The item in this review was provided for review purposes by Mizzen+Main.
Mizzen+Main has been around for a while, specializing in men’s synthetic dress and casual collared shirts. While they have branched out like many of the established brands, their shirts remain their specialty.
As part of our search for great short sleeve summer shirts, I got the opportunity to give the Mizzen+Main Hartley, a short sleeve seersucker button down shirt, a try.
You’ve probably think of seersucker in a summer suit, but it can be used in other garments as well. Traditional seersucker is 100% cotton with a bumpy texture that comes from how the threads are woven. The texture of the fabric helps keep it away from the skin, helping with air circulation. While not as airy (or wrinkly) as linen, seersucker is an age-old solution for a summer fabric.
Mizzen+Main took an updated approach to seersucker for the fabric on this shirt. While retaining the bumpy texture and traditional stripe pattern, they made the fabric with 68% cotton, 27% polyester for moisture wicking, and 5% spandex for two-way stretch. Overall, the fabric looks and feels like cotton with the hidden benefit of stretch for a little extra movement.
One advantage of Mizzen+Main products is that they come in a variety of cuts (standard, trim, and trim tall). I found the XL Trim to work well for me across the chest, but the sleeves were a bit larger in diameter than I usually like in a short sleeve shirt and the length was a bit long to look neat while untucked. Since the XL Trim works well for me in the long sleeve shirts, I imagine the sleeve size is just the nature of the cut of this shirt.
The combination of the bumpy texture and polyester content of the fabric makes this shirt always look presentable right out of the wash (cold & hang dry). While the wrinkles from the package did not fall out on their own, I have never had to worry about wrinkles after the first wash.
I gave this shirt a run for it’s money over the last few weeks with the hot and humid weather we’ve been having (90 °F+) and I must say I was pretty impressed. Having high cotton content, I did not expect to like this shirt.
I found the seersucker to work as advertised — it felt airy since it was held away from my skin. The polyester kept the shirt from feeling damp, although I could still feel sweat between my skin and the shirt. My guess is that the shirt was just not absorbing as much sweat due to the texture.
As far as odor resistance, I was also surprised to be able to wear this shirt a second day after airing it out overnight. I started to notice some sweat stains around the collar and under the arms before any smell (the sweat stains easily wash out).
While it will never perform like a merino or 100% synthetic shirt, it looked normal while keeping me cool and more comfortable than a traditional cotton shirt.
While the shirt isn’t my style, I was pleasantly surprised with it’s performance. It definitely wore better than the 68% cotton content would suggest.
I’m not sure that I would pay the $110 retail price, but if you like the looks and find it for the right price it makes for a decent summer shirt.