It’s weird to me when someone reaches out with an offer for me to try out something that’s not a car. But when it’s clothing that’s inspired by cars, I’m at least intrigued. That’s what happened when representatives from OLOI sent me a note explaining their mission. So I said sure, send over some stuff and I’ll be happy to wear it and let you know what I think.
Who are they?
First, let’s back up a minute though so you can learn more about the brand itself. Here’s what OLOI has to say about itself:
Oloi Inc. is a motorsports inspired apparel brand, hugging the curve between performance apparel and casual wear. The idea is to offer comfortable and functional clothing that makes the wearer feel stanced out — whether it’s on the track, at an event, or just going for a lazy Sunday drive. We get our inspiration from the past 100 years of automotive culture and design.
We know that gearheads, auto racers and enthusiasts alike have an appreciation for details and notice the little things, which is why we design our apparel with those details in mind. We look to harness and bring to our products the power, performance, and quality that well-built machines exude. We do this by focusing on classic styling, well thought-out features, and high-performance materials.
What are they selling?
So OLOI has clear inspiration and wants to appeal to car enthusiasts looking for a higher-quality of auto-related clothing. And yes, that translates into clothes that carry a higher price tag compared to other great options in this space. But I do believe OLOI succeeds on delivering its higher-quality goods. The materials used for the t-shirts are incredibly soft. I hate thick, heavy t-shirts and these OLOI shirts are definitely not that. They’re comfortable and the few options they do offer look clean and simple.
The pants; good but not perfect
I also “tested” a pair of the Race Day Pants. These are priced higher than I’d normally spend on a pair of pants. I’m more often found in jeans than pants anyway, but like the shirts, these pants are supremely comfortable. They simultaneously look dressed up and down, and they might just be the perfect pair of pants to wear when you’re traveling on an airplane. They’re light, have a few surprising pocket placements, and you won’t look like a slob yet you’ll be super comfortable. They’re not perfect though, as that price is just way too high for me personally. And the front space near the crotch area needs to be reworked. It can result in some … *ahem* moose buckling. Judging by the pictures on the site, the other pants offered don’t seem to suffer this same fate and they’re a little less expensive.
Tough time for premium items?
So for OLOI, I hope they can raise their volume to possibly reduce the price point of the pants. The t-shirts are offered in a range of prices that make sense based on the quality level of the given shirt, but it would be good to see that dip a little too. It would be easy to scoff at a company coming in and suggesting or asking car lovers to buy expensive pants and shirts when we’d rather spend money on car parts and fuel. But I think there’s room for a premium brand in this space. Will the market agree with me? That’s tough to say, and the economy (and world at large) isn’t in a great place at the moment.
If OLOI can get its price point a little lower, I think we’d be off to a good start. I’m not exaggerating… those pants are extremely comfortable. (and they should be, for that much dough…)
[Disclaimer: OLOI sent me two shirts and a pair of pants to review, at no cost.]