The Anthology Knitted T-Shirt Review: Vintage-Inspiration Done Right


The three colors of The Anthology's Knitted T-Shirt: Mustard, Cream, and Navy


I've admired The Anthology, a bespoke classic menswear shop based in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and its founder Buzz Tang, for quite some time, so I was excited when they recently launched a ready-to-wear line.


The second piece in the launch, a knitted t-shirt inspired by similar pieces from the 1940s and 1950s is both affordable ($90 with free, fast shipping) and unique. As a result, it has been quite the hit; by now I'm sure you've seen it sported by several of your favorite Instagram accounts.


While the original pieces were festooned with bright colors and patterns, the Anthology knitted t-shirts are offered in three pleasing solids: cream, navy, and mustard. In this way, the Anthology knitted t-shirts echo, but don't replicate their vintage antecedents.


These echoes are visible in other pieces from The Anthology as well; you can see it in the flatness of the peak lapels on their double-breasted jackets and their extensive use of deadstock fabrics.


But these reflections of vintage roots never rise to be to be the prominent characteristic of a piece, making them feel eminently wearable in the modern world and standing in contrast to some other vintage-inspired brands which hew too closely to the original and end up feeling more kitschy than classic.

The Anthology COVID-19 Campaign


To make an already great product even better, The Anthology is donating 100% from all 300 knitted t-shirts to non-profits helping to fight COVID-19. The team even moved up its release from later in the summer to generate the funds sooner.


I'm sure the knitted t-shirts would have sold on their own and that the shop could use the extra cash from these sales, so this gesture is a generous one that I think demonstrates the type of company The Anthology is.


The Anthology COVID Campaign Poster


Sizing


The Anthology recommends a small for sizes 34-36, medium for sizes 36-38, large for sizes 40-42, and extra-large for anyone larger than a 42.


I'm normally wear a 36R, but I am actually somewhere between a 34 and a 36, and I oscillated a lot in determining which size to order.


Despite falling into the recommended size bracket for a small, I opted to go with a medium after comparing the chest measurements to a sweater that fits me well.


I am glad I sized up and recommend you do too. Pieces like this look better with a roomier fit and I think if I had ordered the small the sleeves would have been too short.


The extra room in the body should also make it wear cooler, an important feature if it's to be worn in the summer.


Styling The Anthology's Knitted T-Shirt



I see the Anthology knitted t-shirt as the summer analogue to winter's knitwear. Operating at the midpoint of the formality scale, it dresses down formal outfits and dresses up casual outfits.


It can easily be worn under a summer suit or sports jacket or stand on its own with a pair of trousers. I even found that it looks good with shorts, for those summers it's too hot to wear pants.



I think I'll most often end up wearing it like the looks above, tailored trousers, knit tee, and a safari jacket. Swapping the safari jacket for a sports coat would immediately make it an outfit appropriate for a nice zoom dinner with friends or in-laws.



Design and Production of The Anthology Knitted T-Shirt


The Anthology knit tee is designed with a higher, more formal neck and a short body with long ribbed hem. The shirt fits fairly closely through the back, chest, and arms, but drapes more loosely around the torso before being caught by the ribbing at the bottom, resulting in an attractive blousing effect. Having more room in the waist not only improves its vintage feel, but also makes it more flattering for the wearer who rarely wants his mid-body accentuated. With its shorter body, the knitted tee pairs nicely with both high and medium-rise trousers.



The shirt has a luxurious, smooth, and light hand and the knit work shown in the ribbing and sleeve attachments is finely done.


The shirt is uncommonly comfortable and despite being thicker than a standard t-shirt, doesn't feel heavy to wear at all. It's an optimal work-from-home piece, you look very put together for the occasional video meeting, but stay comfortable all day.


My only criticism is that the navy chosen for the shirt color is too close to black end of the blue-to-black spectrum of navy colors, I would have liked to have seen it on the bluer end, which I think would have worked better with casual looks.


Packaging and Shipping


Despite transiting half the globe, both shirts I bought arrived a remarkably fast three days after order.


Inside the package the shirt was neatly folded in a tastefully branded plastic bag with a handwritten note from the team. For an item of this cost and size, the packaging was ideal and even obviated the need to recycle some clunky cardboard box.


Conclusion


I've long looked for pieces I can wear casually that have enough sartorial detail to be interesting, but at the same time don't stand out so much that I have to begin every conversation by explaining what I'm wearing. In the The Anthology knitted t-shirt, I think I've finally threaded that needle.


Due to their popularity, there aren't many shirts left, but they still have the cream in large and the navy in medium and large. So if you're interested, go grab yours now before they sell out completely.


Luckily, the team at The Anthology confirmed to me that they plan on restocking the knit tees in the future, so if your size is sold out already, you'll have another chance to pick one up soon.

I'll leave you with some pictures of The Anthology team wearing their knitted t-shirts.


Until Next Time,


David


P.S. If you haven't already, please check out my beginner's guide to dress shirts or my experience inventorying my closet.



About The Author

David lives and works in Washington, D.C. Like many men, his passion for classic menswear began at work, but it was soon obvious few others viewed tailoring as anything other than an unfortunate necessity. So he turned to the online classic menswear community and found a vibrant community of fellow enthusiasts around the world. He hopes this blog can provide others with just a small bit of inspiration on their own sartorial journeys.

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