Awesome Fabric, Beautifully Tailored!
Love, Love, Love this shirt! I've been searching high and low for a stylish and sturdy Hickory Stripe shirt and I think I've found it!
First off is the fabric. The colors are vibrant, with a substantial hand and comfortable suppleness, despite also clearly being tough and heavy duty. No doubt this can take abuse! Also clear that this fabric is made on old school looms that impart a subtle character here and there that you just don't get with modern looms. Takes and iron well and stays looking good throughout the day. I have another hickory stripe shirt which was USA made and sewn by prisoners in Oregon (Google it if you want the brand name), but the stripes on that piece look low contrast and washed out in comparison, plus its stiff as a board even after several washes. The Key fabric however is so much better in every respect. Grade A++
Second, the tailoring is pretty darn clean with very few stay threads and nicely done buttonholes. While no one is going to mistake this for an Iron Heart shirt, I would say the stitchwork and general sewing is more than acceptable at this price point. Super dark blue (perhaps black) are a great esthetic choice. Grade: A
Lastly the fit is true to size, but only judge after washing. I am 5'8", 176 lbs and typically like a more fitted look in my clothes. I ordered my typical medium and out of the package it seems kinda large, so I washed on high heat and followed in the dryer at high heat. Boy did it shrink! In fact, I almost went too far in the shrinkage that I had to steam iron it and kinda pull on the sleeves to stretch it a bit. The fit now is exactly what I was looking for. So, what I recommend is buying your normal shirt size, try it on unwashed, and then shrink to fit in steps if needed. So maybe start with warm water wash, hang dry and try it on. Can always up the water temp and/or use the dryer using progressively higher heat until you reach your sizing goal. All this sounds complicated, but it's really not, and once you find your fit, I recommend washing only in cold and hang drying to maintain perfection. In all fairness, this is described well on the Key Apparel website, and I actually like the fact you can achieve a perfect custom fit. Fit Grade A-.
Subjective value opinion: So yeah, I love a lot about this shirt. Now if you're wondering why I'm taking off a star, its simply because these are no longer made in the USA. Look, I get it, the shirt would be significantly higher in cost if made here, but to me this is part of being a heritage style apparel company that's been around for over 100 years. And yeah, the price point right now is really great for what you're getting! Like really good! But I wear American Heritage style clothing because want to fully celebrate that heritage and having these made elsewhere really hurts though still an overall recommend for me. Overall Grade B+/A-
Thanks for reading