I love Uniqlo. I discovered them when I studied abroad in Taiwan, and as soon as I got back to the states I began introducing friends and family to the store. “It’s like Old Navy, but the clothes are all wearable and fit better!” was my usual pitch.
Eytan at Snarky Nomad has written about how some of his favorite travel clothes are from Uniqlo. Every time I go to Uniqlo, though, I get the impression that the men’s section has a monopoly on DWR coatings and dressy cuts with more athletic fabrics.
I’ve recently started shopping for pants in the men’s section and I’ve had phenomenal luck so far. Not so with shirts — most of the armholes on men’s shirts are too big on me, and for every day wear I’m perfectly fine with my H&M Label of Graded Goods tops. I’ve also started wearing something of a uniform: jeans or chinos with a baby blue oxford and a sweater (yes, Uniqlo Merino) if it’s cold. Since this has worked so well for me, I figured it was about time to try to find a travel-appropriate baby blue oxford.
So I took myself right down to my nearest Uniqlo and picked up a Men’s Easy Care Long Sleeve Dress Shirt.
I haven’t traveled with this shirt yet, but I already adore it.
I bought a men’s small and it fits like it was tailored for me. The sleeves hit my shoulders and wrists just right and it’s the perfect length (Uniqlo brags about how it’s “perfect for tucking in”).
If I was bustier or significantly more muscular, this shirt probably wouldn’t fit so well. (I wear sports bras 24/7.) The shirt is cut slimmer than most men’s dress shirts — probably the reason the arm holes are reasonably sided.
Make and Fabric
The collar and sleeves are stiff enough to keep their shape without being uncomfortable. I often go between cuffed and uncuffed sleeves and, by some magic, these sleeves hold their cuffs but uncuff with nary a wrinkle. The collar looks fine buttoned or unbuttoned. and always looks crisp.
The fabric is great. I’m pretty picky about shirt fabrics, and most men’s dress shirts have a cold, stiff, fake feel to them. This shirt is built with a no-wrinkle, easy-care fabric that’s comfortable by itself and under sweaters.
This shirt really, truly doesn’t wrinkle. I hang my clothes to dry them and I don’t own an iron, so this is a concern for me. It’s also pretty sweat resistant, so in Taiwanese winters I’ll wear it two days before washing it.
It’s available in all your basic colors: white, black, grey, pink, and my beloved baby blue. I plan on picking up a white one (or, who am I kidding, the exact same blue one) in the next year.
But isn’t it…different from the women’s shirts?
I mean, it’s made out of a better fabric for traveling, it’s got a breast pocket, it’s lacking those weird darts that women’s blouses often have, and you can button the collar down. But there’s nothing particularly masculine (or feminine) about this shirt. It’s sturdy, airy, comfortable, affordable, and looks fantastic, so it gets my seal of approval.
Now if only Uniqlo would start making women’s shirts like this…
I’m not affiliated with Uniqlo, and I don’t get any money if you buy this shirt. I just like it a lot!