How Betabrand Is Making It Cool To Be Uncool
Brian Moylan

How I Designed My Dream Supersuit

One man’s quest to create the ultimate viral clothing hit for Betabrand’s crowdfunding platform.

By Brian Moylan
Illustrations by Amanda Lanzone

Knowing how easy it is to design something for Betabrand, I thought I would give it the old college try and see if I could figure out what the people want. I started with what I really want, because if I could create the garment that I dream about a night, there’s surely plenty of people out there who wanted the same thing. Right?

For the past year, I’ve worn the same outfit everyday, rotating through several versions of the same suit and a dozen white shirts. But my uniform lacks a little bit in nerve and could use a bit more technological fine-tuning. Ideally I’d like to have my computer, keys, cell phone, a magazine (in case I get bored), and a few other less discrete items with me at all times. But I don’t want to have to carry a backpack when riding my bike around New York, and I want to be able to smuggle my less discrete items with me wherever I go. You know, like the cheap, generic brand chocolate-covered raisins I sneak into the movie theater.

The result is the One-Der Suit, an Evil Kneivel-inspired garment and the only thing I will ever need to wear. It has pockets for everything I need to carry when I leave the house. Plus, it’s so badass that everyone will know I’m a lot more fun than a guy who looks like he’s dressed as a bank teller.

The original iteration or the One-Der Suit featured a built-in backpack, a phone charger, a water bottle, and pants that zipped off just above the knee for those sweet, sweaty days of summer. It also features a cape to blow in the breeze as I bike around (and cover my laptop in its backpack), a pocket for a packet of Soylent inside (in case I get hungry), and a tiny pocket inside the belt for carrying around things you might want to keep away from the authorities (psst, you put your weed in it).

However, after submitting the design to Liz Rossof, the coordinator of the Think Tank, there were some problems with my concept. The backpack wouldn’t be possible because its structure would make the jumpsuit impossible to sew. A phone charger was out of the question because Betabrand doesn’t have the technology to make such a device. She also warned me about getting too close to Knievel’s original design — they didn’t want to have copyright trouble with his estate. I changed the name of the suit (and also the number on the cape to make it a little bit different), and omitted those elements.

Rossof loved the new design, but still had some concerns. With all the elements and extras, she said, the suit would have to retail for about $800, making it a hard sell to most people looking for a jump suit covered in stars and bars. She recommended some more restrictions, saying that each zipper on the jump suit adds about $7 to the cost, as do extra pockets, reflective strips, and other embellishments. Sure, we could leave them all in, she said, but she doubted that it would ever make it past the crowdfunding stage.

I went through another round of editing, taking out the zip-off pants, the water bottle, reflective strips, and secret zipper pockets in the sleeves. Rossof also said that the tuxedo striping in the pants would make manufacturing difficult, so I removed that as well, making the pants just plain white.

I’m happy with the resulting design, but it’s not as spectacular as the suit that I originally envisioned. It’s not that Betabrand crushed my dreams during this process — they tempered them, showing me why the perfect suit doesn’t exist — it just doesn’t make sense financially. I guess I’m just going to have to keep dreaming — and wearing a backpack.

So far, after being up in the Think Tank for three days, the One-Der Suit only has 17 votes (including mine and my mom’s, so really only 15 actual votes). It’s nice to know that there are people out there who support my decision to create the ultimate badass uniform, but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be enough to create Betabrand’s next viral hit or turn my dream into a fashion reality.

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