Editor’s note: For other product reviews covering more menswear categories than you can shake a stick at, click here.
San Francisco-based Gustin has been known across the menswear community these past few years for the excellent, sturdy (and American-made) denim they’ve been producing — don’t forget about their tough, durable chore coats either. The brand is expanding even further as of late into new, essential categories like T-shirts and (starting in June), sneakers. And you can add another category to the list of things the brand does very well — casual shirting. Gustin launched its shirting with a focus on the basics, like chambrays and Oxfords. They’ve since broadened that approach even further, to the point where they’re now funding a third release of shirts with lauded heritage shirtmaker Thomas Mason. They’ve done a nice job adding seasonal fabrics as well — like the Spring Plaid shirt you see here.
This release was funded in the depths of this past winter (February if memory serves?) and at only $76 for this made-in-America piece, it’s not hard to see why. While that price is on the higher side if you’re on a budget, a one-off purchase like this can be an excellent way to get exposure to made-in-America craftsmanship and quality, if only infrequently to start. The shirt uses Japanese cotton cloth with a vintage plaid pattern — it’s nice to see another brand making use of plaid patterns in places other than fall or winter-weight clothing. The colors in this shirt are pretty vivid, and yet the overall pattern is subtle enough to have a pleasing effect on the eye from afar. The combination of red, green, blue, yellow and white might seem a bit much at first, but it definitely works in this case. Being able to glance closely and see different bits of color crossing over each other is a nice effect, too.
It’s the type of shirt that adds some punch to an outfit without taking away too much attention from elsewhere – and the multitude of colors pairs well with a neutral piece like the Slim-Fit Khaki Travel Jacket from Combat Gent shown above. Perhaps the most important thing to note on this shirt is the fit — although this shirting model isn’t on-sale now, that same design carries over to the brand’s other pieces. In a Slim-Fit Medium, the armholes are high but not restrictive, the sleeves have a tailored and clean (but not overly snug fit), and the shoulders are the right width on my 6’1″, 180 lb. frame. The shirt is just a tad on the longer side when untucked for my personal taste, but it’s more than able to be worn that way comfortably. As far as the overall fit, it’s very close to a slim-fit casual shirt from J. Crew or Club Monaco. (Editor’s note: Does anyone have any experience with the Classic Fit shirting style from Gustin?).
Other shirting details absolutely live up to the purchase price as well. The two-piece front placket and sleeve cuffs feel sturdy, not flimsy — that’s key when rolling up shirt sleeves. The buttons are attached firmly to the shirt and at the buttondown collar – no loose threads or buttons in danger of falling off here. Crucially, the collar itself has a substantial (yet not overly large) roll to it, making it easy to wear without a tie. It’s little details like these that bring together a complete shirt fit for business-casual or more laidback wear. The pattern on this has the sort of scale that wouldn’t detract from a striped cotton tie in dressier instances, and yet the collar could stand up under a linen cardigan or V-neck sweater, too.
So, assuming the brand doesn’t pull a price hike and continues to fund new shirting releases in the current pricing range (roughly between $70 and $93), it’s absolutely worth a shot to snap one up that catches your eye. New product releases from Gustin tend to be funded in a matter of days, if not even more quickly, but at the rate the folks in Cali pump out stellar designs, there should be more than enough opportunity to pick up one of your own soon. Consider this writer sold for the future.
Have you bought any casual shirting from Gustin? What’s your experience been like? What other products have caught your eye from the store?