April 15, 2012

Favorite Finds: Light Cotton Woven

Spring is here and summer is coming quickly. Now is the time to get a jumpstart on the heat and refresh your closet with a lightweight, slim fitting, colorful woven. John Varvatos Star USA has just the piece, though not very clever with the product name. The ‘Slim Fit Shirt with Adjustable Sleeves’ is a great cotton shirt with some really unique details that set it apart from the easter egg colored pack that is hitting the stores now.

One of the things I found most interesting about this shirt is the princess seams. Now bear with me on this, I know ‘princess’ is generally not a word that most men want associated with their clothing. In this instance, however, it is a good thing.

Instead of having a traditional side seam, this shirt has a side panel and the front seam curves from under the arm to the front of the hip. It is also darted in the back to further take in the waist. What this allows for is a slim silhouette that still has room in the chest and shoulders. The seam also visually slims because of the line it follows down your torso. I tried on a Medium and the fit was perfect.

The sleeves can be rolled up and fastened by what John Varvatos’ website refers to as an epaulette detail, but is really more of a button tab (since it is not on the shoulder). This is a nice feature in the summer and it will allow you to roll up your sleeves while keeping a clean look. I own several shirts that came with this detail and have removed it on a couple specific ones when I know I won’t use it.

The shirt features a single chest pocket and a button down collar. It is offered in three colors (that I was able to find) – Smoke is a light grey. Windsor Blue is a light, almost teal, blue. Berry is a light pink. None of the colors are very saturated, but are vibrant enough to embrace the coming season’s trends and add a pop of color to your wardrobe – especially great for a first foray into brighter colors.

The fabric is a very lightweight cotton with a visible weave that adds some texture. It is machine washable, tumble dry low, and able to be dry cleaned if needed. As you can see, it is very prone to wrinkles so it will likely need an occasional ironing. Because it is so thin though, be sure to iron on low to avoid scorching the fabric.

The only real visible branding is the peace sign logo on the left gusset, which is a nice touch. It gives just a small hint of the rock and roll inspired edge that John Varvatos is known for.

At $115 the price is fairly reasonable, and all of the assorted John Varvatos products I own have held up extremely well. This is definitely on my short list of pieces to add to my closet and I highly recommend it, specifically for someone with broader shoulders or a bigger chest for whom finding slimmer fit shirts that fit at both the top and bottom is difficult.

Stay stylish,
- JJ

*In the spirit of full disclosure, I work for a brand owned by VF Corp which also owns John Varvatos. I have liked and worn John Varvatos’ clothing since before I worked for VF and this recommendation is professionally unbiased.

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