When a company changes a favourite item, fans notice — even if the change is tiny.
Uniqlo’s Slim-Fit Oxford Cloth Button-Down shirt is well-regarded in certain circles as having the very best bang for your buck.
It’s the perfect intersection of fit, quality, and price, and we’ve written about how it shows why men love to shop at the Japanese chain.
Well, it was the perfect intersection, anyway. One of those pillars has fallen with the company’s introduction of last season’s update to the shirt, which slightly loosened its fit.
Uniqlo fans immediately rushed to the Men’s Fashion Advice subreddit to voice their frustrations.
“Safe to say this wasn’t the shirt I was expecting,” one poster claimed. “It is extremely boxy, and very long.”
“The fit was super billowy and i had to return it,” another poster claimed.
The reviews section for the shirt on Uniqlo’s website is also littered with comments from unhappy shirt buyers, upset by the change. Out of the 30 total reviews, a majority of them are negative, and the shirt currently only has a 1.5-star rating. It’s garnered comments like “The fit of this shirt went from tailored to garbage bag” from one reviewer, while another claimed he was “Swimming in fabric for a ‘slim
For comparison, the reviews for the previous shirt before the change stand at an average of just over 4 stars.
We reached out to Uniqlo to confirm the fans’ suspicions, and the brand claimed the the shirt was widened by only an inch around the waist. A brand representative said that the shirts may suffer from consistency issues in manufacturing, or that the old shirts the bloggers were wearing had shrunk the wash more than they realised.
So we had to try it for ourselves.
We went to our local Uniqlo store and found two shirts, one from the problematic season and one from the season prior, confirming the product SKUs to make sure what we had was the real thing.
We measured the shirts, finding consistency with Uniqlo’s claims of a one-inch loosening. We also found that the tail of the shirt was lengthened by about an inch compared to the previous model.
After trying on the shirts, it was clear to me — the new shirt is significantly less slim-fitting, and it’s definitely not the flattering “perfect” shirt I remember. It was now impossible to wear this shirt un-tucked, as on my 5’9″ body the small draped all the way past my pants fly.
It’s worth nothing that some commenters liked the new fit, and praised the fact that it can now be tucked in.
Asked if Uniqlo will change anything for next fall (this spring’s Oxfords have already hit shelves, and the size chart has not changed for spring/summer 2016) a rep said that the company will “review all products each season and based on the feedback carefully re-consider the best fit.”
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