British cycling brand Rapha is relentless in their pursuit of expanding function by innovating on the conventions of modern cycling apparel. Their most recent genre-blending piece is the Mac Softshell Jacket for their 2012 collection. Inspired by the tailoring and construction of the classic British rain garment of the same name, the Mac instead uses the highly advanced Swiss-engineered Schoeller c_change softshell fabric. More than just a simple softshell membrane, c_change is designed to adapt to moisture levels and temperatures around it — expanding and opening its synthetic ‘pores’ to maximize breathability and shed excess heat during periods of heavy exertion and then condensing and closing to trap heat in when the body’s ambient temperature cools. Despite a heavy emphasis on the technical nature of the garment, the Mac Softshell still retains all of Rapha’s signature tailoring for a perfect on-saddle fit, while mixing in a heaping dose of classical British fashion history. While most of their top-shelf offerings are produced in very limited runs and thusly don’t tend to last long, the Mac Softshell is currently available for purchase at Rapha for $700 USD.
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