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Dec 23, 2015

A beautiful knit shirt and I didn't make it!



With the exception of fabric, I don't get offered a lot of freebies.

But I did get an offer recently that sounded interesting.  A company called The Uniform asked if I'd like to sample a shirt they manufacture -- a white knit shirt styled exactly like -- and potentially a substitute for -- a formal men's dress shirt.  I said, sure!

The Uniform shirt is sewn in the USA (South Carolina) and made from 100% cotton pique.  Currently it's offered only in white.  The shirt costs $100 (4 for $300) and domestic shipping is free.

You can see a few shots of Michael and me in the shirt (a size Small) below.  It hasn't been laundered but it definitely fits Michael, who's broader in the chest and shoulders and narrower in the waist, better than it does me.   The sleeve and torso length is also better for Michael (who's 5'9") than for me (I'm 5'7").

Take a look:













I like this shirt a lot but Michael loves it.  And since it fits him so well I gave it to him.  (One less shirt I have to sew for him, right?  Just kidding.)

I'm not sure a workplace that requies formal white shirts would let a knit shirt like this one pass but it's still super comfortable, well made, and smart looking.

You can learn more about the Uniform shirt at www.theuniform.io

You can also view their handsome lookbook here.

 What do you think?  Do you like the idea of a knit shirt styled like a dress shirt?

Have a great day, everybody!

Michael wears his knit shirt to Christmas Eve dinner.

28 comments:

  1. It's a good idea if you can starch it so it doesn't get saggy and baggy. As for fit models, yeah, I think Michael wins this round. I do really like the side back seam; I've not seen that before, and it adds a level of detail I like.
    A white shirt is a great canvas for adds like that.

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  2. my son loves collared knit shirts, but he's a musician. The upside is they're super easy to make, and you can get away with not making cuffs. I can whip one out in an afternoon. And anything goes with fabrics, but obviously lycra or poly is sweaty. They pack well also.

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  3. It looks great on both of you. I think I will get one for my husband.

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  4. What percentage stretch does the fabric have please? (Do the 10cm ruler test).

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  5. It's a handsome shirt, and it looks great on both of you, but overall it does rather seem like a solution for not-much-of-a-problem. I've never thought dress shirts, if they fit correctly, were in the least uncomfortable, and the right ones - my old faithful Brooks no-launder cotton ones come to - come out of the wash looking freshly starched.

    And at least on the lookbook, there are lots of picture of the models in the process of putting on ties, and many fewer of them actually wearng them - I can't help wondering how the knit collar would look with a tie after a few hours of wearing.

    But what fun to get a little Christmas lagniappe!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Muscato - thanks for your feedback! My partner Tyler hasn't had any issues wearing a tie all day, the collar holds up well for him. What in particular would you be concerned about with the collar?

      Thanks again for your thoughts!

      Best,
      Emily

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  6. As you and I probably more prefer our own made items, there's more and more knit entering into our lives, even in the more formal areas. You're right this won't work for most formal situations, but it is gaining in popularity as it's picked up in more casual office situations as well as individual companies who don't require or want to edict a formal look. I think it's the wave of the future and I think it looks great on both of you

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  7. It looks better to wear than to sew. There is something really enjoyable about sewing a great cotton shirting, so for a hobbyist like me, it falls short on fun in the craft lounge factor.

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  8. There are not too many formal situations in the modern world so I can see many guys loving the comfort of a shirt like this...these days even law firms are business casual unless the attornies have to be in court.

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  9. Nice shirt - and easily made for less than $100! I think a lot of men could wear this for any occasion with panache.

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  10. I think the red buttonhole on the cuff is "odd" for a dress type shirt.

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  11. For wait staff and other service personnel, who have to look formal more often than many office personnel, this would be an excellent alternative to a woven shirt-used-only-for-a-uniform. And for schools who require uniforms, this is a good alternative to the ubiquitous polo shirt. College choir uniform? Maybe.

    I agree with commenters above that this innovation is unlikely to make much headway against the nothing-wrong-with-it woven dress shirt; but it's fun, and looks comfortable to wear, and entirely appropriate for a whole range of usage.

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  12. I like the shirt, especially on Michael. And as a tall, slender guy I especially like the long cut. I live in an area where the black t-shirt with the stenciled white painted bow tie, lapels, and formal shirt are seen at black tie formal parties, so this nice shirt would certainly be a step up from the way-too-casual fashion ethic all around me. But compared to the typical woven Nordstrom shirt, I'm thinking this will be one more means of separating those who are serious about their jobs and those who aren't. In many work settings (though not all), going the extra mile and arriving with crisp, pressed clothing makes you look, well, like you went the extra mile -- and not on your bike.

    If their goal is to redefine the dress shirt, that's a fair point (although I don't think the company name does them any favors). And their target market is the 20-something, not the 40-something. However, if they intend to compete with the traditional woven, I think this needs work. Until the development of a knit with the properties of stretch and wrinkle resistance but with the crispness and shape of a woven, I wouldn't buy it. I can get good woven shirts for somewhat less.

    But it's a nice shirt. And I like the colorful buttonholes. I've seen them on woven dress shirts and they're a nice touch. But I agree that it makes a casual shirt look more casual rather than a woven dress shirt look more custom.

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  13. Hi Peter - I just wanted to drop you a note to say that I've recently discovered your blog and have enjoyed it tremendously, not just your wonderful handiwork and in-depth posts about FIT, but also your thoughts about fashion, glamour, style, Cathy, etc. You've given me hours of great fun. Thanks!

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  14. The red buttonholes make it look cheap and homemade( bad homemade) even though the style is okay otherwise. Why did they do that? Did they say?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Thanks for your thoughts. I'm sorry to hear you think the orange stitching makes the shirt look cheap - that was not our intent. We chose the contrast stitching to go with the rest of the branding (which, if you take a look at our site, is the same orange color).

      Thanks again for your thoughts.

      Best,
      Emily

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  15. I wonder how easy that would be to make

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  16. Pique for a dress shirt?? I don't think so!

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  17. It looks terrific on Michael but I don't know what I think of knit fabric dress shirts. The thing that's so appealing about the dress shirt is the crispness of the cotton - the sheen and hang. Mind you, I think it's great when men have more fashion options. Your choices are generally so much more limited than women's.

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  18. If the wearer needs a bit more ease but likes a fitted style, just go for a 2% lycra blend.

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  19. I think it's a good looking shirt for what it is..but the bottom hem looks a little wavy.

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  20. Um...were you testing lipstick on the back of your right hand before modeling the shirt? (5th pic down).

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    Replies
    1. Sounds as if the conspicuously camera shy Cathy Lane was somewhere in the vicinity...

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  21. In the corporate world, it wouldn't fly with "The Suits", except on casual Fridays.

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  22. A knit shirt styled like a dress shirt was my husband's Father's Day request last summer, and he's wor the snot out of it (if I do say so myself.) It's not quite as fitted as this one (also part of the request) but it does look very smart, if not actually formal. He wears "dress" type shirts over T-shirts for bumming around the house, so it's not exactly meant for office wear anyway. It was a lot of fun to make, even if the packets were terrifying. I found a super-lightweight knit interfacing that really helped with the plackets and button bands, otherwise I think I would've been in trouble. :)

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  23. I'd like to see one of these in person. I am a nurse who works private duty much of the time. I don't wear scrubs at the request of the patients who don't want to feel like they are in a hospital at home. Usually I wear a solid polo shirt which need little or no ironing after washing, although the shirt pictured could use a lick of an iron. A knit shirt has more give then a woven which is an important comfort issue when you are doing physical work all day. I'd try one of these if they are not too fitted, an alternative to the polo would be great. I wouldn't wear one of these with a tie, or as an alternative to a quality woven shirt for more formal

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  24. Hi everyone,

    Thanks for your thoughts and your feedback on the shirt - all your comments are much appreciated!

    Let me know if any other direct questions, happy to answer them :)

    Best,
    Emily
    www.theuniform.io

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