April 27, 2020
The polo shirt is a staple of American menswear. A good polo is casual but also refined and attractive. The modern polo is available in just about any material you can imagine. There is a time and place for a blended synthetic shirt but there are also lots of good reasons to wear classic cotton pique.
Enter the Kayak Polo.
When we conceptualized this shirt we knew that above all else it had to be comfortable. What does that mean? For us, it means soft fabric and good air flow. Our pique is unique in that it feels dense but is woven for maximum breathability. A good polo shouldn't cling to your body and it should allow sweat to evaporate off of your skin. An open airy pique is the perfect material for this. We wanted a shirt we could wear on the beach, at the lake, doing yard work, and out to dinner on a warm Summer evening. The Kayak Polo is just that.
We knew that our first run of polo shirts had to be made from cotton and cotton only. That isn't to say that we will never use other materials in our shirts, we most certainly will. For our first polo though, we wanted to recreate the style and substance of a somewhat bygone era. Cotton has been the standard for great shirts for a long time and with good reason. It just feels great. There is nothing better than a clean cotton shirt against your skin.
We remember our dads wearing shirts like this on the boat or on the beach when we were kids. These are polo shirts in form but in function they're a perfect everyday shirt. They're casual but not as laid back as a t-shirt. There is a collar and a three-button placket but there is no need to ever button the shirt up (it's fine if you want to though!). This is knitted cotton at it's finest and used in a classic form.
We employed a curved yoke on the back of the shirt for an ideal fit. This means the shirt lays better on the shoulders than if the seam across the upper back were straight.
Our arm openings are generous but not baggy and the buttons we used are straight off of an old military issued shirt from the 1950's.
When we first prototyped the Kayak Polo we used the wrong wash process. We received the prototypes and immediately wore them around town. They were great. This was Summer '19 and it was hot but the shirt had great air flow, the cotton was super soft, the collar laid flat, the pocket was useful, the sleeve opening was right, etc. Then we started washing them. After 2 or 3 washes the pique started to give way around the placket and the pocket started to tear loose at the seams. So, we re-thought the wash process and how the shirt was constructed and we prototyped again. This second round of shirts was just as soft, they fit just as well, they breathed nicely, AND they held up to wash after wash.
This is business as usual at H. Goose. Just like with our watches, we test everything we make extensively. We want our goods to hold up to the life we live. Prototyping and testing allows us to bring apparel to market that we can stand behind. Our Kayak Polo is truly built for life.
A good shirt is, above all else, reliable. You can put it on without thinking about it. It's comfortable, versatile, low key, breathable, and great looking. The Kayak Polo will be a staple of our lineup for a long time. We're working on some other models; maybe a version with no pocket, maybe a new collar, maybe a cotton blend with just a hint of stretch. But we love classic cotton pique and we know you do too. Expect this one in long sleeve for Fall and more colors for Spring '21.
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May 04, 2020