Inventory: Business clothes that work in and out of the office

Business clothes that work in and out of the office

Officewear no longer has to be a choice between stiff and starchy or dress-down Fridays

BLAZER AHEAD Karen and Tanya Lee, friends who share a last name and were among our 2019 30 Under 30 winners, founded Lezé the Label less than a year ago to produce women’s workwear that is comfortable, sustainable and versatile, starting with pants. Their new Americano collection also includes Sierra Blazers, in black, grey herringbone, navy pinstripe and grey-and-white plaid, and the Arla Blazer Dress, which can be worn as a dress or a coat, in black only. Fabrics, made from sustainably sourced materials like recycled plastic and used coffee beans, are four-way-stretch knits with moisture-wicking, anti-odour and anti-wrinkle properties. Online, $35-$220

TAILOR MADE Since its founding in 2007, e-tailer Indochino Apparel has introduced shirts and accessories, but affordable custom-made men’s suits are its stock in trade. The Hayward Flannel collection features a blend of 97 percent Merino wool, which is breathable and comfortable in any season, and 3 percent spandex, adding a touch of stretch for extra mobility. Available in brown, burgundy, charcoal and navy; online or in-store, $539

SMOOTH MOVES JJ and Shannon Wilson, son and wife of Lululemon founder and former owner Chip Wilson, launched Kit and Ace in 2014 to apply technical performance attributes to street- and officewear. Four years later, the company was purchased by George Tsogas, who changed the focus to clothing for the modern commuter. The new O.T.M. (On The Move) Pleated Button Up is designed to feel like a comfortable T-shirt but look like a dress shirt. Its Stretch Micro Pique fabric (53 percent polyester, 47 percent cotton) is breathable, has four-way stretch and releases wrinkles thanks to its tight-knit construction. Online and in-store, $128

TOP CHOICE Known for its men’s and women’s pants that go from bike to boardroom, Duer is introducing a new men’s Performance Oxford Shirt with the same level of comfort and stretch as its bottoms. The moisture-wicking material (70 percent cotton, 27 percent Coolmax polyester, 3 percent spandex) and an underarm gusset for range of motion keep wearers sweat- and stress-free in and out of meetings. In blue and grey; expected to be available online and in-store this month, $98

NEWS FLASH When the Daily Beast news website recommended the best athleisure pants for the office earlier this year, Lululemon Athletica made the lists for both sexes. The men’s jeans-inspired ABC Pant includes a zippered back pocket, flip-up reflective cuffs and sweat-wicking, four-way-stretch fabric in nine colours. For women, the high-waisted, wide-leg, sweat-wicking Noir Pant in black or silverscreen can go from the office to a cocktail party. Online and in-store, $138 and $128

CLUB STYLE Named for a 19th-century British men’s club and embracing a rugby ethos, Ædelhard Sport Culture was founded in 2016 by Darrell Kopke, a former executive with clothiers Lululemon and Kit and Ace. The “purveyors of performance tailoring for the modern gentleman” combine classic styles with technical materials designed for athletic builds. The Urban Traveler Pant has a higher back rise and extra room on the front of the thighs for mobility and comfort but a slim, modern look. The proprietary bamboo-rayon woven stretch fabric is breathable, wrinkle-free and easy-care. Online, $198

Tie one on

It’s generally accepted that 17th-century Croatian soldiers were the first men to wear a colourful strip of fabric around their necks, to distinguish them from their adversaries. The cravate–the word is French for Croat–became fashionable in France and then throughout Europe in the 1600s. Since then, ties have been longer, shorter, wider, thinner, plainer, fancier and knotted different ways, but they can still be worn to stand out from, or fit in with, a crowd.