If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.
Brand Spotlight is a new conversation series that highlights SPY editors’ favorite up-and-coming brands. We’ll introduce you to unique brands and share some of our favorite products.
Here at SPY, we love our basics. Though that might seem like a derogatory term in the fashion world, we believe that amazing outfits can be assembled around a basic men’s t-shirt or a solid pair of pants.
But quality basics aren’t always the easiest to come by. If you’ve ever bought yourself a plain tee at Kohl’s, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. After just a couple of washes, an average basic will shrink, crinkle and lose its. That’s why we’re always willing to pay a little more for high-quality pants and shirts that we know will pay off in terms of style and longevity.
And if you’re looking for solid menswear designed to look good and last, then you need to know about Western Rise, a clothing brand that provides grade-A everyday apparel to dress the modern man. We’ve written about this brand before, and the company is quickly earning a reputation for itself. Western Rise clothes are durable, breathable and stretchy enough to handle a long bike commute to the office — and still make you look good when you head into your morning meeting. And that’s not an easy feat.
Western Rise takes the place of your poorly-constructed, everyday garments to provide thoughtful performance pieces ready to take on whatever kind of day is coming your way. They use a slew of high-class materials to ensure the garb you get lasts as long as it can. We’re also suckers for a minimalist approach to life, and Western Rise makes sure that each and every detail is considered to make certain that no useless stitch or seam goes into the article, which in turn gives you a look that’s straightforward and stylish at the same time.
Previously, we’ve been impressed with the Western Rise Diversion Pants, which are the perfect pair of pants for active professionals. As we head deeper into fall and winter, Western Rise sent SPY some pieces from their collection to test out. Managing Editor Tim Werth tested the Western Rise AT Slim Pants, while e-commerce editor Tyler Schoeber put an entire outfit together with the X Cotton Everyday Tee, AirLight Button-Down Shirt and Evolution Pants.
After testing out the brand’s new apparel in the field for the last couple weeks, we can verify that they live up to the hype. If you’re willing to pay a little more for quality, then you’ll want to check out the Western Rise 2020 collection.
AT Slim Pants
Tim Werth, Managing Editor
I used to live in my jeans, but when I was sent home from the office to work-from-home this spring, I realized my wardrobe was totally lacking in everyday pants that weren’t made from thick denim. I’ve been on the lookout for great pants ever since, and I’m a big fan of the AT Slim Pants. The neutral color options go well with almost everything in my closet, and I can wear them all day without getting uncomfortable, which is a rare quality in a pair of pants.
Per Western Rise, these pants are designed to replace your worn-out jeans and work pants, and they fit the bill, for sure. Not quite as stuffy as my Banana Republic chinos but more comfortable and dressed up than my Levi’s skinny jeans, I’m going to be wearing these pants for a long time.
X Cotton Everyday Tee
Tyler Schoeber, E-Commerce Editor
Whenever it comes to a tee that’s priced at more than $10, I’m skeptical. And rightfully so — all of my experiences so far when purchasing a deemed “good t-shirt” have been completely unsuccessful. As soon as I felt the X Cotton Everyday Tee, I became even more dubious. I’m the type of guy who washes and dries all of his clothing. I don’t hang-dry a single piece of my wardrobe, so upon feeling how soft this shirt was, I automatically knew it was going to shrink dramatically in the dryer. Nonetheless, I threw it on, but with the intent that it would probably be my first and last time wearing it.
When wearing, the shirt fit perfectly, which doesn’t always happen with t-shirts. The shirt felt thick, cozy and draped my figure better than I imagined it would. It was stretchy but not to the point that felt like a swim shirt, if you know what I’m talking about. So far, so good.
Tyler Schoeber, E-Commerce Editor
I then threw on the Evolution Pants. My fault, I should have ordered a size bigger because quarantine did my body dirty. I noticed they didn’t quite feel like any sort of pants I was used to. They fit similarly to the way sweatpants do, and material-wise, they weren’t as rough as the way your classic pair of chinos might me. All in all, the stretchability was insane, which confused yet excited me. Like, if I knew how to do a split, I would have done a split right then and there. They were also quite lightweight, which I appreciated because my legs do tend to get a bit sweaty when I’m out and about sometimes.
AirLight Button-Down Shirt
Tyler Schoeber, E-Commerce Editor
To complete my look, I added the cherry on top — Western Rise’s AirLight Button-Down Shirt. Upon throwing it on, I wasn’t initially as impressed as I thought I’d be given the quality of the pants and tee. I’d say that, like, 90% of my tops are button-downs to begin with, but the majority are thrifted. So, yeah, it definitely feels a ton different than the majority of my button-downs, but I don’t know. I was just expecting a little bit more. I was impressed by the stretchability, but I kind of prefer my button-downs to be a bit baggier. Potentially that’s my fault, maybe I should have ordered a size up.
I wasn’t blown away by the shirt until later on when I was getting margs with my friend Dominique. We got chips and salsa, of course, and I stupidly spilled salsa on my shirt. When I tell you it did not stain in the slightest, it truly did not stain in the slightest. The salsa just wiped off with a flick of the wrist…. The shirt is made with a stain-resistant finish, which I had never heard of before. That’s when I realized that I was wearing one of the most innovative basics of all time and grew so much more of an appreciation for it.
Tyler’s Closing Thoughts
After wearing the ‘fit for an entire day, I came to realize that I sweat much less than I normally do when I’m out on the town. I never felt smelly, either, and later found out that’s probably because the tee is odor-resistant. The clothing fit great, had immense moveability and didn’t feel too hot when on.
I’ve washed and dried each item a few times since I first wore them, and much to my surprise, nothing has shrunk. Nothing. Not even the t-shirt, like I was expecting. None of the clothing has crinkled or lost its color yet, either.
Personally, I’d recommend Wester Rise to any guy looking to step up his basics game. It’s time to ditch your $5 Hanes tees and discover the world of actual well-made basics from Western Rise. Although the products might come at a higher price point than most basics on the market, it’s well worth the feel, fit and long-lasting quality. Check the brand out for yourself and step into the world of better basics.