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Bicycles December, 9 2009

Inspired Design | The Outlier Pivot Sleeve Shirt

Having worked a cycling lifestyle into office trousers, the next logical move is to incorporate dynamic movement into the dress shirt. The Outlier Pivot Shirt attempts that step. Abe Burmeister and Tyler Clemens walked us through the unlikely inspiration behind the eventual chosen cut.

Their words, and more fine illustrations after the jump.

The pivot sleeve shirt is all about movement. A shirt that moves properly in cycling position, but also lets you move comfortably through the sort of social spaces you wear buttondown shirts. We wanted to create a classic dress shirt that’s of the highest quality on the market, but doesn’t stress and pull uncomfortably on a bike.

The big breakthrough in making this shirt was when we started reading about the clothing George Mallory wore when he climbed Mount Everest in 1924. He wound up dying on that expedition but a lot of people believe he reached the peak first. The crazy thing is how well designed his clothing was though. In photos he looks like he’s dress to go golfing in Scotland, not climb the worlds highest mountain, but all the gear was specially tailored for the expedition and actually works better than most modern mountaineering gear. That gave us a lot of inspiration for making a piece that combined classic aesthetics with advanced movement.

Any bespoke tailored piece is going to move better because it’s made to your body and the cutter is in a real dialog with you and can learn about how you move. But Mallory went further and actually developed garments specifically for the movements of climbing, all the reaching grabbing and swinging of ice axes means you move your arms a ton and you can’t be letting in cold air at Himalayan heights! A few years ago a team reconstructed his clothing and then climbed Mount Everest in it and the crazy thing is that it was lighter, warmer and moved better than all the high tech gear they were used to using!

Mallory actually developed and patented a pivot sleeve jacket, and that’s what really got us thinking on how to re-cut the shirt. Our pivot sleeve works completely different from his, but we are totally in debt to his work and to the historians who recreated his garments. It really helped us understand what we needed to be doing as we try and create better clothing for a world where cycling is best way to navigate a city.

Highsnobiety