When you’re trying to pack a week’s worth of clothes into an overstuffed carry-on, it helps to pack clothes that you can potentially wear more than once. That’s a pretty straightforward proposition for jackets and jeans, but what about the clothes that tend to get the smelliest? You know, socks and underwear? The trick is to buy some that literally clean themselves.
The Secret Is Silver
UK-based BeClothed pioneered the process of weaving pure silver fibers into breathable twill cotton, and the resulting garments can be worn (in a pinch) multiple times without getting stinky. The secret is the silver itself, which is naturally antimicrobial. Basically, when many common bacteria (including those that cause your clothes to smell) come into contact with silver, their cell walls break down, and they become deactivated.
No living bacteria? No smelly underwear.
Over the years, I’ve tried their crew socks, no-show socks, boxer briefs, and now their brand new ankle socks, and they really do work as advertised. Even after a warm day spent outdoors, my sweaty silver apparel smells like...nothing, really.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t ever wash them. Of course you should whenever you get the chance. But if you’re trying to pack light, or just want to be able to go straight from a sweaty day of exploring to sitting down at dinner, you’ll be able to tolerate wearing BeClothed gear a lot longer than almost anything else you put on your body.
Despite the futuristic-seeming powers of silver, BeClothed gear doesn’t require any kind of special maintenance. Since the silver fiber (which comprises around 20-25% of most of BeClothed’s fabric) is woven directly into the cotton, it’ll never rub off in the wash like an antimicrobial coating might, so you can toss it straight into the laundry with all of your other clothes. The silver will never wear out or get less effective over time. It kills bacteria on contact simply by existing, much like copper, as explained in this excellent article.
Available for preorder now on Kickstarter, BeClothed’s silver ankle socks are on sale for our readers (look for the Seeqr Exclusive perk) to the tune of five pairs for $49, if you’re willing to wait until January. The ankle socks feature extra padding in the heel, plus an ankle collar to keep them from sliding under your heel while you walk.
Available in twill cotton for both men and women, BeClothed’s silver underwear is made from 25% pure silver fiber, with a higher concentration in the spots where you sweat the most. I’ve had a pair in my regular rotation for years, and it’s held up well through dozens of washes. Its tag-free waistband is also as comfortable as any I’ve felt, which is almost as important as its odor neutralizing capabilities, in my mind.
New for 2020, BeClothed turned its attention to producing silver-laced face coverings. Available in black, they’re among the most comfortable masks I’ve tried during the pandemic (though not quite as breathable as Uniqlo’s), and you really notice (or rather, don’t notice) the effect of the odor-reducing silver since the fabric pressed right up against your nose.