Take Back Your Freedom is an ongoing series that profiles entrepreneurs and innovators of all shapes and sizes with one thing in common: the passion and drive to effect change—no matter how big or small—in our everyday lives.
Men’s off-the-rack clothing is available for people of all shapes and sizes. Will it fit you well? Probably not. But everyone is supposed to fit into one or more grades of the XS–XL (and beyond) scale. Some medium sizes will suit you and you’ll think, “Hell, I could be in a magazine!” Then you’ll get a shirt somewhere else, and their medium will drape over you like a closed-back Snuggie, or ride up over your gut like you’re a competitive eater in training.
It’s not great, but it’s just a fact of life.
You know the one T-shirt that’s perfect for your body? It’s your go-to. After doing laundry, you don’t even bother to fold it because it’s going right back on your back. Every guy wants more of those, and we might have a solution in Threadmason.
A few years ago, Threadmason co-founder Vincent Ko had a wardrobe issue. His then-girlfriend had gifted him a T-shirt that just didn’t fit—but when your girlfriend gets you clothing, she expects to see you in it. To avoid looking silly and upsetting that former flame, he grabbed some scissors and thread and tailored the shirt to his physique. Fellow co-founder Jake Huston was jazzed about the idea and decided to contribute the skills he developed from his hands-on startup experience.
Threadmason operates under the assumption that men come in more than three basic sizes, and they make shirts that flatter a much wider range of body types. So, the entrepreneurs set out to Kickstarter and earned enthusiastic support.
They collaborated with design folks to determine a more inclusive sizing scheme, and after an extensive research and development period, they came up with 24 distinct sizes that would represent all body shapes. There are three criteria that go into a Threadmason size: chest (your standard S, M, L, XL), torso variations (slim, standard and loose), and length (short and long). Their cuts also emphasize breathability in the armpit area to avoid those dreaded pit stains. (An aside—those stains are caused by aluminum in antiperspirant, not sweat.)
24 sizes sounds intimidating, but their site implements a quick survey using height, weight and body type (think skinny, average, muscular and euphemistically “well fed”) to narrow your selection down. It’s really simple and only takes a minute or two.
Threadmason isn’t out to offer a bespoke T-shirt, but the company does seek to get as many guys as it can into the best fit for them. Better living through better fits—now that’s taking back your freedom.
Threadmason T-shirt, $34 at www.threadmason.com. This work is independent and is neither sponsored nor paid for by Threadmason.
Michael Nissenbaum is a lawyer by day (and night), and a writer by night (and day). You can follow him on Twitter @gnarsenbaum.