Category Archives: Shortees

Even More Love for Shortees

Our friends over at Shortshrifted.com just released a lengthy review of Shortees shirts.  Shortshrifted is a great blog that writes about fashion issues for shorter men.  Josh, the man behind the blog does a great job of trying to help the under 5’8″ population address the challenges we face when it comes to finding great fitting clothing.  Needless to say we are happy to hear he likes how Shortees shirts fit.

Shortees T-Shirts: Your Choice of Hem Length — Short or Extra Short

August 17th, 2010

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.

And costwise?

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.
  • Advertisements

    1 Comment

    Filed under Business, Fashion, Shortees

    Some love for Shortees

    Recently Shortees has been getting some love on this newfangled interweb thingie.  Here’ s a peep from our friends at Hideyourarms.com

    Shortees – t-shirts for short people!

    by Andy on August 13, 2010

    I’m 6 foot 2 inches tall, not exactly a giant but not short either, so I’ve never really had to take this into consdieration before; shorter people need shorter t-shirts. I imagine that ‘little people’, as I’m sure is no longer the correct term to descrbe them, can get around this by buying clothes that are intended for children, but what about people that are five or six inches shorter than me, why must they go on suffering t-shirts that are just that little bit too long!?!

    Thankfully, the appropriately named Shortees has stepped in (presumably quite a small step with their little legs) and started producing their own custom tees that are cut a little bit shorter so that they flatter the shorter torsos that ehy will adorn. I’m not too impressed with the designs that they’re offering, though in fairness to them they admit they aren’t trying to be the coolest design company out there, and it’s admirable to see that level of honesty in a company, but if you’re a designer (and not a particularly tall one) you can pick up a few blank tees and put your own designs on there if you’d prefer.

    via Shortees – t-shirts for short people!.

    1 Comment

    Filed under Business, Fashion, Shortees

    Shortees – episode 1

    While The Squirrelologist covers many topics, one near and dear to my heart is my other company,  Shortees.  Over the next few months here at The Squirrelologist I am going to tell the long, often sad and frustrating tale of how Shortees developed.  I will also report on how things are currently going, what is working, what is going wrong and how much hair I have left.  So without further ado, I present the story of Shortees……

    Episode 1:  The 90’s were coming to and end and as we moved into the early years of the noughts, men’s fashion was making a shift.  Shirt tails were coming out all over.  Dress shirts were hanging loose, casual shirts were going crazy with stripes and designed never to be tucked in and the ubiquitous t-shirt was free to flap in the wind.  It was  great time for all of those shirts that longed to live a untucked lifestyle.  All of those shirts except for those that belong to short men.  Those shirts, those poor shirts were doomed to a life of being neatly tucked in.  Never to flow casually and comfortably over the belt.  And why?  because of a conspiracy perpetrated by a secret society consisting of Levi Strauss, Armani and Lacoste?  No.  Simply because no manufacture thought it was necessary to make shirts designed for shorter men.  Their answer, buy a smaller size.  Well if you have ever seen a grown man with a physique larger than a prepubescent girl or god forbid, a beer belly, then you know how ridiculous that solution is for the majority of shorter men.  Yes some can comfortably fit into a small but that is still a tiny percentage of short men.  And even then, the length of those smaller sizes are far to long to be untucked.

    Like many men in their late 20’s I had a stack of t-shirts in my closet almost as tall as I am.  They were the main item in my wardrobe.  Go to dinner, put on a nice t-shirt.  Go to lunch, put on a t-shirt.  Run errands, put on a t-shirt.  Have a hot date with the newest Victoria’s Secret lingerie model, put on a clean t-shirt.  That my work consisted of  running fitness departments in health clubs and personal training meant that dressing up for an important day required putting on a polo shirt instead of a t-shirt.  Like so many other men my height (a dynamic 5’51/2″, don’t forget that half-inch, it’s the last half-inch that counts) I longed to be able to wear my shirts untucked.  It was a constant point of frustration.  Shopping was something I avoided as much as possible not just because of a natural Y chromosome based dislike of shopping but because it was next to impossible to find anything that fit.  I was living a life of quiet fashion desperation. 

    Flash forward to 2002, 2003 and 2004.  My evenings were filled with classes on accounting, marketing and finance. I was working towards an MBA while holding down my day job.  Every night I was either in class or sitting at my desk at home doing homework.  My friends had come to expect that I would be out of circulation for months at a time and when the semester ended I was ready for the beer to flow, at least until the next semester started.  While in school I sat through a number of courses on entrepreneurship and new venture formation.  As I was constantly inundated with ideas about how to go about creating the next great American company one idea stuck in the back of my head, pain.  Not physical pain but the pain of having a problem without a solution.  Find someone’s pain and figure out how to solve it and maybe, just maybe you may have the basis for a successful business.  Now at the time my thoughts were solely focused on the fitness industry.  I had spent my entire career in either sports medicine or fitness and didn’t see myself doing anything else.  The hours were flexible.  The atmosphere easy-going and pleasant and there was opportunity for the right person with the right idea.  Even the MBA program I choose was one that would allow me to continue to work throughout school without any concern for the reputation of the program and how it would impact my job recruitment chances.  I was sure that I was going to work for myself and I was in school to develop some new tools. Not to get a job. 

    August of 2004 came and went and I completed the program and received my degree.  Finally, 9 years after I moved to California to pursue a different masters degree I could add those extra initials after my name (my parents were so happy).  In the fitness world everyone loves listing every degree and professional credential they have after their name.  It’s a non-stop contest over who can have the most initials on their business card.  At the time I was working for a friend of mine, acting as business manager for his physical therapy and fitness company.  We had opened a second clinic and a stand alone fitness center and I had joined the company to provide some structure to their business practices.  At the same time I continued to operate my own small personal training company, Sky Fitness, on the side.  While all was good, I knew that I wanted to earn more and needed to start my own company in some field that had high earning potential.  I had spent almost a decade living in Silicon Valley and watching the technology sector and the web grow into the behemoth it is today.  Every day there were stories in the newspaper about new companies or how someone had hit it rich with their great concept for a web-based business.  It was around this time that I started thinking about how I was going to finally get ahead in the world. 

    I started developing a list of different business ideas.  Every crazy concept that I could come up with.  For almost two years I thought about different business.  Analyzing how successful the idea could be.  Could I afford to start it?  Could I run it?  Was it scalable?  Did it stand up to the analysis I head learned to put new venture ideas through?  On that list of ideas was one that was undecidedly low tech, t-shirts.  T-shirts for short guys.  I had thought about my pain.  The desire I had to wear a shirt untucked and the problems I had when shopping for anything other than underwear or socks.  As other ideas fell to the wayside one after another, there was this one idea that wouldn’t go away.  This one idea for a business that stood up to every criteria a successful venture needed to stand up to.  The idea for Shortees.

    In January of 2006 I made the decision to try to start Shortees.  Would I just buy shirts from a distributor and hire a seamstress to cut and hem them?  It seemed like an easy and logical solution.  I started looking for help on Craigslist.  Replying to posts for seamstresses and getting prices.  It soon became clear that it would either be too expensive to do things this way or it would be logistically next to impossible to find the right people who could handle the necessary volumes.  The answer was going to be manufacturing my own shirts.  Not knowing anything about the apparel manufacturing industry I was a little lost.  Somewhere along the way I had learned about American Apparel.  A little basic research on their website showed that they could do custom manufacturing.  I quickly sent off an email asking about this service and a few days later I learned that they required a minimum of 5000 units to fulfill an order and the cost was far more than I could come up with at the time.  Before my idea even had a chance to get off the ground, we were dead in the water. 

    Keep checking back for the next installment of the Shortees story.

    17 Comments

    Filed under Shortees