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The destination for many commuter cyclists is often the office, so it’s unsurprising that many of the requests I get on Discerning Cyclist go along the lines of “do you know any good cycling suits or smart shirts?” I recently covered the former with a review of the Bluff Works Travel Suit, which also functions brilliantly on the bike, so in this post, we’ll go one layer down and review Mission Workshop’s ‘The Hayes’ shirt.
A Beautiful Cycling Shirt
Office-appropriate shirts are one of the biggest challenges for those commuting by bike.
Regular shirts are often stiff as they’re made from cotton and therefore offer very little in the way of give in what is the most important areas of your body when cycling: your back and arms.
Also, cotton is a nasty material to sweat in. It’s completely unforgiving, in terms of look, feel and odour. However, cotton also holds its form better than most other materials, hence why it is so widely used in shirt manufacturing.
In order to find the perfect balance, therefore, Mission Workshop have fused together cotton (60%) with polyester (40%) in the production of The Hayes cycling shirt. This should, in theory, provide a stylish-looking shirt that is also odour resistant, breathable and stretchy.
A Shirt for the Ride and the Office
As soon as you come into contact with The Hayes, the quality of the material is apparent.
It’s a surprisingly thick material, but one that is also soft to the touch. However, this doesn’t mean you’ll be overheating in this shirt. On the contrary, this is one of the most sweat-resistant shirts I’ve ever come across.
Mission Workshop’s The Hayes shirt is a button-up Oxford number with a few twists on a classic style. One of the most noticeable differences is the chest pocket which has a side entry rather than being a top pocket, for easy access. I’m not convinced about the value of this as it makes things a little bit more likely to fall out, although I’m sure I’m not in the minority to say I’ve never put anything in chest pocket of a shirt before. There’s also a pen pocket accompanying it which is a practical touch that I’m a big fan of.
Best Urban Cycling Shirt?
Mission Workshop describe this urban cycling shirts as a “high performance button-up shirt” and they’re right on the money with this summary.
This is a versatile shirt that looks great in smart and more casual environments and is in no way an overt cycling shirt. The cycling functionality is superbly and discreetly embedded into the shirt, with the cotton/polyester fabric blend doing an outstanding job of wicking away sweat. The “37.5 vapour management technology” not only prevents you from becoming a puddle, but it also isolates odour molecules so you don’t stink out the office – this tech will also last indefinitely and won’t wash out.
Read More: Where to Buy Mission Workshop Bags in the UK
One of the most impressive things about this shirt, too, is the amount of give it offers. It doesn’t look it, but it’s plenty stretch. Reaching the handlebars is a breeze, and it also doesn’t feel like your spine will burst out in Hulk-like fashion at any moment.
Simply but, this is one of the very best urban cycling shirts currently in the market.
Sadly, though, all this tech and quality comes with a very, very hefty £160 price tag, which will put off the vast majority of potential suitors. However, if you prefer to own one or two quality shirts (or your minted) rather than a large wardrobe of options, I can highly recommend Mission Workshop’s The Hayes urban cycling shirt. You can get this stylish cycling shirt in dark grey, white, navy blue and sky blue.