About a week ago I got my sample of this shirt in. I had been giving Bluffworks some feedback recently and they asked if I would check the new Meridian Dress Shirt out… Of course I said yes, I have several pairs of their pants and a blazer from them. I like their stuff.
Link to Kickstarter Page
I did get one of their earlier travel shirts, which I had to return due to the sleeves being too tight for me. That shirt was awesome, with the obvious exception of the sleeves being too tight. I was anxious to see about this new shirt. I asked for an XL which looked to fit according to their dimensions.
When I got the shirt, my first impression was that this shirt has a substantial feel to it. Not heavy or overly stiff, just a good feeling in the collar and cuffs, with a very nice feel of the fabric. There is enough stretch to keep the wrinkles out, but not so much that two sizes smaller you would look like you are in a spandex dress shirt, you just wouldn’t fit. The fabric feels much like the fabric on the original pants, a definite weave and not a homogenous synthetic look. A couple of female friends I ran it by, both loved the cut and loved the feel of the fabric itself.
The sleeves on the “classic” fit are just right now. Not too tight, or too loose, can be rolled below the elbow, or above.
The second button is about perfectly placed, without a tie and just the top button undone, it looks business like. With the second button undone, it looks casual in a classy way.. The collar comes with removable metal stays, I took mine out and the collar holds shape very well. The metal stays allow you to shape it if you want, or add some heft if you are in a windy area.
The wear resistance is amazing, the fabric is very smooth in use, went for a hike with a 20lb pack made of 1000D cordura, no bunching or pulled up shirt from the interaction between the pack and shirt…
I went hiking in the Franklin Mountains and went up a canyon filled with prickly things, the shirt sloughed off the thorns with aplomb! Had one tiny thread pull after an encounter with big thorns, simply pulled the shirt weave and the thread went back in most of the way, I trimmed the fuzz with a sharp blade and no visible remains of the incident can be seen. Even laundered the shirt twice since then and the threads all look normal. This thread pull was from where a branch I was holding I let go too early and it smacked me in the chest. Most of the time I was brushing by them and none of those thorns caught in the fabric. I have shredded nylon fishing shirts in this same canyon before, with them suffering multiple thread pulls,cuts and bunching under the same pack. The Meridian made it look easy, none of the issues except a single thread pull, and I was walking into these plants for over a mile. The one that got me had some kinetic enhancement…
The hike was in the low 90’s by the time I was done. For the weight of this fabric, this is a VERY cool shirt in the heat. It breathes well, it wicked sweat and dries fast. I think that much like the original pants, the weave of this shirt allows for it to really breathe compared to most shirts. This shirt breathes like a cotton blend pique, you can feel the air move through it, but you don’t have the look of the pique, more of a high thread count solid. I was impressed and did not need my backup t-shirt I brought in case it did get too hot.
I slept in this shirt the night I got it, then wore it the next day, no wrinkles or smell. I hand washed and line dried it after two days of wear, fast drying like the original pants. Then wore it two more days straight, ending with a very sweaty hike (the one above) and continued to wear the shirt after the sweat dried from the hike. No real appreciable odor from the shirt (not saying I did not stink, but no wayward looks from those I was close to in line…). I then balled it up and threw it on the floor overnight.. In the morning I picked it up and stuck my face into it… I came away with no “polyester” stench from the wear and sweat it accumulated, nor was it wrinkled.
Whatever the Bluffworks anti microbial treatment is, it works. It may not be on the same level as Merino wool for this, but it is way more durable than Merino, or Merino blends. I machine washed it two more times in warm water to see if I could get the previous thread pull to “run”, but it did not. I am confident I could get three days of regular wear, without washing, out of this shirt.
The one slight downside is that there is a sound to the fabric when it rubs against istself. It is a weave and sounds like a synthetic fabric if you fold it and rub it together.. In use, I didnt notice it, just when I was handling the shirt… It’s not the tracksuit in a library kind of sound, just a “swish” of weave on weave if that makes sense. As durable as this shirt appears from my week of trial, I’ll take it.
One more thing, there are no travel gimmicks on this shirt, no hidden pockets or pouches. It…