Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Surprising Spring Value - Uniqlo Military Work Shirt

I have an Army Navy store on my block where I've bought a few things from in the surplus section from time to time. For some reason though, I've always had a difficult time finding things that fit me there. The arms are usually too short for a chest size that isn't extremely large, the body lengths often seem strangely short as well, and all around proportions just leave a bit to be desired. On top of that, it's difficult to find those garments in great shape - something I usually count on finding more of from my friends at Briar Vintage, a vintage menswear shop I've written about before.

I've always thought of Uniqlo as a place to buy affordable basics and the occasional Lemaire/Uniqlo U piece, but I really like some of the military-inspired pieces they've brought out recently - in particular this season's military work long sleeve shirt, which Uniqlo is cringe-inducingly labelling "trendy urban military." That aside, they really nailed the fabric - a nicely weighted slub cotton with the perfect amount of texture. It's interesting that they don't even mention the texture of the weave, given that it's probably the best thing about the shirt (especially given J. Crew's penchant for naming anything but the most baby-smooth of cloth "slub cotton"). But together with the chest pockets and tonal BDU buttons, the design sits in a subtle spot that is clearly military-inspired without being loud or taking it overboard - no small feat, and something you'd normally see more in higher-level brands that charge a lot more for the refined aesthetic.

It doesn't hurt that it's currently on sale for $19.99, either, which is the real story - value. You'll have to spring for shipping ($5 for orders <$75), but you can get it delivered to your local Uniqlo for free as well. Made in three colors, my pick is the olive (which I bought), followed by khaki and then the navy. Fit is standard for current Uniqlo standards - a size small fits me (5'11" - 155 lbs, 36-38R and usually a size small/slim medium) like a regular small. You can also see some example fits on Uniqlo's Instagram page, such as this fellow here, who is emerging pensively from his basement:


or here, on this nice young man who appears to be haunted by the ghost of his past and beset by an episode of likely noncardiac chest pain:




But don't miss out on your chance to "hop on board with one of the spring's hottest trends, #UrbanMilitary." ...Christ. Just...just forget that part.

Link to Product Page


PS - Totally unrelated, but Nordstrom Rack has Iron Rangers in Hawthorne roughout leather (scattered sizing) for $159.97 with free shipping at the moment. Won't stay there long. Here's a link to that. Sizing should be identical to the Beckmans, which run roughly 1/2 size down from your Brannock.

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