Public Rec Review: Bridging the Gap Between Comfort & Style


Classic designs, performance fabrics, and a modern fit allows Public Rec to offer something that most brands do not. Now people don’t have to compromise on their style when they want both comfort & functionality.

Simply wake up, go to the gym, go to work, and finish your day going out with friends knowing that you look great the entire time.

So, does Public Rec live up to the hype?

Let’s find out.

Public Rec Review: Bridging the Gap Between Comfort & Style | GENTLEMAN WITHIN

In this comprehensive review, I will be trying out three products that I was sent by Public Rec, and going over the style & fit, quality, comfort, and durability.

About Public Rec

Public Rec Logo and Tagline

Public Rec is a leisure apparel company that was first conceptualized to be a stylish alternative to terrible fitting sweatpants. Their mission is to bring clothing that doesn’t sacrifice comfort for style.

Founder & Heritage

Public Rec was first conceived around 2009 by founder Zach Goldstein while he was still in college. Zach loved sweatpants, but could never find a pair that fit him well.

Men’s sweatpants generally come in three sizes (S, M, L) and this obviously doesn’t allow for much customization of waist size or length. It is no surprise why Zach’s best fitting pair of sweatpants was originally his mothers.

Public Rec Founder Zach Goldstein
Zach Goldstein, founder of Public Rec started the company solo.

People who love comfort end up wearing baggy sweatpants that drag on the ground all in the name of convenience. But anyone who cares about style would not be content with this, and Zach was not content.

Instead of just changing clothes before he went out, or putting up with his terrible sweatpants, Zach decided he was going to design sweatpants that solved his problems. He knew that there must be other men with a similar pain point, and he wasn’t going to let anyone have to make the same compromise again.

Public Rec Heritage

After Zach spent some time in the business world, he was finally ready to focus full time on building Public Rec. He quit his job in Chicago, Illinois, and spent 18 months working on the brand. He went through many prototypes before launching a kickstarter for their first product in May of 2015.

Recently, Public Rec opened a flagship store in New York on Bleecker St., just in time for the 2019 holiday season. Additionally, Public Rec has been growing their product line with the addition of a Women’s line soon.

Note: For all Women reading, Public Rec is letting you weigh in on their colors, fabrics, and styles that they will offer for their Women’s launch.

Public Rec Factories

Public Rec’s clothing is manufactured in Vietnam, Indonesia, Peru, and Thailand depending on the product & fabric. Their “Go-To” line features their proprietary blend of Tensel®, spandex, and pima cotton, which is a very soft type of cotton.

All of Public Rec’s pima cotton is sourced from Peru, which is said to have some of the highest quality pima cotton around. Public Rec also works with partners in Vancouver, Chicago, and Portland for its sourcing.

Public Rec Factories

  • Founded in: Chicago, Illinois
  • Based: Chicago, Illinois
  • Manufactured in: Vietnam, Indonesia, Peru, and Thailand
  • Website: Public Rec

Public Rec Review & Lookbook

Featuring: Vivobarefoot Primus Lite, be on the lookout for my comprehensive review coming soon on Vivobarefoot!

Public Rec Outfit 5 Joggers
OUTFIT DETAILS — Long Sleeve Shirt: Public Rec | Workday Slim Pants: Public Rec | Casual Shoes: Vivobarefoot — All photos by Jenna Hope.

Listed below are links to each item that I received, as seen on their website.

Public Rec All Day Everyday Jogger Review

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Public Rec offers a variety of pants and shorts. Their joggers being their most casual option. Joggers have been popular for quite a while with their versatility, comfort, and athleisure style.

I personally lean more traditional with my style, and often dress smart-casual. I have never considered wearing joggers before, so from this perspective, lets see what impact a pair of joggers will have on my wardrobe.

Public Rec Outfit 2
OUTFIT DETAILS — Harrington Jacket: Peter Manning NYC | Crewneck T-Shirt: Everlane | All Day Every Day Joggers: Public Rec

Public Rec’s Joggers come in at $98, which is about what I would expect for a pair of joggers. They come in a variety of colors – from black, grey, fog, heather grey, heather navy, burgundy, navy, and olive – I can tell you that It was pretty difficult for me to choose between the last three options.

Navy ended up being my choice as I haven’t owned joggers before, so I wanted them to be as versatile as possible. (Foreshadowing: Just in case I really liked them).

How Do Public Rec Joggers Fit, Feel and Look?

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Public Rec Outfit 3 Joggers
OUTFIT DETAILS — Long Sleeve Shirt: Public Rec | All Day Every Day Jogger: Public Rec | Casual Shoes: Vivobarefoot

Public Rec’s All Day Every Day Jogger comes in at 405 grams (on my scale) which is a perfect mid-weight for year round use. The joggers are very comfortable to wear, and fit very well.

The fabric is a nice blend of nylon and spandex that is soft to the touch. It has a deep navy color to it that is very close to my navy Peter Manning Harrington Jacket, the color is so close that I practically have a stylish tracksuit out of the two pieces!

Public Rec Outfit 4 Joggers
The All Day Every Day Jogger is perfect for lounging around or a morning jog.

As for fit, I found that these joggers fit just about exactly how I would want them to. They are slim, but have enough room to feel comfortable. They come down right to the ankle with minimal scrunching even though the length is longer than I typically use (30 rather than 28). So I am not complaining in any way shape or form about the fit.

As stated previously, I have never owned joggers before. Not only that, but I haven’t ever considered owning them until I was presented with options from Public Rec and chose to give it a shot. After having them for a couple weeks, I can wholeheartedly say that they are awesome.

Public Rec Outfit 1
Casual, comfortable style worth smiling about.

I wear these joggers very often, in many different scenarios. One scenario is when I wear my joggers at home and need to run to the store, I can go looking casual, yet presentable. Again, I lean toward a more traditional look, and I still use these joggers every weekend and some.

Public Rec Jogger Details

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My Size: 28×30 (29×28 is my usual size, there is no 29 waist offered, and 30 is the shortest length. I opted in for a 28×30) | For reference I am 5’8” and 135 lbs

Public Rec Jogger Details
The zipper pocket works perfectly for a wallet or other small valuables.

Fabric:

  • 88% nylon
  • 12% spandex
  • Made in Thailand
  • Non-shrinking fabric
  • Weighs roughly 405 grams

Fit Details:

  • Not too slim, or too relaxed of a fit
  • Elastic waistband & internal drawstring
  • Faux fly for a more formal look
  • Front & back zipper pocket
  • Two large front pockets

Public Rec Workday Pant Review

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Public Rec offers a few options for pants, and a couple more for shorts. Their joggers & all day everyday pants with a drawstring waist construction, are on the more casual side.

Public Rec Workday Pants Slim Fit 1
The Vivobarefoot Primus Lite sneakers compliment the workday pants just as nicely as the joggers.

Their workday pant (in straight & slim fit) are fitted with a traditional button fly construction & belt-loops, making them slightly more formal. Public Rec’s shorts are available in all day everyday with a regular or tall inseam (no numerical length listed) & workday style with an 8 ½ inch inseam.

The workday pants costs $108, which is about as much as a pair of chinos from most other retailers. They weigh roughly 245 grams, making them very lightweight. I do say “roughly 245” as I was unable to find a weight on their website, and I had to use my coffee scale to measure all my items from Public Rec.

How Do Public Rec Workday Pants Fit, Feel, and Look?

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When Public Rec’s workday pants arrived, I realized that they were a lot more lightweight than I imagined they would be. There was no weight listed on the website, so I just assumed they would be mid weight.

With the materials being polyester and spandex, it does have more of a “sporty” clothing feel to it. The fabric also has that slight reflective nature that most polyester clothing has as well.

Public Rec Workday Pants Slim Fit 2
OUTFIT DETAILS — Long Sleeve Shirt: Public Rec | Workday Slim Pants: Public Rec | Casual Shoes: Vivobarefoot

The fit on these pants is very good through the legs and on the skinny side of the slim spectrum, which is perfect for lightweight pants. They have a natural taper down the leg, and are slim all the way through.

Public Rec does not offer shorter lengths than 30, although I prefer cuffing my pants, so it works out for me perfectly to be two inches over my normal inseam of 28.

Public Rec Workday Pants Slim Fit 3
Public Rec’s go-to long sleeve tee and workday pants allow for a wide range of motion.

As for the waist, I wish they offered a size 29 for their workday pants. The workday pants do not use an elastic waistband, so being in-between sizes means you face having it too loose or too tight (I ended up with slightly too loose).

Even though my expectations were different than reality, I think that these pants will be perfect for stylish workout/gym wear. I have not been going to the gym as much as I should, but I will certainly be wearing these next time I go.

I think I’m getting the hang of this photoshootin’ thing.

I will say that after this experience, I do think changing their website to include weight categories/weight info on each item will be very helpful to potential buyers in the future.

Workday Pant Slim Fit Details

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My Size: 30×30 (29×28 is my usual size, there is no 29 waist size offered, and 30 length is the shortest they have) | For reference I am 5’8” and 135 lbs.

Public Rec Workday Pants Slim Fit Details
Minor branding (though tasteful) on the upper right corner of the back pocket.

Fabric:

  • 90% polyester
  • 10% spandex
  • Made in Indonesia
  • Non-shrinking fabric
  • Weighs roughly 245 grams

Fit Details:

  • Belt loops & front zipper fly for a more formal look
  • Slim fit & tapered bottoms
  • Back zipper pocket for security

Quick note: If you’re enjoying this Public Rec Review, then you’ll probably find my other writing on all things men’s style useful. Each week, I share updates, style tips and other things not shared on the blog through my free email newsletter.

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Public Rec Go-To Tee Long Sleeve Review

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Public Rec has a good collection of tops to choose from, all with classic color palettes to keep everything versatile. In their Go-To line they have crewneck, v-neck, and short-sleeve tee’s as well as henleys and polos (their performance polo is intended for even more functionality).

Public Rec Go-To Long Sleeve Tee
OUTFIT DETAILS — Long Sleeve Shirt: Public Rec | All Day Every Day Jogger: Public Rec | Casual Shoes: Vivobarefoot

For long sleeves they offer a crew neck and henley style in their Go-To line. Public Rec currently has a “Politan Hoodie” and “Crosstown Bomber” for layers, both are designed for performance & comfort.

Their Go-To Tee costs $54 of the short sleeve & $64 for the long sleeve. For T-shirts it is on the more spendy side of the spectrum, although they are made from their hard wearing Relux fabric so we will have to see how they hold up over time for their true worth.

How Do Public Rec Shirts Fit, Feel, and Look?

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Public Rec Go-To Long Sleeve Tee Outfit
OUTFIT DETAILS — Long Sleeve Shirt: Public Rec | All Day Every Day Jogger: Public Rec | Casual Shoes: Vivobarefoot

Since this shirt has arrived I have worn it a lot. It does seem to have the perfect blend of soft pima cotton & breathability of performance fabrics.

Whether it’s the weekend or I’m home from work and want to relax, this has become one of my go-to shirts. As I typed that out I realised that I just confirmed their product name, so their marketing team did a good job.

Public Rec Go-To Long Sleeve Tee Outfit 1
OUTFIT DETAILS — Long Sleeve Shirt: Public Rec | All Day Every Day Jogger: Public Rec

As for the fit, I really wish that the sleeve length was just an inch or so shorter, same goes for the body length of the tee. Well, maybe I could wish to be an inch or so taller & that would solve my problem all together!

Anyone under 5’9” knows the struggle of shopping “off the rack”. I can usually get away with it, but I of course prefer a tailored fit.

Public Rec Go-To Long Sleeve Tee Outfit 3
Well fitted through the shoulders, arms and body.

Overall I would say that this is a little on the spendy side for a T-shirt, so I would see if I could find them on sale if I were to purchase them again.

If this shirt outlasts all my other shirts, then I may consider them as a completely worthy investment for workout wear, but only time will tell.

Go-To Tee Details

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My Size: S (Range S-XXL) | For reference I am 5’8” and 135 lbs.

Public Rec Go-To Long Sleeve Tee Outfit Details
Just a tad bit long in the sleeves.

Fabric:

  • 69% pima cotton
  • 23% lyocell
  • 8% spandex
  • Made in Peru
  • Non-shrinking fabric
  • Weighs roughly 230 grams

Fit Details:

  • Long sleeve crew
  • Not too slim, or too loose
  • Soft & comfortable to wear for long periods
  • Body length and sleeve length on the longer side

Does Public Rec Clothing Shrink?

I tried on all my clothing before and after one wash, and did not notice any amount of shrinking for any article of clothing. I did wash as directed (cold wash & hang dry/tumble dry low), so if someone were to wash/dry outside of their instructions I cannot guarantee that they won’t shrink.

What’s to love about Public Rec?

There is a lot to love about this brand. First off, they offer all of your basic essentials. From t-shirts, henleys & polos, to joggers & workday pants, you have all your bases covered. When you put this together with their wide variety of appealing colors to choose from, and their accessories including minimalistic bags & hats, we are presented with a pretty solid collection.

Public Rec Outfit Wrapping Up
The casual wall lean.

But wait…there’s more! Public Rec clothing is not only classic & versatile, but features performance fabrics that allow you to have the freedom of comfort, work & play all in one brand. Their clothing is designed to be a stylish alternative to sweatpants and terrible workout-wear, and I have to say that they hit the mark for this mission.

Check Public Rec Prices

Public Rec Pros & Cons

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Pros:

  • Great quality multi-purpose clothing with a wide selection of colors
  • Versatile color palette for all their products
  • “No questions asked” free returns & exchanges
  • Mostly timeless fits & colors in their collection rather than trends
  • Offers stylish, minimalistic designs
  • Attractive, easy to navigate website

Cons:

  • Smallest size is S
  • Waist sizing skips an inch each size up (28, 30, 32, etc)
  • Sleeve length & body length is a little long for my liking
  • No weights of fabric or weight class listed on the website
Public Rec Review Outfit Conclusion
All photos by Jenna Hope. | Denim Jacket: Everlane

Is Public Rec Good For Short Men?

For some perspective, I am 5’8” and very slender. I ordered a size S for their Go-To Tee, 28×30 for their Joggers, and 30×30 for their Workday Pant. I do fit best in shorter men’s brands, though I can usually fit in a S/XS from traditional retailers.

I found that the fit that Public Rec offers to be pretty good across the board, and comparable to many other brands. Now, if you are shorter than me, they do not currently offer an XS, or shorter hem lengths. With this considered, I would say that they are not the best for short men.

Is Public Rec Good For Tall Guys?

Well, as stated previously, I am not very tall (5’8”). So for all you taller men out there, I can inform you that Public Rec offers shirt sizes up to XXL, and pants sizes up to 44 for waist and 36 for length. Overall It seems that anyone who fits into traditional retail clothes will do well with Public Rec.

Conclusion: A Step Up for Comfort?

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Anyone who appreciates style has probably had the thought “I can’t go out looking like this, but should I change just to go to the store?”, or something similar.

I know I am guilty of changing clothes for a short trip outside. When your “lazy weekend” clothing is something like Public Rec, then you can be presentable if you need to grab some snacks before you start your Netflix marathon.

Public Rec’s clothing is very comfortable for me, even as I generally prefer to wear cotton or wool. They use fabrics that are not only soft, but also perform well when you hit the gym. So their clothing is truly multi purpose.

Public Rec Conclusion Outfit
Fun fact: You can’t tell in all these photos, but it was very cold this whole shoot. I had extra layers that I would throw on in-between each photo session.

Overall, I am happy with their clothing as casual/gym wear. I would not say that they replace any of my other favorite brands, but they offer something different that is useful to have in my style arsenal.

Ultimately, I can tell you that after this review, I will personally look to Public Rec for a gym wardrobe upgrade in the future. If you are still on the fence about Public Rec, just give their “no questions asked” return policy a try & order something! If you don’t like it, you may send it back, free of charge.

Public Rec Review: Bridging the Gap Between Comfort & Style | GENTLEMAN WITHIN

A Note: Public Rec sent Gentleman Within clothing for review. These are my thoughts and opinions based on my experience. Gentleman Within holds all control over editorial content.

About Christopher

Chris Bair Head ShotAfter getting married and having a child, Chris’ life was put in perspective.  He learned that if he wanted to become the person he wanted to be, he needed to continually improve. From self development, he entered the realm of men’s fashion and found that improving his style gives him the confidence he needs to be his best self.

Is Public Rec and athleisure style for you?

Let’s continue the discussion over in the Gentlemen Within Private Facebook Community.

Looking forward to seeing you in there.

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Public Rec Apparel

9

Style

9.0/10

Fit & Feel

9.0/10

Comfort

9.5/10

Versatility

9.0/10

Price

8.5/10

Pros

  • Great quality multi-purpose clothing with a wide selection of colors
  • Versatile color palette for all their products
  • “No questions asked” free returns & exchanges
  • Mostly timeless fits & colors in their collection rather than trends
  • Offers stylish, minimalistic designs and attractive, easy to navigate website

Cons

  • Smallest size is S
  • Waist sizing skips an inch each size up (28, 30, 32, etc)
  • No weights of fabric or weight class listed on the website

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