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Hands-On: lululemon Metal Vent Tech Polo & ABC Pants

Photo: HiConsumption

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Golf has long been characterized by its stuffy, formal style and its general resistance to change. However, in recent years, the industry has made a decisive pivot away from its laidback country club roots in favor of a more performance-oriented mindset. It’s a shift that’s resulted in a marked difference in dress, with many clothing manufacturers applying technologies taken from other sports in order to make their apparel lighter, more breathable, and overall far better-suited to time out on the course. As such, everyone from weekend warriors to Pro Tour players has been taking advantage of the new digs in the hopes that it’ll take a few strokes off their game.

Ever an authority when it comes to all things active, lululemon sent over its Metal Vent Tech Polo and ABC Pants to see how they’d do in such an application. While neither piece is explicitly designed for golf, both come loaded with features that should, in theory, perfectly position them for the sport. But it’s one thing to talk the talk; it’s something else entirely to perform in practice. As such, we put the Metal Vent Tech Polo and the ABC Pants through their paces to see if they were up to the task. Read on to see how they fared.

Photo: HiConsumption

Bringing Your A Game

The Style

Although the golf world has made significant strides when it comes to its stylistic inclusivity, nearly all courses will have some sort of dress code in play. With this in mind, lululemon kept its apparel simple and understated, meaning that you can rock the latest and greatest in activewear technology whilst still respecting the game’s time-honored tradition. In the case of the Metal Vent Tech Polo, you’ll find the solid blocked aesthetic and fine stripe patterns make for a classy accompaniment to practically any outfit. That is to say, the more muted tones are incredibly easy to match, and while they’re distinctive, they’re subtle enough that you won’t be sticking out like a sore thumb. Similarly, the ABC Pants are almost Chino-like in silhouette, stitched with a clean five-pocket design and finished off with a range of neutral colors such as black, white opal, and grey. So, even though they might be motion-maximizing in function, their design skews more towards slacks than it does sweatpants. On style alone then, lululemon’s offerings are already pretty competitive.

Photo: HiConsumption

Par For The Course

The Construction

At the end of the day, though, looking the part can only take you so far; eventually, you’ll have to put your money where your mouth is. As such, lululemon has drawn from its extensive catalog of proprietary performance textiles to optimize its apparel for long days out hitting the links.

Being part of the brand’s Metal Vent Tech collection, the polo incorporates a breathable mesh fabric with some Silverescent X-STATIC technology. In practice, we found that such a combination made for a pretty next-level pairing, keeping us cool and comfortable whilst also ensuring that we stayed stink-free — even after a sunny afternoon on the back nine. Though the athletic fit isn’t likely to work for everyone — especially bulkier builds — we liked the streamlined cut, because it ensured that the shirt stayed out of the way and, most importantly, off our minds. And thanks to the bit of added elastane, it wasn’t overly constricting, providing a full range of motion from backswing to follow-through.

As impressive as we found the Metal Vent Tech Polo to be, it’s the pants that were really the star performers. Crafted from an elastomultiester-based Utilitech fabric, they offer excellent abrasion resistance and a solid amount of four-way stretch. Of course, you’re unlikely to need them for their impact protection when playing a round of golf, but the material is quite remarkable when you consider just how natural it feels to the touch. And that’s not all; because they make use of lululemon’s ABC technology, they feature an ergonomic gusset through the crotch. Such an addition gives your goods plenty of room (a godsend on a hot day) without looking like a pair of baggy, ill-fitting mom jeans. Add to that a fit that tapers after the glutes and thighs, and the result is a pair of pants that are as sport-inspired as they are stylishly-inclined.

Photo: HiConsumption

A Cut Above The Rest

The Details

Given everything that lululemon’s Metal Vent Tech Polo and ABC Pants have going for them, it’s hard to believe that they could be made any better. But let’s face it. It’s the little things that count, and lululemon is a brand that consistently delivers when it comes to the details. In fact, it’s the smaller touches that really pushed the apparel over the top, asserting it as a true cut above the rest.

We’ve already touched on the polo’s Metal Vent Tech mesh material, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the seamless construction — it’s a game-changer. By eschewing the traditional garment-making process in favor of its own specialized machinery, lululemon can knit yarns into what are essentially long cylinders of fabric. So, where most other options on the market are stitched with uncomfortable side and underarm seams, such irritants are noticeably absent from the Metal Vent Tech Polo. It’s a distinction that was made only better by the lightweight collar design, unobtrusive button fasteners, and integrated elastane at the cuffs and hem. In aggregate, such components work together to form a shirt that goes big on comfort while still offering a classic polo aesthetic.

Like the shirt, the pants come with a host of helpful innovations that make them stand apart from the crowd. For instance, they’re built with a hidden zippered pocket that allows you to keep your essentials secure without compromising your look. Sure, it might seem like a minor addition, but it beats getting back to the parking lot only to find that your car keys are lost somewhere out in the rough. And while the flip-up reflective elements might not ever be needed during a round, you never know when they might come in handy off the course. (Plus, they’re subtle enough that you can still rock a rolled cuff without drawing undue attention.)

Photo: HiConsumption

Ace In The Hole

Closing Thoughts

Overall, we can confidently say that we enjoyed our time with the lululemon Metal Vent Tech Polo and ABC Pants. They make for a handsome outfit no matter the setting, but their performance-focused fit means that they really shine when worn during active applications. Furthermore, the attention to detail is — as you’d expect from lululemon — spot on across the board. The polo is not only well-designed by athletic apparel standards but also on par with many a dress shirt. When paired with the smart-yet-sporty ABC pants, you’ve got a winning combination that can’t be beaten.

lululemon Metal Vent Tech Polo 2.0

Between its understated style and its sweat-ready materials, the Metal Vent Tech Polo 2.0 is one shirt that definitely deserves a spot in your wardrobe rotation.

Purchase: $88

lululemon ABC Pants

If you’re looking for a pair of pants that combine the comfort of joggers with the crisp look of slacks, you can’t go wrong with lululemon’s ABC offering.

Purchase: $128