Online Shopping Picks: Everlane

Editor’s note: Sometimes, items that project great style are hard to find, especially at good prices. These articles aren’t necessarily a reflection of deals or sales for a particular brand, but noteworthy picks at the moment that can be had for affordable prices. For more Online Shopping Picks, head here.

Diving into a brand that's steadily on the way up.

Diving into a brand that’s steadily on the way up.

In the past two to two-and-a-half years or so, Everlane is a brand that’s raised a lot of eyebrows in the online fashion community. Their model of radical transparency and their desire to disseminate lots of information about how they do what they do has been praised by lots, as much as their clean, crisp aesthetic has also garnered positive reviews. They’re among a rare set of brands (J. Crew would probably be another) that do both men’s and women’s apparel very well, especially when it comes to staple essentials. They’ve been steadily expanding their wares on both sides, and have got a whole slew of releases planned for this spring — among others, they just dropped men’s henleys and a luxurious-looking merino blazer. The brand also has a new sweatshirt release and a spring jacket upcoming. For those of us that can’t wait though, there’s plenty of great goods on the site now. Check out picks below and share your thoughts on Everlane beneath that!

#1. The Henley Tee in Charcoal — $35 

An anticipated drop from Everlane that hopefully lives up to the hype.

A much-anticipated drop from Everlane that hopefully lives up to the hype.

One of Everlane’s latest product launches has easily been one of their most anticipated. When looking at the types of basics they’ve been putting out, this is a move that just makes sense — a henley is a masculine basic that can be layered all kinds of different ways (under a shawl cardigan or a v-neck sweater, to start) and brings to mind a certain rugged, old-time aesthetic. And given all the ways it can be worn in a neutral color like charcoal, this is a key pick — it meshes well with black jeans or dark denim and sturdy boots, in addition to chinos. Plenty of sizes are available right now in charcoal and other colors (almost shockingly so), and the price is excellent — lower than a comparable J. Crew staple, for example.  (Note: Look for an in-person review of one of these in white in the coming weeks). 

#2. The Cotton Pocket Tee in Slate — $15

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An underrated style basic in a unique color.


So the second item on this list keeps to the theme of darker-colored neutrals, which Everlane seems to do so well. While this is just a simple pocket tee, that item is fairly underrated as far as a men’s style piece. While short-sleeve henleys are a wise choice as well, sometimes you want something with more structure — that’s where the pocket tee comes in. It looks different than a traditional crewneck because of that chest pocket, and  the unique color helps it stand out from more basic options as well. This T-shirt would pair well with slim dark denim or a pair of navy trousers on the more hi-low spectrum of style; it also acts as a good neutral with some colored shorts. Don’t forget about the terrific price either — if Everlane is to be believed, comparable shirts retail for more than two times as much.

#3. The Slim Fit Denim Shirt — $55

A rugged staple for fall and winter — at a nice price, too.

A rugged staple for fall and winter — at a nice price, too.

There are so many good reasons to keep your closet stocked full of classic essentials like white OCBD’s and chambray shirts, yet in the fall and winter, it’s also handy to have a great denim shirt on-hand. Everlane also makes a deeper indigo denim shirt, and they just started selling a grey denim number, too, but the real gem of their collection is this medium denim option. It’s less overtly trendy than something like a light-wash denim shirt, and it goes with more pairings, too. It would fit perfectly with broken-in khaki chinos in either the fall or winter, and it would add a rugged, dressed-down appeal to charcoal trousers, too. This particular wash would also stand out well with black denim and a rich wool tie.  The price is very favorable when compared to a more expensive option from J. Crew, as well.

#4. The PK Polo in Hunter Green — $35

A color not typically seen on most polos, at a reasonable price.

A color not typically seen on most polos, at a reasonable price.

It might not exactly be polo weather right now for those of us in the north of the U.S. and in other cold climes, but within a couple months, it’ll be more than time for some short-sleeves. The great thing with Everlane is that they seem to keep inventory well-stocked and prices fairly consistent, so you could expect polos like these to stick around for quite a while. The fit on these looks to be solid — trim but not too tight, although one wonders if the photos shot on the model weren’t shot about a size too big (most of us prefer a slimmer-fitting polo at the sleeves and through the body). This particular item also comes in a color not seen tremendously often on polos — the deep hunter green would mesh well with wardrobe staples like tan chinos, and it would even sit right at home with lightwash jeans for the warmer months.

#5. The Twill Weekender Bag in Reverse Denim/Brown Leather — $95

For those who want to travel with style in mind.

For those who want to travel with style in mind.

No mention of Everlane would be complete without examining the brand’s gear — these pieces are what put them on the map for most of us style-conscious guys, and it seems like they’ve built up their apparel from around their bags, curiously enough. The theory would hold that dressing well goes hand-in-hand with what you carry for travel and everyday use, and these bags hold up that end of the deal quite nicely. These pieces, particularly the reverse denim weekender pictured above look crisp, clean and simple — the solid colors and lack of ornamentation or logos mean they’re not overly gaudy. From personal experience, the weekender bag is definitely meant to handle short spurts of usage — mine got used pretty hard across a summer in NYC, and I ended up replacing it with this bag instead. However, for those who need a true weekend bag, these pieces look outstanding and should provide just enough space for travel essentials. Most importantly, the price quite honestly destroys options from comparable brands. This isn’t built like a heritage bag from Filson, to be sure, but it should work just fine for the price.

Most notably with Everlane, an entire outfit, from apparel to accessories, could be built from the Everlane website, down to your wallet  — that’s the sign of a brand catering to the needs of customers while keeping style in mind.

And finally, a quick thought for all of you into Kickstarter clothing projects — be sure to check out Tom Cridland’s ongoing campaign — they’re a British company trying to break into the U.S. market and offer slim chinos in standout colors, including a nice deep navy option. Expect an in-person review of those within the coming days!

Have you bought from Everlane before? What’s on your wishlist from the brand? Let me know and thanks for reading!





The Product Review: Alara Italian Indigo Denim Shirt

Alara's Indigo Denim Shirt. Tie by American Eagle. Pants by Black Lapel (Part of custom suit). Shoes by Banana Republic. Watch by Stuhrling.

Alara’s Indigo Denim Shirt. Tie by American Eagle. Pants by Black Lapel (Part of custom suit). Shoes by Banana Republic. Watch by Stuhrling. Photo credit: Liz Todd.

Mixing up high-and-low elements has become a popular calling card for #menswear fanatics in the past few years. Using unconventional, more casual items (like a denim jacket), paired with dressier items (like a shirt and knit tie) is probably the most commonly seen version of this style move. And the return in popularity of the chambray shirt, coupled with the fact that brands like J. Crew have brought them back into vogue as part of the ‘workwear’ revival, only highlights this fact further. The desire to break up more formal elements, like sleeker suit trousers, with unique textures and fabrics (like chambray or denim) is a movement that’s not losing steam, and that’s where a high-quality denim shirt comes into play.

The brand Alara has perfected using high-quality fabrics to craft both sport and dress shirts across the past two-plus decades, first parlaying that experience into producing house-brand shirts for major retailers and designers, and lately using their expertise to craft shirts under the Alara brand name. Based out of a Midtown NYC showroom, I had the opportunity to speak with the brand’s head of e-Commerce, Phil Davies, and the brand’s president and founder, Mehmet Ulu. Getting the chance to see so many well-crafted shirts in person was a real treat, as many are made with ridiculously soft Egyptian cotton. They were also gracious enough to provide me with their Italian Indigo Denim Shirt in Slim Fit, (part of their collection of Sport Shirts) for review.

This shirt pairs easily with dressier fabrics thanks to the cutaway collar.

This shirt pairs easily with dressier fabrics thanks to the cutaway collar.

What works so well about this particular denim shirt (and denim shirts in general) is that perfect mix of high-low styling. A denim shirt is inherently casual, with a more unique texture than the average dress shirt, along with a vastly different color. This shirt, with its lighter wash, is much the same; however, a cutaway collar instantly makes it a bit more formal (for some great examples of how to pull this collar style off, visit the fantastic site Men’s Style Pro). This shirt is a lighter-weight denim that’s equally fit for both warm and cold weather — it’s got a rugged look to it that brings to mind lots of workwear vibes that remain so popular in many menswear circles. And even though it’s a lighter-washed denim, I could see it pairing equally well with a v-neck sweater and a herringbone blazer in the colder months. Although the cutaway collar is more daring than a traditional spread collar or a more conservative point collar, a slimmer tie knot holds up well and doesn’t look too out of place.

Up-close and personal. Glasses by Burberry.

Up-close and personal. Glasses by Burberry.

The shirt is soft and breathable, making it easy to wear in the heat. And it has a relatively slim fit that’s not restraining — the armholes are decently high and the sleeves are pretty trim, both positives for an off-the-rack shirt. However, it’s not quite as slim as a J. Crew slim-fit shirt, for comparison, something that could be a drawback for some. The shirt does, however, live up to its Italian name — it’s got a nice sprezzatura vibe to it, something especially relevant given the inspiring street style seen recently at Pitti Uomo. Another instant positive about this shirt? The price. In talking with Mehmet at Alara and doing some research, similar shirts retail in the three figures. However, Alara sells this specific shirt for $78 — compare that to a lower-quality Express 1MX shirt, which retails for just $18 less at full price, and you realize you’re getting quite the deal for a well-made shirt. Of course, other budget options are out there too, like this more distressed and Western-leaning shirt from H&M.

On a final note, the summer seems like an especially perfect time to wear this shirt; it’s got an easygoing, laidback vibe that practically begs to be worn to a slightly upscale outing or a nice dinner, preferably outdoors somewhere. It could even serve as a layering piece, much like a workshirt, if the temperature dips during a beach weekend. Wear it as often as you like, dress it up, dress it down — this is one denim shirt that’s fit for suiting and swimwear.