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A Review Grab-Bag: Uniqlo Selvedge, Various Sweaters, and a vintage Peacoat

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    A Review Grab-Bag: Uniqlo Selvedge, Various Sweaters, and a vintage Peacoat

    These are most of my fall purchases to date, as I work my way through the checklist on preparing for the chill. Quick and dirty impressions Starting it off:


    Uniqlo Selvedge: Regular Fit

    I got these guys in regular fit, colour 69. They're quite good. They come out of the box smelling faintly of sulfur, but despite what customer service might tell you, they aren't unsanforized, nor are they unwashed. A dunk in the bathtub in warm water, then machine washing hot, then even machine drying did not take any colour out, nor did it shrink them at all. Uniqlo makes some fine denim, but their standard selvedge is washed. Do not size up.

    The material its self is quite dense and sturdy, a hair above what you'd get from Levis, but actually suprisingly soft to the touch. I'm not sure how they managed it. Despite being called a regular fit, they're somewhere between a slim fit and a straight leg. I'd say they're a good option for a man that wants a slim fit, but has a very muscular lower body. Overall I quite like them, and I'd put them ever so slightly higher in quality than Levis. I've only owned them for a few months, so we'll see how they stand up over time. 50 dollars normal, on sale for 40 at the moment.

    Uniqlo Sweaters: Extra Fine Merino

    It's basically an extra soft longsleeve shirt to tell the truth. The colour is good, and quite vibrant. The material is quite stretchy, and I can actually see through it if I hold it up to the light. Very lightweight, very comfortable, but not really something to wear to get warm. A fashion sweater at its best in this respect.

    The cut is very close to the body. Slim fitting, slightly short sleeves, and with a pretty good V on it. If I have one complaint, it's that the sleeves tend to turn a bit on the arm, but otherwise it's hard to ask for more from a 30 dollar sweater. Doesn't come in actual green, because the Japanese have as much trouble with Blue and Green as we used to with Red and Orange. On sale for 30, normally 40.

    H&M Sweaters: Fine Merino

    Basically the Uniqlo sweater only a bit coarser, a bit thicker, and a bit less stretchy. Feels more substantial, but still doesn't come anywhere close to qualifying as chunky. The colour isn't quite as nice as the Uniqlo sweaters either, though it's perfectly fine if you're looking for a more subdued style. 10 dollars cheaper, down to 17 dollars when they go on sale, so take a look.

    H&M Doublebreasted Knit Cardigan

    This is actually a fantastic pick for the money. Cotton, a little stretchy, very trim. Not quite chunky, not quite thin, and the grey melange option it is just the right shade. Very soft, somewhat warmer than expected, perfect for a casual top layer in the fall or an insulating layer on mild winter days. 40 dollars normally, 20 dollars on sale at the moment.

    JCF Factory Lambswool Sweater

    Certainly more substantial than the other two wool sweaters on my list. Not terribly itchy from my perspective, but I can be a bit insensitive to that sort of thing. Also a little baggier in the body than the other two sweaters reviewed, which seemed a little strange to me, but that's just how it came down. Comes in some very vibrant colors, so your options are somewhat limited if you prefer a subdued look. I got mine in pine, which is actually slightly more saturated in person. Definitely the best option of the sweaters I bought if you're looking for something to stay warm with. Not sure how it compares to the cheaper Uniqlo Lambswool, but I have a feeling it'll have the better of it. 30 dollars on sale right now, 60 normally.

    Vintage Foxx Knapp Peacoat

    Newer is not necessarily better. Purchased online from Champion Vintage, I'm quite pleased with it. Satin lined, 100% wool. Feels to be 32oz. Has the thicker, smoother material you tend to find in older coats compared to the newer melton. Pockets are good, with a stand-up collar rather than the more common convertible. If you come across one from this brand in your thrifting, I highly recommend one. Very trim compared to modern pea coats. I wonder if the current boxiness is similar to the spread of low armholes?

    UPDATE: Claiborne V-neck Argyle Sweater (Cotton)

    I got this from JCP today for five dollars after haggling a manager into letting me use two coupons on it at once. It's actually a fairly nice piece. Remarkably trim for something from JCP, a nice soft cotton that feels substantial. Still not chunky, but definitely has some weight to it. Comes in a collection of different colours, I found that the Blue/Grey/Black option looks the best. Very neat on the outside, but flipping it inside out reveals some not-fantastic construction. If you buy it, flip it inside out and tie off the IPs, then snip off what's left. Very comfortable for temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees, but it might not be the best choice in cold weather. Retails for 50 dollars which is way, way, way too much for it, but this is JCP, so if you play it smart you can get it for dirt cheap.
    Last edited by Aaron P.; October 12, 2014, 04:02 PM. Reason: Updated to include Claiborne Sweater.

    #2
    Thanks for these reviews. I'm curious, though: can you expand on "the Japanese have as much trouble with Blue and Green as we used to with Red and Orange." What kind of trouble?

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Aaron P. View Post
      Doesn't come in actual green, because the Japanese have as much trouble with Blue and Green as we used to with Red and Orange.
      Originally posted by Shomas View Post
      Thanks for these reviews. I'm curious, though: can you expand on "the Japanese have as much trouble with Blue and Green as we used to with Red and Orange." What kind of trouble?
      What a weird thing to say.

      Uniqlo's Merino comes in 58 Dark Green, 67 Blue, 68 Blue, and 69 Navy.

      Uniqlo's lambswool is offered in 57 Olive, 59 Dark Green, 62 Light Blue, 63 Light Blue, 67 Blue, and 69 Navy.

      I personally own the merino in 68, and the lambswool in dark green and navy. I'd say that the green is a true green, and the navy is a true navy.

      Comment


        #4
        I've been looking for feedback on those jeans. Sounds like they likely won't develop any fades over time, which to me defeats the whole purpose of buying raw/selvedge denim.

        Comment


          #5
          It's a cultural thing. For a very long time, Japan (and a number of cultures in east Asia actually) didn't actually distinguish blue from green. Up until around the fifties, it was just considered a shade of blue. This is very similar to how for a very long time, English didn't actually have a seperate word for the colour orange. You can see the legacy of this show up in our idioms, and other little quirks of culture, like how we describe people with orange hair (redheads).

          This leads to a perceptual peculiarity: the more words a language uses to describe colour, the better people who are raised speaking it can evaluate it. Since Japan has tended to lump green together with blue, you can see little disconnects between what they think of as green, and what we think of as green in the English speaking section of the world. One of the examples of this shows up in Uniqlo's colourings: virtually of their "Greens" contain some degree of blue shading. Their socks are the best place to take a look at it, since you can look at a variety of colours, but some of their sweaters stand out too. 52, 54, 55, 56, and 57 are all shades of cyan.

          I should mention I don't mean to offend anyone with that statement. If folks feel it's a little close to the edge, I'd be happy to take it down.
          Last edited by Aaron P.; October 11, 2014, 09:14 PM.

          Comment


            #6
            Agree on the Uniqlo selvedge. Pretty good fit/quality for the price. I bought all 3 colors they had. Haven't washed em yet but I'll find out soon enough if they shrink on me. The slim fit look doesn't really work for me and I found the Uniqlos perfect for those who like something in between. Plus, they seem to be perpetually on sale so it's a no brainer

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Aaron P. View Post
              I should mention I don't mean to offend anyone with that statement. If folks feel it's a little close to the edge, I'd be happy to take it down.
              I found it interesting and don't think it was framed in a disrespectful manner. Do you know this information randomly, out of interest, or professional/student basis?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Alex View Post
                I found it interesting and don't think it was framed in a disrespectful manner. Do you know this information randomly, out of interest, or professional/student basis?
                Agreed. I just legitimately didn't know what you meant.

                Comment


                  #9
                  [MENTION=2088]Alex[/MENTION] Both actually! One of my closest friends was raised in a Japanese household, and she has some issues with differentiating between green and blue. She's been to optometrists, and was told physically she could tell the difference, but culturally and mentally it's hard for her at times. I was taught about the verbal influence upon perception in a psych class in college...though as I understand it, it's a subject of some debate.
                  Last edited by Aaron P.; October 11, 2014, 11:40 PM.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    This episode of Radiolab is relevant: http://www.radiolab.org/story/211213-sky-isnt-blue/

                    The upshot is that blue is a color/concept that usually arises late in a culture's evolution. I'd actually forgotten I'd heard this until the above discussion reminded me.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      In Japan, they have stoplights with colors we would all recognize, but they refer to the green as blue.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Aaron P. View Post
                        It's a cultural thing. For a very long time, Japan (and a number of cultures in east Asia actually) didn't actually distinguish blue from green. Up until around the fifties, it was just considered a shade of blue. This is very similar to how for a very long time, English didn't actually have a seperate word for the colour orange. You can see the legacy of this show up in our idioms, and other little quirks of culture, like how we describe people with orange hair (redheads).

                        This leads to a perceptual peculiarity: the more words a language uses to describe colour, the better people who are raised speaking it can evaluate it. Since Japan has tended to lump green together with blue, you can see little disconnects between what they think of as green, and what we think of as green in the English speaking section of the world. One of the examples of this shows up in Uniqlo's colourings: virtually of their "Greens" contain some degree of blue shading. Their socks are the best place to take a look at it, since you can look at a variety of colours, but some of their sweaters stand out too. 52, 54, 55, 56, and 57 are all shades of cyan.

                        I should mention I don't mean to offend anyone with that statement. If folks feel it's a little close to the edge, I'd be happy to take it down.
                        This is very interesting. Thank you for sharing.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Adding to the list: Claiborne V-neck Argyle Sweater (Cotton)

                          I got this from JCP today for five dollars after haggling a manager into letting me use two coupons on it at once. It's actually a fairly nice piece. Remarkably trim for something from JCP, a nice soft cotton that feels substantial. Still not chunky, but definitely has some weight to it. Comes in a collection of different colours, I found that the Blue/Grey/Black option looks the best. Very neat on the outside, but flipping it inside out reveals some not-fantastic construction. If you buy it, flip it inside out and tie off the IPs, then snip off what's left. Very comfortable for temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees, but it might not be the best choice in cold weather. Retails for 50 dollars which is way, way, way too much for it, but this is JCP, so if you play it smart you can get it for dirt cheap.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Aaron P. View Post
                            It's a cultural thing. For a very long time, Japan (and a number of cultures in east Asia actually) didn't actually distinguish blue from green. Up until around the fifties, it was just considered a shade of blue. This is very similar to how for a very long time, English didn't actually have a seperate word for the colour orange. You can see the legacy of this show up in our idioms, and other little quirks of culture, like how we describe people with orange hair (redheads).

                            This leads to a perceptual peculiarity: the more words a language uses to describe colour, the better people who are raised speaking it can evaluate it. Since Japan has tended to lump green together with blue, you can see little disconnects between what they think of as green, and what we think of as green in the English speaking section of the world. One of the examples of this shows up in Uniqlo's colourings: virtually of their "Greens" contain some degree of blue shading. Their socks are the best place to take a look at it, since you can look at a variety of colours, but some of their sweaters stand out too. 52, 54, 55, 56, and 57 are all shades of cyan.

                            I should mention I don't mean to offend anyone with that statement. If folks feel it's a little close to the edge, I'd be happy to take it down.
                            I can weigh in on this a bit as well since I've been living in Japan for the last two years and my girlfriend is Japanese. The Uniqlo stores I've seen here definitely have the blueish tint to all of their "green" items, but it's not just Uniqlo. What most of the stores call "green" (or rather 'midori') is actually closer to turquoise. Additionally, the kanji (character) used for the word 'ao' (meaning blue) is 青, but for a long time it could also be read as 'midori' (meaning green). 緑 is now the kanji used for green, but it's definitely easy to see why blueish tinted green items would be more popular in Japan.

                            As far as the traffic lights are concerned (according to the lady), the reason that they're called 'aoshingo' (blue light) and not 'midorishingo' (green light) is that 'aoshingo' is much easier to say than 'midorishingo', so the past ambiguity with the two colors worked as an advantage.

                            Also, hello! This post brought me out of lurk-mode. Hope to post a bit more frequently and weigh on with some items that I've procured with my modest English teacher's salary.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Very good reviews, the peacoat sounds very nice. And yes, when the traffic light turns greens we say "aoi desu" (it's blue). And [MENTION=12775]madmanSCDP[/MENTION] yokoso

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