Last year, making some regular money again and with a view towards a summer trip to China (to celebrate our wedding there, with the Chinese family, finally…), I decided to spring for Arc’teryx Veilance’s Voronoi pants in their light summer version.
These Voronoi pants have been changed from their earlier cotton-nylon material, which seemed the same as the material used in the cargo pants that simply disintegrated with use, to a ‘plainer’ nylon as is also used for the Blazer LT.
(Arc’teryx describes it as “Stretch woven plain weave: 94% nylon, 6% elastane”)
I’d had the earlier Cargo Pants (and Voronoi), and they put me off Veilance pants just as the Spec pants had left me interested in them.
(Whenever I travel into cities or mountains in the cold, it’s still the Spec pants with their windstopper material and on-thigh cargo pockets I happily unpack and use.)
Then I got a Blazer LT in black (and another one from an outlet in Sand color) for the summer and liked that material enough to want to see about the Voronoi in the same fabric.
Veilance Voronoi Pant
These pants, surprisingly enough considering the issues I’d had with both the material and the cut of the earlier ones, turned out just about perfect for my needs and wants.
They are very light and quick-drying, but also durable, meaning that it is no problem to wear them in the heat and humidity of Southern China’s summers, look good, and be pretty comfortable.
With their peculiar pattern and cut, they are not your ordinary pair of pants, but the peculiarity (and luxury, considering the price) of them is nicely hidden in the details; there is nothing that would scream “special” to the person who doesn’t already know what they are seeing.
Unlike other recent Veilance pants, these Voronoi are not cut so tight (“tapered”) in the lower leg that a runner like me can’t fit, let alone lift his knee, in them anymore.
The pocket configuration here is ordinary, if integrated nicely into the special cut pattern, not giving quite the technical menswear versatility I would have liked, but fitting into a normal “technical apparel” wardrobe all the better for it.
Spring/summer 2017, Arc’teryx released a new version of thei Align pants, with a rather more special (seemingly) cargo pocket-inspired design, too.
I thought I might really like that, but there was also yet another of the cotton-nylon blends similar to the dangerous first generation Voronoi and/or Cargo Pants…
It seemed a gamble, but I thought I’d try; the return policy is good enough.
Well, as you can see and hear in my review video, here Veilance experimented far too badly again, in my opinion:
The material might be more durable this time around, or it might not be, but they definitely only work for you if you have very thin lower legs and do not mind sitting on almost anything you put into the cargo/back pockets.
Not for me.
Let’s see now.
I still have the oldest pair of Thunderbolt Sportswear’s softshell jeans in all of Europe, probably, a MarkII version of those, the Spec and Voronoi pants… and there are quite a few technical menswear specialists around, so I should either do with what I have now, or check out something from another brand.
Seeing a type of clothing that is rather business-like in a material that is not the traditional choice is somewhat disconcerting.
Enclothed Self Presentation
A blazer may be more casual and sporty than a full-on suit, but it still is a step up in style for most men nowadays, outside of the office and business world that requires suit and tie; a blazer in a Windstopper material, then, seems a tad too radical a departure from the norm.
Well, that material is still missing from my ‘collection’, but Veilance has produced blazers in everything from high-density polyester weaves as used in water- and wind-resistant shells to wool-cotton blends and the just-mentioned Windstopper.
Going for such technical materials, and for some technical, protective, features as well, these pieces do stand out from the usual range of men’s clothing.
At the same time, in bringing these two sides together, they show just how much we have forgotten that clothing is always both protection and presentation, function and style.
Even a pair of jeans and a T-shirt transports a message and keeps its wearer dressed and (hopefully) comfortable.
If jeans and a T-shirts isn’t your style – or if it is, but only spruced up a bit towards the more sartorial – and you still spend a good bit of your time moving around outside, not just in a car, blazers like those from Arc’teryx may be just the thing for you: Style and substance, so to speak.
Pieces I can speak of are:
For one, the Haedn blazer of the most recent seasons (and an otherwise unnamed blazer from a few seasons ago), which is a wool-cotton-polyester blend with a rather more traditional look and feel but great cut and performance…
Secondly, for the spring/summer seasons, there is the Blazer LT. This light and thin, rather shirt-like, version of a blazer is odd at first (Shouldn’t a blazer be a thicker material?), but turns out just perfect for a greater touch of style and protection…
Something I can’t resist mentioning: If the blazers have you thinking of hipsters on bikes – or perhaps, men with a sense of gentleman-ness who know how to combine old(er)-fashioned classical style with modern elements – check out Onoo’s “Sendling” jacket!
Some new piece of gear, a new fashion trend in a new season, something that disappoints – such things give something to talk about.
It can be seen on the vast majority of blogs; it can be seen with my previous review of the Veilance Diale Composite Sweater (good, thus not talked about at length) and the Cargo LT (and Voronoi) Pants (which failed and therefore gave me a lot to talk about).
Their disappearance, so far, is another example of one of the big issues in making oneself at home in places and with things: the large extent to which both the good and the familiar disappear.
Familiarity, by and large, means nothing but such a disappearance of the new and noticeable into the background – and to a forgetfulness of what would actually be there. Good products, similarly and very differently, often fulfill their purpose and suit us so well, they also disappear from our attention.
If we want to make ourselves more at home, then, we need to become more conscious of what we are overlooking in our lives and in the places we are, but also to find those things that fit for us and for what we do, so that we can be less conscious of them.
In my daily and in my less-ordinary life, when it comes to clothes, these good things have included a few pieces from Arc’teryx Veilance. For a few years now, the Spec Pant and Stealth shirt(s) have been staples in my wardrobe. They have held up well; they give the look of being well-dressed but not seasonally-fashionably so; they suit and protect well.
Sure, as usual, a lot of it may be due to the placebo-like ‘enclothing’ effect of a Windstopper cargo pant that can very nearly pass as a pair of slacks and a shirt that includes Kevlar in its material mix – but when it works, it works…
Of course, there is one big problematic issue perfectly pointed out by such a review of things which have proven good, but come from a brand deeply involved in quarterly earning figures and, with this line, twice-yearly product releases with few constant items: You can find out that these things are good only at a time when you cannot get them anymore…