-active (brisk walking)
* Look good (but not trendy, a season-less, simple way of looking nice)
* long-lasting or at least cost-effective
* Wear to work (casual; jeans are fine)
* Easy care

(Previous ask mefi posts have been helpful for style, but I want to combine that with information on the most comfortable fabrics, and perhaps be a step down on the style ladder than those posts were tailored to. The most important advice for me was to get clothes that fit right and to choose based on the piece itself, not the kind of piece.)

As for shoes, I have some that both look good but fit what I want in a shoe healthwise: the Vivo Barefoot shoe, Aqua style (a sleek black look, see More background: I'm a mid-twenties male in New York City.

My first items to get are:
* New pants
* Underwear (these don't have to look good, but which style and material are comfortable? I have 100% cotton boxers that I like.)
* Socks. I'd like some socks to compliment by barefoot shoes by being as minimalist as possible.
* Backpack. I need something to carry my stuff in, and while I'm sure a briefcase type thing looks better, I love to walk and carrying it by hand gets old and 1 shoulder support is unhealthy. So unless there's another type of bag I don't know of, I need a backpack that doesn't make me look like I'm in college.

As far as shirts, they're alright but need to fit me better, so perhaps I should just get them tailored.
Right now, I'm a pants and shirt guy--no funky jackets or nice sweaters or other pieces, but perhaps that should change as well?
posted by Furious Fitness to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
There are soft-sided attaché bags that look grown up and which you can sling over your shoulder bike messenger style, but I don't know about backpacks.

As far as comfort, a nice sweater over a cotton shirt with slacks is pretty much perennial style, especially if you're a college professor.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 3:39 PM on September 17, 2006

Try Travelsmith. Expensive, but comfortable, classic, and designed with travel in mind (easy care, anti-wrinkle). Looks like they have a business clothing section, too.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:13 PM on September 17, 2006

I have some pants from Patagonia that I love. Incredibly light-weight but tough, excellent tailored fit, and water- and wrinkle-repellent. According to the website, they're made of sanded polyester microfiber. The style is called the "Duway". I'm also a distance walker and these have stealth gussets around the knees that give a lot of room to move (in a color other than black they may be more noticeable, though).

As for backpacks, I've never used the GoLite packs, but they're pretty cool and would help with the weight issue.
posted by cocoagirl at 5:42 PM on September 17, 2006

Yes, slinging a bag over one shoulder is unhealthy, but wearing a bag messenger-style is not. The key to an ergonomic messenger bag is that the weight of the load rests across your back, not on the shoulder. I love Timbuk2 bags because they're comfortable, casual, durable, and customizabe. Perhaps a Timbuk2 is more casual than you're looking for? However, no matter what kind of look you want, if you're college age or older, you will look like a dork wearing a normal backpack-style bag.
posted by folara at 6:16 PM on September 17, 2006

For good feeling shirts, you can't beat silk. And they don't have to be expensive either, I've found them at Kohls (a local shop similar to Target) for as little as $15. For pants, I don't know how casual you are willing to go, but my very favorite in terms of comfort are actually military BDUs, pick them up at a surplus shop for $30 and wash them a couple of times. Very soft and rugged fabric. Avoid the camo stuff and just look for the black, blue and dark grey.

As to backpacks, I have always favored Lowe Alpine. Their product line seems to have expanded since I last bought one, so I can't speak to the newer stuff, but the one I got for hiking/ light rock climbing is still in excellent condition after 7 years and is very comfortable to wear.
posted by quin at 6:43 PM on September 17, 2006

Patagonia seems perfect for this; and J. Crew, or especially Filson, make great luggage out of waxed canvas that's durable and waterproof.
posted by josh at 4:19 AM on September 18, 2006

A sling pack might be just what you want. Try Tom Bihn. Ergonomic and stylish.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 5:52 AM on September 18, 2006

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