Closet Chronicals

The Perfect Striped Shirt – Small Trades

Ever since I read Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tiding Up” I’ve been really serious about only adding things that bring joy into my small capsule collection. Having been freed from the need to simply buy-buy-buy clothes so that I have something to wear, I’m really spending more time than I care to admit looking for items that will bring me joy with each wear. Let’s discuss my recent success: Small Trades’ Simpleboat 3/4 Sleeve Tee Natural/Navy S4.

In my recent post about my disappointing Everlane order I discussed what I am looking for when adding new items to my minimalist collection. In short, I am looking for items that are:

  • Ethically made.
  •  Look polished, even if they are simple.
  • Shirts shouldn’t be more than $150.
  • Nicely fitted and tailored.
  • Great, if not superb, quality.
  • It must spark some sense of joy.

I had heard about Zady before, and thought I’d look into what they have since they seem to be committed to both ethically produced and quality made clothing. All great qualities in a store, but most items seem to be quite baggy or the tailoring just didn’t match my esthetic. The one notable exception was Small Trades’ Simpleboat 3/4 Sleeve Tee Natural/Navy S4. It looked so incredibly stylish that I just knew I had to try it.


Since Zady didn’t carry my size, I ordered it directly from Small Trades and it arrived within a week. I can tell you I’ve already worn it twice, and it’s definitely coming with my on my upcoming trip to Italy. Joy has been definitely sparked.

The cotton is incredibly soft, and it has a very interesting knitting pattern. I love the boatneck, which feels so very feminine and refined. Even better, I am happy to report this shirt is not sheer at all! Hooray for not having to wear something underneath all my shirts, all the time. It is so very comfortable, and the length is perfect since it can easily be tucked in, or left untucked without looking sloppy.

Can’t quite model it as nicely, but here it is on me.

Perhaps the biggest testimony in terms of enthusiasm for this shirt, though, is that this is the ONLY patterned shirt I have in my closet. It’s also the only one I’m likely to have. I can’t bring myself to wear or buy anything patterned, but this design is also so classic, and I know it will remain polished and stylish for years to come. Just check out how well Kate Middleton looks in stripes to see how refined that look can be.

Laundry Test & Fit:

I can report that I’ve hand washed the shirt and line dried it, and so far I’ve fairly confident it’s going to hold up and not pill with continual use. I was worried about the shrinking they mentioned would occur, but honestly I didn’t experience that. Finding this shirt was such a joy in a week I had shipped back yet another black t-shirt (post coming soon) due to pilling, so much so that I actually ordered their grey Simpleboat Cap Sleeve tee, too. That’s how much I like the fit and fabric

Fit wise, the cotton feels quite stretchy, and like it has plenty of give. Don’t get me wrong, this is a fitted shirt, but it works with my curves instead of looking too tight or as if I took the wrong size. I’d say it runs true to size.

Price & Where to Buy:

This 3/4 shirt carries a price tag that made me initially hesitate. At $70, it is quite a lot for a cotton shirt. Personally, since I’m fortunate to have a generous budget to work with and I’m willing to splurge for ethically made,  I’ve found the shirt to be worth the price.

Buy it at one of the following venues:

  • At Zady, where they also carry a white version of this 3/4 shirt.
  • At Small Trades Online directly from Small Trades. It shipped for free, by the way!
  • At Quotidienne, which will also ship the shirt for free. Their return policy seemed a bit less forgiving to me, so I’d only buy from there if I was sure the shirt would work out.


How do you like to wear striped shirts? Do you have a favorite cotton shirt to share? Please leave a comment below 🙂


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