I do like a good T-shirt.

Ordered this from HR4K in the week and it turned up very fast indeed – thanks guys!

I’m pretty sure HR4K is the only official UK source of Rogue American Apparel and the brand is a good fit for the retailer, which says of itself:

Gear for fitness and the hunting of man and beast.

You can read all about Rogue American Apparel here. The passage most pertinent to this review, however, is:

ROGUEAMERICAN prints its designs on premium, MADE IN THE USA, custom hand distressed/vintage dyed T-shirts, which give them that one of a kind look and feel.

Anyone else live with white haired pets? As a consequence, I never wear black clothes. However, this T’s blue-black marl absolutely rocks in this application; it’s got it’s own disruptive pattern thing going on – a bit like static on a TV – which conceals pretty much anything that sticks to it. So you can wear this T until it smells.

It also looks good.

On the front we have a Spartan shield, with the Greek letter lambda in uppercase on it.


On the reverse, we have this:


The T is called, “With Your Shield.” Rogue American Apparel describes it thus:

Spartan women would tell their husbands and sons to return – before they were to head off to war – “With your shield, or on it.” Honor in battle was cherished. Spartan warriors carried large shields into battle. If a man came home without his shield, it was obvious he had dropped it to run from the battle. If a man fell in battle, his friends carried him home on his shield. The saying told the men that they were to return victorious (with their shield), or injured or dead (on it).

Anyone who’s read the book Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield will be familiar with this. If you’ve not read it, it’s well worth a look. I found out about it from Gray Fox’s F01 a few years ago.

The one part I sort of compromised on is the reverse flag on the arm:


I’m British and with the greatest respect, I’m not normally drawn towards wearing the stars ands stripes. Wearing this T, though, it does look pretty good on the arm. Plus, it’s got a bloody big Greek letter on the front and I’m not Greek, either 🙂

I’m sure HR4K have lots of ideas about working with their suppliers on exclusive products, so maybe a more British-toned iteration could be a future project if that doesn’t sound too much of a contradiction for an apparel manufacturer with ‘American’ in its name.

Anyway, all importantly, what’s the fit like?

I’m a 42″ chest, which means my default size is large. I would say this T runs true to size. It’s not baggy, but equally it doesn’t make my gut too much of a feature.

Quality is spot on. It feels as comfortable as a well worn T-shirt without looking like it’s been destroyed by an ageing process.

The label says 60/40 polycotton mix. I prefer modern polycottons over 100% cotton because they don’t tend to shrink and they retain their shape, even after many washes. They also dry fast.

So, yeah – I am pretty pleased with this T-shirt. The wife likes it, too, which is always a bonus 🙂

Thanks once again to HR4K.