The Real McCoy’s, 3sixteen, and Reigning Champ Crewneck Sweatshirt Comparison

Crewneck sweatshirts from top to bottom: The Real McCoy's Joe McCoy Ball Park Sweatshirt, Reigning Champ Midweight Terry Sweatshirt, Uniqlo Sweatshirt Crewneck sweatshirts from top to bottom: The Real McCoy’s Joe McCoy Ball Park Sweatshirt, Reigning Champ Midweight Terry Sweatshirt, Uniqlo Sweatshirt

I never thought I’d come to speak enthusiastically about sweatshirts this much! I visited Standard & Strange in Oakland, CA, initially interested in purchasing the restocked Red Wing 2966 Black Klondike Engineer Boots. Brandon (who is now with 3sixteen!) was very patient with me and helped me select out a Real McCoy’s Joe McCoy Ball Park Crewneck Sweatshirt in Navy. S&S is a stockist in the USA that carries a great selection of RMCs. The Real McCoy’s sweats along with their other pieces have the reputation of being the best of the best. In this post, I’ll give some of my thoughts about the Ball Park Crewneck and compare it to the few other brand sweatshirts that I own.

The crewneck sweatshirt is a classic piece in American history. Naturally, the design comes from sportswear for the sweatshirt was used as an alternative to itchy football jerseys. The grey sweat has been worn by many American icons such as John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Steve McQueen, and many more. I’d even go as far to say that it’s as famous as the Blue Oxford cloth button down shirt in American history.

Terminology

  • V ribbed placket: Below the front collar Functioned to help absorb excess sweat and to maintain shape of the collar
  • Raglan shoulder sleeves (one continuous fabric from collar underarm) vs set inshoulder sleeves: Raglan sleeves provide more arm room, providing a wider range of movement than set-in sleeves
    • Set-in sleeves have a clean, tailored look
  • Flatlocked stitched seams vs overlock seams: Final stitches which are flat, providing comfort by reducing abrasion against your skin
    • Flatlocked seams are strong, flat, locked, thin, and also elastic seams
  • Loopwheeled: The sweatshirt body is one solid piece without seams
    • This process is done with tubular knitting machines that are in only two locations in the world – Loopwheeler in Japan and Merz Schwanen in Germany

Added information from Standard and Strange: The main difference between a sinker weave and a loopwheel is that the sinker weave has more needles and knits at a higher tension.  Sinker weave knitting machines are still slow and expensive, but not as slow and expensive as a loopwheel machine.  Loopwheel knits stretch out a lot, then shrink back down with a wash, similar to raw denim.  Standard and Strange suggests that if you purchase an item made from a loopwheel machine, that you have it fit more snug as it will stretch out over time.

Uniqlo Crewneck Sweatshirt

  • $20 USD
  • Body 100% Cotton*, Ribbing 84% Cotton/16% Polyester*
  • +Raglan Sleeves
  • +V Neck Placket Detail
  • +Flatlock Seam

My budget, readily available sweatshirt option. I’d say this is the best you can get at this price range. The body length is notoriously short. *Uniqlo often changes their fabric composition and thickness every season (Sometime the blend can be more polyester than cotton – you just have to be sure to read the material tag label).

It’s quite thin and the terry cotton on the inside is much coarser/rougher than the Reigning Champ’s

Reigning Champ Midweight Terry Crewneck Sweatshirt

  • Price: $120 USD
  • 100% French Terry Cotton

Reigning Champ is made in Canada, and they’re nicknamed the “king of fleece”. Their Midweight French Terry Cotton is a year-round soft fabric and is woven in a way that one side feels like a soft cotton towel (interior) while the other is smooth (exterior). The purpose of the looped side is so that sweat can be easily absorbed. The midweight is a year round option for mildly cooler places like San Francisco, but likely won’t be warm enough for winter. 

While the price from a $20 Uniqlo sweatshirt to a $120 RC is quite large, I think RC is the best bang for the buck. The midweight french terry cotton isn’t too thick/warm, so it’s great here in California. 

Reigning Champ also has side gussets beneath the underarm that extend nearly all the way down the body. This extra feature provides comfortable mobility with your arms, while also maintaining a slim fit that is usually not seen with sweatshirts.

Reigning Champ also stocks a heavyweight, tiger terry, and tiger fleece versions of their sweatshirts. The heavyweight comes in at 500gsm (their midweight is 400gsm), has a courser feel against the skin from the start and softens/molds to you after many wears like a pair of raw denim. It fits slimmer than the midweight so you will likely have to size up one from your normal size. 

The Real McCoy’s Joe McCoy Ball Park Sweatshirt

  • $160 USD

The sinker weave neither stretches nor shrinks (with a cold wash) very much and provides a more stable fabric. The interior fabric is somewhat courser than the Reigning Champ French Terry Cotton, but I still find it to be quite soft and comfortable for a sweatshirt. The Real McCoys states that this their heaviest sweatshirt fabric (at 12oz), but they do also have a ligher weight version at 10oz. The fit is boxier than Reigning Champs’s fit.

The ribbing on the sweatshirt is very thick and doesn’t stretch easily. I also like the V-placket detail on this sweatshirt because it works better to maintain the collar shape than the Uniqlo’s.

This sweatshirt is tubular knitted but not loopwheeled. A common misconception is that a tubular constructed fabric makes it loopwheeled.

3sixteen Heavyweight Crewneck Sweatshirt

  • $165 USD
  • 95% cotton/5% polyester

3sixteen’s fabric is a heavyweight 500gsm fleece from Canada. It’s very warm and has two hidden hand pockets on the front like a hoodie. The pockets do not connect with each other, however. The interior is fleece. The fabric is a hefty 15oz cotton.

The interior fleece was quite fluffy and soft initially, but after the first cold wash and hang dry, the softness has never quite returned. Some of the fleece shed off after, but eventually stopped. The neck opening is wider than the other sweatshirts and stretches easily. 

Ribbing on the sleeves of the sweatshirts Ribbing on the sleeves of the sweatshirts


Schott x 3sixteen Perfecto Arabica Cowhide Review

Updated 5/1/2018 with new pics at the bottom
Last year, 3sixteen collaborated with Schott NYC to create a monochrome Perfecto. Two great brands that I love came together to design a limited piece that would embody aesthetics from both brands. When last year’s collaboration was announced, I had already owned a Schott NYC 519 Perfecto in Black. The monochrome detail and removal of the belt did not attract me. I initially purchased my Schott 519 because it included contrasting buttons, one star shoulder epaulets, and a flashy belt. To me, that was the epitome of a Perfecto. You buy a Perfecto because you want the Perfecto details. I was able to try on last year’s collab at Schott NYC at the Americana in a size L (I wear a size M in the 519), and wasn’t impressed with it. The details from the 3sixteen aesthetic included a chambray lining and perhaps the removal of the belt for a cleaner silhouette. The leather appeared very matte, and I was pretty content with my 519 purchase earlier that year.

A few months ago 3sixteen revealed that they were collaborating with Schott NYC for the second time. I was pretty surprised myself as I thought last year’s was a one time only thing. I found news of this information on 3sixteen’s instagram with a closeup shot of a brass button and dark brown leather. Again this year, Milo Ventimiglia modeled the jacket, and 3sixteen revealed in that post that Horween leather was used in this year’s collaboration. I was drawn towards the detail that this leather was “custom tanned” for this collaboration and had a “sugary surface” that would chip off with time. Y’all know that I love things that “get better with age”.

The price this year was at a premium of $1100 USD instead of the previous year’s $950. The extra 150$ was likely due to adding in another company, Horween leather, a term that most fanboys, including myself, would drool to.  The snap cap this year was still produced by Good Art HLYWD, but in an aged brass. Because this leather was custom tanned, no one knew anything how it would age/patina!

I was drawn to this year’s version because the piece was in a dark brown, and would actually develop a patina instead of last year’s black, which essentially stays black. I love that aged brass hardware this year was used instead of black, which complimented the dark brown leather.

I took attention to what retailers were stocking this piece on the day of release, December 20th, and prepared my game plan. I had called Schott NYC LA in Los Angeles a few days earlier asking about the anticipated release. Dandee, one of the store co-managers, told me that they were receiving only one of each size from S-XL and was emphasized by Jason Schott and 3sixteen that no phone orders or reservations this year would be taken and for it. The jackets were to be sold in store only starting at 11AM PST on Dec 20th.

From my past interactions, the Schott NYC LA team has great customer service, they are chill dudes that are down to earth, and they don’t pressure you to buy anything if you visit their store. My girlfriend and I had long beforehand planned a roadtrip to Sequoia National Park on the same day, but I told her that I really wanted to pick this limited piece up.

I arrived at Schott NYC on La Brea at about 10:50am on 12/20 Wednesday. The two employees were already inside, but the outer gates were still locked. At 11:00am, they opened the security gates and welcomed me in. Five of the Perfectos were hanging on the front rack – one of each from a size XS, S, M, L, and XL. I was pretty confident that M was my size, tried it on. The phones were already ringing non-stop about the jacket. One phone call I overhead was a guy wanting to buy the jacket, but wouldn’t be able to pick it up in person for 2 weeks. Pretty shady stuff haha. The brass snap button was initially wrapped in one of the hand warmer zipped pockets, and the guys recommended I place it on the jacket so I wouldn’t lose it. A couple minutes later, I walked out with a new jacket.

The overwhelming leather scent is hard to describe. It’s not a typical leather smell I’m familiar with.  It’s neither pleasant nor unpleasant… it just smells of “Horween leather”. It wasn’t until a few days later when I returned from Sequoia National Park that I was able to really try on the jacket. It was super heavyweight and stiff, arms and body length a bit longer than my 519. I felt that the aged brass really complimented the dark brown color well.

In my attempt to break the jacket in, I wore it whenever I was in my room. The arm and body creases started to form, and once that happened, the sleeve and body length became perfect. The major differences from the Schott 519 in Pebbled Cowhide is that it’s a heavier weight, no belt (I like this because the belt often flailed around) and epaulets, a deep pistol pocket (great for sunglasses and my phone), and a lightweight, breathable chambray lining instead of quilted polyfill.

It’s been just under 4 weeks since I purchased this jacket, and it has become much softer and cozier. The leather has lightened up in some areas such as the elbows and back. I look forward to how the unique leather will age!

May 2018 Update

After 5 months or so, the Perfecto still has a strong smell to it after purposely leaving it in the backseat of my car for several weeks.

Two major areas on the jacket have changed colors – the elbows and the near front placket.

The elbows have lightened up from a dark brown to a lighter brown from abrasion on surfaces. This will likely be the color the jacket will lighten up to after many more years of wear.

Oddly, areas on the front placket and especially the collar have become polychromatic when viewed in direct lighting. At first, the rainbow sheen appeared around the collar so I thought it was from my sunscreen. However, shortly after the irregularity spread further down the placket in random areas. I think the cause of this color change is the pigment breaking down from age. It’s not very noticable unless viewed in direct lighting from the sun. Also, the color change doesn’t seem to be accelerated by sunlight/UV light as they appear irregularly on the jacket.

 

As the weather warms up in Southern California towards late spring and the start of summer, I find myself not wearing the jacket as much.


3sixteen Type 3s Shadow Selvedge Denim Jacket Review

In 2014, the only 3sixteen piece I owned at the time was a pair of ST-120x in the shadow selvedge denim I had purchased and worn as my main denim since mid 2013. The shadow selvedge fades are phenomenal in their electric blue contrast. I remember purchasing the ST-120x at Self Edge SF on Valencia St in San Francisco, CA. I had set my eyes on this pair because @zvincler had a amazing faded SL-120x pair that was posted online.

Front View of the 3sixteen Type 3s Jacket

A few days after Thanksgiving in 2014, I had heard about Self Edge’s yearly sale where they discounted the % of the current year for all inventory. I can’t remember whether the Type 3s Shadow Selvedge jacket was released that F/W or if it was a year before that. Knowing how the same fabric faded, I decided to take purchase a size L at Self Edge LA. It was my first denim jacket with the detail of being a very dark indigo (nearly black) to start with. The price of “Black Friday’s Let’s Drink Sale” with 14% off came out to be $248.41.

Details

  • Fabric is 14.5oz Shadow Selvedge denim woven in Okayama, Japan (indigo warp and black weft threads)
  • Black corduroy cuff lining and pocketbags
  • Crossed back yoke with zigzag collar stitching
  • Inner leather patch made by Tanner Goods
  • Made in the USA

    Back View of 3sixteen Type 3s Jacket
    Back View of 3sixteen Type 3s Jacket

Initial Impressions/Fit

The shadow selvedge fabric is a very dark indigo with hues of purple. 3sixteen made a few changes from the “Type III” Trucker Jacket to make it their own. The body is slightly lengthened to make the look more modern, black corduroy lines the cuffs and pockets to make the jacket feel really comfortable, and the rear waist buttons and “cinch strap” were removed. In addition, 3sixteen added their signature crossed back yoke and zigzag stitching on the backside of the collar.

The jacket runs small and I had to size up one to a Large where I typically wore Mediums shirts/outerwear (referencing Uniqlo T shirts, Button-downs, and Outerwear) at the time. When I recently measured the pit-to-pit on my Large after a few years, it came out to 21.5 inches. An issue that I found with the jacket is that the sleeves ran short and the cuff size was way too small to button. I’m a pretty average sized dude – I’m 5’10 and about 170lbs. I pretty much always have to wear the cuffs unbuttoned even with just a T shirt underneath. Adding layers like a a wrist watch or a thicker flannel makes it even moreso uncomfortable to close.

The one cool detail about the jacket that I love is the “hidden” phone pocket that you can place your phone into on the inside behind the handwarmer pocket. The top chest pockets are too small to fit a phone without sticking out.

Secret interior phone pocket!
Secret interior phone pocket!
Chest pockets too small for a phone!
Chest pockets too small for a phone!

For the first year, I wore it on average 3-4 times a week. The fabric weight is great for SoCal – It’s a great jacket by itself anytime it’s 65-75 degrees, and maybe slightly lower if you pair it with a thick flannel. For a short while after purchasing the jacket, I wore both the shadow selvedge 120x denim and the jacket! Aka the “Shadow Selvedge Tuxedo”. I think I was comfortable pairing the both together because my jeans were quite faded already and top/bottom were different colors enough.

Quite a few people have asked how how many times I’ve washed it and by what method.  I waited about 4-5 months until I first washed it, never soaked it. I use the washing machine on a cold wash with a small amount of Woolite Darks to minimize the indigo loss and then line dry. The first time when I finally washed it, much of the contrast was revealed. The jacket shortened about an inch in the sleeve length, body length, and chest circumference. Owning it now for 3+ years, I may have washed it a of 12 times but lost count. Also shortly after my first wash, I was contacted by Andrew Chen and featured on 3sixteen’s Well Aged Type 3s Jacket!

Conclusion

Corduroy lined cuffs
Corduroy lined cuffs

I’d say the Type 3s jacket was one of my best outerwear purchases. At the current retail value of $265, it’s worth purchasing if you had to own only 1 denim jacket for the rest of your life. The shadow selvedge fabric is unique enough to recognize someone else wearing it as I have a couple times in downtown LA. The jacket was likely also my gateway purchase into pricier jackets such as 3sixteen’s FW releases in the coming years. Now that many other denim competitors have joined the market, I actually think 3sixteen’s expansion over the years was due to their outerwear starting with this jacket’s release. It’s now a staple item for their site and retailers and very rarely, if ever, goes on sale.

Electric blue fades near cuffs
Electric blue fades near cuffs
Most wear near handwarmer pockets
Most wear near handwarmer pockets
Leather patch fading through!
Leather patch fading through!
Crossed yoke back detail
Crossed yoke back detail
Thick Tanner Goods dark brown leather patch
Thick Tanner Goods dark brown leather patch
Elbow sleeve wear
Elbow sleeve wear
Front flat view
Front flat view
Honeycombs on arms
Honeycombs on arms