Always Fashionable Wearing RSVLTS

As I look back on my life, there are some things that I regret collecting. Pogs, Digimon Cards, human hands, Vinylmation and so much more. The reason for this is that after a certain point or at any point the serve no utility. Sure you can play with Pogs and trading cards but only as long as someone else is around to play with, everyone needs hands but people ask too many questions when you show up with 12 and things like Vinylmation and Funko Pops just sit on a shelf and collect dust. But there is one thing that I have been collecting lately that provides utility in something I need everyday that I’m not working from home in this forever pandemic. I’m of course talking about shirts. Everyone needs a shirt, most places have it as one of the two things they need to give you service (how pants isn’t on that list is beyond me). But I’m not collecting cool T-Shirts, I’m collecting cool button down short sleeve shirts (a minimum requirement if you want to be a dude who writes about theme parks). And while some companies have some stellar button downs, none are as great to wear for me as the shirts made by RSVLTS.

The story of RSVLTS is a classic American story, one that involves New Jersey and a cease and desist letter. Founded in 2012 in Hoboken (home of the Hoboken International Film Festival and Jersey Mikes), it started out with online publishing. After learning about building an audience, they then shifted their focus as a, “this might work,” idea and started making t-shirts. These shirts had a recreation of the famous scene in The Sandlot where Squints tricks Wendy into kissing him by pretending to drown (kind of creepy by today’s standards, but they get married in the end so its okay? Also, spoilers for a 30 year old movie). The shirts sold pretty well. So well that they received a cease and desist letter from FOX for not obtaining the license to use the movie’s characters. FOX also then offered them a contract to use said license to make more shirts. And they have never looked back making and growing from just T-Shirts to flannels, boxers, swimsuits, masks, golf polos, hats and the button downs that they mostly known for today.

The big question is, why do I like RSVLTS and their button downs so much? What makes them so special? When they advertise “The World’s Most Comfortable Shirt” or “Buttsoft Material,” it isn’t hyperbole. The shirts have a genuinely fantastic feel to them. Made from a special material, Kunuxflex, it provides enough stretch and breath-ability to be worn at virtually anytime. I have spent full park days wearing these shirts and they are far more comfortable than any t-shirt. It is almost like a dry fit running shirt, but a little tighter and lighter. I have ridden water rides, gotten rained on and sweat in them because Florida, but they always dry out quickly and the designs have never faded. Shirts I have worn and washed dozens of times look the exact same as the day I first got them. They can sometimes run a bit on the snug side, but it could also be my quarantine weight. But something to consider if you order them.

What also stands out for these shirts are the designs for them. They have their own line of original designs featuring sharks, rocks, crazy 80’s patterns, western styles and former Presidents like Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt (oh, that’s why it’s called that!). But they also have a plethora of licensed designs. Outside of the previously legal paper work generating Sandlot styles, they have made shirts based on the following properties:

  • The Office
  • WWE
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  • Major League Baseball
  • Major League
  • NASA
  • Ace Ventura
  • Back to the Future
  • Nickelodeon
  • Vincent Van Gough
  • Parks and Recreation
  • The Shining
  • Dumb and Dumber
  • Ghostbusters
  • Bob Ross
  • Elf
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Space Jam
  • Pixar
  • Star Wars
  • Super Bad
  • The Goonies
  • Saved By The Bell
  • Step Brothers

That’s almost everything that they have done, but there is still lots that they have done and made over the years. And regardless of what they have done, be it original or based on an IP, the designs are amazing and ranging from bright and tacky to more subtle. Here’s a selection of my favorite designs that I personally own:

These are two original shirt designs, Chomp and Party at Olmec’s.
Ron Swanson’s Shirt of Greatness, one of the best cookout shirts ever made. The original version did contain Ron’s gold gun, but it’s still great without.
Macho Man USA and (my favorite shirt) Deep Thoughts. You can never go wrong with the cream of the crop.
My wife is a Miami girl and loves The Rock. So I made sure to get all 3 Rock shirts. 90’s, Christmas and actual.
Overlook Momentos. This one is my rarest one because while it was sold in limited quantities in stores, the online store only sold 237 of each pattern. I was lucky enough to grab one based on my favorite horror film, but it came with a numbered key chain and I got a single digit number.
Spaceman, occasionally RSVLTS will partner with an artist and this one is done by J. Pierce. This is the only one featured that I don’t physically own, but I bought it the minute it dropped because it looks fantastic.
The biggest grouping I have, I own 5 of the 8 shirts based on The Office. Threat Level Midnight is the standout favorite followed by Prison Mike. Here’s hoping we get one based on the Stress Relief cold open or a tribute to Jim’s Halloween costumes someday.

But more than the great designs, more than the great quality, the key standout is the community they built. Learning from their early years of how to build an audience, I have never seen a brand that communicates to its fanbase like RSVLTS. Granted, they are a smaller company. But the owners are actively involved in posting updates, engaging in posts on Twitter and the RSVLTS Insiders community page and doing special things for members of the community. They have sent special unique shirts to some loyal fans, encouraged support and sold a shirt with the logo of one person’s YouTube cooking channel who cooks in their shirts. It is a brand that engages and actually held meet ups pre-COVID where they gave out special shirts to attendees. This past year for Christmas, they sent everyone a Christmas card with pictures of other people and families wearing their shirts throughout the year. They have positioned themselves as a brand who cares and listens to their customers and have built a very loyal fanbase with it simply by doing the one thing most companies don’t; listening.

So if you want to Dare Mighty Things and look snazy while doing it, you could always go to their website and see what looks good or what may peak your interest (#notanad). They’re great shirts with some great patterns that feel great. You’ll get a lot of compliments on them and maybe make some new friends along the way. I give these shirts and company 14 thumbs up!

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