UNIQLO: The Good, So-So, and What To Steer Clear Of.
Gotta hand it to their shipping department. UNIQLO launched their e-commerce operation on Monday 10/22, and just four or five days later, the big box of ready-to-be-tested stuff arrived at the Dappered home offices. Pretty impressive considering that their site seemed to be under a crush of orders right from the start.
Uniqlo clothes are incredibly affordable, but a deal is only a deal if it fits, feels, and looks right. Separating the good from the “mneh” is as follows. All sizes are medium unless otherwise noted.
THE GOOD: Chesterfield Coat – $129.90
Well… how warm do you need to be? The one drawback is that it’s not the thickest thing. It’s 90% wool, but it’s as thin if not thinner than the Banana Republic topcoats that many seem to think aren’t warm enough. But everything else is nails. The color, the lapels, the under collar grey felt (on the navy), the length & fit, etc. The size of the armholes aren’t enormous, but they are big enough to accommodate a normal size suit jacket. If you’re the layering type that sees your coat as only a part of your warmth solution and not the entire answer, then this is a winner.
The 60% Poly, 30% Wool, and 10% Nylon fabric doesn’t feel like it’s mostly poly, and it fits like one of these thicker sweaters should. It’s not super trim, but not enormous at the sides either. Knit has that shaker-thick look & feel to it. One of those sweaters you’ll reach for on those colder than you had expected weekend mornings.
Much, much better silhouette than their “Regular Fit” cord blazer. More on that one in a second. This is like a chino version of an INC ultra light. No lining whatsoever, no shoulder pads. Lightweight but not flimsy. The tail doesn’t look chopped, but the sleeves do run long. So that would require some tailoring (buttons are non-functioning and there’s not even any of the usual accent stitching around them.) Has a “colors may bleed” warning on it, which is somewhat concerning.
Fit is probably pretty close to a 514, and guys with big thighs beware. These feel a little slimmer through the thigh than the already slim Levi’s 514. But for ten bucks? They’re all but sold out, and they were a steal at that price. Nice saturated colors, solid feeling construction, and medium weight fabric. Nowhere near as heavy as most denim. 32×32 here and I’ll need to have them hemmed up an inch or two.
70% acrylic and 30% wool means you get a blend that you can throw in the washer, yet it still has some semblance of natural fiber feel once you get it on. Slim fitting and free of bulk. Not going to be for everyone, but great for those who want a dark turtleneck that doesn’t scream “I’m headed to a poetry slam”.
THE SO-SO: Tweed Check Jacket – $99.90
If you prefer your blazers short to chopped, or you’re closer to the ground than 5’8″, then this particular blazer from Uniqlo might end up holding a favorite place in your closet. For whatever reason, thicker wool blazers tend to show off their chopped-ness more than cotton twill or corduroy. Probably has something to do with the depth of the fabric. Speaking of, the fabric is a sturdy feeling 70% wool / 30% nylon blend, and the pattern will look great with jeans.
THE STEER CLEAR: Regular Fit Corduroy Jacket – $69.90
The descriptions says this has a “contoured fit”. Hardly. A label on the inside of the jacket clearly calls it a “regular” fit, and it fits awfully boxy. 3/2 lapel already rolled/pressed, a nice fine wale on the corduroy, and no padding in the shoulders. All nice details, but… it’s boxy, and the sleeves from elbow to wrist seem to have been designed for Popeye’s forearms. Way too much space there. Lots of tailoring would be required.
Thoughts from those of you who ordered from Uniqlo this past week? Leave it all in the comments. Still waiting on two sweaters (Lambswool & Merino) to arrive for review.