When Seth Levinsky first contacted me back in May to let me know that he’d launched Shortees — the world’s first-ever T-shirt company by and for short men — I was floored. I broke the news to you in this post (which is worth a read if you haven’t already). And I was excited when Seth sent me some actual tees. With two choices of hem lengths (Short and Extra Short) in sizes ranging from Small to XXL, I figured: What more could you ask for?
Well, some good designs, mainly. But I’m getting ahead of myself… There’s so much they get right.
When it comes to fit, Shortees nails it.
I can’t emphasize enough just how huge that is. Fit is by far the toughest thing for us short guys when it comes to clothes. In some ways, your typical off-the-rack T-shirt is even a lot worse than other articles of clothing. The average industry length ranges from about 28 to 32 inches long. But unlike, say, dress shirts, T-shirts are notoriously difficult to have tailored. They just never look right.
Not a problem with Shortees. Every size (from Small to XXL) comes in two different lengths, both of them significantly shorter than average: 25 inches and 26.5. That’s the thing that I love about Shortees. Not just that the shirts are short, which is great, but that they’re offering us options — something smaller guys are sorely lacking.
These options are an absolute godsend for guys struggling with nightshirt-length tees. Especially heavier men, because as they know all too well, as a shirt’s chest size increases, length usually goes up accordingly. As Seth told me: “If you happen to be more muscular or have some extra pounds there is no way you can go with a typical Small or Medium, so you are always stuck with a 29.5-31″ shirt.” Have you ever seen an XXL shirt that’s 25 inches long? All I can say is: these guys are for f—ing real.
So how does the advertised length stack up against the actual?
Dead on. At least, for the shirts that I tried: a Small in each of the different lengths and a Large in the shorter size. In my experience, actual measurements usually differ a bit (sometimes even greatly) from what’s listed on a company’s size chart. So I really appreciated that these were more exact. That’s the whole point, eh?
How well did they fit me?
At 5-foot-5, 130 lbs, both Smalls fit me great. The shorter one probably better, which squares with what Seth told me originally: “I recommend that people under 5′6″ try the 25-inch length, and those between 5′6″ and 5′8″ go with the 26.5.”
Chest size was 20.5/21-inches across on the Smalls, 22.5 on the Large. And after my usual laundry cycle (cold wash, tumble dry low) they seemed to shrink about half and inch to an inch across and about the same in length. Not bad. Sleeve length was good on the Smalls (about mid-bicep), but a bit longer on the Large. It wasn’t down to my elbow or anything, but my guess is it could stand to be shortened up a tick. Granted, I’m not a Large and was just testing one out to cover all the bases, so take my sleeve critique with a grain of salt; it might be perfect for someone who actually is that size. I also think they could stand to add an XS size. But I’m splitting hairs.
These pass muster. At $20 a pop, that’s a decent price for a graphic tee. The fact that these will actually fit you is almost priceless.
So what’s rub?
In my opinion, the designs are lame. Besides fit, graphics are the next biggest selling point… or potential turn-off. The four designs Shortees currently offers don’t happen to be to my personal taste. But I see other people wearing stuff that looks similar to this, so my criticism isn’t so much that I just don’t like the looks of them. My real problem is that they’re generic-looking. This is, unfortunately, a real bummer.
Luckily, they also come in white and black. OK, twenty bucks is a little pricey for a plain tee, but the material is nice and the fit is unmatched. And every guy needs at least one of each color in his wardrobe — I’m glad mine come from Shortees.
I don’t do much cheerleading on this site. Especially when it comes to official product reviews. As always, I think I’ve been fair with this review, laying out the positives, but not shying away from criticism.
That said, this is a brand that I really want to succeed. You guys probably do too.
Shortees is off to a great start. The length options are unprecedented, the fits are good and will hopefully get even better, and the price is moderate. The only major problem area — lackluster design — is something Seth is fully aware of and wants to improve. At 5-foot-5-and-a-half, he’s one of us.
There is so much potential here. So let’s make sure it happens:
Visit the Shortees website.
Friend them on Facebook.
Subscribe to Seth’s personal blog.
Send him an e-mail with your feedback, criticism, ideas, wants, desires, and designs or designers you like.
And buy a shirt. So he can invest in another run — this time with cooler designs, of course.
Vistaprint sucks and a Bieberific Brady Update.
I am pleased to report that The Squirrelologist is alive and well. After a lengthy absence due to an extensive field study I am back to report on my squirrelly findings.
The” most squirrelly corporate behavior and example of bait and switch tactics Bad Nut Award” goes to Vistaprint. It seems that the powers that be at Vistaprint have not gotten the notice that you are supposed to honor the prices you clearly advertise.
Your very own Squirrelologist went to Vistaprint to order some business cards for his other nut collecting ventures. The site very clearly promotes 500 business cards for $10. Should you go to the “premium business cards” link and follow it to the pricing you will find the same great price. Follow the links at that bottom of the page to pricing and yet again, the same prices clearly listed. Sounds great so far. Now start to place an order, it gets even better. The site tells you that shipping on card orders in quantities over 500 is free. This deal just keeps getting better and better. But wait, this can’t be so. Nothing is this good, and this company is no exception.
Since this deal seemed so good I decided to order three different sets of cards. What did I discover, the first set costs the advertised price but the second two sets cost three times as much. It’s not the price that bothers me so much as the fact that no where on the site does it say the listed prices are only applicable to the first item ordered and additional items will have different prices.
Finding this bait and switch somewhat disturbing I decide to investigate this squirrelly behavior and call customer service. The first individual I get listens to my complaint and says he can see about creating a different offer to improve the price. Already a bad sign of worse things yet to come. The representative comes back with a new offer that brings the cost down significantly, though still not as low as it should be if they honored their advertised prices. And to make matters worse, suddenly there are shipping costs. And we are not just talking about average shipping costs, these are grossly inflated shipping costs with a significant profit margin built-in.
Shocked at this outrageous bait and switch I ask to speak to a supervisor to share the fact that California frowns on companies not honoring their advertised prices. I am connected to the soon to be infamous customer service supervisor Latoya in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Latoya appears to have a very distinct job, to be as rude and argumentative as possible with customers. Latoya’s response to my requests to be shown anywhere on the Vistaprint site that the advertised prices are only applicable to one item and that other items will be charged at different prices is to essentially go $#*% myself. She raises her voice to a near yelling volume, constantly tries to interrupt when the other party is speaking and tries to speak over them to shut down whatever they are trying to say. It seems that if you are right about something and Vistaprint is wrong, the corporate policy is to yell at you until you give up and go away.
Little did Vistaprint and Latoya know, they were dealing with the Squirrelologist. A trained expert in researching just this sort of squirrelly behavior. In addition to sharing this story with all of the faithful Squirrelologist readers, it was also shared with Dennis Rockstroh, consumer advocate and writer of the Action Line column in the San Jose Mercury News. Dennis and his consumer advocate colleagues share in much of the initial inspiration for The Squirrelogist. Be a good nut and read Dennis’s column and send him or your local advocate your reports about lousy business practices at Vistaprint and other companies. They can help.
So to Vistaprint, our Bad Nut of the Day award and two pieces of advice, honor your advertised prices and be honest and clear about any changes or limitations, and show Latoya the door.
****Special Tom Brady Bieber hairdo update****
After extensive observation the Bieberific object observed on Tom’s head over the last few months appears to be an as yet unidentified species. This species seems to have an unexplainable behavioral impact on adolescent girls and underwear models. It does however seem to have a negative impact on Tom Terrific’s quarterback skills. 131 completions for 198 attempts and only 1362 yards through 7 weeks. Even Alex Smith has thrown for more yards, Yikes. The Pats are 5-1 but it will be hard to maintain that spot behind the Jets with Brady’s Bieber chasing off Moss like talent. Rumor has it that the Bradber bit Fred Taylor’s foot and is responsible for his missing so much time.
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Filed under Business, Commentary, Good Nut / Bad Nut, Sports
Tagged as bait and switch, Bieber, Customer service, Tom Brady, Vistaprint