Editorial: Terry Cloth Shirts on the Fourth

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Another Fourth means another day of improved pool wear, burgers, and great next-day poops.

Like I said last year, my family never really does anything much for the Fourth.  Luckily, I’ve found a new tradition in Spencer, who tends to have a small BBQ with his family and a few friends; the latter includes me!  It’s a tradition that I’ve really come to enjoy, especially since I don’t typically get a day off during the week or even a chance to swim!  Unfortunately, we lost Scott and MJ to Anime Expo (which usually contributes to a lonely Fourth), but it was still a fun day at Spencer’s house.

Now as this is an editorial, I don’t have much to say in terms of recap other than our outfits. It really was just a super chill day: I got to swim, catch up with some of my other friend, and joy the homemade burgers and ice cream that his parents made!  I actually didn’t take many pictures, because I wanted to focus on relaxing.  Honestly, recapping and editing all the Japan pictures burned me a out a little, so it was nice getting away from that (and my 9-5 job) for a little bit.

With that said, I do have something new to share with you guys (other than the gratuitous silly pictures I normally take). Now as we’ve mentioned in the Inspiration podcast, our casual style has been improving drastically.  I’ve been pretty happy with the rugged ivy/militaria/workwear spin that we’ve been doing for off-duty looks, but I’ve found that we’ve been lacking in our more pool and beach appropriate attire.  It’s not something terribly important as I’ve never liked “dressing” for a swim, but perhaps it was that age old menswear theme: I’d feel happier about a look if I had better pieces that I was more confident in wearing.

Getting new was a no brainer (I got navy ones from Uniqlo, Spencer saved up to get Birdwell Beach Britches) , but the real power move was getting vintage Terry Cloth shirts.

Terry Cloth Shirts

 

One of the major upgrades in our pool wear is our terry cloth towel shirts.  It’s most commonly found as sportshirt lined with toweling fabric (another word for terry) and usually has two  hip pockets; you could also find it as a polo shirt, which leans a bit more 70’s.  These cabana style shirts really are a staple of vintage swim wear (for that late 50s-60s vibes), these shirts really are a unique piece of menswear that has seen a bit of a revival in recent years, first by Drake’s (with their soft terry polos) and later by Bryceland’s. The latter was probably our biggest inspiration.

Like I said in my recap article, the Bryceland’s terry cloth shirt is definitely a great update to an old favorite.  It’s hard not to have the shirt grow on you, as they wear these with almost everything, from faded selvedge denim to their gurkha shorts.  Made by Ascot Chang, they have a delicate voile front (which feature great vintage patterns) and are lined by a soft toweling fabric.   I initially was concerned, as my towels at home are pretty rough, so I couldn’t imagine wearing it on my body unless I was at a pool. However, those thoughts were abated once I got to see them in person during my Japan trip; they were incredibly light and soft.

All of this lead me to “hop on the trend” and try to attain one for myself. I knew it wasn’t going to be something I’d wear often as I already have a large wardrobe, so buying one from Bryceland’s was out of the picture.  Instead, Spencer and I searched for vintage versions, as they are more affordable and are often just as quirky. We also don’t mind if they’re gently used, as it adds character to vintage casual wear.

Once we got them, it was time to debut our towel shirts on the Fourth of July pool party.

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My outfit is heavily influenced by the boys over at Bryceland’s, if you can’t already tell by my vintage silverbelly Stetson.  The whole look together makes me think of some Hollywood, late 60’s tycoon lounging at his pool. A definite mood.

The terry cloth shirt was actually bought from Roxy’s Vintage Deluxe, a film costuming warehouse/vintage store that has since closed down.  If you follow me on instagram, you’ll know that I’ve been there a few times, but I never thought to ask for the beach wear until it was the shop’s last day of operation!  She had quite a few selections and in the end, I went with the classic butcher stripe one, just because I know it would be the most versatile.

Unfortunately this meant that I needed new swim trunks as the shorts I normally wear had a loud pattern, and clashes harshly with the shirt. In fact, it rarely goes with anything else, necessitating me to try and find a solid pair of trunks. I waited until the last minute, but in the end I got a $10 navy blue pair from Uniqlo. I sized up to a medium so they would sit higher on my waist and could be more forgiving on my large thighs! The length is slightly longer than I’d like, but it’s nothing that a hem couldn’t fix; I just rolled them up for the time being.

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The shirt has mother of pearl buttons, sizeable hip pockets, and a loose/comfy fit.  My only complaint was that the terry cloth was very thick, making it only suitable for post-swim wear rather than an everyday casual shirt.  I did wear them with jeans earlier during a quick boba visit before the party (as I didn’t really feel like wearing shorts), but It got uncomfortable too quickly. It is an elevated towel after all, and it’s meant to keep you warm and dry rather than be breathable!

I will say one thing: this shirt really helps you dry quickly after the getting out of the water.  I basically used my full towel to make sure I wasn’t dripping and threw on the shirt immediately after that; I was back to being dry in no time! I love that functionality.

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In a contrast to my loungewear take, Spencer has a bit more of youthful, updated vibe, mixing together different pieces. His tiki-esque terry cloth shirt was bought at Joyride, one of our favorite vintage menswear shops in the OC.  Unlike mine, Spencer’s uses a soft towel fabric, making it similar to the Bryceland’s ones and can be worn out. This was his first time wearing it with shorts!

Now I say, youthful, because he exudes more of a rugged ivy/60’s take rather than the more louche effect I was going for. This is mainly due to the use of the vintage military bucket hat and the faded canvas Vans (which are clearly worn as a shout out to the classic CVO Clouds).

I like how the blue theme is continued by the Birdswell Beach Britches trunks, a MiUSA trunk brand. They have a life time guarantee and have different fits based on your desired aesthetics.  Spencer’s don’t have much give, but they dry quickly and have a great length.  The only drawback is the lack of pockets, which makes the terry cloth shirt a necessity when you need to carry shit by the pool or beach.

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I’m really glad we got these shirts because now we have an excuse not only to be stylish at the beach/pool but to be functional as well! I never like being wet or in that weird transitional “drying off” stage, so these terry cloth shirts really hit the spot for both of us.  I’m a little sad that my outfits are limited to being water-adjacent due to the weight of the toweling, but at least Spencer has been able to experiment with it in his casual wear.

The terry cloth shirts also came at a great time as my birthday is next week and I’m planning to have it at the beach!  It’ll basically be a recreation of this outfit, but hey, there’s no shame in that!

Snapshots

Enjoy the dumb pictures of our Fourth of July hang! Again, I didn’t take a lot of them this time, but that’s because I really wanted the opportunity to relax. Sue me!

Maybe this can function as an legitimate, themed editorial, which makes you sold on finding a Terry Cloth shirt for yourself.

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Ethan actually consumes alcohol now!

 

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Jay has that prep thing going.

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Not a fan of regular beer though.

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Always a pleasure,

@ethanmwong

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