Thursday, October 13, 2011

YAOTL Threads (Hands On T-Shirt Review)

I have to say, t-shirt reviews are my favorite thing to do for the blog. Especially when the tee is one that I really like. Today I will be reviewing a tee from YAOTL Threads, a brand based out of Fort Worth, TX. (Funkytown if you're from Texas!)

YAOTL is owned by Javier Trillo, he runs the brand and designs the tees alone. Of course we all have our family and friends to bounce ideas off of, but Javier is pretty much a one man crew. I don't want to go into Javier's life story, after having lunch with him I could tell you a few things, but just know his brand is all of the things he stands for; his beliefs, his culture, himself. The brand name YAOTL means "warrior" in Nahuatl, the language used by the Aztecas. Being originally from Mexico himself, it is only natural that his tees are so influenced by the culture and history of the country.

Javier emailed me a few weeks ago about a feature. His email couldn't have arrived at a better time. Just a few days before Teezilla and I was helping J gather brands for the event. After checking out his site I knew YAOTL was a perfect fit for Teezilla. So at Teezilla, I met Javier and was really impressed with him and his brand. The rest is history really, we have been talking back and forth about branding, t-shirt fits, water based inks, designs, you get the picture. The other day I met up with Javier for lunch and he gave me a tee for today's review. He also let me in on a huge announcement for his brand! I can't speak too much on that, but I am really excited to get things rolling.

Same as the other reviews I've done, I will be rating the tee on Packaging, Extras, Design, Quality vs Price, and Fit. The rating will be a number system 1-5. Five being the highest possible score and one being the lowest. Let's get started:

Usually this category will be for a t-shirt purchased online, so the grade is about the packaging when received in the mail. Today is a little different because the tee was hand delivered. But the package I was handed was by far the coolest packaging I've seen. I can't speak on that though, that is for the announcement. So just to be fair, I am going to give the tee a "four" on packaging, because I have to ignore the outrageous package it came in. The tee was also wrapped in plastic, just as all of YAOTL's tee are when you buy them.

Packaging: 4

The tee came with two different stickers and some cards with the YAOTL logo printed on them. The stickers were high quality, die cut, and matte finished. I really like the stickers and the design of them is eye catching. Nothing ground breaking here, but nothing wrong either. I've seen brands do buttons, wristbands unique cut-outs and even candy. Like I said, nothing wrong with these extras today.

Extras: 4

The design of the tee includes three prints: a heart on the front chest, a message on the back and the logo on the left sleeve. The two color front art is a heart designed to appear stitched in and unraveling at the same time. The unraveled thread gets larger as it approaches the bottom of the tee. The thread seams to jump off the tee from each side. I really like this design and it looks even better when the tee is being worn.

The left sleeve is the YAOTL logo also with the stitch graphics incorporated. You have to touch the print to tell if the stitching is real or not. Great job with the design.

On the back: Threads Run Deep in the same stitch theme is printed off centered to the right. Again, this tee works very well when worn. I'll admit, I am usually not a big fan of the back print being so large, but it does fine for this design. If there was one thing I would change, it would be the size of the back print.  I love the stitch lettering and the placement of the design. Javier is very good at finding unique locations to place the print, without looking like a fad.

Design: 4

Quality vs Price:
This category can be very tricky. There is a lot to take into account when pricing a tee and just because you have a high quality tee, doesn't mean you can charge an arm and a leg for it. The price range for a quality tee is kind of broad, about 18-30 bucks. Anything over that is usually a very limited run or an anniversary package tee. This tee is VERY well made. The quality is on par with any tee I have come across and I must say I was extremely impressed with the quality of the tee itself and the print. The tee is printed on a JS Apparel brand tee. I was not familiar with this brand before today and like I said I am very impressed. The print is done with water based ink and the size of the prints are very generous. No corners were cut when printing this tee. The tee also comes tag less with a print of the size and logo on the inside back neck. This is great for comfort and is becoming the norm for high quality tees. The price of the tee is 27 bucks. Not bad at all. I think that is more than fair for everything you get with this tee. Great job on Quality vs Price. Also check the "Discount Codes" tab above for a discount on your purchase.

Quality vs Price: 5

This category is simple yet the most important. If I don't like the way the tee fits, I won't wear it. Neither will anyone else. So after everything we just went through (packaging, extras, design, quality..) if the tee doesn't fit nothing else matters for me. This tee fits great! I was a little skeptical when I heard they were printed on JS, being that I had never heard of them before. But I must say this tee fits perfect. I can't wait to wear it out.

Fit: 5

Overall score: 22 out of 25 possible points. That's an awesome score. Big thanks to Javier for getting this great tee to me. Y'all be on the look out for some news about a YAOTL contest very soon! I will be posting the details as soon as they become available. Below is the contact info for YAOTL:


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