April 15, 2014

Favorite Finds: Uniqlo x Michael Bastian 2014

Michael Bastian’s second collaboration of knits with Uniqlo dropped last month and I finally got the chance to check it out. For those who may not be familiar with his work, here’s a quick rundown on Michael Bastian.

Before starting his own line in 2006, Michael Bastian was the men’s fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman. In addition to Uniqlo, he also has an ongoing collaboration with Gant, and won the CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year award in 2011. He has become a leader in modern prep style, an aesthetic that can easily be seen in this year’s collaboration.

I was expecting a slim fit, but it was really slim. The tag lists a 38”-41” chest as being Medium, which is usually helpful. I have a 40” chest and always wear a Medium in Uniqlo, even their slim fit, so I thought that would be fine. I was in a rush, so I bought the shirt and took it home. When I went to try it on, it was only with some difficulty that I managed to get it past my shoulders.

Once it was on, it didn’t fit terribly. It definitely fit, just a little too snug for my personal taste. I tried a Large, but the proportions were off. If you like a tight fit or have a slighter build than I do, it might be perfect for you. The other thing that made it a no-go for me was how high and tight the armholes are. Again, that is a personal preference thing and not any reflection on the design. I have seen similar cuts from so many labels, it’s just not my cup of tea.

There are 11 styles, each in multiple colors from the initial release last month and another 8 styles that just arrived this week. Solids, prints, stripes, all told there are 77 different shirts to choose from, so you should have no problem finding one that suits you.

On top of that, the detailing on all of this collaboration’s offerings are really great. There are some with a 4-button placket and a button down collar, others with safari pockets, and still others with an open v placket.

For $22.90, there isn’t a lot to complain about when it comes to price, but the quality is a lot better than what you would expect. All the polos I looked at were 100% cotton and have a nice feel to them as well. There is also hem tape reinforcement at the side vents, which matched the contrast collar/placket/cuffs on the one that I bought.

The stores I hit in NYC are still pretty well stocked in styles and sizes, but I noticed that the website is starting to run low on sizes in the first wave of styles. Remember, the fit is super slim, but that is how it is designed. I’ve actually seen a couple of these polos on random passerby, and, on the right body type, they look great.

Stay stylish,
- JJ

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