Monday, September 1, 2008




Words, Images Judith Ecochard

On a lengthy camping trip to Africa a few years back, we wore-almost exclusively- EX OFFICIO tops and pants with built in insect repellent and UV protection of SPF30+. The garb worked and held up under rugged conditions.

Jump forward to this month -we were bowled over by the broad range of multi-tasking stylish garments cut from technically performing fabrics. Design-wise, the inspiration was the fabled Silk Road cultural trade routes though we think we could confidently walk anywhere in these threads.

ADVENTURE: “Durability is Sustainability”

ExOfficio’s moisture-wicking, quick-drying and odor-resistant ExO Dri™ knit tops makes a welcome appearance with new styles and vivid colors; its signature ultra-light, ventilated and sun-protective DryFlylite™ shirts; and a broad assortment of Insect Shield® shirts, pants and accessories that protect against mosquitoes, ticks, flies and fleas through 70 washings.

For the Amphi apparel, “ventilation is key” for outfitting those spending time fishing, paddling or pulling anchor. These separates go from wading in the river to pulling up a stool at the saloon without ever having to change. We liked the hoody made from the new Neptune Knit – that’s 100% polyester with a high/low
texture for maximum moisture management that is treated with Sun Guard 30+ for UV protection and Nanoplex for stain, bacteria and odor resistance.

The Roughian collection is made to wear in any kind of weather. Featured pieces include the men’s and women’s Take Over pant and short made with Take Over Canvas, a light-weight, quick-drying nylon that is treated with Teflon® for water and stain resistance. For gals, we thought the digger-length Take Over Short that has a drawstring and ribbed waist, which can be worn up or down for a low-rise look…was particularly cool looking.

Next up, we admired the seriously multi-pocketed Gobi Safari jacket that’s apart of the Explorer’s line. It is fully equipped with breathable fabric blends, sun protection and strategic ventilation...and comes with matching Gobi Pant and
Gobi Vest for men and women made of Explorer Blend™, a lightweight 60% polyester/20% cotton/20% nylon blend treated with Teflon® for stain resistance.

Destinations: “Different adventures, all in one day, all in one outfit.”

ExOfficio’s Destination apparel “…is all about doing more, packing less and looking great.”

The Seek’r separates get our A-Okay as sophisticated clothing that we can see wearing anywhere. For women the Savvy™ collection is made the super easy care, wrinkle resistant Scrunch Cloth, (60% rayon/38% polyester/2% spandex). New to Savvy™ this season are the Savvy™ Dress-up sleeveless wrap dress, Savvy™ Button-up long sleeve jacket, and the Savvy™ Skirt, which can also be worn as a dress. Light opal, lapis and spice are the new Savvy™ colors that have been added to last season’s colors, black and white.

Next we previewed a few selections from the Trip’r line-that we are told “…is for travelers who MacGyver their budgets to see the world.”

For men, Trip’r offers an assortment of performance shirts in a bunch of colors/patterns-including its namesake the Trip’r, which is made of ultra-light Dryflylite.

For the ladies, Ex Officio went ‘eco’ with garb made from Soytopia™ (56% organic cotton/37% soy/7% spandex) and ExSential (37% organic cotton/ 34% nylon/ 25% soy/ 4% spandex). New pieces include the Soytopia™ Dress, Soytopia™ Capri, Soytopia™ Tank, Soytopia™ Amulet and the ExSential Overlay Hoody.

Underwear: “17 countries, 6 weeks, 1 pair.”
We don’t know if ExOfficio’s Give-N-Go® performance underwear (94% nylon/6% spandex) lives up to it’s aforementioned motto…but it is super comfy…and we tossed it into the wash without a thought.

Made to wick moisture and dry in a few hours, it also features the AEGIS Microbe Shield® finish to fight odor and bacteria. Cuts for women include the Give-N Go® Thong, the Give-N-Go® Cross Over Bra and Give-N-Go® Sleep Capri offered in white, black, berry and Bambu print.

RETAIL: Available worldwide in many sizes-collections range from around $15-$20 (undergarments) and top out at $250 for sturdy winter trench coats.

A new line of shoes.....