Popovers are all the rage for looking sharp and casual at once. Alex Mill offers a take on the garment using ‘paper cotton’, something I haven’t tried before. Here’s what it all adds up to.
This is 100% cotton, so the difference in this is how the cotton is put together, not the material itself. The best way I can describe this is that if most shirts feel like construction paper (not super smooth, not rough, and maybe a little porous feeling) then ‘paper cotton’ feels like white copier paper. Dense and incredibly smooth, while still being very thin.
That’s paper cotton. It’s smooth (almost unrealistically so) and very thin.
Fit and Style
As I mentioned above, these shirts are very on-trend right now. They are somewhat like a mullet: business up top, party in the back? If you are only looking collar bone and up most will think you have a button-down on. But show the whole picture and — is this some weird polo shirt?
Either way, the fit is great, cut a little loose while still looking sharp. The style is what I am going to dub ‘laid-back but put-together casual’. Or maybe it’s more like ‘poolside cocktail formal’?
Nope. Sorry I thought it would perform much better. It’s wrinkly as hell, and thin, but somehow not that breathable. That’s not the entire story, but when I compare it to most of the other stuff I review for this site, it’s near the bottom for performance.
Here’s the deal: it’s made to be completely no-fuss. Toss in the washer, hang it dry, wear it. And in that sense the wrinkles and rumples become a part of the style. It’s what keeps it from looking weird. If you iron/steam this then the looks is really like a mullet. If you leave it be, the look is relaxed. So in that vein, there is a nice style-performance with the care of this.
The last point is that it is weirdly not the breathable. However the thinness also means it doesn’t insulate at all, thus it actually wears well in warm-to-cold environments. Think those that take you from a hot outside, to a chilly AC interior. You won’t be overly hot outside, and the shirt does dry fast if you sweat in it. And inside the AC doesn’t seem to be penetrating your soul through the shirt. Very hard to describe. It’s light without being breezy.
I still really like this shirt, and would wear it all the time for work from home. But it’s not performance. So while I recommend it, I don’t in the vein of performance, as a standard athletic poly shirt performs better. But, of all the shirt-sleeved items I have reviewed on this site, none look as good as what Alex Mill made here.