Mizzen+Main Review: Performance Menswear Done Differently

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by  William Barton | Last Updated: 

What’s wrong with regular clothing? What, we need stretch in them, too?

We went all in on Mizzen+Main and tried out a few different staples to see if they’re worth your hard-earned cash. 

Performance menswear is in
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Mizzen+Main

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Bottom line: The supreme comfort and wearability of Mizzen+Main's performance menswear will win over plenty of guys in search of the ultimate premium clothing that you can actually move around in.

Ratings:

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The Adult Man Image/IconComfort The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/IconQuality of Materials The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/IconValue for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/IconCustomer Service The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon

Pros:

  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Performance fabric is light and breathable
  • High quality of construction and materials
  • Attractive, traditional styles
  • All dress shirts are machine washable and non-iron

Cons:

  • Sizes ran quite big for me (but read on as your mileage may vary)

What do your gym clothes and your dress shirts have in common?

Before 2012 the answer was next to nothing.

Today, the answer is Mizzen+Main.

What is Mizzen+Main?

Mizzen Knit Adjust Glasses 1

Mizzen+Main got their start with dress shirts made of performance fabrics, but since their founding in 2012, the brand has expanded into pants and casual shirts as well. 

It all started when the founder, Kevin Lavelle spotted a Washington D.C. staffer running up the hill on a hot day wearing a dress shirt that looked like he’d just done 25 laps in Banneker Pool.

The thing was sweat-soaked. And so the idea came to him:

Why not use athletic wear material to create a dress shirt?

mizzen main model grilling wearing summer polo

After much trial and error to get the fabric just right—which included wearing his samples through several rounds of golf and many trips to the gym—Lavelle had 1,000 dress shirts made.

Mizzen+Main was born.

Check out this short clip that tells the story in a much more fun way than I can:

Mizzen+Main also directly supports Adaptive Training Foundation which helps veterans and other athletes who’ve suffered a life-altering injury transform their lives through training and community.

Things to Consider Before Shopping with Mizzen+Main

mizzen main model riding bike

Mizzen+Main does both online and in-store returns and exchanges and the process is quite easy. 

You can get a full refund within 30 days, or get store credit up to 90 days, so you’ve got a large window to make sure you have the right fit. 

Mizzen+Main is on the premium end of the spectrum—their shirts are a little pricier. But because they’re made with performance fabrics, they don’t stretch out, shrink, stain, or lose their color. Even better, they don’t wrinkle, so these are perfect shirts for travel (or if you’re lazy like me and hate ironing).

While you might pay a bit extra for the shirt, you’ll save a lot on time and get a lot of quality, which is why I’ve picked up several Mizzen shirts over the years. 

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(Get 25% off sitewide with code THANKFUL25)

The supreme comfort and wearability of Mizzen+Main's performance menswear will win over plenty of guys in search of the ultimate premium staples that you can actually move around in.

Shop Mizzen+Main
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Mizzen+Main Review

Leeward Dress Shirt

mizzen main model wearing leeward dress shirt white

The Leeward Dress Shirt is Mizzen+Main’s bestseller and it’s the shirt that launched dozens of competitors as well. 

I’ve actually gone back and ordered several Leeward’s throughout the years, but to update this review, I picked up a sparkling new white Leeward. It’s wedding season, baby. 

mizzen and main leeward on the dance floor

There’s a reason I’ve picked up several Leeward shirts over the years: do you see that dance move in the picture above? You can’t do that with any old dress shirt. 

Listen, I’m not the kind of guy who’s going to baby his clothes. I need something that moves with me and cleans easily. The Leeward checks both of those boxes, plus it has a flattering fit and stays tucked.

Mizzen Kennedy with Layer Vest Closeup

The Leeward is crafted from Mizzen+Main’s signature lightweight and moisture wicking performance fabric with 4-way stretch. It’s non-iron and machine washable.

I don’t say this lightly:

In terms of comfort, this dress shirt is up there with one of the most comfortable I’ve tried.

Model Wearing Mizzen+Main Kennedy Dress Shirt Sitting Down and Smiling While Crossing Hands

The performance fabric (85% Polyester and 15% Spandex) means it has a lot of flex—it feels more like you’re wearing a gym shirt. It’s so light on your body that it doesn’t even feel like you’re wearing long sleeves.

But importantly, it still has that high-quality look of a traditional-style dress shirt.

I’ve worn my Leewards in all sorts of situations: humid North Carolina summer days, intense wedding dance sessions, and standard office days. To me, it’s the ideal dress shirt for when you have things to do. Regular shirts just don’t give you the same flexibility and come untucked too easily

The Leeward solves those issues and keeps you cool at the same time. I’m a big fan. 

Mizzen+Main Leeward Collection

This is easily the best dress shirt we've tried for travel. Mizzen+Main specializes in breathable, non-iron shirts. We actually crumbled this in a ball and stuffed it in a backpack for two days and it still didn't have wrinkles.

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Helmsman 5-Pocket Pant

mizzen main grey pants with boots

The Helmsman 5-Pocket Pant has the same build as a pair of jeans, but it’s made with stretchy, breathable performance fabric. 

I don’t like to wear pants too often in summer, but when I have to, these are the kind of pants I choose. 

I like that the Helmsman has a slimmer fit—they’re flattering and don’t have any loose parts that look floppy. 

mizzen main grey five pocket pants on bike

They stretch along with you, too. You can see I’m riding my bike with these pants and having no issues with the back falling down or moving my knees in a full range of motion. 

These pants are also beloved by several PGA Tour Pros—you know, the guys who walk several miles every Thursday through Sunday in the heat of summer. If they’re lightweight, breathable, and stretchy enough for those guys, then the same is true for the rest of us.

They’re stain resistant and far more comfortable than standard jeans and chinos.

mizzen main chino back pocket pants

I also really like that the Helmsman has a zippered pocket so you don’t have to worry about your wallet falling out of your back pocket. You can just zip it up and keep everything secure while you’re out on the course or at the office.

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Mizzen+Main Helmsman 5-Pocket Pant
(Get 25% off sitewide with code THANKFUL)

Wrinkle-free pants that are classy enough for the office, but comfortable enough to run a 100 yard dash in.

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Versa Polo

mizzen main polo fit

I love me a good polo, and the Versa was screaming “summertime” to me, so I picked one up. 

This polo is built for hot days on the golf course. The fabric is super lightweight and breathable, plus it’s a little longer to accommodate your swing. 

mizzen main model wearing summer polo and grilling

Mizzen+Main’s shirts have a larger and looser fit. I’m 6’1” and 200 lbs wearing the size L here. As you can see, the sleeves run longer and the fit is loose through the chest and torso. 

For a guy with my build, this fit is fine, but if you’re leaner, you’ll definitely want to get a size smaller than you normally would. I suspect I could’ve fit into a size M with the Versa Polo, but I don’t mind the extra room—especially if I’m going to the driving range with this on. 

At the risk of confusing you, Mizzen + Main says that the majority of their customer feedback says the opposite: that their shirts often feel a bit small. The brand’s recommendation is to actually size up if you’re in between sizes. 

Everyone has a different idea of what “fits.” I recommend you take a look at the pictures above and make a decision based on that—I washed the shirts before the photos, too, so any shrinkage has already happened (though their shirts don’t shrink much, if at all). 

Mizzen+Main Versa Polo

This polo is built for hot days on the golf course. The fabric is super lightweight and breathable, plus it’s a little longer to accommodate your swing.

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Halyard Knit Shirt

mizzen main short sleeve button shirt fit

While Mizzen+Main started with dress shirts, they’ve built an impressive collection of more casual shirts. With summer starting early and in full swing, I wanted to get something I could wear on Saturday afternoon strolls that still looked nice. A man can only wear so many t-shirts. 

The Halyard Knit Shirt has a wonderfully textured feel to it (hence the term “knit”). While the fabric feels a little thicker and structured, it’s just as breathable, if not more breathable, than the Versa Polo and Leeward. 

mizzen main close up knit

It’s like air flows right through the Halyard. 

Again, like the Versa, the Halyard fits looser and larger, so if you prefer something like a slim fit, I recommend sizing down. 

The Halyard has a hidden button down collar, which I’m a huge fan of. You get a crisp placket and collar, but the clean look of a buttonless collar—it’s a win-win. 

Overall, I’m pleased with my Halyard Knit Shirt, particularly with the fabric on hot summer days. 

Mizzen+Main Halyard Knit Shirt

With its hidden collar, it's like air flows right through the Halyard. You get a crisp placket and collar, but the clean look of a buttonless collar---it’s a win-win. Overall, I’m pleased with my Halyard Knit Shirt, particularly with the fabric on hot summer days. 

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What do Other Reviewers Say?

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Mizzen+Main gets a lot of love online and the positive comments I read through most often referred to how cool these shirts keep you. 

If you’re in a hot or humid climate, having a breathable dress shirt can make the difference between showing up to the meeting drenched in sweat or arriving cool and collected. 

Some felt that the plain white Leeward was a bit thin—in my experience, it’s not any thinner than standard cotton dress shirts, but you may still want a white v-neck undershirt.

Our Overall Thoughts on Mizzen+Main

What I Like

  • Their dress shirts are easily up there with the most comfortable we’ve ever worn. Same goes for the polo.

  • The performance fabric is super light and breathable. It pretty much feels like you’re wearing gym clothes. And you need to be sweating HARD for it to show through these (trust us, we tried).

  • The quality of construction is excellent and the 4-way stretch means the dress shirts have a lot of “give” to them. They fit very much true to form which adds to their comfort factor.

  • The clothing looks great—the styles err to the traditional side but there are a few flamboyant options scattered through their range of dress and casual shirts for the daring.

  • Their dress shirts stay wrinkle free all day without the need for ironing. Ironing sucks, so we like that. A lot. Throw them in the wash then hang them on the line and you’re good to go.

What I Don’t Like

  • Their sizes are quite big. I ordered the Large and felt it’s almost like an XL. Or at the very least, it’s at the big side of Large.

The Verdict

Comfort. Breathability. Fit. Quality. Style.

These are the key things you should look for in any shirt. And Mizzen+Main pretty much nails all of them. In an impressively innovative way.

If you’re on a strict budget, you may need to limit the number of Mizzen shirts you get because each one runs over a benjamin. But with how stain resistant and colorfast each shirt is, I think they’re well worth the investment. They’ll last longer than most cotton shirts, plus they’re much more comfortable. 

And if you’re wearing a dress shirt every day to work, you’re probably clocking up 40+ hours in them each and every week.

My point? The more you wear or use something, the stronger the argument you have for investing in premium.

And when it comes to premium, Mizzen+Main is right up there with the best menswear we’ve tried.

Black Friday Discount
Mizzen+Main
(Get 25% off sitewide with code THANKFUL25)

The supreme comfort and wearability of Mizzen+Main's performance menswear will win over plenty of guys in search of the ultimate premium staples that you can actually move around in.

Shop Mizzen+Main
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

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