This review is long overdue. It’s coming from someone who has worn these as undershirts or lounging around shirts nearly every day for at least the last 15 years.
These used to be awesome shirts, primarily because they were made in Egypt and of Egyptian cotton. They felt great from the get go and became even more comfortable over time with repeated washings. The quality and longevity was excellent. I often lament not stocking up on those old CK shirts when they were available. It was pretty much the best undershirt money could buy, and fairly reasonably priced, retailing at about $36-$40 for a 3-pack.
Flash forward from then to a few years ago, much has changed, all of it for the worse. First and foremost, the shirts are no longer made of Egyptian cotton but are instead made in Bangladesh or Haiti out of far inferior cotton. Secondly, the silk-screened text below the collar chips off after a few washes. Thirdly, the collar itself is narrow and flimsy, and it gets mangled up after the first few washes. Due to that, these are now only useable as undershirts, unless you don’t mind walking around with mangled collars. The sewing of the collar to the garment has also been drastically cheapened. The Egyptian shirt collars were wide, attractive, of excellent quality, double-stitched to the shirt and never got mangled, even after many years of wear and washings. The cost has remained roughly the same as the Egyptian shirts. For whatever it’s worth, the consensus seems to be that the Bangladesh shirts are of better quality than the Haitian ones. I’ve bought these from Amazon a few times over the last year or so and have always gotten the Bangladesh ones.
Why do I still buy these shirts at all? Because, unfortunately, they’re still more comfortable than Hanes, Jockey and seemingly most other of the usual suspects. Better undershirts are surely available if one is willing to spend at least $30/shirt and possibly a lot more, which I am not.
Why did CK ruin this iconic garment that let them figuratively print money? I can say almost for sure it’s because some complete (insert your favorite insult) senior executive realized that they could compromise the garment quality drastically while still remaining better than the competition. Unfortunately, I cannot deny that that is a correct realization. Consequently, they were able to keep the price the same while drastically cutting their manufacturing cost. Most consumers will be ignorant to all of the above, and the few who aren’t, will quickly realize that this shirt is still a competitive and reasonable option, despite the drastic downgrade for the same price.
CK, I’m calling you out. If I’ve misstated anything above and you are not, in fact, a shamefully greedy bunch of frauds who screwed over your loyal patrons and ruined the best mass-market undershirt ever created for a cause no more honorable than further enriching your already embarrasingly flush pockets, I enthusiastically invite you to respond to this review and set the record straight.