You may have seen the name pop up here and there over the past five years, and while the brand has been growing steadily in it’s native Australia, only recently has owner Leonard Greis decided to really expose the brand to the North American market.
You’ve probably seen their ad running in the PEZ PeloPics Gallery, and a few other places around the web, and if you haven’t clicked on it yet you should – you just might find something you like. And to be fully transparent here – while I don’t get any revenue from sales that go through PEZ, they have offered PEZ readers free shipping as away to inspire some trial.
Like the name says, Aprиs Velo is a line of gear designed to wear after your ride.
The gear is easy to buy online, and a quick perusal could lead to a long perusal when you see how much they offer, and how many different designs they’ve created. But as much selection as there is, it’s all easy to find, broken into just a few key categories like Men’s, Women’s, Kid’s, Bike Stuff and Bike Art. Each category has a couple of sections that are easy to navigate, and designed for easy shopping.
We’ve built up a reputation as for going into some pretty deep detail on our tech reviews – and I admit I was scratching my head about how much I could say about a line of cotton t-shirts. But as I soon saw the gear, it was clear the details here are less about what I can tell you about the product, and more about what I can show you…
The graphics are cool and graffiti inspired, making this a brand that should appeal to anyone who doesn’t want to look like the rest of the bunch, and takes some pride in wearing well made, luxurious feeling fabrics.
Here’s a closer look a a few items…
Men’s Cognoscenti T-Shirt $34.95
One of 20 different short sleeved t-shirt styles shown on the website, the Cognoscenti t-shirt felt different before I even pulled it on. Part of that feel is the very fine thread count in the cotton, the other part is the acid wash that distresses and softens the fabric.
In case you can’t tell, the garment tag spells out what’s cool about this gear, and even the tag has a handmade feel to it.
The design has an almost tye-dyed look to it – and rightly so as each tee is acid washed to reveal unique characteristics in the design that actually make every shirt distinct. Since the cotton fabric reacts differently to the acid wash – no two tees look the same. That’s cool.
Cool details abound – some over the top and in your face, others more discreet, but no less profound.
Men’s Survival of the Fittest Long Sleeve Sweater – $39.95
Here’s a cool top that’s really more than a long sleeved t-shirt. The v-neck, cuffs and waist are all knitted into the garment, unlike t-shirts that are simply cut, rolled under, and sewn.
The material is a super fine cotton that’s been acid washed for soft finish and to encourage the fading of colors, which again ensures that no two pieces are exactly the same.
The cut is semi-fitted and I found the size medium comfortably roomy – not constricting and not too baggy.
Leonard told me he really likes this piece with jeans and a blazer for a funky cool look – and we are grown men after all, so why not dress like it once in a while?
Lady’s True Religion T-Shirt – $34.95
We like looking at a few items from a brand’s line, to get a broader sense of how the company produces on a whole – which is hard to do with just one item. And I‘m happy to report I even scored a few points when I suggested Mrs. Pez check out the website and select an item (she does love to shop).
The big selection was to her liking (the website shows 24 different styles) – but her first choice of the True Religion T in black was not available – it’s been so popular they’re now on their 4th run of the design, with fresh stock due to arrive by May.
For women this one is cut to fit their curves and uses some lycra for a more fitted shirt that stretches around the body (and that sounds good to me…)
I liked that Aprиs Velo seems to ‘customize’ each garment with different details designed to appeal to specific wearer. Their Spinner’s Bible just one example of their sense of humor, and attention to individuality.
Girl’s Biker Chic T-Shirt – $14.95
It seemed logical that since I have two little girls of my own, I’d put ‘em to work on this review – who’s tougher on clothes than kids? While the line is aimed at adults, as a parent I like that I can dress my little ones like part of the clan – it’s a smart strategy that just might ensure the longevity of the brand too.
This kid’s tee is made from 100% combed cotton that’s been washed in enzyme for a soft and worn feel. Again I was impressed with the details – the unique graphic really pops thanks to raised dots call ‘puff printing’. The ribbed neck and sleeve cuffs should hold their shape nicely after some extended ‘kid-use’.
Finally – Mrs. Pez liked that she could order the same design in a size for her – and what mom do you know who doesn’t want her little girls to dress like her?
Team Caffeine Zip Jacket – $24.95
This one is a luxurious feeling soft pile fleece jacket that would be ideal for taking the chill of any cool day. The soft fabric and unconstructed cut are designed for comfort, and the tall stand up collar is pretty cozy.
The zipper is big enough to do the job and doesn’t give the impression it’s gonna break on you. While I can’t comment on other sizes, the body on my size small was long enough to cover my butt – a welcome feature to keep me warm, and a likely appealing to taller guys.
Again the details are really impressive – a fully embroidered Team Caffeine logo makes no bones about where this jacket is intended to be worn, and an Aprиs Velo logo runs down one sleeve.
The graphics are all original art designed in house by Aprиs Velo, and popular demand has inspired them to release a line of posters with the various graphics in larger formats.
Pricing is higher than you’re gonna find at Walmart, but that’s normal for items of better quality, design, and fashion appeal. Seeing and feeling the quality should be proof for most that these ain’t your average t-shirts. And Aprиs Velo cares so much about these looking good for a long time that the detailed washing instructions suggest a gently cycle, and drying in the shade (to avoid the damage that excess heat can cause.)
Overall this is a nice alternative to what’s probably in your after bike, casual wear t-shirt drawer. It’s nice to see higher quality fabrics and original designs used in what too many brands consider throw-away item. The down side of online shopping is there’s no ‘hands on’ touchy fleecy experience – which is what Aprиs Velo does really well.
• See em for yourself at: