Friday, June 6, 2014

The perfect fit shirt at J.C. Penney of all places

Just when J.C. Penney seems down and out, the venerable department store manages to pull off a surprise.

That was the case yesterday, when this correspondent visited a local mall store to see the current price of luggage that hasn’t sold in ages. While the luggage hadn’t been reduced to fire sale pricing, something else stood out.

The 100% cotton Stafford Signature dress shirts — the button-down collar makes them more of a sport shirt, at least in this correspondent’s opinion — were on sale for $19 ($24, if purchased online).

PHOTOS courtesy of J.C. Penney.

Available in blue, solid white, a blue check and pink check, the pinpoint Oxford shirts, sold in exact neck-by-sleeve sizing, are available in what J.C. Penney calls “regular” and “fitted” cuts. The “fitted” is slim without being ridiculously slim — it’s actually the perfect fit, especially with the more precise neck-by-sleeve sizing.

Quality wise, the shirts are on par with what you might find at Lands’ End and other brands for between $40 and $65. While the fabric was non-iron, it was very soft to the hand and wasn’t itchy on bare skin. Sure, the collar appeared to be fused (what do you expect at this price?), but the quality, all things considered, was pretty darn good with no loose stitches or other noticeable visual imperfections. The solid blue and white shirts were made in China; the tag on the patterned shirts — perfect for everything from shorts on a lazy Saturday morning to something more refined — read made in Malaysia

Don’t be put off by the whole Malaysia-thing, either. Brooks Brothers, Proper Cloth, J. Hilburn and a whole host of other high-quality brands reportedly have their shirts made in the country infamously known for a missing airplane. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to guess the shirt was from J.C. Penney if the Stafford label was removed.

With J.C. Penney’s frequent coupons and other promotions there is always a chance the shirts could go lower, though $19 is a darn good value. After all, beggars can’t be choosers. 

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