Ministry of Supply Flight-Tests SF Store: Dress Clothes à la NASA

Xconomy San Francisco — 

You’re a Bay Area tech worker who thinks every problem can be solved by science. So why are you sitting in a sweaty shirt?

Ministry of Supply, the menswear outfit founded in Boston by former MIT students, is betting you want your next shirt to have laser-drilled perforations in its armpits to, er…ventilate you.

So how does the company plan to serve sweaty armpits in San Francisco? Ministry of Supply is opening a store on Friday at 1903 Fillmore Street, where your armpits can experience clothes made of NASA-developed fabrics and other fashion-tech haberdashery (see a sample outfit on the model above).

Aside from the armpit test, what other performance criteria should you expect to be met? Well, you could come to the store after a 12-mile run and ask for a bucket of hot water. Put on the Apollo Dress Shirt and the Doppler M65 jacket, and pour the water over yourself. You should feel cool and dry due to the waterproof-yet-breathable, heat-diverting, robot-knitted, moisture-wicking fibers recycled from coffee grounds.

That’s a bit of exaggeration on my part, but the company designed its work and dress clothes to perform like workout clothes. Some of them are coated with “membranes” that export sweat and excess heat when it’s warm, but insulate the wearer when it’s cold.

Ministry of Supply chose San Francisco for its newest store because online sales show that the city is already among the top three markets it ships to, says co-founder Kit Hickey. “We think it’s the perfect fit: the San Francisco weather is constantly changing, men out here understand and appreciate our technology story, it’s a culture of movement, and, we have a loyal and passionate customer base out here already that we’re dying to meet in person!”

Why should you go to the store’s launch party Friday at 6 pm? They’ll have a NASA space suit (not specified if you can try this on). Also Pizza Orgasmica, and presumably, potables from Bluxome Street Winery. Plus, the new location is a pop-up store that may disappear by mid-summer unless your armpits really, really need it to stay.