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Up close with the Watch Dogs Collection by Frank & Oak

NOTE! This bag not intended for use as a cat carrier.
NOTE! This bag not intended for use as a cat carrier. Designs by Frank & Oak and Ubisoft / Photos: M.Concepcion

Disclosure: Product samples were provided by Frank & Oak for coverage purposes.

Charcoal colored Waffle-Knit Henley
Charcoal colored Waffle-Knit HenleyDesign by Frank & Oak and Ubisoft / Photo: M.Concepcion

The only thing worse than wearing a video game t-shirt with a loud game logo on the front is wearing that t-shirt to an event or conference involving that same game. Many savvy game publishers, developers, and boutique clothing shops know this and have come up with creative designs that excel in subtly and offer clothing that a game fan can wear proudly without bluntly broadcasting their fandom. Some great examples include:

The Irrational Games shop: LINK
The Ubi Workshop: LINK
The Musterbrand store: LINK
Select items from Level Up Wear: LINK
The Assassin’s Creed-specific collection from Declaration Clothing: LINK

Montreal-based Frank & Oak is a relative newcomer to game tie-in clothes, but you wouldn’t think it based on their design approach in regards to both their website and the clothing itself. Coinciding with the release of Watch Dogs, their collection of pieces inspired by Ubisoft’s latest open world game succeeds in complementing Frank & Oak’s current catalog while also capturing the style of the game itself. STORE LINK

Note: If you want the actual clothes to make yourself look like protagonist Aiden Pierce, you have to go to Musterbrand.

We received a substantial sample of clothes and gear from this collection and you can check out several photos we took in this article’s slideshow. Here are some brief impressions:

Canvas & Leather Duffle - This bag not only feels inspired by Watch Dogs, but also inspired by Frank & Oak’s current line of bags. This semi-tube-shaped duffle rests horizontally but is best packed and carried vertically, much thanks to the backpack-style shoulder straps and the handle on the bag’s ‘lid’. This bag also features four pockets: three in the main compartment (including one for a small laptop) and zipper pocket. The leather is more relegated as accents to the bag while the canvas construction gives it a very durable feel.

Stone colored ‘Defalt’ Tee - This tee is themed after JB Marcowicz’s ‘Defalt’ persona from Watch Dogs. It’s a 100% cotton t-shirt with a worn-in look and feel. It has a “jersey” texture, but is slightly thinner and lighter than most t-shirts that use this fabric.

Ash colored Print Motif Denim Shirt - The tiny triangle pattern dominates the look of this dual breast-pocketed button-down shirt. Yet what’s equally eye-catching are designs under the shirt. Unbuttoning the shirt reveals a stripe accent that runs down the buttons and there’s a black fabric below the collar. It’s made of 79% cotton, 20% polyester, and 1% spandex and includes two replacement buttons.

Charcoal colored Waffle-Knit Henley - Easily my personal favorite piece out of all the samples. Given that I live in San Francisco, the light feel is perfect for any mild wind chills. It’s stretchy enough for quick jogs with the dog and the collar can be loosed with the three buttons to get some air in. It’s made of 100% cotton and includes one replacement button. It’s currently sold out, but Frank & Oak might eventually restock this shirt.

Jet Black colored Patterned Cotton Sweater - A warmer option over the henley. While I’m indifferent to the nondescript pattern, I do like the pre-loosened sleeves, which you can hike up. And it also has thumb holes! It’s made of 100% cotton.

Charcoal colored Stonewashed Hoodie - Out of all pieces in Frank & Oak’s collection, this one best captures the roguish charm of Watch Dogs. Like the ‘Defalt’ tee, this hoodie has a convincing worn-in look. With its 100% cotton construction, it wouldn’t replace your waterproof gear as suitable major rainfall protection, but is more than adequate if you’re caught in a sudden light shower. Perks include the drawstrings for the hood and a secret side pocket.