Five Great Things That Come With A Leather Jacket
I wear sport coats most days of the week, but for the last two years or so, I’ve been breaking it up a bit with leather jackets. In that time, I’ve found leather jackets to have some nice advantages over tailored clothing. 
Shirts
Paul Newman looks great above in his button-up shirt, but for me, a leather jacket really calls for a t-shirt. The good news is that t-shirts can be had for not too much money. Jesse sells Alternative Apparel ones every summer at a wholesale price. They’re soft, finely knitted, and somewhat stretchy. I wear Hanes Beefy Tees myself, which are more stout. I’ve also heard good things about Uniqlo’s t-shirts, although I’ve never tried them.
All of these can be had for less than ten bucks a piece, which means you can get a whole week’s worth for less than the price of a good dress shirt.
Pants
Similarly, jeans can be had for much less than wool trousers. Unbranded and our advertiser Gustin get regularly recommended in the denim community, and they sell raw, selvedge denim options for about $85 a pair. APC New Standards retail for $185, but can sometimes be found on sale. 
The upside to jeans isn’t just their price, however. It’s the material. Denim is an exceptionally tough fabric and can take a lot of abuse. Some guys wear their jeans every day for two years before retiring them. Do that to a pair of grey flannel trousers and they’ll disintegrate in a few months.
Shoes
Shoes are a bit more tricky. With a heavy horsehide or cowhide jacket, you might need something like a chunky boot. With a lighter lambskin or goatskin jacket, however, you can wear canvas sneakers. I often wear this jacket, for example, with white Chuck Taylor high tops, which I bought for $50. There’s no good dress shoe that retails for $50.
Fit
There are few things that can smarten you up more than a sport coat or suit, but they are admittedly difficult to fit. This might be because of their construction: the shoulder pads, wadding, canvassing, haircloth, etc. Add to that the stylistic details (width of the lapel, shape of the quarters, pitch of the arm, height of the gorge, etc.), and you can see how complicated a tailored jacket can get.
On the other hand, leather jackets (and everything that goes with them) have a lot more wiggle room. It’s OK if your jacket doesn’t look like it was perfectly tailored and if your jeans aren’t hemmed to a perfect shivering break. In fact, they shouldn’t look like that anyway. 
Care
Finally, it’s nice to not have to iron a shirt before you go out, worry about whether a dry cleaner will ruin your jacket, or care if some food drips onto your clothes. Everything above – the t-shirt, jeans, sneakers, and jacket – is meant to be worn and beat up. Some items (such as the jeans and sneakers) look better after they’ve been worn in. Others (such as the t-shirt) are cheap enough to easily replace.
Granted, the leather jacket itself can be pretty expensive. You’re either going to spend a lot of money for a new one, or a lot of time searching for something used. On the upside, once you find one you like, there are five great things that come with it. 

Five Great Things That Come With A Leather Jacket

I wear sport coats most days of the week, but for the last two years or so, I’ve been breaking it up a bit with leather jackets. In that time, I’ve found leather jackets to have some nice advantages over tailored clothing. 

Shirts

Paul Newman looks great above in his button-up shirt, but for me, a leather jacket really calls for a t-shirt. The good news is that t-shirts can be had for not too much money. Jesse sells Alternative Apparel ones every summer at a wholesale price. They’re soft, finely knitted, and somewhat stretchy. I wear Hanes Beefy Tees myself, which are more stout. I’ve also heard good things about Uniqlo’s t-shirts, although I’ve never tried them.

All of these can be had for less than ten bucks a piece, which means you can get a whole week’s worth for less than the price of a good dress shirt.

Pants

Similarly, jeans can be had for much less than wool trousers. Unbranded and our advertiser Gustin get regularly recommended in the denim community, and they sell raw, selvedge denim options for about $85 a pair. APC New Standards retail for $185, but can sometimes be found on sale. 

The upside to jeans isn’t just their price, however. It’s the material. Denim is an exceptionally tough fabric and can take a lot of abuse. Some guys wear their jeans every day for two years before retiring them. Do that to a pair of grey flannel trousers and they’ll disintegrate in a few months.

Shoes

Shoes are a bit more tricky. With a heavy horsehide or cowhide jacket, you might need something like a chunky boot. With a lighter lambskin or goatskin jacket, however, you can wear canvas sneakers. I often wear this jacket, for example, with white Chuck Taylor high tops, which I bought for $50. There’s no good dress shoe that retails for $50.

Fit

There are few things that can smarten you up more than a sport coat or suit, but they are admittedly difficult to fit. This might be because of their construction: the shoulder pads, wadding, canvassing, haircloth, etc. Add to that the stylistic details (width of the lapel, shape of the quarters, pitch of the arm, height of the gorge, etc.), and you can see how complicated a tailored jacket can get.

On the other hand, leather jackets (and everything that goes with them) have a lot more wiggle room. It’s OK if your jacket doesn’t look like it was perfectly tailored and if your jeans aren’t hemmed to a perfect shivering break. In fact, they shouldn’t look like that anyway. 

Care

Finally, it’s nice to not have to iron a shirt before you go out, worry about whether a dry cleaner will ruin your jacket, or care if some food drips onto your clothes. Everything above – the t-shirt, jeans, sneakers, and jacket – is meant to be worn and beat up. Some items (such as the jeans and sneakers) look better after they’ve been worn in. Others (such as the t-shirt) are cheap enough to easily replace.

Granted, the leather jacket itself can be pretty expensive. You’re either going to spend a lot of money for a new one, or a lot of time searching for something used. On the upside, once you find one you like, there are five great things that come with it. 

The Simplest Casual Look
Although I enjoy wearing tailored clothes on weekdays, I dress pretty casually on weekends. Lately, that’s meant dark blue jeans with a clean white t-shirt and a nice, brown leather jacket. For shoes, I wear either sneakers or boots, and if it’s cold outside, I layer with a heathered grey sweatshirt. I find it’s one of the simplest, easiest looks you can put together, and depending on your lifestyle, very well suited to casual weekend activities with friends.
For jeans, I really like 3sixteen’s SL-100x model. It’s a slim straight-legged cut made from a medium-weight selvedge denim that doesn’t bag as easily as other brands’. I’ve also been admiring their premium 3sixteen+ line, as well as Flat Heads 3009s and Iron Heart 634s. Those are made from unsanforized denim, which Kiya at Self Edge tells us will yield more interesting fades over time (without the need to forgo washing, thankfully). For something more affordable, check out Albam, Gustin, and Uniqlo’s Made in Japan offerings.
For the t-shirt, I stick to a pretty basic Hanes’ Beefy-T (I get the one with a chest pocket). It has a stoutness that I think works well with this kind of look, and it can be easily found on sale for about $6. Jesse has also recommended Costco’s Kirkland t-shirts for this sort of thing. For something thinner and stretchier, check out Alternative Apparel, which Jesse does bulk orders on every summer, and American Apparel. Levis also has a nice model that’s in between the toughness of Hanes and the fineness of the last two brands.
Finally, there’s the leather jacket. These can get astoundingly expensive, but it’s worth buying the best you can afford. Just as you can get away with a pair of cheap chinos and dress shirt if you have a really nice fitting sport coat, you can skimp on the jeans and t-shirt if you have a really beautiful leather jacket. 
Some of the best makers here include Good Wear Leather, Bill Kelso, The Real McCoys, Eastman, and Aero. These brands specialize in making reproductions of vintage flight jackets, and they make them as tough as the originals. Temple of Jawnz is also a favorite among style enthusiasts. They’re sadly closing up shop in a month, but are doing one last call for custom orders. 
The price points for any of these is pretty expensive. We’re talking $750 to $1,500 for a jacket, and some even have waiting lists that stretch back a year. As usual, a more affordable option would be trawling eBay and vintage stores, but what you save in money, you’ll spend in time. You could also go for a similarly rugged jacket style, but one not made from leather. One of my favorite stores, Bench & Loom, has some really handsome pieces, and they’re holding a 20% off sale with the code SPRING20. The code is good for both sweaters and outerwear, with some brands being excluded (Mister Freedom, Schott NYC, Buzz Rickson, and The Real McCoys).

The Simplest Casual Look

Although I enjoy wearing tailored clothes on weekdays, I dress pretty casually on weekends. Lately, that’s meant dark blue jeans with a clean white t-shirt and a nice, brown leather jacket. For shoes, I wear either sneakers or boots, and if it’s cold outside, I layer with a heathered grey sweatshirt. I find it’s one of the simplest, easiest looks you can put together, and depending on your lifestyle, very well suited to casual weekend activities with friends.

For jeans, I really like 3sixteen’s SL-100x model. It’s a slim straight-legged cut made from a medium-weight selvedge denim that doesn’t bag as easily as other brands’. I’ve also been admiring their premium 3sixteen+ line, as well as Flat Heads 3009s and Iron Heart 634s. Those are made from unsanforized denim, which Kiya at Self Edge tells us will yield more interesting fades over time (without the need to forgo washing, thankfully). For something more affordable, check out Albam, Gustin, and Uniqlo’s Made in Japan offerings.

For the t-shirt, I stick to a pretty basic Hanes’ Beefy-T (I get the one with a chest pocket). It has a stoutness that I think works well with this kind of look, and it can be easily found on sale for about $6. Jesse has also recommended Costco’s Kirkland t-shirts for this sort of thing. For something thinner and stretchier, check out Alternative Apparel, which Jesse does bulk orders on every summer, and American Apparel. Levis also has a nice model that’s in between the toughness of Hanes and the fineness of the last two brands.

Finally, there’s the leather jacket. These can get astoundingly expensive, but it’s worth buying the best you can afford. Just as you can get away with a pair of cheap chinos and dress shirt if you have a really nice fitting sport coat, you can skimp on the jeans and t-shirt if you have a really beautiful leather jacket. 

Some of the best makers here include Good Wear Leather, Bill Kelso, The Real McCoys, Eastman, and Aero. These brands specialize in making reproductions of vintage flight jackets, and they make them as tough as the originals. Temple of Jawnz is also a favorite among style enthusiasts. They’re sadly closing up shop in a month, but are doing one last call for custom orders

The price points for any of these is pretty expensive. We’re talking $750 to $1,500 for a jacket, and some even have waiting lists that stretch back a year. As usual, a more affordable option would be trawling eBay and vintage stores, but what you save in money, you’ll spend in time. You could also go for a similarly rugged jacket style, but one not made from leather. One of my favorite stores, Bench & Loom, has some really handsome pieces, and they’re holding a 20% off sale with the code SPRING20. The code is good for both sweaters and outerwear, with some brands being excluded (Mister Freedom, Schott NYC, Buzz Rickson, and The Real McCoys).

For $50 You Can Buy …
Following on my “style for college students" post, I thought I’d suggest some "under $50" options that I think would work well for students. Above is what I sometimes wear on weekends if I have errands to run, but I think it can also work for someone in college. 
Shoes: The canvas shoes are a collaboration project by Billy Reid and K Swiss, and they’re on sale right now at J Crew for $30 (use the code OURTREAT). I think they work well with casual chinos and jeans. If you want other options, LL Bean Signature sometimes discounts their blucher and ranger mocs to about $50, and I think they can be worn with the same things. 
Sweatshirt: The grey sweatshirt above is by Onassis. The fit on their website looks skinnier than how mine wears, but perhaps they had the model size down (or maybe they changed the cut). Either way, it’s a decent, casual sweatshirt, albeit thinner than other models on the market. For other affordable options, check out Uniqlo and J Crew (the second of which offers them in grey and navy). J Crew’s cost over $50, but hardly a thing in their store doesn’t make to their end-of-the-season sales.
White tees: I usually wear my sweatshirt over a Levi’s 1950s pocketed tee, but those don’t seem to be online at the moment (they might have them in-store though). A similar model seems to be the pocketless version. If you wait, those go on sale for about $9. Hanes’ beefy tees are also good, cheap beaters. For more options, look into Alternative Apparel (which I know Jesse likes), American Apparel, Uniqlo, J Crew, and Velva Sheen. 
OCBDs: You also can pair the grey sweatshirt with an oxford cloth button-down, which in turn will give your collarline some more structure. The cheapest ones I know of are at Uniqlo, but Brooks Brothers and Land’s End Canvas will often discount theirs to about $35. Here’s some striped ones from Brooks now for about $40.  
Jeans and chinos: My preferred jeans are 3Sixteen’s SL-100x, which I think are one of the best values on the market right now. They’re expensive, but the fit and quality of the denim and construction are excellent. For something cheaper, check out Uniqlo’s Made in Japan line or Gap’s selvage jeans. For something cheaper still, Levis has a bunch of options, so long as you stay clear of any pre-distressed stuff. The non-raw, non-selvedge stuff won’t age as beautifully, but they’re also much more affordable. Alternatively, you can wear the above with Uniqlo’s vintage chinos, which are on sale right now for $40. Jesse has recommended them in the past. 
Belt: Finally, I bought the belt above for $20 at a local jean shop, but you can buy nicer belts from Voyej, Corter, and Don’t Mourn Organize.
The best thing about everything here is that nothing requires much maintenance. I know most college students don’t have time to iron their clothes, polish their shoes, or do any of the other recommendable things for clothing care. The stuff you see above are all items you can throw on, not pay too much attention to, and not worry if things get stained. These are the kind of clothes that look better beat up than brand new anyway. Pretty much ideal if you sleep in libraries, go to parties where cheap beer is often spilled, and don’t even own an iron. 

For $50 You Can Buy …

Following on my “style for college students" post, I thought I’d suggest some "under $50" options that I think would work well for students. Above is what I sometimes wear on weekends if I have errands to run, but I think it can also work for someone in college. 

  • Shoes: The canvas shoes are a collaboration project by Billy Reid and K Swiss, and they’re on sale right now at J Crew for $30 (use the code OURTREAT). I think they work well with casual chinos and jeans. If you want other options, LL Bean Signature sometimes discounts their blucher and ranger mocs to about $50, and I think they can be worn with the same things. 
  • Sweatshirt: The grey sweatshirt above is by Onassis. The fit on their website looks skinnier than how mine wears, but perhaps they had the model size down (or maybe they changed the cut). Either way, it’s a decent, casual sweatshirt, albeit thinner than other models on the market. For other affordable options, check out Uniqlo and J Crew (the second of which offers them in grey and navy). J Crew’s cost over $50, but hardly a thing in their store doesn’t make to their end-of-the-season sales.
  • White tees: I usually wear my sweatshirt over a Levi’s 1950s pocketed tee, but those don’t seem to be online at the moment (they might have them in-store though). A similar model seems to be the pocketless version. If you wait, those go on sale for about $9. Hanes’ beefy tees are also good, cheap beaters. For more options, look into Alternative Apparel (which I know Jesse likes), American Apparel, Uniqlo, J Crew, and Velva Sheen
  • OCBDs: You also can pair the grey sweatshirt with an oxford cloth button-down, which in turn will give your collarline some more structure. The cheapest ones I know of are at Uniqlo, but Brooks Brothers and Land’s End Canvas will often discount theirs to about $35. Here’s some striped ones from Brooks now for about $40.  
  • Jeans and chinos: My preferred jeans are 3Sixteen’s SL-100x, which I think are one of the best values on the market right now. They’re expensive, but the fit and quality of the denim and construction are excellent. For something cheaper, check out Uniqlo’s Made in Japan line or Gap’s selvage jeans. For something cheaper still, Levis has a bunch of options, so long as you stay clear of any pre-distressed stuff. The non-raw, non-selvedge stuff won’t age as beautifully, but they’re also much more affordable. Alternatively, you can wear the above with Uniqlo’s vintage chinos, which are on sale right now for $40. Jesse has recommended them in the past. 
  • Belt: Finally, I bought the belt above for $20 at a local jean shop, but you can buy nicer belts from VoyejCorter, and Don’t Mourn Organize.

The best thing about everything here is that nothing requires much maintenance. I know most college students don’t have time to iron their clothes, polish their shoes, or do any of the other recommendable things for clothing care. The stuff you see above are all items you can throw on, not pay too much attention to, and not worry if things get stained. These are the kind of clothes that look better beat up than brand new anyway. Pretty much ideal if you sleep in libraries, go to parties where cheap beer is often spilled, and don’t even own an iron. 

Q and Answer: What’s the best white tee?
D2F asks: Do you  have any suggestions for good, long lasting plain white t’s? 
Most white tees simply won’t last too long. White will yellow with laundering, sweat and soil no matter what you do. Good laundry habits will certainly help (wash your shirts soon after wearing), but the white t-shirt is essentially a disposable item.
With that in mind, I have three recommendations.
For everyday wear, I really like Alternative Apparel, which is why we’re selling them this week. They’re very, very soft, a little bit fine with nice stretch, have a reasonably slim fit and are a nice medium between long enough to tuck in and too long to wear untucked.
If you prefer a stouter cloth, I really like the Kirkland brand tees sold at Costco. They’re a little boxier and a lot heavier. They’re not really soft, but they’re very sturdy and very cheap. They’ve been replaced in my wardrobe by Alternative, but are still a very solid choice.
For undershirts, I’ve been really happy with the shirts that our long-time advertiser Ribbed Tee have sent me. They’re about ten bucks apiece, and they’re designed as undershirts, not as undershirt-outershirt hybrids. That means they’re pretty long and they’re ribbed to fit close. As I wrote before, I love the softness of the modal-blend shirts, but they also pill a bit and feel a little clammy. The original ribbed all-cotton model feels soft for a ribbed tee, but not as soft as a non-ribbed tee. They just sent me their Retro model, which is a poly-cotton blend, and they’ve done a nice job of recreating that favorite 80s t-shirt feeling there, if that’s your preference. If you’re looking for an undershirt, though, I haven’t seen any better.
Otherwise, just get your white tees from Bubble’s Depot.

Q and Answer: What’s the best white tee?

D2F asks: Do you have any suggestions for good, long lasting plain white t’s?

Most white tees simply won’t last too long. White will yellow with laundering, sweat and soil no matter what you do. Good laundry habits will certainly help (wash your shirts soon after wearing), but the white t-shirt is essentially a disposable item.

With that in mind, I have three recommendations.

For everyday wear, I really like Alternative Apparel, which is why we’re selling them this week. They’re very, very soft, a little bit fine with nice stretch, have a reasonably slim fit and are a nice medium between long enough to tuck in and too long to wear untucked.

If you prefer a stouter cloth, I really like the Kirkland brand tees sold at Costco. They’re a little boxier and a lot heavier. They’re not really soft, but they’re very sturdy and very cheap. They’ve been replaced in my wardrobe by Alternative, but are still a very solid choice.

For undershirts, I’ve been really happy with the shirts that our long-time advertiser Ribbed Tee have sent me. They’re about ten bucks apiece, and they’re designed as undershirts, not as undershirt-outershirt hybrids. That means they’re pretty long and they’re ribbed to fit close. As I wrote before, I love the softness of the modal-blend shirts, but they also pill a bit and feel a little clammy. The original ribbed all-cotton model feels soft for a ribbed tee, but not as soft as a non-ribbed tee. They just sent me their Retro model, which is a poly-cotton blend, and they’ve done a nice job of recreating that favorite 80s t-shirt feeling there, if that’s your preference. If you’re looking for an undershirt, though, I haven’t seen any better.

Otherwise, just get your white tees from Bubble’s Depot.

Summer of White Tees
I’m a big fan of white t-shirts, especially in summer, and a big fan of Alternative Apparel.  Given the success of our last go-round with an Alternative Apparel group buy, I thought I’d join those two fandoms into one beginning-of-spring effort.
Here’s the deal: the Alternative Apparel white crew t-shirt is my t-shirt of choice.  The fabric is as good as anything else on the market, including $60-100 designer t-shirts from Barney’s.  It’s significantly better, in my opinion, than American Apparel.  I really like it.  The cut is long enough for most folks to wear as an undershirt, short enough that it doesn’t look silly on its own.  It’s slim, but not exaggeratedly so.  It’s also outrageously soft.  I wear them on their own, and as an undershirt.
We’re going to do a group buy of these awesome shirts.  The shirts retail at $19.99 each, so I thought we’d offer them for a little less than half that - $9.90.  We can get wholesale pricing on a large order, which lets us get them to you cheaper.  Shipping will be five bucks, flat.  We’re offering crew and v-necks - I don’t want you people showing your underwear when your collar’s open.
As in the past, it will work like this: you place your order by Wednesday at 4PM pacific.  Then we stop taking orders and put in our order with Alternative.  When they show up a week or two later, we ship them out.  You get them in about a month.  Continental US only.  Sound like a plan?  I recommend you just buy half a dozen so you’re set for the year - I’ve got more than that, to be perfectly frank.
Order your white tees now right here.

Summer of White Tees

I’m a big fan of white t-shirts, especially in summer, and a big fan of Alternative Apparel.  Given the success of our last go-round with an Alternative Apparel group buy, I thought I’d join those two fandoms into one beginning-of-spring effort.

Here’s the deal: the Alternative Apparel white crew t-shirt is my t-shirt of choice.  The fabric is as good as anything else on the market, including $60-100 designer t-shirts from Barney’s.  It’s significantly better, in my opinion, than American Apparel.  I really like it.  The cut is long enough for most folks to wear as an undershirt, short enough that it doesn’t look silly on its own.  It’s slim, but not exaggeratedly so.  It’s also outrageously soft.  I wear them on their own, and as an undershirt.

We’re going to do a group buy of these awesome shirts.  The shirts retail at $19.99 each, so I thought we’d offer them for a little less than half that - $9.90.  We can get wholesale pricing on a large order, which lets us get them to you cheaper.  Shipping will be five bucks, flat.  We’re offering crew and v-necks - I don’t want you people showing your underwear when your collar’s open.

As in the past, it will work like this: you place your order by Wednesday at 4PM pacific.  Then we stop taking orders and put in our order with Alternative.  When they show up a week or two later, we ship them out.  You get them in about a month.  Continental US only.  Sound like a plan?  I recommend you just buy half a dozen so you’re set for the year - I’ve got more than that, to be perfectly frank.

Order your white tees now right here.

Q and Answer: Undershirts
Chris writes: I’ve worn Hanes undershirts for years (crewneck), and the most recent purchase has been a disappointment. They seem several inches shorter and continually come untucked. It doesn’t help that I’m 6′0″ and weigh 130lbs. (where’s the small & tall clothing?). I was wondering if you could weigh-in on undershirts. I’m thinking it’s time to graduate to shirts a little nicer in quality than Hanes, and I’m looking for opinions.
First of all: I’m sincerely not trying to be a jerk or anything, but you’re six feet tall and weigh 130 pounds?  Man alive.  There was a time when I could literally see me ribs, and I weighed 155.  You’re going to have a hard time finding something for a frame that out-of-the-norm.
One of the big problems with undershirts is that most of them are manufactured under license - Calvin Klein doesn’t make Calvin Klein undershirts.  Even those that aren’t, such as those made by undershirt-specific manufacturers, are often made in second-rate overseas factories and are wildly inconsistent.
The other is that they’re rarely long enough to be worn as undershirts.  Many, after washing, barely reach the beltline… and if you buy your normal size, they tend to balloon around the body in an exceedingly unflattering way.
You should be looking for undershirts that fit your body tightly but comfortably, are soft and are durable.  You should also be wearing v-necks any time you are wearing an open collar.
So, given those goals, what are your options?
Well, we got a few free undershirts from our blog sponsor RibbedTee.com, and have been happy with them.  They’re ribbed, which you may or may not like, but that helps keep their shape.  They’re also long enough.  There are cheaper options, and softer jersey options, but RibbedTee.com is certainly worth considering.
If you’re looking for a heavier shirt, the Kirkland-branded shirts at Costco are of excellent quality, and very inexpensive.  The sizing is traditional-ish, but the jersey is soft enough and very heavy in weight.  They’re cheap, too - about $12 for a three pack, last time we bought them.
Lately, when I’m not wearing my RibbedTee freebies, I wear mostly Alternative Apparel.  They’re not as long as I’d like, but they’re not bad in that department, and they’re fantastically soft.  The “basic” model is plenty soft, no need to spend the extra for the “perfect” model.  I usually wear the aa1023 - basic v-neck, though it looks like they only sell it wholesale at the AA site.  You can give them a call and I’m sure they’ll help you find them, or sign up for a wholesale account.  American Apparel, which is a little longer and a little less soft, is also an option.
There are a few options if you’re looking for “tall” sized shirts.  Stafford, a house brand at JC Penney, offers tall shirts for a very reasonable price.  I’d usually wear a large, but would size down to a medium tall if I were buying Stafford.  The same applies to Lands’ End, which offers tall sizes for undershirts as well, and have very solid and consistent quality.
If you’ve found the perfect undershirt, let us know by email - contact@putthison.com.

Q and Answer: Undershirts

Chris writes: I’ve worn Hanes undershirts for years (crewneck), and the most recent purchase has been a disappointment. They seem several inches shorter and continually come untucked. It doesn’t help that I’m 6′0″ and weigh 130lbs. (where’s the small & tall clothing?).

I was wondering if you could weigh-in on undershirts. I’m thinking it’s time to graduate to shirts a little nicer in quality than Hanes, and I’m looking for opinions.

First of all: I’m sincerely not trying to be a jerk or anything, but you’re six feet tall and weigh 130 pounds?  Man alive.  There was a time when I could literally see me ribs, and I weighed 155.  You’re going to have a hard time finding something for a frame that out-of-the-norm.

One of the big problems with undershirts is that most of them are manufactured under license - Calvin Klein doesn’t make Calvin Klein undershirts.  Even those that aren’t, such as those made by undershirt-specific manufacturers, are often made in second-rate overseas factories and are wildly inconsistent.

The other is that they’re rarely long enough to be worn as undershirts.  Many, after washing, barely reach the beltline… and if you buy your normal size, they tend to balloon around the body in an exceedingly unflattering way.

You should be looking for undershirts that fit your body tightly but comfortably, are soft and are durable.  You should also be wearing v-necks any time you are wearing an open collar.

So, given those goals, what are your options?

Well, we got a few free undershirts from our blog sponsor RibbedTee.com, and have been happy with them.  They’re ribbed, which you may or may not like, but that helps keep their shape.  They’re also long enough.  There are cheaper options, and softer jersey options, but RibbedTee.com is certainly worth considering.

If you’re looking for a heavier shirt, the Kirkland-branded shirts at Costco are of excellent quality, and very inexpensive.  The sizing is traditional-ish, but the jersey is soft enough and very heavy in weight.  They’re cheap, too - about $12 for a three pack, last time we bought them.

Lately, when I’m not wearing my RibbedTee freebies, I wear mostly Alternative Apparel.  They’re not as long as I’d like, but they’re not bad in that department, and they’re fantastically soft.  The “basic” model is plenty soft, no need to spend the extra for the “perfect” model.  I usually wear the aa1023 - basic v-neck, though it looks like they only sell it wholesale at the AA site.  You can give them a call and I’m sure they’ll help you find them, or sign up for a wholesale account.  American Apparel, which is a little longer and a little less soft, is also an option.

There are a few options if you’re looking for “tall” sized shirts.  Stafford, a house brand at JC Penney, offers tall shirts for a very reasonable price.  I’d usually wear a large, but would size down to a medium tall if I were buying Stafford.  The same applies to Lands’ End, which offers tall sizes for undershirts as well, and have very solid and consistent quality.

If you’ve found the perfect undershirt, let us know by email - contact@putthison.com.

Things are already warming up here in Los Angeles - I’ve had to move from wool to cotton flannel up top.  Too-hot-for-sleeves weather is just around the corner.  For me, that’s white tee weather.  It was the same, as you can see, for Steve McQueen.  I used to buy my white tees at Costco - the Kirkland brand are durable and cheap.  They’re also a bit heavy for summer in LA and a bit square for my body shape, so I switched to Alternative Apparel.  More expensive, but soft as a baby’s rear, and with a great cut.  Maybe we’ll do a group buy in the early spring.
Check out some more white tee inspiration at Sartorially Inclined.

Things are already warming up here in Los Angeles - I’ve had to move from wool to cotton flannel up top.  Too-hot-for-sleeves weather is just around the corner.  For me, that’s white tee weather.  It was the same, as you can see, for Steve McQueen.  I used to buy my white tees at Costco - the Kirkland brand are durable and cheap.  They’re also a bit heavy for summer in LA and a bit square for my body shape, so I switched to Alternative Apparel.  More expensive, but soft as a baby’s rear, and with a great cut.  Maybe we’ll do a group buy in the early spring.

Check out some more white tee inspiration at Sartorially Inclined.

The Rugby Shirt
A lot of folks have been emailing looking for alternatives to t-shirts and oxfords for casual wear.  So let me take this opportunity to endorse the rugby shirt.
Like a lot of casual wear, the rugby shirt grew out of sporting clothing - they were, in fact, for playing rugby.  Of course, the rugby shirt you might buy at a Ralph Lauren store in Boston is quite different from the jersey a rugby union player wears in Melbourne.  (Please don’t correct me if that is not a thing that happens in Melbourne, rugby fans and Melbournians).
The rugby shirt is rugged, but it retains a bit of gentility.  It’s also often long-sleeved, and thus a great alternative to the polo for cooler times of year (fall through spring, essentially).  Find one with a good fit, pair it with a great pair of jeans, and you’ll look like you’re put together despite not trying to be put together at all.

I like this one from Lands’ End Canvas a lot, and it goes for a very reasonable price, to boot.  And of course Polo has quajillions.  Unless you’re a rugby fan, I’d recommend you stay away from crests and logos and stick with simple color combos in solids and bold stripes.

This jersey cotton one, from Alternative Apparel, is my favorite, though.  It comes in a few colors, but I like heather gray the best.  Alternative stuff is insanely soft and comfortable, and the fit is great, too.  It retails for $60, which is a fair bit of money… but it just so happens that because I use Alternative blanks for printing Sound of Young America t-shirts, I have a wholesale account with them.
So, how about this?  If we can get together 12 people who want to buy them, how about $39 each + $5 first-class shipping in the US?  I’d be willing to do the packing and so on.  If there’s a good response, maybe I can do this with Alternative every other month or so.  I love their stuff (for gentlemen and ladies) and my wife and I own a lot of it.
So…
If you’re in, email contact@putthison.com with how many of what you want in what color and what size.  If we get a dozen emails, I’ll put in the order this week and ship them out when they arrive.  I’m guessing we’ll be able to get them out in early January.  (And if there’s something else you want from AA, knock 20% off the retail price and that’s what I’ll charge ya plus $10 for shipping for your whole order - let me know the item number, eg: “aa1352”.)
If we can’t get enough people together, a failed but noble experiment :).

The Rugby Shirt

A lot of folks have been emailing looking for alternatives to t-shirts and oxfords for casual wear.  So let me take this opportunity to endorse the rugby shirt.

Like a lot of casual wear, the rugby shirt grew out of sporting clothing - they were, in fact, for playing rugby.  Of course, the rugby shirt you might buy at a Ralph Lauren store in Boston is quite different from the jersey a rugby union player wears in Melbourne.  (Please don’t correct me if that is not a thing that happens in Melbourne, rugby fans and Melbournians).

The rugby shirt is rugged, but it retains a bit of gentility.  It’s also often long-sleeved, and thus a great alternative to the polo for cooler times of year (fall through spring, essentially).  Find one with a good fit, pair it with a great pair of jeans, and you’ll look like you’re put together despite not trying to be put together at all.

I like this one from Lands’ End Canvas a lot, and it goes for a very reasonable price, to boot.  And of course Polo has quajillions.  Unless you’re a rugby fan, I’d recommend you stay away from crests and logos and stick with simple color combos in solids and bold stripes.

This jersey cotton one, from Alternative Apparel, is my favorite, though.  It comes in a few colors, but I like heather gray the best.  Alternative stuff is insanely soft and comfortable, and the fit is great, too.  It retails for $60, which is a fair bit of money… but it just so happens that because I use Alternative blanks for printing Sound of Young America t-shirts, I have a wholesale account with them.

So, how about this?  If we can get together 12 people who want to buy them, how about $39 each + $5 first-class shipping in the US?  I’d be willing to do the packing and so on.  If there’s a good response, maybe I can do this with Alternative every other month or so.  I love their stuff (for gentlemen and ladies) and my wife and I own a lot of it.

So…

If you’re in, email contact@putthison.com with how many of what you want in what color and what size.  If we get a dozen emails, I’ll put in the order this week and ship them out when they arrive.  I’m guessing we’ll be able to get them out in early January.  (And if there’s something else you want from AA, knock 20% off the retail price and that’s what I’ll charge ya plus $10 for shipping for your whole order - let me know the item number, eg: “aa1352”.)

If we can’t get enough people together, a failed but noble experiment :).