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Reviews


I was contacted by Teespring to see if I’d like to check out one of their shirts from a selection of slogan tees. These shirts were female-focused and I am (still) an early-30s guy but as I was more interested in checking out their print quality than following the hottest trends I didn’t really mind and gladly took a sample of the “pizza is my soulmate” shirt.

Teespring, for those that don’t know, is a print-on-demand (POD) company that produces a wide range of products from tees to mugs and tote bags. All their designs are user-generated which naturally does mean there is a very wide level of talent on display. There can be a tendency for “demographic specific” designs to do well since Teespring is popular with the “Facebook entrepreneur” crowd . I am a t-shirt snob (and an entrepreneur) so I am a bit cynical of this practise but as long as people are happy then I suppose it doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t really mattyer though, as there are plenty of “good” designs on Teespring too that t-shirt enthusiasts can enjoy too.


Teespring utilise a pretty wide variety of blanks for their shirts, in this case I received a Gildan softstyle blank. This is on the budget end of their offering but is still a pretty good shirt, genuinely soft and not too heavy, I am impressed by it, as I have been with other Gildan blanks over the past few years, clearly those heavy and scratchy Gildan shirts I would buy at gigs in the early 2000s are a thing of the past.

They also have American Apparel options and Bella, amongst others if you want to spend a couple more dollars per shirt. The difference isn’t that great between blanks so it’s not going to break the bank for you to go with a cut that you know is a better fit for your body.

 

There’s only really so much that you can judge about Teespring’s printing quality based on a black text slogan, but at the very least I can’t find anything negative. Much like the improvements in the past few years of “budget” blanks, the improvements of POD printing quality has been very impressive. It used to be such a compromise that I would generally avoid POD shirts and the samples I received usually wouldn’t end up being in my regular rotation of shirts because they would lose their vibrancy quickly. That seems to be much less of an issue nowadays, and of course with a black print on a heather grey shirt if it did fade a bit it would probably just look cooler anyway!

The print is very consistent with no differences in shade from one letter to the next, nice and sharp lines. Lightweight print too, so it’s uncrackable no matter how much I bend and stretch it.

Based on this tee I can’t fault Teespring. If you’re a “regular” customer then you can be assured you’ll be getting a decent product and the pricing looks pretty reasonable to me, and if you’re a designer then you can easily get a one-off printed, or test the water of launching a design without having to commit money into a stock run of screen printed tees.

And if you liked the design don’t forget to pick one up while it’s hot!

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Hands on review of Swankee

by Andy on February 26, 2017


Swankee got in touch asking if we were interested in taking a look at their designs, and being a total sucker for gold foil print, naturally I said yes.

Swankee (a play on “swanky”), based in Washington D.C., were established in 2016 with a mission statement of releasing bold and complex designs, frequently making use of graffiti and calligraphy styled imagery, with designs being sourced from all over the world.


For such a young brand there is definitely a level of maturity behind their current offering. I don’t know the background of the people behind Swankee, but this certainly doesn’t feel like the first time they’ve launched a t-shirt brand. Their collection of tees is cohesive enough to portray a good flow between designs, yet each design can stand on it’s own and there’s variety in terms of style to broaden their appeal. They’ve also managed to cover quite a lot of bases with what is essentially three different designs (if we count the Africa design as being re-jigged a few times).


They’ve got just about everything covered on their website that I like to see when I visit a new shop for the first time. Returns, shipping, about us, they’re all covered; you’d be surprised how many companies forget to mention that stuff. I would like to see a size guide added to the site, I know now that them being a slim fit is mentioned on the product pages, but it would . It’s rarely going to be a deal-breaker, but it certainly would be a good way to put people at ease who are unsure of whether to place an order or not (my e-commerce mantra is to try and remove the obstacles that stop people from buying something).


It would be nice to hear a bit more about the team behind the brand too (possibly as an addition to the about us page). When buying from an independent company I like to feel involved with them, and putting a face to who I’m buying from and who will be packing up my order does make it feel a bit more personal. That’s mostly my own choice though, and come to think of it I don’t have a photo of myself on my own shop and it doesn’t seem to stop people making an order.


In terms of quality, I am impressed, I didn’t spot who the blank tee is made by but it feels good quality, and my model informs me that it hasn’t stretched or deformed after a few washing cycles. Even more important than the tee not deforming, the gold foil is holding up well too. There’s almost an expectation that gold foil is something that can only be worn a few times before it starts to fade or even peel, and when you’re wearing something like gold foil it’s something that does draw attention to itself and you, so you need it to look good. Obviously, me and my model haven’t had these shirts for years so we can only give initial long-term impressions, but I do have confidence that these are a good quality foil print that should last well. Total presumption on my part as I haven’t seen any of their regular colour prints, but generally speaking if a company has got their speciality prints sorted then I would expect their standard designs to be a good quality too.

I should probably point out that the gold print logo t-shirt isn’t actually available on their site, I’m not sure if that means we are super special or it was a launch shirt which is no longer available (as it does have 20 and 16 on the arms). Logo shirts do tend to appeal more to friends and fans of the brand though, as I have often talked about in the past, so regular readers will likely be more interested in the art based shirts anyway.

It will be interesting to see how Swankee move forward in the future, the addition of pillows and tote bags on their site does look like a nod towards being a lifestyle brand. Usually that seems like an added extra for most brands that isn’t properly thought through and I often feel that the artwork from most tee companies doesn’t necessarily work for non-clothing products, but in this case I think they work well, you wouldn’t really want to see the Swankee logo on a pillow (unless you owned the brand), but the lion and the scarab designs look cool.

Definitely one to watch and hop on their newsletter for updates.

Main site: www.swankeeshop.com
Instagram: @swankeebrand
Facebook: @swankeebrand

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Hands-on Review: Thunder Boobs from Hell

by Andy on October 20, 2016


Recently the friendly guys over at Thunder Boobs From Hell got in touch to tell me about their brand and also offered a shirt up for review. I happened to have a photoshoot lined up with a model anyway, which was great, as otherwise you’d have probably had awkward selfies of me in a shirt that’s too small for me, or I’d have just hung it up on the washing line.


TBFH are a relatively new brand from Germany, who currently offer three different designs, all black ink printed on white tees. Priced at €30 a piece they’re quite pricey for someone from the UK after the fall of the pound recently, though I supposed that does mean the price point would become more attractive to Americans and people that pay for things in dollars, so it’s somewhat “swings and roundabouts” as we say in Britain.

As you can tell from the above shirt and also the others on their site the designs have a lot to owe to tattoo design, almost with a certain something that I’d associate with a sailor-esque style, though that’s probably just me showing a lack of knowledge when it comes to tattoos. Funnily enough the photoshoot for these post was taken in the basement of a local tattoo shop!

This shirt is one of the milder ones from their collection, but there is one that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend wearing out in public during the day, unless a woman with her legs akimbo is acceptable where you usually hang out. So clearly they don’t mind being a bit controversial, but the brand name gave that away already.


Personally, I don’t wear a lot of white t-shirts, and if I do they tend to be hidden under my sweater, but that’s just personal taste. However, it’s a personal taste that I’m sure other people share, so the critical side of me feels like it would be good if they were to offer some other colours, even if it was just white print on black tees, which would probably appeal to the majority of the people they’re targeting anyway.

Quality-wise, I was happy and couldn’t find anything to complain about. The print feels good and whilst I haven’t given it a wash test I wouldn’t anticipate any problems. I’m not sure who makes the shirts as they are lacking the original tag, but it seems to be a standard fit shirt rather than fitted or a slim-fit. The model is wearing a medium (they do M-XXL with no additional charge for XXL), but we did peg the back of the shirt to tighten it in to her (tiny) frame and give the shots a bit more shape, so it’s not entirely representative of what a medium would look like on her. So if you usually wear a small you’re out of luck at the moment unless you like to wear oversized shirts.

It would be good if there was a size-chart on the site, as I expect that could be putting some people off ordering. I’d quite like to see the T&C page being available in English too, Google Translate did a good job with it, but having it natively in English on the site would get the idea of global shipping being available across to the visitor in a much quicker manner.

Overall, I’m impressed by Thunder Boobs From Hell, given some time and continued expansion of the range I think we could see something really solid here. My little niggles with the site are just that, little, and also things that tend to get forgotten when you’re “in the bubble” of running your own site, and with only a small amount of work will remove some of the hurdles that are between turning visitors into buyers.

Would you like to have your brand and shirt sample reviewed by Hide Your Arms? Feel free to contact info@hideyourarms.com for more information.

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Activewear isn’t something that has had a lot of attention on Hide Your Arms over the years, largely because it’s rare you’ll see me in anything skintight (which is why I drafted in professional dancer Lucie to model), but Sundried are an interesting company so I thought they deserved a closer look and took the opportunity to review their ethically and sustainably produced clothing.


Sundried don’t pay lip-service to the environmental and social responsibility of their business. It’s a refreshing change from most clothing companies who just seem to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to the damage that our throw-away clothing culture is doing to the planet (and I say this as someone with 300 t-shirts). I won’t go into it too deeply (you can check out their values page here), but I would like to point out the charitable donation to Water for Kids that is a part of every purchase. It’s a cool idea because each (personalised) item bag has a unique code on it that allows you to see what effect the donation can have, which is a great way of connecting the buyer with the charity in a way that goes beyond simply mentioning a donation.


Of course, good values can only get you so far in the clothing industry, if the product isn’t up to scratch then people aren’t going to keep coming back to your brand for their activewear needs. Being a professional dancer, Lucie spends a lot of time training, rehearsing, and generally keeping fit, putting her in an excellent position to judge their goods and also put the goods through their paces over the past couple of weeks.


Lucie was happy to find that the waist on the Ruinette leggings (£75) wasn’t too tight, meaning that she was actually able to move freely and easily during exercise, something which often isn’t the case with other brands, making them “super comfy” and she was also impressed by how lightweight the material felt without being thin. It’s nice to see the little red accents of the zip-pull on the back pocket and matching red drawstring, it’s a subtle nod to their branding without being in your face, even the printed logo near the ankle is pretty low-key.


I checked out the Breithorn sports bra (£45) in the office before the shoot and it certainly looked and felt like a quality product to me. As you’d imagine I don’t have much personal experience of sports bras but after over a decade running this site I have gained a pretty reliable sense for when a garment has been made with care and also when it has been built to last. Whether it’s a t-shirt or a bra, quality usually makes itself evident.


The bra performed well, providing support and keeping everything where it should be. Lucie did say that she felt the straps were quite long and that if she was to get one again she might go a size smaller, but that it was fine and the sizing chart is generally reliable (sizing charts never being an exact science, of course). That’s mostly a personal choice on Lucie’s part, but possibly something to bear in mind when thinking about how your body-shape might match up with their sizing that if you think you might be between sizes it could be a good idea to move down a size.


I should point out that whilst this review focuses on a couple of items from their women’s range it’s important to note that they offer a range for men as well that is well worth checking out.

It’s clear to me that Sundried are a very polished brand; good product, good branding, good website experience, and good values. That’s a winning combination and judging from their presence on social media it’s clear I’m not the only person to feel that way.

Regular readers know that I see value in providing constructive criticism to brands where I see gaps potential problems or missed opportunities, but honestly I can’t find fault here. Being a small brand in the fitness clothing world is very hard, Sundried are competing with some enormous brands and that’s a daunting task, and to do it without cutting corners or compromising your values is even more impressive.

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Inka Inka – The Fixie Review

by Ben_P on September 20, 2015

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing a relatively knew brand called Inka Inka.

We have always loved unusual and wacky illustrated T shirts, so we thought… why not make our own? We spent a year travelling (partially in South America, hence the name!), gathering our design and brand ideas

It’s definitely evident that they have put a lot of passion into their brand with original artwork and complete new creative thought. Like I always say, it’s nice to see people doing something other than pop culture mash-ups.

I was lucky enough to receive ‘The Fixie’ which comes with his own background information and story that they write personally to send to you with your oder – which is a lovely personal touch to a product. Something that stands out when looking at indie brands versus established big brands.

Fixie

Bernard tried his best not to panic but the thought of losing his pearl to Vicious Vic & the Mad Mice Gang was really quite disturbing!

You’ll have to purchase your own one to read the extended story. Along with the tee I received a slew of cards that they have manufactured (just a little taste of things to come from Inka Inka) which were surprisingly funny, random and well produced! I’d definitely rather buy these over Hallmark cards.

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The design of this tee isn’t going to be to everyones tastes – and it doesn’t need to be. It’s got that fantastic blend of complete randomness but with perfect execution that somewhat reminds me of something I would expect in a Roald Dahl book. It’s further brought to life by the fantastic screen printing that has been done by hand. They’ve managed to fantastically deal with the problem most new brands encounter when they want to get their name out there. They’ve done this by subtly incorporating it into the design and not going for the in your face brand name print that a lot of people will do.

The quality of the tee isn’t perhaps the best that it could be – it’s definitely an area in which Inka Inka could improve. It feels a little bit stiff and slightly coarse on the skin however after sometime I do feel it will soften with enough washes. It isn’t something that necessarily detracts from wearing the tee but it does take a little while for you to forget about its feel. This is absolutely nothing that would detract me from purchasing the tee however – it is just an area in which they could potentially improve upon.

Overall I really like what Inka Inka have to offer and urge you all to check it out, and use the coupon code HYA to receive 15% off your order. Theres a lot on offer and something that would intrigue most people. Go and check them out!

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Allhqfashion Shoe Review

by Jen on September 15, 2015

For this review I was lucky enough to receive something a little different to the other posts I have done, some shoes!

Allhqfashion is an overseas company with a website and shop on AmazonIt offers a vast array of shoes in various styles and trend based product. I was able to choose my own pair to review and opted for 2 choices that I loved. The first was the mesh jewelled heel slip on as I  thought it was really new and different with contrasting black mesh and pops of colour from the jewels. The heel size was just right for everyday use but high enough for a night out!

Jeweled

Unfortunately for me, it must be a more popular shoe as I couldn’t get a size 6 in this one. Therefore I am reviewing my second choice which is the equally good black leather and satin bow strapped option.

bow

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This is on trend with bows being on the high street at the moment in many guises. It is also good quality with real suede around the edges as well as the heel and strap of the shoes, with soft satin on top – this is also what the bow is made from. The contrast gold buckle is also nice feature.

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The heel is unique as it is square but connects into the rounded heel therefore leaving a small exposed area – personally I really like this as it gives it an extra unique selling point. The back of the shoe also holds a design feature as it is slightly cutaway. This takes a bit of getting used to in terms of wearing, but is still comfortable.

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The shoes do look a little thin but I have wide feet and I can wear them ok – just be cautious if they are a little tight at the beginning, they need to be worn in like most pairs of shoes but become very comfy.

I wore these heels to work – a fashion buying office in London – and got many compliments from my colleagues which was great.

Being black in colour, they are versatile to wear with differing outfits from jeans and a top to more feminine dresses or skirts. The overall look of the shoes are cute and feminine, something again, I like but that is personal opinion. If this isn’t your style, there are plenty of other options to choose from.

The collection includes trainers, stilettos, strappy shoes, flats – the list is endless! I would definitely recommend Allhqfashion! Check them out now.

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Seed of Life [SoL] – Double Review

by Ben_P on September 6, 2015

Jen and I had another opportunity to do a double review of Seed of Life – or SoL for ease – they’re an Israeli brand that appear to have been going strong for 5 years now, specialising in screen printed psychedelic clothing and accessories, for both men and women.

‘The art of S.O.L is influenced by mystical and spiritual experiences that have nurtured awareness and consciousness. These images evoke a message of a peaceful mind and a creative spirit, a message that unites us regardless of religion or culture.’

Off the bat I definitely like what they’re trying to convey, while I don’t think I personally am their target audience I can definitely appreciate the tranquility and spirituality behind it. 

We were pleased to receive a men’s t-shirt and a women’s vest and they came together nicely packaged with a free screen printed tote bag which was a pretty nice addition. I liked the tote bag so much and it perfectly fit my laptop in it so unfortunately it’s had a bit of wear and tear from being in my rucksack a large portion of the time.

Jen will obviously be reviewing the female side of things – as I’m sure it comes as no shock to any of you that I don’t have the slightest clue about women’s fashion or clothes.Design 1

I received the Peyote T-Shirt which you can purchase in 4 different colours – the amount of choice surprised me if I’m honest! Peyote for those that do not know is a psychoactive cactus so it’s quite cool for their shirts to have fitting names for the designs.

The feel of the shirt is fantastic – it’s 100% cotton, is soft and smooth on the skin and is lightweight but equally feels very durable and it’s all locally sourced and produced which I think is awesome; it’s safe to say that this is a good quality shirt. A low quality, uncomfortable feeling shirt is easy to identify but not having any irritation or even really knowing that the shirt is on you is a true testament to it’s quality – they’ve definitely nailed this down well. 

Peyote T-Shirt

I will admit that this design isn’t something that I would really go for, however I have received compliments on this design when wearing it and I can really appreciate the effort that goes into creating something so intricate – let alone screen printing it! I don’t even really know where to begin with trying to describe what I feel from the design. I do really like it but it’s just not something I would commonly wear – it makes me think of a dream catcher, or a mind map/thought processes and all sorts of imaginative things. That’s the real beauty of this in that it’s so open to interpretation and I can see how this definitely fits in with their ideologies. 

The design is screen printed both front and back, and has a slightly odd feel on the t-shirt because of the intricacy of the design. Running your hands over the design you can feel the individual screen printed dots. It also touts that it has UV Reactive Colours however I haven’t been in an area where I can actually see this – so I would definitely be quite interested to see how it looks. Perhaps having an example (if possible?) on the website would entice customers a little bit more. It’s definitely made me more curious and I’ll have to make sure I wear it the next time I go out anywhere that may have UV light!

We’ll move onto the female portion of the review now conducted by Jen.

As Ben said, I also got a top called the Uhloo Top.

The fabric was really soft and had a lovely handfeel but this is due to the amount of elastane that is clearly in the composition of the jersey, as you can unfortunately see via the shine on the tops. Nevertheless, this shouldn’t put people off as I feel the softness outweighs this aspect.

Uhloo Top

I like the rawness of the edges that have been tightly overlocked, but the brand should be aware that this may cause stretching. This is what happened on the hem of my top and therefore it started to curl up slightly. Some may say this is adds to the uniqueness but I feel differently. Perhaps a normal hem would be better – but I understand this may cause a cost implication if using different stitch techniques.

The print quality is good and almost mimics the technique used by American pop artist Lichtenstein, with dots creating the image – although a much simpler version, which I feel is quite fresh and interesting to see.

Design 2

The print image I was sent was the owl, personally I do not like it as it is not to my taste unfortunately and feel it is somewhat lost on the purple ground, however love the fact that most tops have a print on the front as well as the back much the same as Ben’s top.

The brand offer lots of other top designs that are simpler such as (coincidentally) the Peyote Top  and perhaps more the sort of item that I would go for, but definitely there is enough choice for everyone.

Overall a good product and I would definitely like to see more from them in the future.

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The Heathens 79 – Mega Review

by Ben_P on July 30, 2015

Fair warning. This review is pretty gigantic in comparison to most we do! Buckle up.

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing an up and coming brand called The Heathens Star 79 , this was quite a good opportunity for a whole brand review as we got sent 3 X Mens T-shirts and 3 X Women’s T-Shirts, so it has been a pretty thorough review.

Obviously I’m not a lady so I can’t really comment on the fits and the styles and the general feel of the product so it was a good opportunity to get a new HYA writer to weigh in, so this review will be split into two sections the other section being handled by Jen.

So one thing I want to get clear straight away is that I like this brand and getting to know the main man behind it has been fun as well, it’s all homegrown – he has experience in the industry but all of this is done off his own back in his place, there is something super satisfying about chatting to someone who prints their own shirts, get’s their own shirts made and just wants to be involved in every step of the process along the way – to me it adds a little something extra to the shirt when you know the effort that has gone into it. That said overall there are some brilliant points to what he’s accomplished and also definitely some areas he can improve on or things that are not quite to my taste. 

When I received the package from The Heathens I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself ever so slightly – it was exactly how I imagined packaging up my products if I were ever to create a brand. They were packaged in a simple brown paper with string tied round and a wax seal. It. Was. Awesome. This is definitely a nice addition to any brand but obviously doesn’t mean what you receive is a great product. Just these little things that I enjoy and really does add to the professionalism of a brand and keeps it nice and consistent. Like I always say though these things aren’t essential to a brand but they add to the whole experience.

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So the shirts are custom printed (i.e. not Gildan not American Apparel) which is quite surprising for a relatively new brand. They are quite a thin shirt which personally I enjoy but this could effect the longevity of the garment, but for those who love a light weight shirt it is very comfortable. The shirts themselves also have a seam down the back which I’d never encountered before – I assumed it might have been a cost cutting exercise but when asking he thought it added a bit of character to the shirt. I’m inclined to agree that it is definitely unique but I found it slightly irritating initially but once on for a few minutes I soon forgot it was there. Just a little note that the female t-shirts don’t have this feature.

It was a bit of a mixed bag for me personally with the designs. I’ll start off with my least favourite which was the ‘Dog Villain’ I want to like this design, and it does certainly look cool, but the choice of having it quite faded out and especially on a white garment isn’t the best way to really show off the design, I think it’s a combination of quite a subtle design on a colour of shirt I don’t usually wear (if you were to look in my wardrobe very little of my clothes are white). This isn’t to say that the design is bad, it’s just not my taste and it almost comes across as drawn on to the t-shirt. Each to his own though, some of you out there may love it!

Dog Villain

‘Star Suicide’ is my next favourite, it’s bold, its big and it stands out thats for sure. This is how I like white t-shirts to be. I wouldn’t usually go for this sort of style but I can definitely see that this will appeal to people out there and the fade does look really good. I feel that part of the reason this isn’t my favourite is I’m probably not cool enough to be rocking this shirt!

Star Suicide

‘Line Drop’ my personal favourite, I really really like this one. It’s simplicity is awesome, I love the fade and the subtle Heathens typography behind the lines. One thing I will mention as a slightly negative is that using names in relatively new brands is somewhat off putting I feel for people purchasing their t-shirts if its too in your face as they won’t have an established fan base – however I think with these ones it has fitted in quite well to not be too overbearing from the style of the shirt. I’ve found myself wearing this one quite a lot actually so I can definitely say I’ve got a few white shirts I enjoy wearing now!

Line Drop

Now we’ll pass over to Jen on her first post as she reviews the ladies side of the review!

I am very pleased to be writing my first post, especially for The Heathens 79 as I really like the tees they offer.

What I tend to look for in tshirts is the quality of the print itself – whether it is stiff due to the dye or technique used, and whether it grins. I also look at positioning of the prints, as well as the handfeel, colouration and quality of the fabric used in the tshirts themselves. I was given three of the women’s options, two of which I love and the other isn’t really my taste but obviously that’s just personal opinion. The fabric is of good quality but not the softest or heaviest jersey.

There is nice detailing on each tshirt with back neck binding and shaped sleeves. The logo is printed in the back neck also which is a nice touch and shows the branding. One negative would be that in one of the tshirts this was not lined up in the centre like the others – perhaps this was a small error on this particular sample but I’d hope a larger number sold on the website are like this as it shows inconsistency.

The labels used are awesome – a real point of difference. I love the unique-ness of the message. I can certainly say myself and Ben did drink whilst in the tees, but I have no comment on whether anything else occurred! What I will say is that I’d hope these labels change from paper to card if the brand get bigger.

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The ‘Feather Cross’ would be my personal favourite as the print is quite commercial following the cross trend on the high street a few years ago. This may put some people off, however working in fashion, I believe it is a great piece to have featured in the collection. The print is quite thin therefore the handfeel is soft – an aspect I prefer. However, due to this it does slightly grin but unfortunately probably unavoidable. The detail in the feathers are good and the positioning on the body is perfect.

Feather Cross

 

The ‘Rose N Bones’ is a nice design too with added colour, but I would have liked the position of the rose more symmetrical with the cross bones. Again, the print allows the fabric to remain soft and flexible.

Rose & Bones


My least favourite is the ‘Heathens Star’ tee purely for the fact the print is shiny and has a stiffer handfeel than the others this is partly due to a rubber ink used in the name. There seems to have been 2 screens on this one too however the branding and the background are both black so you can’t make out the name easily. Personally, I would not buy this as I don’t like the design –it’s too masculine. 

Heathen Star

I would definitely consider buying the other 2 though, perhaps even more so if they were in long sleeved or vest shapes. The Heathens Star 79 are definitely worth a visit.

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Instagram : #THE_HEATHENS

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Piekuo ‘Bat’ – Review

by Ben_P on June 28, 2015

Recently I got the opportunity to review Pieukuo. I was pleasantly surprised when receiving the package. It was the little additions to the T-shirt that makes this new starter seem more like an established brand. They have customised tape for their packaging, lovely information card as well. It’s definitely a very professional set up they have going, the website, packaging and final product all make this brand into someone to definitely keep on your radar.

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Going into the packaging, it was simple nothing too extravagant in terms of what it was actually delivered in a simple brown box. I can’t really fault anyone for not splashing out on over the top packaging because it’s one of those things that you end up tearing through and discarding anyway. I really thought the tape was a nice little touch as I’ve already mentioned as it definitely puts a personal touch onto a plain packaging.

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On opening parcel I was greeted by a clear plastic bag protecting the garment and inside with it was a descriptive card. It’s these little things that all add up to creating a very professional and established look for such a young brand.

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First off the design. I really like this design, it’s got a certain appeal that I can’t quite portray into words very eloquently, it reminds me of an old school 8-Bit video game enemy, It certainly appeals a lot to me at least! It’s again very nice that it isn’t a pop culture mashup thrown together that with a tenuous link – so it certainly gets a few little extra points on that side from me.

I do admit that one negative I had about the t-shirt to start with was that it seemed a tad too tight, the neck is very tight and I felt that across the chest felt slightly too tight for a medium shirt however I was pleasantly surprised because I was under the assumption this would be an uncomfortable shirt to wear for extended periods of time – it wasn’t. If you’re thinking of buying a shirt from these guys just be aware that the neck lines are tighter than average – which isn’t a negative aspect but I suppose I’m used to having a bit of wiggle room with my t-shirts and thats a personal preference. 

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The feel of the shirt is nice, it’s soft and feels very durable. The print as well is 2 colour screen print that has so far shown absolutely no signs of cracking, it definitely feels like it will last a long time, the one down side of this print is that it feels slightly heavy on the shirt and to the touch isn’t the nicest of prints – but really its a welcome trade off to have this image stay fresh looking for longer. The price of the Bat is £15 which I feel for all of what they’ve put into the design and overall experience is a very reasonable price.

Just a note that this design comes both as a T-Shirt and as a Sweat. Just incase one bat isn’t enough why not get both!

Overall I’m really impressed with Piekuo – they’re a relatively new brand in the grand scheme of things and the whole product from start to finish just looks fantastic, the website is beautifully design and they’ve really got a fantastic functioning website in my eyes. The designs are varied and they’re certainly unique. You’ll be sure to stand out from the crowd with anything from their site

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1cons_qtee2Since my last hands-on review of QTee, they asked me to do another one (which obviously I agreed to immediately!) This time they offered me to review some of their custom printed Converse – and if you know me, you know they are my preferred shoe. Unlike other companies I have reviewed, QTee let me design and pick out the print for my Converse right from their website, which is their specialty. And guess what? You can do that too! Everything from tees, to bags, to shoes, to hats (and even underwear) is customizable and it is so fun to explore, trust me.

cons5_qtee2cons1Ordering, shipping, + packaging: I scrolled through the many designs they offer; there are so many to choose from, but once I saw those Galaxy Print ones I was done with my search. I took a bit of time messing with the colors and the design until I got the perfect starry shoe that I wanted. The interface was easy to use and the ordering process could not have gone more smoothly and they arrived at my front door in about 3 business days – now that’s quick especially for custom printed shoes! Once they arrived, I tore that box wide open to reveal a classic Converse shoe-box inside (which I promptly tore open as well…) I must not forget to add, my order came with a lovely discount code for future purchases, as well as a cool QTee logo sticker – I do enjoy those small touches.

cons8_qteecons9_qtee2The Reveal: Once I got my hands (and feet) on my new shoes, I could not have been happier! The print – bright, beautiful, clear, and just the way I wanted them. (Remember you can click the images to see the print up close and personal.) I could have chose more outrageous or vibrant colors, which would have been interesting as well, but I am a simple girl so I chose shades of blue for my galaxy. Converse are a wonderful shoe from their quality to their comfort and they never go out of style, so I really have no complaints… well perhaps one, but it is only a small one, as QTee only offers low-tops and I am a high-top fan myself – perhaps the high-tops will be available in the future, but until then I am enjoying my low-tops to no end!

closeupRecap: It’s pretty obvious I love my new Galaxy Chucks from QTee, and I am a big fan of this company now and forever. I have had several people compliment my shoes, they just stick out in the best way, and I don’t hesitate for one second to let them know they can order from QTee AND customize themselves! (And to get a customized pair of shoes for $69.95 is a pretty good deal to me.) Also, with that said, QTee was nice enough to provide a coupon code for all you HYA readers! Just enter the code: HideYourArms15 at checkout and it will take 15% off your entire order – thank you QTee!

Keep in Touch with QTee:
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*All photos by Tabitha Payne / Blue Eyed View Photography

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Hey! It’s been a while since I did a Threadless blog, I’m hoping to get back into it, and what better excuse than a Memorial Day sale there are some really epic staple Threadless reprintes in the sale, some of the cream of the crop!

There were lots of changes to the the Threadless site a while back and I’m trying to find my way round the site again, it does seem a lot less personal and there isn’t as much personality as there used to be. There used to be efforts to made to put an interesting background relevant to the tee and now it’s just all grey and standardised. Nevertheless, the tees are still epic so here are some of my top pics from Threadless today!

Sushi by Benjamin Ang is one of my top favourite tee designs from Threadless, I have no idea how I have managed to not purchase it after adoring it for so long! I’m over the moon too that they had decided to print it onto a purple tank! It makes it even better! They have this in a range of sizes and types (men, women, kids) for $14 so grab a nommy related tee bargain! :)

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Tees like this are why I am devastated I haven’t been on Threadless for so long, I loved Big Hero 6 so much, by far one of the best kid’s movies that has been out in a long while. One of the highlights of the trailer is when Baymax is stroking Mochi, Baymax has a low battery and sounds drunk! So funny. There is a tee that covers this! I really LOVE Hairy Baby by Samantha Germaine Sim.

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If I have blogged this tee once, I have blogged it a thousand times. When my mental filing cabinet things of Threadless, I instantly thing of Mister Mittens’ Big Adventure by Joe Van Wetering! Absolute classic, conversation starter, eye catcher. Every think a person could want in a tee. Poor availability for women, but fully in stock for men, tee bargain for $14! There are a selection of Big Hero 6 tees so it’s well worth dropping by for a rummage.

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Sticking with the space theme, Threadless designers always seem to still manage to come up with brand new super funky space related designs. I know my husband would love Planet System by Bernhard Trunkle (epic name!).  I love tees where they are mostly black with a massive pop of colour right on the chest!

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If you fancy something a bit more serious there is plenty of choice too, I normally lean more towards the cute end of the Threadless scale. Astronomical by Wayne Struwig and Andrew G Hobbs, has much more a ‘normal’ or ‘high street’ feel!

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Back to space again because I was totally taken with all the gorgeous colours on the navy tee. You Are My Universe by ilovedoodle is a super romantic twist on the solar system by depicting them as pretty awesome balloons. I think this tee has quite a feminine feel to it so it might have been cool to see it on a more girly colour! I’d absolutely wear this though, and I’d go for the black scoop neck in girly fit! :)

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Lastly but not leastly and mostly because it’s a mere $7.95, full availability for men and only 2xl for women, I proper love the monotone print on the blue tee with this design of a pretty angry Cruella DeVille, Puppy Love by Paul Tippett could be a great last minute bargain fling into Threadless basket!

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Hope people enjoy having a rummage in the Threadless Memorial sale! I’ve had a nice little wander this morning :)

 

 

 

 

 

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I am always up for trying something new, and trying Mister Pompadour is definitely something new to me and to Hide Your Arms, especially as it comes across as a product for men and I am in fact a woman, BUT do not mistake that as complaining – it is quite the opposite! At first I was intimidated seeing that Mister Pompadour is primarily marketed to men, but I gave it a go anyway and immediately felt very silly for ever being hesitant, because in the end I was really happy with the results. So not only is this for men, it is a product you women could buy for the man in your life (then use it yourself too when he isn’t looking!)

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Mister Pompadour sent me the Moroccan Texture Paste Kit which comes with a Peppermint Shampoo, a Peppermint Conditioner, and a Moroccan Texture Paste, plus they added in a cool logo sticker (all that for only $44!) So first things first, I hopped in the shower to try out the Shampoo and Conditioner and once I popped open the bottle I immediately could smell the mint – the fragrance invaded the steamy shower, but in the best way as it’s not overpowering… it smells so fresh and so clean and only got better the more you scrubbed it in. Once Shampooed, it was Conditioner time and while I was waiting for it to soak in I read the back of the bottle, which to my surprise was not your run of the mill, generic information being told – it had character and was entertaining to read, it gave me a smile or two. To me, something like that is such a lovely touch to a brand, definitely makes it more unique and interesting in the end.

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After my hair had been dried and styled, I noticed a lightness to my normally heavy hair AND I could still smell the mint throughout (even after blow-drying and styling which for me would normally remove any fragrance, but this product’s fresh smell battled through the heat!) Then came the Texture Paste, which I have not used this type of product before believe it or not, but thankfully the instructions were printed nicely on the bottle – for long hair it helped push down those fly-aways and also helped smooth the ends of my hair and gave it a bit of texture – the photos I took do not do it justice! I also went to an outdoor concert, which I’ve done several times and by the end my hair would normally be a frizzy mess, but I must say this time my hair looked just as good as when I got there and that’s saying something.

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To be completely honest, before I tried the Mister Pompadour Kit I thought I would be giving it away to one of my male friends, thinking me being a female that I should not keep it, but after only one use, I stand corrected – I really love the results and I am keeping this kit all to myself! Needless to say, I recommend trying it especially if you are on the lookout for a really good hair regimen; shampoo, conditioner, texture paste, and a lot more including sculpting clay, beeswax paste, pomade, and (coming soon) a texture powder – all the products that, as Mister Pompadour says, will make you look sharp and be confident, and I could not agree more.

Keep in touch with Mister Pompadour:
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QTee – Hands on Review + Coupon Code!

by Leah on April 7, 2015

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It feels really good to be reviewing on HYA again and what a better way to start than with California based QTee! They are not like any other brand I have reviewed – first of all, QTee let ME pick out what tees I wanted to review and once I was on their site, I understood why… everything is customizable and they wanted me to have the full experience! You can pick from over 100 graphics – once you have chosen, you not only can pick what type of apparel you want it printed on, but you can also select colors for several elements of the graphic. Once I got a hang of the interface, I was playing around with several designs and having a lot of fun with it to be honest. (There is even a video on how to customize!)

A lot of QTee’s designs are text driven, but they also have a nice amount of layered and photo based designs, as well as ones with patterns, pocket designs, and simple graphics. So with that said, I decided to pick a patterned one and a text based one just to get an idea how both would turn out. How did I like them? Very much!

Ordering, shipping, + packaging: QTee promptly sent me a ‘thank you for your order’ email, and shortly after that they sent out tracking info, so no worries there. From start to finish, it did take about a week for each tee to get to me. They arrived in a standard t-shirt mailer – the white, tough plastic one – which QTee fancied up with a large, di-cut logo sticker (and FYI – it could be peeled off if you wanted to keep it!) With the t-shirts came a nice postcard with a discount code, as well as a vibrant logo sticker. Each t-shirt was wrapped in tissue paper and then inserted into a clear, plastic sleeve; so all in all the packaging was very professional, yet standard.

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Unwrapping: As I pulled each t-shirt out from their packaging, my first reaction is to always feel them from top to bottom of course, and each tee was VERY soft to the touch and had a clean, freshly printed smell. Next I ran my hand over the print/ink and it was soft as well, not very thick or stiff and definitely printed evenly. I assumed they were DTG (direct to garment) printed, but I did not want to give you readers the wrong info, so I contacted QTee from their Website asking this, not expecting a reply for a day or so, but I got a reply almost instantly (which, come on, that is some great customer service) and my assumption was right, they print DTG. Once unwrapped, I saw each t-shirt had a “YOU’RE CUTE” logo tag attached, which made me smile – I adore details like that.

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Now for the shirts themselves: The heather-gray, floral t-shirt is titled Freshly Cut Flowers and I chose a Hi-Lo Muscle Tank for this one since I have not owned something like that before! QTee describes it well, “This is our version of the perfect muscle tank made more flattering for the feminine figure. High side slits and oversize underarm openings.” The text based tee Life is Better in the Water, is printed on an Oversized Boyfriend Tee, “Our Oversized Boyfriend Tee has a loose fit, more coverage on the shoulders and overall relaxed, boyfriend style fit. Warning: Your boyfriend may get jealous. This style fits 1 to 2 sizes bigger.” Now silly me wants to complain that my tees fit a little too large to my liking, BUT silly me also did not read the descriptions or the size charts that were readily available – so that is totally my fault! I thought size Small would do the trick, but if I would have explored the description I would have chosen the XS option for both, so keep that in mind when you order. Each tee is thin, as you can see in the images, the white tee especially is a bit see-through, but I tend to like that especially when you wear a bikini or possibly a bandeaux underneath. (They are perfect for the beach too, hence why my photographer, Tabitha Payne, and I had a seaside photoshoot!) They also had that worn-in feeling which to me is the best – being a 52% cotton / 48% modal which gives them that comfortable feeling, but also don’t overlook the American Apparel tri-blends available as well (a personal favorite).

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Recap: Overall, I am happy with my QTee purchases – print quality, t-shirt quality, customer service, and website interface are all top notch! They are not too pricey, especially since you get to customize your design – tees ranging from about $19.95 to $24.95. I know this brand is marketed to females, but any guys reading this should consider this a good place to buy the lady in your life a cool, customized t-shirt – you can say, “Hey, I designed it myself too!” Also, I know they are called QTEE, but tees are not the only thing they offer; there are sweatshirts, work-out apparel, bags, hats, Converse shoes, even underwear and collaborations as well. One more thing, QTee was nice enough to provide a coupon code for all you HYA readers! Just enter the code: HideYourArms15 at checkout and it will take 15% off your entire order – so needless to say, QTee is definitely worth checking out!

Thanks for reading,
Leah

Keep in touch with QTee:
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Photos by Tabitha Payne / Blue Eyed View Photography

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Bergies Sock Review!

by Ben_P on April 1, 2015

‘At Bergies™ we are determined to bring you the most awesome options from across the globe in socks, slippers and other really cool stuff. From socks with cats (we LOVE cats), to items for those with sensitive feet, to the Worlds Softest slippers – we’ve got something for everyone!’

So I’ve recently had the pleasure of reviewing a whole treasure trove of socks that were delivered by Bergies who class themselves as some what of a Sockurator. A self proclaimed, might I add amazing, title that is hard to deny. They quite literally may be the holy grail of socks. They stock a whopping 21 different branded socks. If I’m quite honest I didn’t even think there would be that many brands out there! They also have a few products of their own creation geared mainly towards keeping little ones feet nice and snug. IMG_1657

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Now I’m somewhat of a fussy sock buyer, so not all of the socks that I received were quite to my liking. You’ll more likely find me bare foot than wearing socks, however that’s not to say that any of these socks are bad, but not quite to my fussy foot requirements as you will read. The one great thing about socks I find though is the fact you can pretty much get away with wearing what ever the hell you like, and it leaves a great deal of creativity for sock manufacturers. Most people don’t really care what they put on their feet so you can be as outlandish as you like, which is awesome. Bergies really have a wide curated selection of socks to satisfy any persons sock desires.

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Burger Socks

I love the design of this one, it’s simplistic and comical at the same time. It definitely however is a design that’s well suited for socks, if it was anything else but socks I really don’t think I’d wear it. I most certainly wouldn’t go around wearing a burger t-shirt that’s for sure! The socks themselves are comfortable enough, not the most comfortable out of all of them. They feel slightly restricting on my feet. I’m a size 10 UK which is roughly 10.5 in US so I fit nicely in the middle of the one size range for these socks, I however would chalk this down to personal preference as I’m not a huge fan of a tighter fit for socks, which these definitely fall into the category of ever so slightly. Perhaps having various sizes of socks would improve this as trying to create a one size fits all sock for sizes 7-13 is probably a difficult feat! All of this said once I get over the initial tightness of the sock I can comfortably wear these for a day with no problems.

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Gangsta Socks

I was surprised to find that these were my favourite socks. I don’t know whether it’s the hipster-esque irony of wearing something that says gangsta on my feet hilarious or just the fact that these socks are probably the most comfortable out of all of the socks I received. The design is simple, it literally just says gangsta down the side of the sock. I can’t really say it’s the most amazing design out there but it makes me chuckle and I have a good laugh wearing them. Surprisingly as well, they’re fantastic for running, it must be to do with the cushioned soles to the them but I’ve worn them a few times while running now and they’re probably my go to sock for that activity now. Again it’s a 1 size fits all sock design and this time round it fits me perfectly and doesn’t feel a restrictive as the Burger Socks. I’d definitely be happy with purchasing these ones myself.

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Disrupted Stripe

The design of this sock would surely be welcome in any persons wardrobe, probably the most ‘normal’ sock out of the bunch that would be unlikely to get you any odd stares, unlike perhaps burgers on your feet! If you’re looking for a nice well designed sock this one is probably for you. I was expecting it to be quite uncomfortable to be honest, it looked like it was very small for my feet. I was pleasantly surprised that it just about fit quite well, it’s slightly snug but when I was walking around and doing my general day to day things it didn’t feel uncomfortable. However when I think about the sock on my foot it is just a tad too tight. I have to pull out the end of the sock ever so slightly making the heel not match up quite perfectly, however I can’t really fault them for this. As you can imagine I’m a bit of a fussy sock wearer so take my criticisms with a pinch of salt, I could wear this sock for the day and get on perfectly well with it but I think I could do with it for my own personal preference to be slightly larger.

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Mohawk (Mr T!)

I’ll start off by saying. I love this design, it’s awesome. I mean what isn’t to like? For a design it is my favourite because it’s just hilarious however, as a sock it’s not so good. The sock doesn’t really have any shape to it, they came flat, most socks will change direction at the heel. These lie perfectly flat ton the ground, the actual formation of the sock is very uncomfortable and just seems like two pieces of fabric that have been sewn round the edges so your toes uncomfortably hit seam right at the end of the sock opposed to being on top of your toes. The design as well suffers from the construction of the sock, because it is a one size fits all the image distorts and has bad ‘grinning’ when actually worn, which makes the actual design on the sock a tad to make out. I really wish I could have given these socks a better review but to me they’re more of a jokey gimmick sock to give someone than an actual functioning one. I think you could maybe get away with wearing this sock as more of an in-house slipper alternative but for day-to-day wear I found it rather annoying unfortunately.

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Great Waves

Great Waves Smaller Sock

When trying out these socks it took me a little while to get used to them, annoyingly you can’t really just pull the socks on you have to work them slowly up the foot which was quite infuriating. I found that one of the socks in particular had a point where you pulled the sock up to and it got caught on your heel, there were a couple of threads going across the heel line (presumably to keep the heel shape) that just felt like it would tear a hole in the sock. Perhaps this is a slight manufacturing fault on this particular sock because the other one wasn’t as irritating to pull on – although it still was a bit problematic. Once I had the sock on it was very comfortable and felt lovely on my foot, they weren’t overly tight which was a bonus for me. The design is nice, I can’t really give them much credit for it because it obviously isn’t an original design – however if you fancy a bit of wearable art for your feet it is very cool. I was a bit confused on their website initially as they had two of the same design. I spoke to the guys over at Bergies and the manufacturer actually charges a slightly higher price for the bigger sock due to the extra fabric used. It’s also got a slight different composition, but it’s very marginal so I’m not sure whether that would contribute to the price change. Luckily it isn’t too steep it’s about $3 difference but it may be a bit off putting for some. Personally I think it is a bit daft to have different sizes of socks being priced differently for the exact same design, but I’m not holding that against Bergies but more at the manufacturer.

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Shark Attack

These are probably tied for my favourite alongside the gangsta socks. They’re a fantastic all round sock, comfortable, ease to put on, awesome design that I really like and I really don’t have any problems with them at all. I’ve worn them the most out of all of the socks and they’re just a perfect fit for me! I’m honestly at words as to what to say really regarding them because I can’t think of anything negative to say.

Overall I really like what Bergies are doing, I must admit though I’m a bit of a cheap skate when it comes to socks and usually just buy what ever is on offer, but these are a really nice collection to my socks now and it is fun to wear socks with awesome designs on! If you’re in the market for some new socks definitely check them out. 

Links:

http://www.shopbergies.com/

 

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I know what you’re thinking, that doesn’t look like a t-shirt or any other kind of clothing, and you’d be right. These are the ChargeKey and ChargeCard, innovative charging and data transfer solutions for iOS devices with a lightning cable (iPhone 5 onwards and some iPads, right?) and also micro USB. Having recently replaced my aging iPhone 4 with an iPhone 5 recently when I was given the chance by Nomad to check them out I thought it would be perfect, especially as I am excellent at losing cables.

The ChargeKey is a compact key-shaped cable that you can put on your keyring and never have those “I’ve forgotten my cable” moments again when you’re out and about, wanting to charge your phone or transfer some important data. It’s a good idea, usually I would dismiss something this small as only lasting a few months with me because I would lose it, but since it’s now on my keys that’s not going to happen, and I’m always prepared in case I get caught out at a friend’s house without charge, I can just plug it into a USB slot on their computer or their USB plug for another smartphone.


I’ve tested the key in every USB port on my PC, and a few different USB wall plugs (official Apple, Samsung, Kindle plugs) and none of them have brought up the dreaded ‘this accessory is not compatible’ warning that seems to be a common problem with other 3rd party charging cables (and some of the official ones too!). That’s hardly a surprise though as all of Nomad’s products are MFi certified by Apple so you can be confident that they will work. I wasn’t too confident leaving my phone dangling from the front to the USB input on the tower of my PC though, there was no danger of the phone crashing to the floor since it is a good fit, I just wasn’t comfortable with applying that kind of pressure to the USB input, the ChargeKey (with it being bent at 90 degrees), or the connection port on the iPhone. I’m sure that the setup wouldn’t have caused any damage, it just didn’t seem right not having my phone hanging in mid-air. That’s not really a situation that the key is designed for though, pop it into a laptop where it will lay flat, or use an Apple plug where the cable is pointing down and not stress anything, or a USB hub and you’re not going to have any of my overprotective worries.


The ChargeCard is similar, but different, instead of going on your keys this version of the card goes in your wallet. Again, it’s very useful and makes it a lot less likely you’ll be caught without a ‘cable’ (which this technically is, even if it doesn’t look like it), despite being credit card sized (though ticker) it feels solid and is rather ‘design-y’ rather than just being a utilitarian slab of plastic, which is a pretty admirable feat when you’re talking about something you use to charge your phone. Again, I had no problems in terms of functionality, it worked in every port I tested it on and that’s the best I could hope for. One thing I didn’t test was data transfer speeds because that seemed a little extreme for a clothing site to do, but I certainly couldn’t complain.

Previously, if you wanted either of these products you needed to have them sent from the US, and inevitably that meant paying over the odds because of import taxes and the dreaded ‘clearance fee’ levied by couriers that can often be more than the taxes. Nomad products can now be purchased directly from the UK via their Amazon store, and that’s fulfilled by Amazon so you’re also eligible for Prime delivery. It is a similar story for a few other countries around the world which is very convenient and does remove those niggling doubts from buying overseas. Both items are £20 each in either iOS lightning or micro USB format.

Nomad are currently also offering pre-order on newer versions of what will be called the NomadCard (which adds a longer USB connection), NomadKey (which looks the same), and the NomadClip which is an interesting carabiner-esque connector with a charging cable hidden within it. Those will be shipping in the Autumn but I think that the products as they are in their current incarnation are an excellent fit for their purpose and also a great help to people as forgetful as me!

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4 wide web

I love getting the opportunity to review fab small companies and it’s even better when it’s for an awesome local company! The lady who runs it is genuinely lovely and even makes an awesome charity tee too.

Firstly the tees centre around the company name ‘Brave & the Bold’! All the tees feature this memorable and catchy slogan and I like that this all flows within the brand. It makes the line noticeable, I also quite like sometimes wearing tees similar to my partner but not quite the same and I think this is a cute way round it.

As with lots of companies there are a few less girly fit tees than man fit ones. Although I don’t feel that’s an issue so much anymore, on the high street there are a lot more loose fit tees for girls, probably because we wear so many leggings now. I know I feel better when I have my bottom covered up. The girly fit tees I got to test out were ladies ‘Brave Logo T-shirt‘ and ‘Fearless T-shirt‘. I liked them both, they were extremely comfortable, and both washed extremely well. I’d say they are a standard fit, I’m a bit chested UK12 and a Medium was fine for me. I personal favourite was the ‘Fearless’ on, I particularly liked the grey tee and I think it just felt a bit more sporty. The print looks extremely light on the bottom image but I think it is mostly because it was such a bright day when I shot in them!

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The gentlemen’s t-shirts that my husband shot in were ‘Brave Wings T-shirt‘ and the ‘Arrows T-shirt‘. My husband normally wears a large because he’s got a bit of a belly and I think these were also a standard fit. The feel of them were thick, but not too thick, and just super soft. I’ve only washed the red ‘Wings‘ one but the print is perfect and it actually feels even softer after a wash. I can already tell that the Wings one is going to be one of husband’s new favourite tees!

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The charity tee is called the ‘Ross‘ t-shirt, this tee is in memory of a strong, brave, young man who was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the far too young age of 32. 20% of the sales from this t-shirt go to Cancer Research UK. I’m sure pretty much most of those reading this blog will have been affected by cancer at some point so this is the chance to get lovely tee and support an excellent cause. I think this khaki colour really works well to set the ‘Ross‘ see apart from all the rest.

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Finally, because I really love the summery colours, and it brings about the illusion of an early summer, I really love the Limited Edition Bahama T-shirt! It’s basically a beach in a t-shirt, I think this would look super cute just with some denim shorts!

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I love companies like this with original ideas and not scared to try out ideas like the Bahama tee! Highly recommend dropping this company a ‘like’ or a ‘follow’! Give them a chance! WEAR BRAVE! :D (even have a rummage in their sale!)

Website : http://www.wearbrave.com/

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/braveandthebold

Twitter : https://twitter.com/wearbrave

Instagram : http://instagram.com/wearbrave

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1Octo

Way past due is my review of the awesome Alkemie Apparel! Christmas, childcare and over working myself to actual semi death got in the way.

I was drawn to Alkemie on Twitter, on paper they are everything that I like in tees! Dark, tattoo inspired tees, vest, bags and also jewellery.

I opted for this super cute Cousteau vest! I really like anything with tentacles and the  blue print against the black really pops. I’ve worn this three times and I have to admit, it’s super comfortable and washes like a dream. The quality is excellent and the print is amazing.  For a few more pennies you can get the Cousteau handbag which is actually one of the most awesome bags I’ve seen in a long while and it’s well and truly on my ever growing Birthday list (yes! I know we have just had Christmas). They have an awesome selection of bags which look a pretty good size for Mums too!

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They also do some pretty cool dark guys shirts. They have a few designs but I think this Sugar Skull one is my favourite one I also like the added touch of the print on the back. I could see my hubby in this and a lot of the other tees. They are macho without being offensive!

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They also do a cute selection of necklaces some of which co-ordinate with the tees. I opted for the cute bird one, I think I will put the pendant on a choker though for added gothyness! They have a mixture of cute ones, gothy ones, slogan ones. I really like them, totally unusual and would be an awesome gift for someone who you aren’t sure of their size.

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I highly recommend dropping by the site to have a look at their wares! They also have a sale on so you can try their wares at a reduced price!

Website : http://alkemieapparel.com/index.html

Twitter : https://twitter.com/alkemieapparel

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/AlkemieApparel

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Hands-on T-shirt Review: The Affair

by Andy on October 10, 2013


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.

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Cakestar – The Eights [REVIEW]

by Umang on October 6, 2013

 

cakestar-4Chris from Cakestar sent me their “The Eights” t-shirt for a review. The t-shirt arrived in a nondescript  manila envelop with no indication of the Cakestar brand.  To my pleasant surprise the t-shirt inside was neatly packaged with their business card and stickers. They have their own custom, sewn on label, a detail which is usually skipped due to the cost and production intricacies. The one detail that caught my attention was the “light bulb” shaped safety pin which attaches their custom hang tag to their label. I will have a to do a search on that product. I am a little confused as to why the Empire State Building adorns a California based t-shirt company’s t-shirt but then again, what’s not to like about the iconic building?

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The t-shirt itself feels solid at 7.1 ounces of combed cotton. To break this down in layman terms, imagine a “Hanes Beefy-T” but super soft. The trend for indie t-shirt brands tend t0 be around the 5 ounces or less so this was another surprise. If you like heavier cotton indie t-shirts, than this is the brand for you.  This t-shirt is sure to have a longer shelf life through multiple washes.

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Please excuse the “gray” looking washed out picture above. Make no mistake that the t-shirt is black. The print quality of their water based screen printing is impeccable. There is no sign of offsetting through multiple passes of screen printing process. This is tough to achieve on a dark shirt with two colors (dark gray and turquoise) and fine detailing. According to Cakestar’s website, they use a “discharging” method for their dark colored shirts. The water based ink leaves a soft feel, unlike “Plasticol” based inks.

In summary, Cakestar has not cut any corners and retailing a superior product. For an indie brand, who’s site went live on November 11, 2011 they paid attention to the details before going down the path of trial and error.

Cakestar- The Eights – Monetary Damage  $25 USD

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She Felt Geeky

by DeeHYA on October 4, 2013

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And now for something completely different! This is a fab etsy shop run by a lady I know loosely via the North East burlesque scene. T-shirts are not what the shop is about and it’s aimed pretty much entirely at the gal side of the population.

She Felt Geeky mostly specialises in super cute geek, comic, gaming, movie fabric panties amongst other things include pasties (nipple tassels) and some cute random one off pieces.

I don’t own any pieces personally but it means a lot for me to support local companies and from the reviews from friends I’ve heard the quality is absolutely first rate.

One selection of pieces that stand out for me when you land in the Etsy store are the Harry Potter, Hogwarts House panties. Here are the amazing Hufflepuff and Slytherin ones. How over the moon would any lady Harry Potter fan be with these! They’d be an excellent stocking filler for Christmas, and they look like they’d be super soft to the touch!

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Amongst other geek factions you can grab Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel, Tattoo Print, Halloween Print, Super Cute Floral ones to name but a view! Store owner Miss Buttons also posted an image of this fabric a few days ago so you can totally get your hands some some spooky panties if that’s your bag!

She is super talented and approachable so if you had any requests or ideas I’m sure she would be extremely accommodating! I have to add her pasties are absolutely delightful but I’d better not put boobies on HYA!

I think of of my favourite pieces which is also extremely seasonal are these super cute Halloween panties! Snap them up people, support handmade and UK businesses! :)

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Etsy : https://www.etsy.com/shop/SheFeltGeekyUK?page=1

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/shefeltgeeky?fref=ts

Instagram : http://instagram.com/shefeltgeeky

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