MIT is the least fashionable place I’ve lived. It’s a land of high-water pants, awkward haircuts, and sandals/socks. I love it.
So when I met Kevin Rustagi of Ministry of Supply last winter, (black blazer below), he was the most stylish MIT guy I’d ever met. I asked about his perfectly tailored shirt. “My company [Ministry of Supply] makes them. It’s the same materials as NASA space suits,” he explained. “It manages the temperature of your body by pulling heat away when you’re hot, and giving it back when you’re cold.”
I immediately thought of my summer days when I had “real jobs” living in Manhattan and Tel Aviv. I’d bike to work and show up drenched. I ended up biking shirtless in slacks and dress shoes. I realized that Kevin and his team created the ultimate biking dress shirt for three reasons.
- Phase Change Materials (PCM): By pulling heat away from your body, it keeps your body 1-2 degrees cooler. This is the difference between 98.6° and 100°+ when I start sweating.
- Moisture wicking: The material is similar to my favorite REI running shirts – unlike cotton, it wicks away moisture to evaporate quickly and keep me dry and un-stinky.
- Strain Analysis. Being MIT guys, they used finite element analysis to measure strain on the back of a shirt and optimize the cut to keep it from restricting motion when you lean forward on your bike.
I ordered one from their $300K Kickstarter project a few weeks ago, although the reality is I’d probably be better off getting one of their t-shirts, because as you can see from our pictures, it’s rare that I’d wear a collared shirt these days.