Think men’s fashion trends are limited to a particular cut of pant? You might be surprised how much the material matters. Cotton, rayon, cashmere, wool, and polyester: We all have our fabric preferences for everything from underwear to suits. These materials have been around for years. However, no matter what your go-to fabric is, every material has its pluses and minuses, whether the problem is durability or sustainability. But not anymore. Here are four unconventional fabrics that are new, improved, or reinvented for your best wardrobe yet.
1. Technical Cashmere
Technical Cashmere is the signature fabric of Kit and Ace, a company founded by the same family that started ubiquitous luxury activewear retailer, Lululemon. Technical Cashmere is an amazing fabric because it is the kind of cashmere that we have been dreaming about for years — a low maintenance one. While cashmere is soft and comfortable, it’s a lot of work to take care of. Having to take your sweaters to the dry cleaner or hand wash them (and wait for them to dry) is inconvenient. Realizing this huge drawback, Kit and Ace invented machine-washable cashmere. Yes, you can wear Technical Cashmere whenever you want and not have to wash it in your bathroom sink with a special detergent or spend the equivalent of a down payment on a house cleaning it. Technically, Technical Cashmere is a blend of cotton and cashmere. This season, we love Kit and Ace’s T-shirts because they are ideal layering pieces.
Modal is a new type of rayon, but it’s incredibly soft and comfortable. This fabric is used in everything from towels to T-shirts and underwear. While you can find some 100% modal clothing, most manufacturers blend it with cotton and spandex for extra durability.
A fabric made from the cannabis plant, hemp is a popular and important fabric because it’s eco-friendly and sustainable. Incredibly easy to grow, it does not require pesticides, GMO seeds, or even synthetic fertilizers. This plant even helps improve the condition of the soil it grows in because it replenishes nutrients and prevents erosion. And while you can’t get high from the fabric itself, wearing hemp will make you feel good.
There is no piece of clothing more appropriate to make from hemp than yoga pants. Prana’s drawstring Sutra pants are comfortable and attractive. Available in seven colors, they won’t improve your pigeon pose, but they will improve the way you look while attempting it. For warmer climates, Sutra shorts are also available.
4. Recycled polyester
We all know and love the ubiquitous synthetic fabric, polyester. In 1993, Patagonia became the first brand to make polyester from recycled soda bottles. Over time, the brand has improved the technology to source from unusable manufacturing waste and distressed garments (even the brand’s own) as well as the recycled soda bottles, making some of the most eco-friendly clothing available.
In the ’90s, Patagonia was the one of the first brands to make the fleece jacket popular, and to this day, it’s one of the brand’s signature items. Available in many styles and colors, its Light Weight Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover is a perfect way to keep warm, but not overly hot. Wear it as outerwear or to layer with on very cold days.