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- Kickstarter-backed apparel brand Ably creates clothes that don’t stain or stink — perfect for traveling.
- Not only are the men’s and women’s garments from the brand outstanding from a technical standpoint, but they’re also extremely comfortable.
- Ably clothing has quickly become my go-to for all travel necessities whether I’m in need of a shirt, pair of pants, or jacket.
I like to think that I don’t ask for much. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’m low maintenance per se, but I don’t demand that much from my clothes. All I really want are tops, bottoms, and everything in between that is somehow sweat-, stain-, and odor-resistant. Reasonable, right?
As it turns out, with the help of apparel brand Ably, that’s not asking too much.
Ably purports to be the first clothing line that doesn’t use synthetic fibers and yet produces both men’s and women’s clothes that are immune to sweat, stains, and odors. The magic, it seems, comes from the brand’s Filium technology — think of it as an eco-friendly shield that can be applied to any natural fabric (cotton, Tencel, and the like) — that immediately allows the material to repel liquid and resist odor.
I was convinced that such a technology would result in clothes that were, at best, a bit crunchy in feeling, and at worst, uncomfortable to wear, but was surprised to find that wasn’t the case with either. Somehow, Ably has found a way to integrate its Filium technology without actually compromising the natural softness of the fabrics themselves. That means that your cotton travel cardigan feels like a cotton travel cardigan, but with the added benefit of being resistant to the trials and tribulations of travel.
Ably was founded by brothers Raj and Akhil Shah, and first got its start with a successful 2016 Kickstarter campaign, which reached and then exceeded its goal in less than 24 hours. And in the three years since, Ably has slowly grown into a serious clothing brand that I’ve found to be particularly useful when it comes to all things travel. The brand makes comfortable and eco-friendly alternatives to plastic-based performance wear that have served me well.
During a recent trip, in a moment of overzealousness, I spilled a small amount of red wine on my new Ably cardigan. Having (briefly) forgotten its stain-resistant properties, I was quick to lament my clumsiness, convinced that I had ruined an otherwise perfectly good piece of clothing. But to my delight, I found that the beads of red wine had just gathered on top of the fabric rather than soaking in. I just wiped away the spill with a napkin and promptly forgot about my troubles.
Because Ably repels liquids in this capacity, it doesn’t hold onto smells, which is hugely helpful on train and plane rides. I’m convinced that there’s little worse than coming off a long trip only to continue smelling like your method of transportation hours later. But whenever I’ve traveled in Ably clothing, I’ve found that smells don’t seep into the pieces, even over long travel days. In fact, not even my boyfriend’s alarmingly sensitive nose was offended by my Ably-clad hug after an international flight (a real first — I’m a lucky girl).
Aside from the functionality, the brand offers a fantastic suite of clothing options for both men and women. I’m a huge fan of the Palm jacket on the ladies’ side. Not only is it lightweight and weather-proof, but it’s also a beautiful shade of green that is a welcome break from my otherwise all-black travel wardrobe. It fits well, cinching at the waist for a flattering fit, and is a great length for wearing over a pair of travel leggings.
On the men’s side, the Auberon jacket is a fantastic option for the traveling guru. It’s not quite a classic trench coat, so I like to think of it as trench-coat lite. While the men in my life often look rather unkempt during their travels, the Auberon adds some quick sophistication to the mix and makes for a more put-together outfit both on and off the plane. Plus, it’s warm enough to add some additional cover in the face of unreasonably cold airplanes and lightweight enough to pack away in a carry-on.
If you’re looking to build out a travel wardrobe that is both functional and fashion-forward, Ably is probably where you should start your search.
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