Monday, July 27, 2009



Outdoor Retailer Market, Salt Lake Palace Convention Center

July 23rd, 2009

Words, Images Judith Ecochard

Ex Officio has come a long way since two fly-fishing enthusiasts stitched up a functional shirt with the snazzy functionality of a fly-fishing vest.

A VERY long way as the Seattle, WA based clothier now offers a full range of stylish technical garments, accessories and shoes “…devoted to enhancing worldly exploration…” ---even if that adventure is limited to a few subway stops on the IRT or a trip to the Mall.

Ex Officio’s ability to conjure up clothing that packs well, is affordable and multi-tasks (sun protection, insect shield, thoughtful design details like French seaming, security zip pockets, flat seam finishing, indestructible button system, saddle stitch shoulder seams… easy care, moisture wicking etc)…gets well played in newer pieces set to launch for Spring/Summer 2010.


We got an intro to a few new styles made with the Neptune™ fabric-a textile treated with Nanoplex™ that absorbs harmful UVA and B rays, is a moisture wicker and killer of bacteria to eliminate odors.

A women’s Neptune™ full zipper long sleeve and a cool tank…and a guy’s Neptune™ Cricket (note to selves-learn that sport), and a mod ¼ Zip with wrist guard with thumb loop and extended neck for full sun protection…are all street/trekking friendly riffs on rashguard styles- but have more forgiving silhouettes. Favs like the long sleeve crew get Springy in dusty lapis, white, cigar or copper tones.

Being bug adverse, including those ticks that always mange to cling to the spots on our backs that we can’t reach…we were glad to see some fresh takes on the Insect Shield® repellant apparel that “binds permethrin to fabric fibers resulting in effective odorless insect protection for 70 washings.” (pics at top)

For gals and guys the new FlyBye™ shirts with a low profile security pocket –come in on trend colors (white, copper, lapis, jade) and join the highly rated, best selling Halo™ long sleeve shirts in ultra light nylon and with two front pockets.

The new M/W Ziwa™ pants (regular and convertible) are tricked out with great side pockets with notch out hand pockets for easier access to one’s stash.

We’re waiting for the golf apparel. HINT.

We give two thumbs up to the new Utility Vest--- part of the Gobi™ Collection, inspired by classic safari/photographers’ attire. A streamlined version of the original Gobi™ Vest, it sports seven pockets, a leaner profile, and an exterior travel system with two back security pockets separated with a cooling airstrip back. For $85-very affordable…and the ladies’ version curves in at the waist for feminine flair.

For everyday garb that packs and unpacks flawlessly…the Outlier™ Shorts, Bermuda and Pants give men handsome, durable and forgiving wardrobe options in khaki and cigar shades.

There’s the female equivalent too…in a sleek Bermuda with plaid fabric options... and a cute skirt…that all weigh like nothing -and have everlasting details that are often overlooked…liked pin zippers and mini side vents.

We also liked the refreshed version of the Go-To™ Sleeveless Dress made from a DriRelease silky smooth jersey. We could probably live in the Go-To™ Leggings and Capri (with a flattering wide waistband) built with 5% spandex for shape retention--- that joins this collection for S/S 2010.

Lastly, the Adventure Collection gets a bunch of new shirt options that are ultra light, breathable and drip dry friendly. We got schooled on the ExHale™ long sleeve shirt (bone, sage) that’s made from rip stop nylon, with two zip front pockets, has a UPF 30+ rating, button down collars or up (in case of sun protection), roll up tab sleeves and laser welded mesh to avoid breaking a sweat.

WE DIDN”T SEE but we know they’ll blow out of stores…the new underwear cuts… like Give-N-Go® Thongs and That’s Fly Boxers and Boxer Briefs…both made with some stretchy Lycra™ Spandex.

After all, who wouldn’t want TO LIVE the tagline:

“17 Countries. 6 Weeks. And one pair of underwear. Ok, maybe two.”

SHIP DATES mid-December 2009 through March 2010, depending.