When it comes to techie style, comfort is key.
According to Chris Lindland, CEO of San Francisco-based online retailer Betabrand, the modern worker needs clothing that fits an active lifestyle.
“When folks dressed like Don Draper, your clothing only needed to perform well in the boardroom and the bar. Today’s worker is far more active,” Lindland said to Business Insider. “Business travellers consider our dress pant sweatpants and yoga pants a Godsend. They allow you to dress up while dressing down.”
Betabrand first captured the Internet’s attention with Cordarounds, horizontal corduroys that are “67% less likely to cause friction fires in your groin,” according to its product description.
Betabrand then released the Executive Hoodie in 2012, just in time for the Facebook IPO. The pinstripe hoodie is a blend of business and casual that’s quite obviously aimed toward nerdy Mark Zuckerberg types. Now Betabrand designs, manufactures, and releases five new products a week.
The brand’s crowdfunding service, Thinktank, has also led to more than 75 new products since launching in September. Outside designers can submit sketches to the site, and if they get enough votes, Betabrand will create a prototype. The company then puts successful prototypes into production and awards the designers a 10% commission on each unit sold.
“Crowd-funding simply allows us to better understand what customers really want. It allows us to be far more experimental, and work with all kinds of designers,” Lindland said. “Men continue to crowd-fund anything that injects performance fabrics into workwear. Casual workwear / active workwear is a category our customers can’t get enough of.”
The site is very tongue-in-cheek, and its goal is to appeal to an Internet-centric audience.
“Our aim is to create fashion forwardable products. The designs, photos, & product descriptions must be interesting enough to forward on to friends,” Lindland said. “We’re trying to brighten people’s inboxes with something funny every couple days … Humour’s proven very necessary to get people to escape work for a moment and click over to our site.”
Lindland shared some of the most popular products you can buy on Betabrand right now.
The dress pant yoga pant has been Betabrand's most popular product by far. Like most yoga pants, they're made out of a stretchy rayon material, yet the boot cut makes them look professional enough to wear to the office. Betabrand has sold more than 6,000 pairs of the pants since January.
The dress pant yoga pants inspired nearly a dozen spin-off designs, including the Work-It Blazer. Made out of a stretchy rayon blend, it comes with a detachable hood that has moisture-wicking lining.
For men, incorporating sports wear into work clothing has been popular. The READY Button-Down Shirt is made of a high-tech cotton/poly blend that wicks moisture away from the skin. Still, the material is woven in traditional patterns, so it will fit right in at the office.
The Corporate Ladder Climbing Pants are designed for upward mobility, whether that's in the office or out in nature. They're designed in the business casual style, but include hidden features that hikers and climbers will like, such as a chalk bag loop and extra space for increased mobility.
The Dress Pant Sweatpants look like a nice pair of trousers, but they're actually made out of French terry. They have a relaxed fit that brings comfort back to the office.
The Corporate Raider Hooded Blazer transitions easily from the office to the outdoors. It's well-fitted, but the hood gives it a casual look that's appropriate for a young entrepreneur.
The Graphite Reflective Plaid Button-Up is perfect for the techie who bikes to work. By day, this looks like just a regular plaid shirt, but by night, reflective yarns provide increased visibility to make the commute safer.
Lindland designed the Black Ops Huntsman Hoodie for fans of first-person shooter games. It's made out of moleskin, with faux leather rifle patches.
This jacket is perfect for the future space tourist. The stitching in the white Tyvek shell looks just like the paneling on the Space Shuttle.
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