The Schoeller-Outlier Bar
The threshold for next level performance clothing.
We have tried more types of technical/performance/travel clothing than we can even keep track of. Some of it is so bad, that we return it mere hours after having it delivered to our homes. The spectrum has your staple hiking clothing at one end. This clothing is mostly nylon, covered in zippers, sometimes has stretch, and always looks and sounds terrible. On the other end you have garments that are almost indistinguishable from their non-performance counterparts.
Sorting this all out is a mess, even for us. But, over time we have realized that there is a very high bar to crossing the threshold into next level performance clothing, and that bar is what we call the Schoeller-Outlier Bar. So named because the only companies capable of regularly producing garments/materials which defy logic are those made by Outlier and/or Schoeller.
What’s even more interesting is that both companies seem to take somewhat opposing approaches to their materials, and yet they both end up with materials which are next level performance, have subdued looks, and are all around amazing to wear.
Schoeller itself is a textiles company, not a clothing manufacturer, thus their reach is wide and a good sign that the performance clothing you are buying will actually be good. Materials using Schoeller’s 3XDRY, C-Change, and many of their soft-shell materials are simply fantastic. The best way to think about what Schoeller does is to take a standard material, and inject so much performance into it that it no longer makes sense. Typically, the most common Schoeller items you can find are a cotton/nylon/spandex blend that is coated with their 3XDRY technology. The end result being something that looks and feels like cotton, but performs like polyester/nylon/merino wool. It breaks your mind a bit.
On the other end, you have some of the material Outlier is working with, specifically in their pants. Their blends of nylon pants are simply magic and they have (and do) use Schoeller products, but they also seem to find their own stuff. A good example of this is their ‘Bomb’ lineup of pants which utilize a nylon twill. If that sounds like the awful Nylon hiking pants most are used to, you would be forgiven for thinking so. But what’s weird about them is that they feel more like Denim, than most ’performance denim’ does. They will start stiff and slowly breakdown to a lovely softness. Outlier takes the problem from the opposite side as Schoeller, starting with a material, and then attempting to destroy all the bad parts about that material such that it feels like what you expect a particular garment to feel like, and yet utilizing none of the materials you might expect typically exist in it. So their Futureworks pants are nylon, and yet they feel like they could be cotton when you wear them — that type of approach is mind bending.
It’s the Schoeller-Outlier bar, because these are the two companies which regularly break our perceptions about how materials should feel and act. Whether with pants from Outlier like Futureworks, or Bomb Dungarees, or material offerings based on Schoeller fabrics like Bonobos’ Tech Chinos.
These products epitomize the better clothing we are in search of, and are a clear sign that the item we are buying is likely to be good.
Recent Reviews on EDW
Perseverance Survival Woobie Hoodie — Casual hoodie that is something different.
Vollebak Planet Earth Shirt — Stupidly expensive shirt Ben loves.
Ministry of Supply Apollo Shirt — Newest variant of the Apollo shirt fixes the points we didn’t love before. A shirt for warm days.
Ministry of Supply Newton Active Short — Pricey but worth it lined athletic shorts.
Farm to Feet Socks — Targeted cushion socks Ben loves for boots.
Houdini Sportswear Omni Pants — Sustainably produced casual chinos.
Rhythm Classic Linen Jam Shorts — Comfortable, casual shorts, with some caveats.