Founded in 1995, WAREHOUSE & CO. is a historied brand having contributed much to heritage clothing. As the last member of the Osaka 5, the company began production at the tail end of that initial Americana reproduction craze in Japan, specializing in accurate details and meticulous construction above all else.
More recently, WAREHOUSE & CO. has gotten a tiny bit of attention from your Complexes, Hypebeasts and Highsnobieties of the world as it currently provides the manufacturing capabilities behind Nigo’s HUMAN MADE label.
I bought the pocket tee from Australian workwear purveyor Corlection during their sale back in February, and I’ve been wearing it once-a-week since. Here are my thoughts.
Brand: WAREHOUSE & CO.
Model: Lot 4601 Loopwheeled Pocket Tee
Color: Pepper (Heathered Light Grey)
Material: 5.5 0z. 100% Loopwheeled Cotton
Measurements (Size Medium)
Pre-Wash (Actual/Provided by Corlection)
Shoulder to Shoulder: 17in./16.5in.
Back Length: 25.5in./25.5in.
Shoulder to Shoulder: 16.5in.
Back Length: 24.75in.
The fabric used in the WAREHOUSE & CO. is a 100% loopwheeled cotton. I previously wrote about loopwheeled tees here, saying this:
Loopwheeling refers to a knitting method in which yarns are knit slowly around a cylinder, with the resulting tube-shaped fabric falling downwards. Because the only tension present in the knitting process is its own weight, the resulting fabric is a low tension weave that retains the softness and natural characteristics of the yarn used.Me
Tees made by loopwheel are blessed with greater comfort on the body by way of the softer fabric and lack of side seam.
With the WAREHOUSE & CO. pocket tee, the thick and plush fabric is soft to the touch while still remaining very breatheable. Even with the treacherous combination of equator heat and sweat-inducing humidity that I’m faced with in Malaysia, the loosely woven loopwheeled fabric allows good air circulation. Combined with the stretchiness of that loosely woven fabric, the shirt is incredibly comfortable to wear.
Similar to other grey loopwheeled shirts that I’ve come into contact with, the WAREHOUSE & CO. pocket tee has a marbled appearance that is very pleasing to the eye. This is because the fabric is knit with 5, maybe 6 yarns of varying shades of grey. On the fabric’s outward facing side, the horizontal streaking provides strong visual interest; on its inner side, the fabric is incredibly textured to the touch.
According to Corlection, the pocket tee is overdyed and will ‘age gradually with wears and washes’. This has not been my experience as I’ve found the tee to hold its color well, even at the typical high wear points like the seams, under the armpit and around the collar.
This isn’t a bad thing, especially with its already visually interesting fabric. I like a bit of color fade on my plain-colored tees, but I don’t think I would feel the same about the marbled grey found on the WAREHOUSE & CO..
As per WAREHOUSE & CO.’s excellent pedigree, the construction across the entire tee is immaculate.
The standout feature of the pocket tee is its collar. The collar features a ribbed fabric reinforced by another raised ribbed band that’s then all triple-stitched together. In high end tees, the three rows of stitching is typically employed to prevent the collar from drooping down. However, that also means that the collar can get really stiff and difficult to pull over large heads (like the one that houses my galaxy brane). Unlike those high end tees, though, the addition of ribbed fabric in the WAREHOUSE & CO. means you get the best of both worlds — a stretchy collar that’s easy to put on but also holds its shape. I’ve been wearing the tee for a while now and it doesn’t look like it will sag any time soon.
A key indicator of quality and quality control is how the hems are handled. In this case, the two-thread cover stitches are neat enough, but there is some excess fabric hanging off the back side that isn’t cleaned off. It’s not a deal breaker of course, but that little bit of fabric could cause some scratching and discomfort.
Another nitpick I have with the construction is that the hang tag tends to fold upwards and crumple after a few washes. This makes it really hard to get a pic of the (very nicely designed) hang tag for the ‘gram — obviously the reason I spent so much money on the tee in the first place. Plus, I’m no finger model so holding it down won’t do either.
The tee is built well. Not the best that I’ve seen — that honor goes to either The Flat Head or Lady White Co. — but still good enough that it probably won’t break on you.
True to their ethos — “the faithful reproduction of authentic vintage garments” — the pocket tee replicates well the general characteristics of a vintage 60s pocket tee. It has a boxy fit (characteristic of the loopwheel method), a slightly shorter length, tiny pocket and an medium-lengthed sleeve.
Coming from shit basic tees, I was initially thrown off by how short the tee was. Having my lower back exposed when seated for the first time was quite the shocker. However, I started catching people noticing my ass more and I’ve found that to be one of my best features (aside my beautiful voice — God, do I love hearing myself speak!). In all seriousness, because of its middle-of-the-road fit, I found that it works well with a range of different outfits — slim, wide and everything in between.
One distinctive feature with the WAREHOUSE & CO. tee is that its elaborately constructed collar runs pretty high up the neck, especially right out of the box. Not quite mockneck or turtleneck high, but definitely higher than you’d be used too. Personally, I like the unique aesthetic it provides, but I’ve heard it described as ‘a small child strangling you.’ The collar does loosen up slightly after a few wears, but it still sits on the high side of things.
One downside is that the tee shrinks a significant amount after the first wash. Going by the measurement chart I posted up top, its length shrank by almost a whole inch and every other key measurement shrank by 0.5-1 inch. I made a sizing mistake as I failed to compensate for the shrinkage, which is why I bought one in a larger size later.
The shrinking in the wash thing probably comes from WAREHOUSE & CO.’s insistence on period-correct details, but I personally prefer tees that are washed/preshrunk as that takes all the guesswork out of sizing.
As such, you should consider sizing up once from your US sizing for a regular fit. If you wear a US Medium, buy a WAREHOUSE size Large.
In short, the WAREHOUSE & CO. loopwheel tees represent the best value in high end tees, and are the gold standards to which I compare all other tees.
Compared to the other loopwheel tees in my collection like The Flat Head’s, Iron Heart’s and The Strike Gold’s, this execution has the most interesting fabric, is the most democratic-fitting, and is priced at about $10 less. It also comes in a wide range of beautiful colors. I’m a big fan of their rendition of electric blue and grape purple.
The WAREHOUSE & CO. loopwheeled pocket tee is the blank T-shirt I swear by. Period.