Pros: Great style, very comfortable, nice quality
Cons: Collar stays might get in the way when swinging
In a day and age when golf apparel is becoming as technologically advanced as space suits with fancy fabrics and crazy colors, a new trend is beginning that could be described as "vintage country club". The focus is moving away from unnecessarily loud colors and patterns, tight fits that would make a body builder proud, and fabric that would wick the moisture off of a fountain at the mall. At the forefront of this new golf fashion movement is Criquet Shirts, and Austin, Texas, based company that uses organic cotton, classy looks, and superior quality to craft one of the best shirts on the market. For this review, I've broken down my thoughts into five sections: style, quality, fit, function, and value.
When I received my kelly green thin striped Players shirt, the first thing that I noticed was the distinct styling. A slight longer pointed collar with stays, long 4-button placket, and chest pocket reminisce to a day when style was just as important as function. This shirt looks great on the course, and just as great in the bar afterward. The bottom hem does not have side vent or extended tail, which I think looks nice when un-tucked, and stays tucked in very well. Overall, I'd give style a 5 out of 5.
Quality can be difficult to assess when a shirt is first obtained (at least to me). What I could ascertain was that the cotton has a great soft feel, but still feels sturdy enough to stand up to plenty of wear and tear. I had my wife inspect the stitching, and we both noticed that all seams were stitched very well with no mis-stitches or crooked lines. We also noticed that the lines in the pattern lined up at all the seams, a quality that is lost in most shirts. I wore the shirt for a range session, then washed and dried it that night to see how it would feel after a wash. The collar did not get deformed (which is a huge issue to me), and the fabric still felt great. Time will be the best test of quality, however. For now, I'll give quality a 5 out of 5.
I received an extra large, which is the size that I normally order in golf shirts to make sure that it's not restricting. The fit is slightly more athletic than some XL shirts, but was still perfectly comfortable when swinging. As mentioned above, the longer tail stays tucked in. The sleeves do not have cuffs, which is a personal preference for me, at least in golf shirts. The Criquet website also has a great tool to help you determine what size to wear by asking a few questions about you, including what brand of shirts fits you the best. For me, the XL was perfect. I'll give fit 5 out of 5.
Because the shirt is made of jersey cotton, I feared that it wouldn't breathe as well as some high tech fabrics, and would retain sweat. I've worn the shirt several times already, and one particular time was a 2 hour range session when it was about 85 degrees with moderate humidity. Not only was the shirt cool and breathable, I didn't find that sweat stayed soaked the fabric. The cotton stretches just enough to make movement easy and comfortable. The only downside from a functional point of view is the collar stays. I noticed them getting in the way on a few swings, but those are easily removed and the problem is solved. The stays are thin plastic, so for most people, I don't think they'll be an issue. I'll give function 4.5 out of 5.
Value is probably the toughest thing to assess. For some, $75 for a shirt is madness. For others, the price is irrelevant as long as the shirt looks great and performs. Typically, I fall into the former category. Most of the shirts I wear are bought at a discount, and I'm not sure if I've ever spent $75 on a golf shirt. All that being said, I love this shirt, and would gladly pay $75 for another. In fact, I'll likely be ordering another before the summer. So for me, I think the value is there. I think it's a superior shirt to others that I have that were over $100 retail. For others, it might be a more difficult decision. Overall, I would give value a 4 out of 5.
So in conclusion, not only is this one of the most stylish shirts on the market, the fit and feel are great, and you can tell that it's made with a lot of pride. I can tell that this will quickly become my favorite shirt, both on and off the course.