NOTE: Credit to Kevin for leaving a comment in the Express Pants post about how Express just put the 1MX (and a bunch of other stuff) on sale. $30 is about as low as the 1MX gets, so now’s not a bad time to dig up a post about the pros and cons of the Express flagship shirt. The following was originally published in May, and you can see the original with all of the comments here.
The EXPRESS 1MX Modern Fit – $49.50 $29.94| 1MX Fitted – $49.50 $29.94
Express uses the tag-line “There’s no wrong way to wear it” to describe their 1MX cotton shirts. And honestly, that’s pretty accurate. The 1MX is totally unique in the affordable men’s fashion world. On one side you’ve got boatloads of dress shirts that would look weird with jeans. And on the other you’ve got a ton of casual shirts that are so casual they’d look odd tucked in. The 1MX is dead center in the middle, and has perfected that role.
But it’s not without faults. And the faults are numerous. Are the advantages to this shirt enough to outweigh the drawbacks? Here’s the list of each. You decide in the comments section below.
The Fits – You get two options when you buy a 1MX. Modern Fit, or Fitted. Modern fit takes the traditional boxy fit of a normal dress fit, and sculpts it in at the sides and through the chest. Fitted takes that sculpting even futher. If you’re in pretty good shape, the debut of the Fitted 1MX a few years back should have caused you to do cartwheels. No extra tailoring needed, it’s trim and sleek right from the store.
The Tail Length – Ever see a guy out at a bar wearing an untucked traditional fit dress shirt? It looks terrible. The 1MX avoids that smock look by cutting their tails just three or so inches past most belt lines. It’s enough to tuck in and have stay tucked in, but it still looks great untucked. Combined with the trim fit, it’s a perfect shirt to wear for a night out at the bars.
The Stretch – The fabric has just a hint of spandex dropped in that allows the shirt to truly move with your body. Button one up, grab the seams by your armpits, pull out and let go. It literally snaps back. The stretch gives you the fitted look with none of the restricted movement.
The Collar – Each shirt comes with collar stays, and the fitted shirts come with a pair of metallic bendable stays that help give your collar some direction. The collar is not quite semi spread, meaning if you wear them without a tie and with the collar stays in… they’ll stand up all night.
No pocket – When was the last time you actually put something in a shirt pocket? The lack of a pocket adds to the overall clean silhouette.
The Sale Prices – The standard deal is buy one get one 1/2 off. But the real deals come in when they drop the prices to around $30 a piece, and you can use one of the thousands of Express Coupons they’ll send to you if you’re on the mailing list. Best I ever did was three 1MX fitted shirts for $60.
Strangely Short Sleeves – I don’t know who provided the original template for the 1MX, but guaranteed he had abnormally stubby arms. The shirt sleeves are frustratingly short on the 1MX, so forget about seeing a 1/4″ of shirt cuff under your jacket. Great for rolling up, decent for wearing solo, not the best under a jacket.
The Wrinkles – The tags actually say: “For best results, dry clean.” No kidding. Even if you wash it on gentle and dry it with a few other similar weight garments, these things will wrinkle like hell. Also unique to these shirts is the mysterious collar wrinkles that develop after months of heavy wear (see right). I don’t know where they come from, but they don’t iron out.
The Regular Price – $50 is pretty steep. Especially knowing that if you’re patient and play your discount coupon cards right you can get them for almost half that.
Durability – Maybe it’s because I wear about two to three a week, every week, but they seem to wear out fast. The silver lining? Once the fraying starts, they’re the most comfortable weekend shirt you’ll ever own.
The Defense and Prosecution rests. What’s your take on the 1MX?