A stylish short sleeved shirt for summer; beach or pool optional.
Brycelands & Co., headquartered in Tokyo and Hong Kong, has made quite a name for their well curated and beautifully crafted menswear offerings. Drawing from a range of vintage inspirations including American workwear, western wear and resort wear, some of the brand’s best sellers are their western and towelling shirts. These have been designed with a meticulous eye for details, with the workmanship done by legendary bespoke shirtmaker Ascot Chang.
The towelling shirt first caught my eye some two years ago, and I was struck by the uniqueness characterised by this particular mix of utility and craft. It is, in essence, a shirt to wear at the pool (or beach) in favour of having to carry a towel around. A narrow scope of utility, though the Bryceland’s crew and their clients have showcased such interesting ways to style it outside of that scope, giving the idea of the towelling shirt a versatility that makes it fit into an everyday wardrobe.
The shirt itself is made from two layers of cloth; the outer is a very fine, lightweight cotton voilé (available in a range of colours and patterns) and the inner is a sturdy white piled cotton terry towelling cloth. The towelling cloth’s heft makes the shirt very flattering in its drape, though also means that a prospective buyer should consider the torso width measurements in the size guide one or two centimetres narrower than listed. This being said, the overall cut is relaxed enough that I recommend ordering true to size.
Craft throughout the garment consists of fine stitching carried out with excellent attention to detail, a marriage of experienced artisanship and considered design thinking. Two patch pockets on the hips and the sleeve hems are both faced with the towelling cloth, as is the top of the collar, creating a striking two-tone appearance. Buttonholes are sewn beautifully, and the buttons themselves are a quality smoked mother of pearl. I find the collar shape and construction highly pleasing, and the hip pocket placement is ergonomically perfect.
The maker’s tag is hidden inside one of the hip pockets, which is excellent thinking. It allows the wearer to sport the towelling shirt as a base layer, like an aloha shirt, without any friction against the skin if the tag were placed at the yoke as most shirt tags are. Comfort, indeed, is a key player for this piece. I find myself frequently wearing mine around home during the warmer months, as it feels like a summer substitute for a cardigan.
I also like that the shirt arrives packed inside a muslin cotton drawstring bag, which can be re-purposed as a tote bag or a knapsack for swim clothes. It’s a well considered piece of client experience that I think adds a nice little touch.
I find the Bryceland’s towel shirt easiest to wear with white trousers, since they coordinate perfectly with the white towelling cloth. White wide leg chinos and white jeans have been my go-to pants for it, though I’ve also enjoyed the look of the brown voilé against black linen. Trousers in other summer colours such as ivory, beige, olive or fawn are also easy combinations.
The towel shirts are a mixture of MTO or small batch RTW pieces, all of which can be viewed and purchased on the Bryceland’s & Co. website.