Bonobos has built much of the foundation of their business around better fit. It started with their pants, and they would later go on to help lead the way in terms of shirts that don’t fit like circus tents. Their standard fit shirts have been labeled as “not boxy and not too slim. Comfortable across the shoulders and chest with a slight taper through the waist” forever. And they fit great for plenty. But last month they released a slim fit line, and the measurements, at first glance, look much different:
Graphic via Bonobos. Thankfully, less lines than a Jeffy goes wanderin’ Family Circus comic.
Shoulder Width: Slim is 1/2″ smaller than standard
Chest Circumference: Slim is 1″ smaller than standard
Waist Circumference: Slim is 2″ smaller than standard
Bottom Sweep: Slim is 1/2″ smaller than standard
Armhole: Slim is 2″ smaller than standard
Muscle: Slim is 1/2″ smaller than standard
Elbow: Slim is 1 1/4″ smaller than standard
Whoa. 2 inches smaller in the arm hole than standard? That might be a tight fit if you’ve got deltoids. 2″ smaller in the waist might be a tight fit if you have a big lunch. Maybe. There’s one way to find out… let’s put a size medium of each, in oxford and poplin, on a 165-170 pound, 5-10″ frame.
Gingham overload! Left: Slim Fit. Right: Standard Fit. Both shirts are size medium.
About the Fit: Whoa. Yep. These fit a lot closer. Feels like they’ve been to my tailor, and there’s not gobs of space between my torso and the sides of the fabric. But it still moves well. I’m not fighting against the shirt. Arms are noticeably slimmer as well. And there’s enough room to get a decent sized shoulder in there. None of the seams are being stretched.
About the Shirt: Nice fabric and construction. Collar is medium in size, and it’s lined on the interior with a lighter blue oxford-like cloth. There is a button on the back of the collar (some guys care one way or another) and this one has side pleats instead of a center box pleat on the back. Both of these were made in Malaysia. A nice basic. If you’re willing to throw almost $80 at a nice basic.
Left: Slim Fit. Right: Standard Fit. Both shirts are size medium.
About the Fit: The first place you’ll notice the difference is in the arms. If you spend any time in the gym, you might feel like your arms are in socks. Comfortable, oxford cloth socks, but there’s not a ton of room from the arm pits down to the wrists. Which is more than fine. The sides seem a little more sculpted, but not wildly so. Maybe it’s just the way the oxford cloth lays, but the closer body was much more noticeable on the poplin gingham than the OCBD. (And no, the top photos aren’t transposed. That really is the slim fit on the left. Not sure why it looks a little wider than the standard on the right.)
About the Shirt: Another great OCBD from Bonobos… but these aren’t made in the States anymore. These two shirts were made in India. Collar does have a button on the back. Box pleat on the back. Fabric is thicker than say, the jcp OCBD, and it feels like it’s constructed a little better, but is it $53 better compared to the jcp version? Probably not for most of us. Especially since the fit of the jcp seems to be inbetween the standard and slim fits from Bonobos… and leaning towards the slim side too. Unless you’re looking for a specific color (like this mint green) or you’re fiercely loyal to Bonobos, the jcp might win out.
The Bottom Line:
The inclusion of the slim fit is a nice evolution to the Bonobos line of shirts. Guys with a similar frame to mine might want to lean towards that fit, since the shirts fit real close but still moved well. But almost eighty bucks? Damn.
Meanwhile, I have never, ever been called skinny (nor do I have any plans to), the very trim guys out there should be happy with the new fit, but they still might have lots of fabric at the sides.