“Performance” wear means the same thing as “sportswear” which now means the same thing as “streetwear.” As long as I’ve been into gear, there’s a modicum of things that I expect from my clothing: That it covers me, it looks good, and has a degree of quality that it won’t tear after a few wears.

And I totally get the whole “performance” thing, and I love techwear and nerd out about pants and jackets made from liquid-repelling fabrics, mainly because I’m such a klutz that I can’t drink anything without spilling it on myself and have to be very careful when eating any food with sauces on it.

That’s why I really appreciate what Hill City‘s been doing. Luke Linder, the head of design, and Calvin Leung, the head of creative, have a mindset that’s square in the area between utilitarian and “just enough” details that push a simple shirt jacket or a technical pair of pants into an obtainable object of desire.

Take, for example, Hill City’s Everyday Cropped Pant, it hits just above the ankle perfectly, and does that cool thing where liquid beads on top of the fabric and easily wipes off. I was recently given the opportunity to head to San Francisco to wear some of their latest gear while checking out some local spots. Here’s how I spent my day other than pretending I was in a modern episode of Full House.

El Metate

2406 Bryant St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

Every visit to the west coast absolutely must include Mexican food. It just hits different here, no matter how many taco trucks and vibey restaurants open in New York. The al pastor and carnitas tacos at El Metate are confirmed slappers, and hit the spot before an otherwise busy day.

Highsnobiety
Highsnobiety

Of course, trying to find a good taco spot in San Francisco is ten times easier than finding a spot where the rent isn’t exorbitant, but what stands out about El Metate is their flan. I generally don’t do desserts at most of these spots (I prefer to go dumb at Buy-Rite Creamery), but the flan here is definitely something worth trying more than once.

Of course anytime you eat Mexican food you put yourself in dangerous sauce territory. Thankfully the Hill City Everyday Pant is both versatile in what you can wear it with and what kinds of stuff won’t stick on it. If pants can easily repel guac, El Cholulo, and horchata, then they’re definitely keepers for me.

Clothing Items:
Sweatshirt – Heavyweight Fleece Graphic Hoodie
Vest – Hybrid Fleece Popover Vest
Pants – Everyday Pant in Cropped Fit
Performance Sock

Contraband Coffee

260 5th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

I’m a cold brew fiend. I don’t care if it’s freezing out, nine times out of ten I will still order my coffee iced instead of hot. I feel like it hits my brain quicker that way, and I tend to drink my coffee fairly fast.

Highsnobiety
Highsnobiety

I usually drink it black too, so I’m more sensitive to things like the types of beans used and fancy words like “roast profile,” which might sound like what I do to people on Instagram, but is more about how the flavors of beans change depending on how much time they spend in the oven.

One of the best things about SF is it enables my affinity for cold beverages in any weather. It’s got the kind of climate where a fleece over shorts makes complete sense. I’ve seen dudes trying to do this in New York winters and it makes me wonder if it’s some sort of mind-over-matter thing.
But here it’s actually fine, because SF changes temperatures like every other hour. If it gets too hot, my legs keep me breezy, and if it gets chilly, then I’m still fine. Plus Hill City’s Sherpa Jacket has double zips on the front, a rarity for fleeces and a must for getting really good fits off.

Clothing Items:
Sweatshirt – Heavyweight Fleece Graphic Hoodie
Sherpa – Sherpa Jacket
Shorts- Easy Swim Short
Performance Sock

Dogeared Books

900 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

One of my favorite things to do when I’m traveling is read. I always lie to myself that I’m going to do a ton of work on the plane and then I get on and just end up either watching two in-flight movies and passing out or reading ’til I fall asleep. I just finished Mary H.K. Choi’s Permanent Record, and if you haven’t heard her on The Dropcast, it’s worth a listen.

Hill City gap san francisco
Highsnobiety

Independent bookstores are part-discovery and part-therapy for me. I spend a lot of my free time going into clothing and sneaker shops, so it’s always nice to stop into a well-curated bookstore and see the vibe they’re trying to build inside. I always end up impulse-buying a new book or some obscure magazine I otherwise haven’t heard of.

Clothing Items:
Jacket – Thermal Light Shirt Jacket
Shirt – Hybrid Shirt Jacket
Pants – Everyday Pant in Athletic Fit
Performance Sock

Zeitgeist

199 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

Give me a dive bar with funny cocktail names and really cheap specials over any upscale-lounge-type-beat. Neighborhood spots with stories in the walls and layers of beer caked onto the floors are the ones that I always want to check out. Zeitgeist is a Mission mainstay and I hope it stays there forever.

Hill City gap san francisco
Highsnobiety

The patio is great for people-watching, and they’ve got a Neo-Geo arcade cabinet (shouts to King of Fighters) and a bunch of pinball machines, so I could stay here for hours making sure I can maintain my high score on the Supreme pinball machine we have in the office.

Speaking of travel though, shirt jackets are a total life hack. Hill City’s hits the spot between outerwear and layer. And if there’s one thing I’m an expert on, it’s quality lightweight outerwear. I probably have enough to fill a small warehouse, and this one is a worthy addition to my collection.

Clothing Items:
Jacket – Thermal Light Shirt Jacket
Shirt – Hybrid Shirt Jacket
Pants – Everyday Pant in Athletic Fit
Performance Sock

Land’s End

2599 El Camino Del Mar
San Francisco, CA 94121

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Highsnobiety
Highsnobiety

Long walks and hikes are probably the most consistent forms of exercise for me. I try to get in around 15,000-20,000 steps a day, which gets hard if I’m busy. Walking through Land’s End offers up a good variety of terrain, and a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge. If you keep going past the lookout you’ll eventually end up at the cool labyrinth by artist Eduardo Aguilera. It’s a circular stone, maze-like structure that looks straight out of Ancient Aliens.

Dressing for activities like hiking is my kryptonite. It’s challenging to put together a fit that you can comfortably sweat in while still looking on-brand in case you run into people cooler than you. Thankfully there’s pieces like Hill City’s lightweight parkas. They’re sort of a cheat code for outfits you can run in and also consistently look good. Brighter colors like white also add a kind of tactical sportiness to the whole vibe.

Clothing Items:
Beanie – Merino Cashmere Beanie
Sweatshirt – City Anorak
Jacket – Utility Shirt Jacket
Shorts – Easy Tech Short
T-Shirt – Everyday Merino Tee
Performance Sock

  • Producer: Chad Ghiron
  • Project Manager: Jack Schulze
  • Photographer: Ash Alexander
  • Video: Julian-Edward Tongol
  • Photo Assistant: Rhyan Anthony Santos
  • PA/Wardrobe: Luna Lewis
  • PA: Bill Workman
Words by Jian DeLeon
Editorial Director

Jian DeLeon is the Editorial Director at Highsnobiety. He is based in New York.

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