Functional fashion: Kit and Ace

OK so first up, a disclaimer: I am NOT a big shopper or fashionista. I hardly go clothes shopping and I don’t buy new clothes that often. I wear a lot of the same clothes and usually go for the safe (and cheap) option.

So when I was invited to Kit and Ace‘s Greville St store for a Fit and Design session, I was a bit unsure if it was really my thing.

Inside Kit and Ace’s Greville St, Melbourne, store. Pictures:

Kit and Ace is a Canadian label started in 2014 by Shannon Wilson and JJ Wilson, the wife and son of Lululemon founder Dennis “Chip” Wilson.

Their website says they “took the best principles of athletic design and applied them to clothing you can wear all day”. (Cue that active wear song!)

Their team (including designers, engineers and scientists!) came up with Technical Cashmere which combines the feel of cashmere with the durability of a “wash-and-go wardrobe”.

I thought that actually sounded pretty cool, and in the name of stepping outside my comfort zone, I met up with Bec (who I had previously connected with at a wellness event) for a late-afternoon session of checking out and trying on clothes.

Kit and Ace’s Gertrude St, Melbourne, store.

I was greeted at the store with the offer of a coffee/tea/ sparkling water, and Bec explained the range of clothes and history of the brand.

When I explained that I’m not very fashion-minded, she said if I liked comfortable clothing that was easily washable, then I was in the right place.

Their men’s and women’s clothes are a mix of materials including cashmere, wool, silk, rayon and spandex and are largely monochrome. The  clothes are actually in US sizes so my initial fear of not fitting into their clothes was unfounded (phew!).

I had a look through the clothes, opting to try on darker colours of several tops and pants combos to flatter my fuller-figured body shape.

Bec was lovely and recommended different pieces. The fabrics were SO soft, and I did comment when trying on all of the clothes that they felt so comfortable.

I fell in love with a few pairs of pants and some tops, including an awesome pair of pants (the Bartlett trouser) with zips on the bottom of the legs so you can tailor the width to suit you.

I was incredibly lucky to be gifted the Haven mid-sleeve top in black and the Mulberry style pair of pants (which have an elastic waist!!). Bec said they wanted real feedback on the garments. She told me to take them home, wear them and wash them.

So I have – and I love them. I’ve thrown them in the washing machine and dried them in the dryer and on the line. They have held their shape and texture, although the pants have developed a frayed bit of thread on the inside of one of the legs, which I suspect is from wear and tear rather than a fault.

For my budget, the clothes are on the expensive side, but if they are as durable as they say, I can see that investing in some pieces makes sense.

So I might have to treat myself to that other pair of pants!

Kit and Ace has stores in Greville St and Gertrude St in Melbourne and they’ve just opened a new store at Chadstone Shopping Centre. They also have stores in Sydney and Queensland. Check them out here.

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