Have you ever felt like, man, I wear the same thing every day?
I was starting to get to that stage after going on a denim-spree earlier in the year.
Blue jeans, day in and day out.
Not that there’s anything wrong with rocking denim. But I just got tired of the look.
I went searching for something that has the look of chinos and the kind of comfort I’d be happy to throw on for a casual walk to my local brewery.
That’s when I came across Rhone.
I’d previously thought they only did workout shorts. But they offer so much more. For our Rhone review, I picked up their Commuter pants and their new Notch t-shirt to give the brand a try. Keep reading for my full thoughts.
What Is Rhone?
Rhone claims they make clothing for men.
“Wait, seriously? They couldn’t come up with anything better than that?”
I’m not talking about any dude sitting on the couch munching on a bag of cheese-kringles and sipping on a frosty-squeezie.
We’re talking about men.
Fathers, leaders, and strivers.
I mean, just watch this video and tell me you don’t want to start doing amazing things in slow-motion:
Rhone loves an inspirational quote and they don’t shy away from finding creative ways to express their philosophy through their clothing.
On all of their clothes, you’ll find a triple cross-stitch: a callback to the famous Aesop fable where the captain instructs his boys that by binding sticks together—by staying unified—they couldn’t be broken.
Aspirational messages aside, Rhone makes technical fabric clothes for the gym and the office. They first came to notoriety through their workout shorts but have since expanded to include dress shirts and more formal-looking slacks.
Each item is sweat wicking and has four-way stretch so you can count on more mobility and flex than with standard cotton shirts or pants.
Things to Consider Before Buying Athleisure Apparel from Rhone
There’s no doubt you’ve got a few different brands you’re looking at. With Rhone’s apparel, expect a more tailored, modern fit.
I’ve tried several brands in this space and while I haven’t had a bad experience yet, I was really impressed with Rhone’s Commuter pants. The brand offers many different fit and style options, too, so if that trim modern look isn’t your thing, there are other choices.
Rhone also makes workout shorts, and while they cost a pretty-penny, they’re definitely worth a look.
I totally get why you might not want to spend $60+ on a pair of gym shorts—I was skeptical, too. But I now have three pairs of premium athletic shorts and I’m a huge fan.
It’s true that I have to slowly build the collection up to the five pairs I need (I still have to wear my ill fitting mesh shorts two days), but I definitely feel a boost of confidence when I’m wearing something that looks better.
Rhone Commuter Pants Review
I love the look of cotton chinos—they’re classic. My experience with technical fabric chinos so far has been mixed: some are “swooshy,” some are so thin that they basically highlight the pocket liners.
Up until this point, I haven’t tried a technical fabric chino that made me want to switch from cotton (with some added stretch, of course).
The first thing I noticed with these Commuter Pants is the button closure. It’s a snap button rather than the classic buttonhole deal. I like it. A lot.
Right away, I can see that they’ve rethought the design of a chino and found a few places to update the classic menswear staple.
But I’m most impressed with the fit. There’s a significant taper below the knee, which gives these pants a modern and trim silhouette. I haven’t yet been able to find this kind of fit in another technical fabric chino, so props to Rhone.
Rhone has several different fits available for their Commuter Pant: regular, slim, skinny, and jogger. They also have a five-pocket version available which is cut similar to jeans.
I picked up the slim fit and I’m really happy with that taper. For my body type, the slimmer look toward the ankle makes me look more tall and trim. At 6’1” it’s not like I need extra visual height, but the slimming effect helps.
I don’t recommend the skinny fit. Unless you have very skinny legs and know that skinny fit jeans work better on your body type, I think the slim is plenty modern enough, but still classy looking.
The Commuter pants have a few other key updates that I’m a fan of. They feature a gusseted crotch, which helps a lot with mobility—especially if you ride a bike or have to bend over often to pick things off the ground.
The back pockets have a mesh lining to vent the butt and presumably prevent swamp-ass. Despite my thoroughness as a scientist out in the field, I wasn’t able to take direct measurements on this effect, but I know the mesh venting can’t hurt.
There’s also a safety zippered pocket on the back right, which is super helpful when traveling. Unsavory folks might be able to pickpocket the front and back pockets, but anything that’s zipped up is near-impossible for a thief to get to without you noticing. Travelers should stash their passport in the zippered pocket for extra security.
Most importantly (to me, anyway) the Commuter Pants actually look and feel like a classic pair of chinos. They don’t have the extra sheen that many technical fabric clothes carry and they feel soft and natural.
The Commuter Pants take chinos to a new level. We haven't found another pair of technical fabric chinos that does so well looking like standard cotton slacks but still retaining the extra comfort and mobility of other tech-forward pants.
Rhone Notch Performance Pique Tee Review
I also picked up the Rhone Notch Performance Pique Tee, which caught my eye because it has the look of a henley, but without the buttons.
To me, t-shirts can get boring fast, so having a little something extra like the contrasting-color notch is crucial.
The Notch Performance Pique Tee is made with Rhone’s own cooling GoldFusion fabric, and I can attest that it stays cool through the hot North Carolina summer. The GoldFusion technology is the brand’s way of fighting stink, which I always thought was a gimmick until recently.
I have a cotton workout shirt that I love—it fits amazing. But I don’t know what I did to it because it smells horrible—even after washing several times in a row.
It gives off a faint smell of urine for some reason. Unless I’ve got the night-pees, there’s no explaining why. What’s worse is that I still wear it when working out because I look buff in it and that makes me happy. I just hope that no one comes near me.
Anyway, sorry for the diversion. But that shirt made me realize that sometimes cotton shirts just start smelling rank and there’s nothing you can do about it.
With the Rhone Notch Tee, I can’t say I’ve tried to recreate that stench, but I certainly haven’t avoided it.
And no, those aren’t short looping gifs. I really did 17,127 squats and shoulder presses.
You can imagine how sweaty that shirt gets during a North Carolina August afternoon.
Still, after a wash, this shirt smells squeaky-clean and feels great. My only complaint is that the sizing is a bit large. I’m usually a large for my t-shirts, so I picked up an L.
It fits perfectly in the shoulders, but I was hoping to get that same trim, tailored fit I have with the Commuter Pants. The torso and arms are a bit roomy, so the Notch Tee doesn’t have the same slimming, modern look as some of my other performance fabric t-shirts.
Still, it’s an excellent pickup for my workouts. And the fabric is thick, feels premium, but stays super breathable.
Made with substantial technical fabrics, these shirts are flattering to say the least. They'll accentuate your muscles so all that hard work you've been putting in at the gym shows clearly.
What do Other Reviewers Say About Rhone?
Rhone boasts a 4.8-star average with over 1,100 reviews on their site. Most of the reviewers that went into any detail mentioned they were fans of the fit—especially for the pants and shorts. And for many guys, we get used to how athletic gear from Target fits (which is terrible—sorry, Target). But the guys who’ve spent some time building muscle are happy with the way Rhone shows that off.
Ironically, the only negative comments echoed my experience with the Notch t-shirt. Their shirts do seem to run large. So if you’re at all between sizes, be sure to get the smaller of the two.
Rhone vs lululemon
Rhone often is compared with lululemon—their prices are roughly the same, though a recent look at both shows that Rhone has a slight edge.
The quality is comparable, though Rhone has a wider range. Not only does Rhone have more color choices for most of their products, but they also have more products.
You also get the benefit that Rhone is exclusively for men, whereas lululemon may not ever live down their early years as a women’s yoga brand. Not that I buy into that too much, but I still tend to think of lululemon as a women’s brand that sells men’s clothes.
My Thoughts Overall On Rhone
What I Like
The Commuter Pants have my favorite fit of any technical fabric chino I’ve tried: the taper below the knee is modern and flattering.
The Commuter Pants look and feel like cotton chinos, but they’re much more stretchy and comfortable.
The Notch Performance Pique Tee is breathable, lightweight, and has a cool design.
Rhone offers free 2-day shipping and 45-day returns.
What I Don’t Like
The Notch Performance Pique Tee has more room than I’d like in the torso and arms.
Who is Rhone for?
Rhone should be on your watch list if you like a trim, modern fit but hate feeling restricted by your clothes. Products like the Performance Pant may look like a slim classic chino, but they’re much more comfortable, both in terms of breathability and stretchiness.
I’ve heard a lot about the quality of Rhone’s workout shorts. But their day-to-day apparel was a mystery.
I’m really enjoying the slim fit Performance pants because they look and feel just like cotton chinos, but they have a few updates like a gusseted crotch, sneaky pockets, and breathable stretchy fabric that makes them much more comfortable.
As for the Notch Performance Pique Tee, I was a little let down by the extra room in the torso and arms, but the shirt fit perfectly across my shoulders and I’ve been sweating up a storm in it without scaring people away with my man-stink.
If you’re looking for a modern twist on some classic staples, Rhone is definitely worth looking into.
Where are Rhone clothes made?
Rhone clothes are designed in Connecticut and constructed in factories throughout Asia.
How do you wash Rhone pants?
Wash Rhone pants on cold and avoid fabric softener. Also, because these are technical fabric, don’t iron your pants. They should stay relatively wrinkle-free. Use a steamer if needed.
What are lined shorts?
Lined shorts are workout shorts that eliminate the need for underwear. A good pair of lined shorts, like the Rhone Mako, will offer support down below and more comfort, breathability, and coverage than a standard shorts/ underwear combo.