First-look review: Search and State S1-A jersey and S1-S bibshorts

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Search and State produces all of its clothing entirely within the garment district of New York City. The result is simple, well-tailored apparel.

Mention the garment district of New York City and images of rolling racks of clothing come to mind. Less than one square mile, the district enjoyed an enormous boom at the turn of the 20th century, however the rise of cheap overseas labour has steadily eroded the city’s garment production. Regardless, the district still serves as a very deep well of talent for the fashion industry.

Search and State is located in this district and they are proud that every step of their production process takes place within the neighbourhood. The company may have a modest catalogue of men and women’s clothing but they are diligent with every garment they produce. They have a preference for classic styling and are openly devoted to the colour black.

At the core of their clothing collection is the S1-A short sleeve jersey and the S1-S bibshorts. Both were created with an emphasis on a tailored fit and reliable materials that have a luxurious feel. The S1-A jersey has a full-length Riri zipper at the front and three pockets at the rear; the bibs have Cytech padding and elastic leg hems backed with silicone dots for extra grip.

The S1-A jersey is available in five colours (black, white, grey, olive, white/navy) and five sizes (XS-XL). S1-S bibs are available in two colours (black or navy) and five sizes (XS-XL).

Search and State has a small network of dealers around the world and we’re pleased to feature them in our own online store. To view their collection, head to our Emporium and for more information head to Search and State.

RRP: S1-A jersey, US$140 (AU$180); S1-S bibs, US$215 (AU$277).

Our take:

Search and State’s styling is clean and simple, perhaps even conservative. It recalls an earlier, utilitarian era when cycling garments weren’t decorated. There are no loud logos or brash graphics to offend, but there is ample reward in the detail. After all, less is more. My favourite aspect is the way Search and State employs subtle patterning to add depth and texture to their garments.

The S1-S is a summer weight short sleeve jersey that offers a slender, athletic fit. There is an amount of give in the fabric, but the jersey really depends on the quality of the cut to follow the contours of the body. And this is where Search and State’s emphasis on tailoring can be appreciated. While I’ve found that some jerseys must stretch to fit the arms and torso, the S1-S finds its place as surely as a key in its lock. Of course, riders with large biceps and upper bodies will challenge the cut of this jersey, but for those that have a typical cycling physique, they can expect a jersey with a beautifully refined fit.

The S1-S bibshorts utilise the same kind of tailoring as the jersey. Once again, the fabric is firm with a small amount of give and a cut that is best suited to a slender frame. I found the braces and waistline of the shorts were a good fit for me but the leg hems were a little tight. Not so tight as to ruin the shorts though, and indeed, the sensation disappeared soon after I started riding. The inseam length is a little shorter than other brands, adding further to the classic styling of these shorts.

The firm fabric might worry some when it comes to the groin, but Search and State clearly understand the needs of male riders because there was a noticeable absence of pressure in this area. Finally, Cytech’s padding complements the fit of the shorts perfectly, there’s no unnecessary material yet it’s thick enough to offer plenty of comfort and protection.

All told, Search and State’s bibs and jerseys are high quality garments with a large measure of class that easily justify their expense.

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