In this article, I’ll look at some pieces from Mizzen+Main’s new collection of men’s performance wear and show you how to style them.
Thanks to Mizzen+Main for sponsoring this article!
More and more, the days of stiff khakis and starched button-downs are behind us.
Whether it’s part of your daily wardrobe for work or a sleek date night outfit, dressy menswear no longer has to be rigid and uncomfortable, and brands like Mizzen+Main are leading the charge.
Whenever a friend needs new button-downs, slacks, casual shirts, or golf gear, I recommend Mizzen+Main.
The idea for Mizzen+Main dawned on founder Kevin Lavalle while he observed a congressional staffer hurry to a meeting in Washington, D.C. As stress and hurry are apt to do, Lavalle noticed that the staffer was sweating.
Sweating is no issue in moisture-wicking, performance fabric, but it’s a nightmare in stuffy, cotton button-downs and heavy slacks. Pondering this, Lavalle set out to make a performance fabric dress shirt.
The result, several years later, is summed up in their own words: “The best damn dress shirt.”
While the brand began by offering only dress shirts, it has since expanded to pants, quarter-zips, outerwear, shirts, polos, and a host of other men’s basic clothing items.
Their performance menswear is made from materials like polyester and nylon but keeps the same business casual look that’s appropriate for work meetings, client presentations, or happy hour.
What I Tried
This article is also sponsored by Mizzen+Main which means that this article isn’t meant to be a review but a look at the brand’s current collection.
(We don’t do sponsored reviews here at The Modest Man).
Mizzen+Main was generous enough to send me two of their Leeward Dress Shirts, a Halyard Short Sleeve dress shirt, a Versa short-sleeve polo, a pair of their Helmsman Shorts, and a pair of their Helmsman Chinos.
Here’s a breakdown of each piece:
Leeward Dress Shirt
This is Mizzen+Main’s flagship product and the piece that got them into the performance menswear game in the first place.
From a distant visual inspection, the Leeward has all the characteristics of a classic dress shirt. It was only once I took the shirt out of its packaging and felt the fabric that I began to understand how different these shirts are from classic interpretations.
The Leeward Dress Shirt is made from a blend of polyester and spandex. There’s not a cotton thread in sight. Compared to cotton, this fabric has a light, smooth feeling — similar to silk, but a bit heftier.
Where cotton shirts can be coarse, stiff, and heavy, the Leeward is flexible, breathable, and cool to the touch.
This combination of polyester and spandex allows for a 4-way stretch in the fabric, which means it can be stretched widthwise and lengthwise at the same time for the maximum amount of mobility.
The fabric also has the benefit of being moisture-wicking, and it has superior quick-dry properties if you happen to get the shirt wet.
Best of all, this shirt is wrinkle-resistant and packs well for traveling without requiring an intense session of ironing afterward.
When it comes to washing, you can throw the Leeward right in the washing machine on cold washes and hang it to dry. If you prefer to use the dryer, Mizzen+Main recommends tumble drying on low heat.
Finally, the price. A shirt with this many bells and whistles commands a decent investment, to the tune of $138 a pop. While this may seem steep to shirting novices, it’s best to think of it as an investment.
The Leeward will keep you cool, comfortable, dry, and mobile for all-day wearing, won’t wrinkle easily, and won’t shrink after several washes, which would render it unwearable.
Leeward No Tuck Dress Shirt
The Leeward No Tuck takes the original Leeward profile and slightly trims the hem to make it appropriate for wearing untucked.
Compared to the Leeward, the Leeward No Tuck is two inches shorter in the body and is meant to come down to the mid-zipper level of your pants. This gives the shirt a more relaxed look, which is great for casual drinks, casual office environments, and date nights alike.
Besides the trimmed hem, the Leeward No Tuck and Leeward are identical.
The Leeward No Tuck is made with the same polyester and spandex blend that makes it breathable, light, moisture-wicking, and wrinkle-resistant, and it features the same options for trim or classic fits through the body.
This shirt’s casual profile makes it an ideal choice for smart casual outfits, especially when paired with performance chinos and white dress
Halyard Short Sleeve
The Halyard Short Sleeve shirt brings many of the benefits of the Leeward shirts to a short sleeve package.
While the Halyard is made from a similar blend of polyester and spandex fabric to the Leeward dress shirts, it differs in its construction. The Halyard features a finely textured knit fabric, which has a slight waffled texture for added breathability.
This knit fabric is slightly more casual than the smooth fabric used by the Leeward shirts, but the short sleeve construction makes it more casual to begin with. This is a great shirt for any summer social gatherings since it will keep you cool, comfortable, and looking sharp.
The polyester and spandex fabric blend makes the Halyard as stretchy as your typical workout shirt, and also prevents it from wrinkling easily.
The Halyard is only offered in no tuck lengths, so it’s meant to be worn loose and casually. Like Mizzen+Main’s other dress shirts, the Halyard is offered in trim and classic fittings, which is great for those who are particular about the fit.
When it comes to washing the Halyard, you can throw it in with the Leeward shirts on a machine wash cold setting, and dry it on a low heat tumble.
Regarding price, the Halyard comes in at $118 per shirt. Although this may seem like a lot for a single short sleeve dress shirt, the fine waffle-knit construction and breathability of this shirt are well worth the money.
The Versa Polo has all the things you want out of a good golf polo in a sleek package.
Using the same polyester and spandex fabric blend as many of Mizzen+Main’s other shirts, the Versa aims to help your golf game by keeping you cool and comfortable so you can focus on your swing.
The Versa’s fabric also helps to wick moisture and dries quickly, which is great for when you’re golfing in hot conditions.
Speaking of hot conditions, the Versa also has UPF 50 protection, which means it blocks 98% of the sun’s rays. Considering that you’ll be wearing this polo outside most of the time and the sun isn’t your skin’s friend, this is a big selling point.
The Versa is offered in regular and tall lengths and looks just as good tucked in as it does untucked. It’s also offered in trim and classic fittings.
Like Mizzen+Main’s other shirts, you can machine wash the Versa Polo in cold temperatures, hang it to dry, or tumble dry it on low heat.
The Versa Polo comes in at $98, which is cheaper than the Halyard Short Sleeve, but still expensive by some standards. That said, the Versa is about as good a golf polo as you could wish for.
Switching over from the tops to the bottoms, the Helmsman Shorts are a new Mizzen+Main offering at the time of this writing.
Made with an 8-inch inseam, these shorts are the perfect length to show off a little of your thunder thighs, but not be so short that the blinding white color of your upper thighs is shown when you sit down.
The Helmsman Shorts are only offered in a regular fit, rather than slim, but I found them to be slimmer than expected. I don’t consider myself to have thighs that resemble Doric columns, but the Helmsman Shorts were comfortably slim and not baggy.
These shorts are made from the same blend of polyester and spandex fabric as Mizzen+Main’s other clothing, which offers the same amount of flexibility, breathability, and wrinkle-resistance.
The Helmsman shorts also have a stretch waistband that makes for a more snug, comfortable fit than you’d get from typical khaki shorts.
The back pockets have zip closures to keep your valuables secure, and there’s also a side pocket with a zip closure that functions well as a secret pocket.
These shorts come in at $98 a pair, but the fit, feel, and stretch make them well worth it.
Helmsman Chino Pant
Rounding out this sample of Mizzen+Main clothing, the Helmsman Chino Pant is great for casual and formal office environments, as well as happy hours and date nights.
These pants have the same stretchy, moisture-wicking fabric as Mizzen+Main’s other products, and they taper down to a 13.5-inch leg opening. This makes for a slim fit, but not too slim.
The Helmsman Chinos come in several lengths, which I appreciate. Many performance pants come in standard, one-length sizing, which almost never works if you have longer legs.
Like the Helmsman Shorts, these chinos have an elastic waistband for a comfortable, snug fit, and the inside of the waistband has a silicone grip that helps keep shirts tucked in.
You can machine wash these at cold temperatures, and tumble dry them on a low heat setting.
The Helmsman Chino Pants cost $138 per pair, which can be comparable to a good pair of slacks or chinos with a modern cut.
Mizzen+Main Outfits for Spring/Summer 2023
Mizzen+Main’s clothing lends itself well to smart casual and semi-formal outfits. I’ve put together several outfits below to give you a sense of the versatility of these clothes and show how they can be appropriate for casual gatherings, formal events, and anything in between.
First, up the Helmsman shorts.
Here I paired the Helmsman Shorts with the Versa Polo, and finished the outfit with a pair of dress
This outfit is great for Summer happy hours, running errands, a casual date night, or a round of golf.
The button-down structure of the Halyard gives a more formal look, and you could also rock a pair of loafers with this outfit instead of dress
Finish this outfit with a pair of dress
The Helmsman Chinos might not immediately stand out as obvious golf pants, but they’re more than comfortable enough to keep you cool and dry no matter the course conditions.
For an even more formal look, swap out the golf shoes or loafers for a pair of Chelsea boots.
Add in a belt and watch whose leather matches your Chelsea boots, and this is another great date night outfit, and also works well in most office environments.
This outfit is comfortable, stylish, and requires very little effort to pull off. I’d wear this to dinner, drinks, a work social event, or even to run errands.
Moving onto the Leeward No Tuck Dress Shirt, this piece pairs easily with blue jeans and a pair of suede Chelsea boots, as shown below:
Since this version of the Leeward Dress Shirt is more casual, I don’t recommend wearing it with slacks or khakis, but it would also work well with cotton chinos and white dress
On the other hand, the Leeward Dress Shirt is a perfect match for the Helmsman Chinos, which are closer to slacks than what normally comes to mind when I think of chinos.
This is a great outfit for more formal office environments and expensive date spots.
Offering a range of options to choose from, Mizzen+Main is a good source for professional clothing in performance fabrics.
Have You Tried Mizzen+Main? I’d love to hear about your experience! Leave a comment below and tell me what you think of this brand.