UPDATE: Relco short sleeved button down review

So the size medium Relco short sleeved button down arrived today. As I suspected, the sleeves were pretty much perfect but the shirt was too large around the chest by a few inches.

Unless one of the shirts I received was somehow defective, the difference in size between a small and medium is significant and severe, indeed it almost seems like the small should really be extra-small and that the company lacks a true size small. If Relco could combine the small size’s chest with the medium size’s sleeves, we might have a very well-fitting shirt on our hands. Alas they do not do that as far as I know.

Ah, but the plot thickens, dear readers.

The medium I received has a different label than the two size smalls I purchased previously. Moreover the fabric on the size medium seems to be of slightly better quality than than the trash cotton of which the size smalls are made. This fact suggests a number of possible conclusions. It is possible that one of the sizes is old stock and one is new. It is also possible that they actually come from different lines by Relco, though I’ve found no evidence that such different clothing lines exist. It’s also possible the cheaper ones may be fakes, but it seems quite a niche company to be worth fake.

Either way it would appear that more Relco research is needed. I need to find a Relco small with a label that matches the one in the medium, and vice versa, in order to reach a proper conclusion about Relco shirts.

If any reader out there knows if there’s a difference between older and newer Relco shirts, and why I have two shirts from the same company with two different labels, I’d love to know in the comments section.

Original Relco review here.

Review: Relco short sleeved button down

Ugh. Where to begin. I wanted to like this shirt, I really did. They don’t look too terrible and they’re cheap. Alas, one gets what one pays for, I suppose.

First up, the fit. I ordered a small. My chest size is somewhere between 36 and 38, and I like my shirts fitted. While the shirt fit well-enough around my chest (it was a hair on the small side), the sleeves were indescribably tight. I’m not particularly buff nor do I spend much, if any, time at the gym. But after wearing the shirt for about seven minutes it became readily apparent that I was losing circulation in my left arm. The comically small sleeves suggest these shirts are not designed with regular men in mind, but rather made for scrawny hipster man-boys or actual children. To add insult to the injury caused by the slow loss of circulation to my arm, the shirt was far from long enough to achieve a secure tuck.

When it comes to fabric and finish the shirt fared no better. The label says the shirt is 100% cotton, but assuming that’s not a lie, it’s some of the cheapest cotton I’ve ever touched, feeling thin (as in paper, not pique) and synthetic. Trash cotton aside, the shirt was obviously mass-produced and certainly isn’t going to win any awards for stitching. At least the requisite styling was there — three-fingered, three-button collar, box-pleat, and all.

I have a medium I managed to snag a good deal on en route on the off chance it fits better, though I fear adequately-sized sleeves may come at the expense of the fit around the chest. Time will tell. For now I’m giving the shirt 2/10 — 4/10 if you can manage to fit into it.