From storied associations with European sailors and summers in the south of France to Americana and childhood memories, it’s intriguing how much personality we affix to striped T-shirts. Further (and more pragmatically) stripes really go with just about everything. One of our new favorites is The Mister—a long-sleeved, 100% cotton and made-in-the-USA T-shirt from KULE clothing. There’s something familiar yet distinct about the four colorways and, with a slight dropped shoulder and a relaxed fit, they feel good too.
Nikki Kule, the brand’s founder, was born into an entrepreneurial NYC clothing industry family. Her early days were spent in the Garment District, where she learned early on about the importance of quality fabrics. She launched KULE in 2001 as a luxury children’s clothing brand, before being invited to design a relaunch for Brooks Brothers’ boys’ collection—and design the brand’s debut women’s collection. There was something about stripes, though, that appealed to the designer and that’s where she brought KULE.
“I love stripes,” she says. “I’ve been collecting them for so many years. I have some from all of my travels—over 100. Every one of them is different and has a distinct and sentimental value.” Kule’s passion resulted in her feeling compelled to go out and make her own perfect striped shirt. She drew inspiration from some of her favorite pieces and added some flourishes (like a dual color-block tab on the shirt’s left side). The result is a mid-weight, super-soft T-shirt that wears well and looks great. The Mister is the just launched men’s version and Kule forsees much more to come down the line.
KULE striped shirts are available online for $130.
Images courtesy of KULE