Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Trashness - In-Person Review

Be proud, this post was done without my personal computer whatsoever. Also, keep that in mind if critiquing any formatting and/or spelling errors.

I had seen shirts by a brand called Trashness popping up here and there on the internet at pretty awesome prices, and ended up suggesting that you all check them out in one of my 'Deals and Steals' posts. I also commented that I hadn't seen a ton of reviews around the web, and a few weeks later, Trashness shot me an e-mail to see if I'd like to help fill that void, so here we go!

The Brand:

As has become tradition, first we'll give the folks from Trashness the chance to tell us about their brand and plug themselves a little bit. I spoke with Amin Eftegarie, co-founder, via e-mail. Here's what he had to share:

"We're based in the Netherlands, in a small town called Nieuw-Vennep (suburbs of Amsterdam). The rent is low here. The Dutch are known for trying to save money in every situation you can think of. That state of mind helped us to cut costs. And as you noticed we offer free worldwide shipping on all products, so 99% of our orders are outside NL. (our top destinations: USA, Italy, UK, Japan etc). We care a little less about our profit margins, and a little more about getting students across the world the style and quality of clothing we wished some company was offering when we were broke students. 

We've been around since 12-12-12. At least officially, on this date we registered Trashness at the Dutch chamber of commerce. But my co-founder Maarten and I were obsessing about menswear long before that. We often discussed what other brands were doing. And sometimes we wondered why they were doing it (in such a way). Why aren't they doing it another, to us more rational/gratifying way? We went on a journey which ended with the establishment of Trashness

Perhaps all those company background stories might sound the same. The best communication we do, is trough the quality and branding of our products and the awesome custom service we give when something's not up to our standards."

I selected probably their most classically styled shirts, but they also have a lot of more aggressively styled options, including a wide selection of extreme cut-away collars (not quite my style, but if that's your thing, definitely take a look). They also offer accessories from ties to pocket squares to bracelets, and recently I saw a line of cotton cardigans pop up that looked mighty tempting.

The Shirts:

Trashness was kind enough to actually send me two shirts to try out. The fit on both shirts was pretty darn nice, for right off the rack. Trashness had actually cautioned me that their shirts run extra slim, and since I have yet to find a shirt that istoo slim for me, I was hoping this would be darn snug. It comes pretty close, there's still a bit of room, which is probably for the best, as most slim guys will probably have a few inches on me anyway. As it is, I don't think I will need to tailor it at all. Points! (Editors Note: Fit pictures will come, pending more cooperative outdoor lighting). 

The first shirt I picked was their white OCBD ($44 via the Trashness store). 
Not only is this shirt a staple that no man can have enough of, I've been on a huge kick with them lately, wearing them almost everyday. I love how much I can play around with the rest of an outfit when it's anchored by a classic like a white OCBD. Anyway, when it came down to it, this was the least impressive of the two shirts, mainly due to lower quality fabric. While the shirting felt sturdy enough, there was a lot of fraying along the edges, seams and buttonholes. 

One instance of fraying fabric.

Additionally, there wasn't quite a nice roll to the button-down collar...when worn with a tie I kept getting weird dents and crinkles, and the collar wouldn't just lay flat. 

Just not the best collar roll ever.
In all fairness, Amin also mentioned that they will soon be upgrading their OCBD fabric, so all this might be moot in a short while.

That being said, My second choice was a spread collar denim shirt ($44 via the Trashness store), which I thought was fantastic:
I've been hunting down a spread collar denim dress shirt that wouldn't cost me an arm and a leg, and this fits the bill nicely. The fabric here is much cleaner, and I'm a big fan of the heft. It's a bit thicker than a lightweight chambray, but doesn't feel like you're wearing a jean jacket. Amin told me, "It's enzyme washed. We had another denim shirt which was great, and softer after a couple of washes. So this shirt is already pre-washed, giving you the softness right from the start." The spread collar and lack of chest pockets keep the silhouette trim, and I'd definitely wear this with a tie and/or a blazer. Just a few areas they could improve: why no collar stays? Or at least slots? A curled up collar can be so detrimental to a look, and it's such an easy fix! 

Some collars should roll, but these shouldn't.
Also, I can't decide if I like the contrast stitching (reminiscent of denim jeans). 

Contrast Button-Hole

On one hand, I like the way it hearkens to the stitching on your jeans, but on the other, I think it takes away from the formality of the shirt in a slightly out-of-place way.

My only other beef, with both shirts, is the embroidered logo at the hip. 

Too much branding! Also, more sloppy needlework.
I just like my shirts (dress shirt especially) to be logo-and-embellishment-free. I won't even buy Polo Ralph Lauren shirts if the little polo man is embroidered in a contrast color. While it's a nifty little logo, keeping it on the tag should be enough. It's not a huge deal, but I think it detracts a bit from an otherwise clean, sharp look. Maybe my tailor can pick it out without leaving any noticeable holes...

The Bottom Line:
There are indeed better shirts to be had, but they will be hard to find at $45. If fit is your biggest concern (rather than high fabric quality), this is definitely not a bad choice. Fit is sharp and modern, and better than you'll get from most OTR choices, but construction and fabric quality seem to be a bit sub-par, at least on certain options. The branding on the shirt keeps them from being 100% office-ready (although said branding is easily hidden under a cardigan or blazer).

This was a sponsored review, and the products reviewed were provided to me free of charge. The article, however, remains objective and unbiased and is published without prior editing or review by Trashness. While I love to be given products to review, don't worry, I will never endorse a product I wouldn't wear myself. 

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