a.k.a., A Review of the Black Yak Combat Shirt and Notes on My Fascination with this Brand
I have mentioned Black Yak some times before, but it is only now that I really want to talk about them.
About a product of theirs, the Combat Shirt, and the fascination this company provides in the world of technical / performance clothing…
Watch my review here, or read on below it to delve into the details…
For one, their standout first-collection piece, the Sendling jacket, is made from loden, a wool fabric that would fit the current interest in natural fibers with great performance very well, if only it weren’t used in traditional costumes so much.
Green or grey loden, deer antler buttons, that’s the men’s costume to accompany women wearing a dirndl. Good for the Oktoberfest, but not exactly a modern style to wear to anything but such a festival. Or maybe a hunt.
Not so with the Sendling.
It’s still grey loden, but a very comfortable one, and one treated with a teflon coating adding further to its natural ability to shed rain and snow. Inside, a layer of insulation has been added for cold temps.
Sendling Jacket Inside (Waist)
The cut is thoroughly modern in all the best ways:
form-fitting but not tight
with cooling and stretching cutouts behind the shoulder blades for ventilation and movement
stretch cuffs inside the asymmetric outside cuffs protecting the backs of your hands and keeping out wind
pockets and main closure (except for three buttons there for style) all closed by waterproof zippers that are thoroughly modern a touch again, but functional as well.
Sendling Jacket Chest Pocket (and Collar Detail)
Most of those – and more! – details are all made for the intended use of the jacket, as a piece that you can wear on your bike while riding into work or to the next coffee shop or traditional Kaffeehaus, then get right down to business or your individual pursuits and still look dressed like a creative professional.
In their advertising material (see their website), it’s all very much the hipster look and style, but no beard is required to rock that jacket. No fixie bike, either.
And in Substance?
The bit of insulation added to the inside keeps pretty warm while not getting stuffy as long as the temperatures are low enough (summer jacket this ain’t).
Sendling Jacket Inside, while worn
I have worn my Sendling from February to May, from Munich to Zurich to Rome, and it’s held up come rain or shine.
In Zurich, in downpours, I just added a woolen cap and was fine; only Rome got a bit warm for it.
(One downside: It should not be washed, only dry cleaned. I went ahead and hand-washed the inside at the armpits, where washing became highly advisable, with mild wool detergent, anyways, then hung it up to dry outside. Worked out very well. Otherwise, for all but if you get it too sweaty, loden just needs to be hung out in fog – or in your steamy post-shower bathroom.)
Even then, the leather strap inside, meant to keep the jacket from flapping around in the wind when you’re on your bike, comes in handy for having the jacket open, but not totally, in warm-enough temperatures that you don’t want to have it zipped and/or buttoned up.
Sendling Jacket using leather lock strap (and you can also see the headphone garage above the chest pocket)
So, in total, as you can also see in the video review, you can wear this jacket completely open, open-but-unflappable using the leather strap (which can also be removed if so desired… or maybe if you need a tool for a spanking), closing the buttons, zipping it up halfways for the suit jacket-collar look, or zipping it up all the way and putting up the collar for real cold-weather use.
I do hope O1O6 will remain and go on – who else makes performance-oriented menswear that is designed in Germany and sewn in Italy, of European materials? – and they sure sounded like they already had ideas for further improvements and maybe new things.
Their initial collection already includes a bomber jacket, the Westend, and the Lehel short coat…
Let’s see what’s next; it’s sure to be style with substance, “intelligent urban clothing” to keep and feel at home in.
Sendling Jacket Inside Construction: Materials mix inside, O1O6 tag, leather hanger with limited edition number all visible
At €599 for the Sendling, it’s not cheap – until you look at what a nice suit jacket from a well-known brand would cost, all without necessarily making you look as good while protecting you that well.
We are said to live in an information society and with an approaching Internet of Things, but our clothes aren’t so smart yet, and styles of dress often seem to have become less smart than they ever used to be.
And there, clothes have a major influence on how we feel, physically and psychologically, as well as on what we can do, in style and/or in comfort. The life at home in this world is also the enclothed life…
So, something I wanted to look for at this year’s ISPO – which also has its own section dedicated to “sport style”, anyways – was clothing that suited the technical / performance men’s wear category. (And the Suunto Kailash I have been wearing for reviewing ;) )
Merino has become such a trend, it seems everywhere. From dress shirts to running tops, more and more clothes are made of or incorporate merino wool. Almost all of it comes from New Zealand, almost all of it seems made in China.
Straight from a very different part of China, and recently moved to be Made in England, comes Khunu.
The company and its products are remarkable for a whole set of reasons: