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      The Rise of Athleisure

      The Rise of Athleisure

      If you’ve ever scrolled through an Instagram feed, read a fashion blog post, or have a Pinterest account you surely have encountered this phenomenon over the past few years. People are rejecting the idea that you always have to be “dressed up” and looking “put together” at least in the traditional sense. We are seeing people wearing athletic clothing in everyday settings because of their comfortable fit, and high tech materials that keep you cool and dry regardless if you’re squatting hundreds of pounds or just deadlifting your iced coffee.


      The spike in this trend has born a cottage industry of clothing brands that specialize in athleisure wear. It’s common to see someone walking around in Lululemon tights with Nike running shoes and an Athleta top on any given Saturday running errands instead of running a marathon. When we consider why this movement has taken such hold in our society it becomes clear that people are fed up of wearing clothing that’s uncomfortable because it’s what we are supposed to wear. We want to be comfortable, and if those comfortable clothes just happen to look good, then it’s a win-win! And who doesn’t want to feel like an athlete while eating eggs benedict at brunch with friends?

       

      This is where we come in. We were inspired by the athletic materials of soccer jerseys and running shorts. They moved with us when we were playing sports and running. They kept us dry and comfortable. But, then why was it that when we had to look our best, dress shirts couldn’t keep up? We wanted to combine athleisure and your Sunday best to make the ultimate dress shirt. While we love athleisure as much as the next person we realized that people aren’t going to show up to a board meeting with the head of acquisitions in gym shorts anytime soon. So we made sure the dress shirt was something you forgot used to be a hassle to wear and instead has become a joy.

       

      Until next time, friends

      -Jordan and the Blue and White Collar team

      The Challenges of Being A Startup

      The Challenges of Being A Startup

      Hey Friends, 

      This week I thought I'd give you all a little insight into what we've learned in our time as a company. Since our initial meeting almost exactly two years ago until today we've had a crash course in how to start and run a business. I don't think any of us really had a clue of what we were getting ourselves into that first night in a little home in Provo, Utah. The biggest joy I've personally had so far in our journey has been the ability to see something you started to grow and begin to flourish. Being able to do that with four of your best friends is a fantastic added perk. Although our journey is still relatively young, we've had our fair share of challenges and struggles. 

      In August of 2017 we had conceptualized a name, visual identity, successfully placed an order for our first 1,000 shirts. We had high hopes and huge goals thinking we could easily hit $100,000 in funding during our first Kickstarter campaign. After quickly coming down to Earth and realizing our expectations may have been a bit too high we came out of that initial Kickstarter happy and excited to push forward securing just a hair under $22,000. Our initial feedback on the shirts was almost exclusively positive and we felt that things were about to kick into overdrive. 

      However, after that initial push, we saw sales stagnate, our collective interest begin to wain as school, work, and relationships took the front seat, and it seemed like Blue and White Collar would be nothing more than a fun experiment. We decided to make another push and introduce a blue shirt and a new Kickstarter campaign to drum up more excitement around the company. We took all of our earnings and pushed it all into an order of 2,000 shirts (1,000 white and 1,000 blue). This is where we really ran into some issues. Once we received our shipment we quickly realized that a large percentage of the white shirts were off colored and the factory, as well as our distribution channels, were unwilling to work with us to make it right. This paired with the fact that Kickstarter had reworked their website to hide fashion projects, which historically performed poorly on the site, making it nearly impossible for anyone to discover our project. Our campaign ended with a shade under $19,000 in the bank, which was a massive disappointment to all of us. 

      After unsuccessfully trying to get our shirts in several local stores, that disappointment grew. After failing to gain capital via several student competitions, the disappointment grew even stronger. This disappointment led to more stagnant sales and more worries that this was no more than a side project with friends. However during the summer of 2018 things suddenly began to turn around as our sales began to spike and we began to really pick up steam.

      The hard work we had put in over the past year and a half had begun to yield results. People liked their shirts and wanted more. They were telling their friends about the shirts and those people were buying. The disappointment we had felt began to dissipate with these successes. Now that things were beginning to head in the right direction we had to invest in a new manufacturer, advertising, the pursuit of capital, and more things that we can't yet discuss. The struggles we have had as a new company aren't by any means novel but are vitally important to our company story. The idea of perseverance as a common trait has been one that has and will continue to propel us well into the future with this company. 

      We are unbelievably excited about the direction we're heading in and we can't wait to share everything with you. There will undoubtedly be countless struggles ahead, but we firmly believe the successes will easily outweigh any opposition we end up facing. Thank you so much for your support whether you were one of the first people who bought a shirt from us or just discovered us today. You make all of this possible. 

      -Jordan and the Blue and White Collar team

      The Unrippable Shirt

      The Unrippable Shirt

      Did you guys know that our shirts aren't just comfy, cool, easy to wash, stretchy, and moisture wicking? They're also pretty much impossible to rip! Now that's what I call quality! (Bonus points if you thought I was going to shout out the late 90s early 00s cd compilation series Now That's What I Call Music!) If you don't believe us take a gander at this video we made, and if you're feeling extra adventurous you can try it on your own shirt.


      A Brief and Incomplete History of the Dress Shirt

      A Brief and Incomplete History of the Dress Shirt

      Hi friends,

      Let's dive right in to find out the origins of the dress shirt and where the terms of "white collar" and "blue collar" come from, thus answering where our name Blue and White Collar came from (did you know we sell dress shirts on this website? Go ahead, treat yourself to one or a couple dozen!).

      The white dress shirt as we know it originates in the 18th century. These shirts often had intricate flourishes and large stiff collars. They were traditionally worn by the wealthy as a symbol of said wealth because they were the only ones who could afford to wash their clothing regularly, thus being able to maintain its color. 

      This style fell out of fashion around the turn of the 19th century in favor of a look that leaned more towards minimalism. Gone were many of the flourishes and embellishments found in earlier dress shirts, and we were left with a shirt that more closely resembles a modern day tuxedo dress shirt. The sleeves  were plain and body of the shirt had minor embellishments and pleats, while collars were either small or turned up as notably worn by the 8th president of the US, Martin Van Buren

       

      Those shirts eventually lost all embellishments and became the dress shirt we know today around the turn of the 20th century.

      The term blue collar was coined in 1924 in a newspaper in Iowa when the writer noticed that manual workers were wearing denim or chambray collared work shirts. These shirts were thick and could hold up to hard work outdoors, unlike their white dress shirt counterparts. This led to collared shirts becoming less synonymous with business and wealth, and became the uniform of every working man whether they worked in an office or outdoors. 

      These shirts are worn daily by men all over the globe from closing business deals, replacing power lines, delivering mail, or teaching college courses. The dress shirt has been a symbol of craft, dignity, hard work, and manhood over the past three-hundred years and continues to do so today. We named our company Blue and White Collar to convey at the very moment someone heard about us that we were for every man in every occasion in his life. We envisioned men wearing our shirts on their wedding day just as much as we saw them wearing our shirts while changing a leaky pipe on your average Tuesday. These shirts are for your biggest and smallest moments in life, because when it all comes down to it, the dress shirt truly is life's uniform. 

      Happy New Year, friends! 

      -Jordan and the Blue and White Collar team

      Anatomy of a Performance Dress Shirt

      Anatomy of a Performance Dress Shirt

      Anatomy of a Performance Dress Shirt - Front

      Anatomy of a Performance Dress Shirt - Back

      We didn't know much about dress shirts until we realized that we needed to change the way they performed. Now, you might call us experts. With our months of researching, developing, resizing, producing, and selling dress shirts, here is our guide to the anatomy of a dress shirt.

      Collar: A primary differentiation between t-shirts and dress shirts, collars add a sense of professionalism and formality to your wardrobe. There are different shapes of collars such as spread, semi-spread, point, and cutaway. Sticking to our modernity, we opted for a semi-spread collar with our performance dress shirts.

      Pocket: In our commitment to both the white-collar professionals and blue-collar workers, we wanted to create a shirt that was functional as well as stylish. Blue and White Collar performance dress shirts come with pockets that stretch and are durable thanks to reinforced stitching.

      Placket: This is the part of the shirt that the buttons are fastened/sewed to. Traditionally, the placket would be an entirely separate piece of material. It is more common nowadays to see the placket be made of the same cut of cloth as the body of the shirt.

      Sleeve Placket (or Gauntlet): Not to be confused with the shirt placket, the sleeve placket, sometimes referred to as the gauntlet, runs from the cuff to near the elbow. This placket allows for customization in rolling your sleeves or adjusting the base of the cuff.

      Cuff: The cuff trims or finishes off the sleeve of the shirt. There are different styles such as the French cuff, but we opted for a more conservative barrel cuff. An important aspect of the cuff from a buyer's perspective is the "crispness", something we paid special attention to by using two layers of fabric to keep our (and your) cuffs stiff and crisp.

      Sleeve: Our shirts come in both short and long sleeve. Due to the performance materials we use, rest assured that either option will breathe and wick moisture.

      Darts: To keep our shirts slim, we employ darts in the lower back part of the product. These darts allow us to bring the extra fabric in to create a tapered look. Our regular fit shirts, on the other hand, have pleats to allow for greater movement in the shoulders.

       

      -Jordan and the &Collar team