Did you know a Honda Goldwing VL1800 has more parts in it than a Honda Civic? In comparison, a t-shirt has absolutely no moving parts. Reviewing a t-shirt should be a breeze, shouldn’t it? Not so fast…
When I first came across Lovebone Apparel‘s t-shirts I was immediately taken. From the moment I saw that devious little grin of a girl on a bike I was smitten…. and then I found out that Lovebone was based right here in Toronto, Canada, and not too far away from me either. Sometimes the stars just come into alignment. It was love at first sight.
Before you read any further you should know two things:
1) Lovebone hasn’t offered any money, booze, or bikini bike washes in exchange for a good review. Which is too bad. I could go for all of the above. They just gave me two t-shirts to test out in exchange for an honest review. Sounds fair to me.
2) I don’t actually review t-shirts. I haven’t so much as even read a review of a t-shirt. I ride motorcycles. I wear clothes that people who ride motorcycles wear. That is to say, I look good enough, in a 50/50 split between “I planned out this outfit last night” meets “it-was-the-closest-thing-to-the-door-on-my-way-out ” kind of way. Fashionista I am not, so bear with me.
When I got my Lovebone Apparel Bad to the Bone t-shirt I was wearing it almost every day. I’ve had this thing for months. It’s been my most worn t-shirt, hands down. It’s seen more laundry days than anything else I own in the past few months. In part I was intentionally trying to wear it out to see how it would hold up, but the full truth is I really dig the shirt, and for the first little while it seems like everyone is pointing out something they like about it. To make matters worse I had the sleeve and sleeveless versions of the shirt, so when one started to smell funky I could just wear the other. I think I got a little too caught up in the swag, my friends were a week short of staging an intervention.
Lovebone Apparel designs all of their t-shirts. We asked them about their design process, and Lisanne gave us the scoop:
Our designs behold personalities like people or certain models of motorcycles. Many of Lovebone’s concepts stem from a cranial visualisation touching upon a sort of story in mind that defines the image’s personality, style, mood, etc. prior hitting the drawing board or applying this mental imagery into digital format.
Each design must surpass our articulate standards prior to having it silk screened onto the almighty t-shirt. This process may take up to 50+ hours to as few as 10 hours depending on our mood, amount of intricate details involved, deciding upon suitable colours. Some of our designs have been put on the back burner for up to a year patiently awaiting their revisions to be part of the Lovebone brand.
I believe it. The longer you look the more you notice.
At first you think it’s simply a skeleton wearing a hat. Next you notice the quintessential 80s rock wavy long hair, a mustache, a rifle bullet mustache, both hands up with fingers shaped into a rock on sign through studded finger cut off gloves, an ace of spades with a cross in the skull’s nose crevice. Behind the half dozen pieces of symbolism on the shirt you see the headstock of a guitar and its tuning pegs. It would be weeks before I noticed the sexy little She Devil with the pitchfork and cherry stems tucked down in the bottom corner. Oh, and look at that, Mr. Bad to the Bone has diamonds in his eyes. I’ve owned this shirt for months now and honestly only just noticed.
This isn’t no plain run of the mill Jolly Roger t-shirt. Everything is so detailed you really need to LOOK to take it all in. The Bad to the Bone t-shirt along with everything else Lovebone Apparel makes is a work of art, which just happens to have a t-shirt as its canvas.
There we go again with the t-shirt. My dilemma. See, it’s easy to gage what makes a great motorcycle. Power delivery, smoothness, handling, form, function. Judging a t-shirt is a little more difficult.
What distinguishes a good t-shirt from a really great t-shirt? Is it the material used? The thread count? The stitching? The cut, fit, or shape? Is it the colour, it’s brightness, and how long it holds true? Is it the way you look in it or just the way you see yourself in it? Is it the way the fabric feels on your skin or the way you feel in the fabric?
I don’t know. I told you already. I don’t review t-shirts damn it! But I’ll tell you how the Bad to the Bone t-shirt rates in all of these areas.
The shirt is made of 100% cotton. It’s an All-Star brand t-shirt originally made in Mexico before final printing and packaging is done in Canada. If you want to support North American business, this is the way to go. The cotton feels rich and the stitching even after a few months and many dryer loads and little monster dog attacks is still holding up perfectly.
The cut fit and shape is pretty standard. A medium fits me well which is exactly as I thought I would. I’m 5’11” and 145 lbs. My advice to North Americans would be order whatever size you normally order as fit seems right. It’s not a tight fit. It’s not baggy either. Standard straight fit t-shirt. You may have seen some around over the past hundred years.
The colour and brightness are really important points. These shirts have literally been washed dozens of times each. I’m simply using a Tide powder based detergent. The shirts have not faded. They’re as black or blacker than any of my other t-shirts. Most importantly and most impressively the print has not faded. That was a big concern given a white print on a black shirt. There’s no chipping or wear anywhere on these t-shirts.
One thing I want to mention before closing off is that before working in the motorcycle industry I worked in events marketing for a handful of Fortune 500 companies. When we needed the best stuff we used All Star and Gildan t-shirts. I still have many of those shirts from half a decade ago. Kudos to Lovebone for using a shirt that will last.
Finally, I’ve come to realize that a t-shirt is only as good as you feel in it. I’m no rocker, goth, punk, or biker. I’ll would leave a guitar playing woman for her accordion playing identical twin any day of the week. I only had two shirts before these that had skulls on them. But I wore these Bad to the Bone t-shirts everywhere, and I felt great! The sleeveless was great for under my motorcycle jacket when riding in the summer or hanging out at home. With sleeves every other time. The shirts got a lot of compliments. Chicks liked it too. Bonus.
Speaking of chicks. We also have a Lovebone Apparel womens t-shirt to review, called the Rippen Kitten featuring a babe I wanna do dirty things on a motorcycle. Design is white and purple on black and it looks great. We’ll be reviewing that on bikerMetric, but for now, check out Lovebone Apparel.