I’ve made it clear over the past few years that I am a big fan of The Affair, the way that they combine rich imagery from literary greats with high quality shirts has always impressed me, so when they asked me to take a look at their new custom-made fashion fit tees I jumped at the chance.
Tees arrived, I ripped them open (I don’t have the willpower to hold onto a package until I’ve photographed it, but I assure you it was a classy presentation in a custom mailing bag). Putting on the navy shirt for a quick test I was immediately struck with a bit of disappointment. I was too big for their XL shirts. I’m usually pretty close to the edge when it comes to XL in a fashion fit, perfectly acceptable in an American Apparel standard shirt, which we all know is slightly fitted, and if you put me in a Gildan then I’m downright comfortable, but if I try on a shirt from a high street fashion brand, or a shirt that’s meant to show off muscles then I’m going to struggle. It’s not an awful fit on me, it just reminds me I’ve gained a few pounds this year, and that I should wear this with something over it, like a button-down shirt or possibly a v-neck jumper (which is my usual uniform). I won’t get to show off the design as much, but I’ll still be able to enjoy what is a really high quality tee. This, of course, is purely a personal issue, we shouldn’t be judging a tee based on my size, this is merely a fashion fit tee that’s best suited to people that are fashionably fit, I think that the sizing will be fine for the majority of readers, and if you’re that worried you can always go a size up.
Speaking of muscles, despite not having arms that look like they were sculpted from solid marble, I do like the fit on the arms, they hug without being too tight and aren’t too long just getting rid of that boxy look that you sometimes get, with a really nice small amount of rolling on the end to give them a bit of a vintage look. Also, in the past when I’ve receive shirts with a ‘vintage style sleeve’ or ‘raw edge’ the results have been varied, sometimes looking like they were hacked at with a pair of scissors,but in this case it’s a much more professional looking finish.
In terms of weight, it’s a lightweight tee that seems to have a bit of bulk to it. It’s quite a hard concept to explain, because it’s light, but feels more substantial than most lightweight tees out there that tend to get a bit sheer in the lighter colours which in turn hurts the appearance of the design, since designers don’t really account for my hairy chest when putting a design onto a normal lightweight shirt. For tee nerds out there that know more about this stuff than me this is a 140gsm shirt.
Branding is minimal. When I was talking to them about that aspect I said “how come there’s no sleeve hem tag, I liked that on the old shirts?” to which the reply came that I needed to look at the back of the shirt. There it was, a small hem-tag with their graphic logo on it. I like it, if you don’t you can just remove it easily with a pair of scissors. Each tee has it’s own size and item info print on the inside of the neck on the shirt. It’s another nice way of setting the product apart from a normal shirt that just has the standard tag from the blank manufacturer. Another nice little detail is the contrast thread on the shoulder stitching, it’s more noticeable on the lighter shirt with the stronger contrast, but still a lovely touch on the dark shirt too.
The print is top notch too. I’m still not an expert on printing techniques, but if you were to push me I’d hazard a guess that this is a traditional screenprint with water-based ink. It’s very soft already and I can attest that The Affair’s prints last well since the last shirt I got from them still looks good.
Putting aside my personal disappointment about the sizing (which I should blame more on cake than The Affair) this really is a very high quality t-shirt that they have produced and I can wholeheartedly recommend it.