It used to be that formalwear was fancy and everything else could come in a three-pack wrapped in plastic. No more.
The wall between casual clothing and high style was first perhaps breached by Sharon Stone wearing a tee from The Gap with a ballgown skirt on the red carpet back in the 90s, only to be followed by tech billionaires making the hoodie the business suit of the new millennium and, finally, by Lululemon successfully convincing us that yoga pants are acceptable for any occasion short of a state dinner.
Comfort is king, but most of us still want to pair it with style and even luxury. That's what prompted JJ and Shannon Wilson to found Kit and Ace, a luxury brand that's all about the basics: tees, tanks, shorts and more designed to fit perfectly, move with the body and feel incredible.
JJ and Shannon are the son and wife of Chip Wilson, the founder of Lululemon, so even though the brands are not affiliated, they know a thing or two about how to create simple clothing that both feels and looks high-end.
"We took a look at our friends and family and saw a group of people living full-contact lives who needed clothing that would keep up, but was still functional, stylish and luxurious," JJ Wilson told Houstonia via email. "We are street wear trending to technical – made for movement, but not for sweating."
Kit and Ace is opening its first store in Houston on Aug. 27 in Rice Village, featuring a community table and design features created by local Houston artisans, along with its signature collection of premium basics. The focal point of the line is a fabric dubbed Technical Cashmere, a proprietary blend of materials designed to offer the softness of cashmere mixed with other fibers that will allow each piece to both stretch and hold its shape throughout the day and through endless wash cycles—no dry cleaner needed.
At the new Houston store, expect plenty of basics such as tees and tanks separated by subtle differences, like the depth of a v-neck and varied amounts of slouch, plus new pieces from the fall collection with pieces "inspired by what we call 'Black Tie Varsity'– a union of classic tailoring with the functional, athletic details," says Wilson.
Of course, luxury never did come cheap, so expect prices starting around $58 for a tank top and $88 for a t-shirt, with sweaters starting at $108.
Kit and Ace opens Aug. 27 at 2401 Times Blvd., Ste. 110.