by Tiffany Thornton
I’ve been brand-stalking Chimala for a while now (via Lark: Chimala was started in 2006 by a Japanese designer, and is named for an imaginary mountain in the Himalayas… The brand concept is new vintage casual with a touch of “good old days” feeling. The design inspirations and sources are mostly from the 1940’s through to the 1970’s daily wear. The universal design often seen in military work wear is given a modern twist.)
After mulling it over for some time (Chimala is very expensive; about $400 CD for a shirt gave me about a year’s worth of pause) I decided to pick up a Chimala chambray work shirt from Lark. I pestered the kind folks at Lark for about a day and a half on sizing (I am small of frame, but have broad shoulders), and then made my purchase and hoped for the best. Despite being slightly uncomfortable with dropping that much on a single shirt, I have not regretted the purchase one bit.
The chambray work shirt I picked up recently is apparently produced each season with different details each time. The details that sold me on this Spring ’11 version were: the slightly contrasting chest pocket, the contrast blue button, and the yellow stitched “pencil slot” on the pocket. The material is a pale blue chambray that is light, but not flimsy, and thus far seems to breathe well. Perfect for wearing to work in the Spring and Fall. The color is versatile, and could go with just about anything; I prefer to pair it with some brown corduroy trousers for the time being. It is also something of a relief to me that the Chimala medium size fits about perfectly: most button downs always seem to fit awkwardly on me because short torso + broad shoulders = unaccounted for by most clothing manufacturers.
In general, I’m very pleased with this shirt: it is well crafted, attractive, comfortable and versatile. The major downside is the prohibitively high cost, but if it’s an issue that can be rectified, I certainly would recommend checking out Chimala if you’re in the market for something new.