Review: Mack Weldon’s New Slim Fit Vesper Polo
It’s no secret that we think a polo is a great summer option. It’s the perfect top for the warmer months. It is neither too dressy, nor too casual. It can look just as at home paired with shorts and sneakers as it can under a blazer or even a suit. Still, not all polos are created equal. Some have different fits, styles — like pockets, thicker or spread collars, and so on — and, perhaps most importantly, different fabrics. Especially in this new modern age of tech-wear fabrics, many polos are being made by various companies with all sorts of special, unique, and cool features to help make them more comfortable for the heat. We already took a look at the new J Crew Factory performance polo (we didn’t love it), but now it’s time for another top contender, the Mack Weldon Vesper Polo ($68).
Mack Weldon is a relatively new menswear brand, focusing on essentials like undershirts, underwear, socks, tees, and now polos as well. They specialize, though, in unique and performance fabrics. They make all sorts of great mesh fabrics, with moisture wicking capabilities, tons of stretch, and so on. This has done real well for them in the undergarment space, and now they are bringing it to polos. Considering just how hot it can get during the summer months, especially depending on where you live, having a polo that feels weightless, is super breathable, and moisture wicking could be the difference between life and death (almost). Some of these performance polos put good ol’ pique cotton to shame. Let’s take a look at Mack Weldon’s offering.
Packaging & Experience
Mack Weldon’s website takes a minute or two just to figure out how they have everything broken down, but once you do, it’s actually very well organized, and very easy to use. It’s well designed, and a pleasure to look at. Shipping is fast — only took a couple of days. Packaging is nice also, as your items arrive in sized grey shipping bags that look and feel a whole lot nicer and more premium than how big box retailers ship their stuff. Shipping both ways is free, but there is no return label in the box. You have to go online to print one out. A-
Style & Design
As of right now, Mack Weldon does not have too many polo offerings. They have three different fabrics types, each with a different fit, and each with a different set of two or three fabric patterns. So, not super impressive from this perspective, but also more than understandable when you’re talking about a company’s first voyage into a new area of products. One thing to note, though, is that just like with most of their products, not all fits or patterns are available in all styles. This has always bugged me about their products. (Why can’t I get a trunk in all of their fabrics, for instance?) But this is just how it is.
As far as the Vesper polo in particular is concerned, it promises to be the most performance, tech-wear of their three options. It is a mesh fabric, and is available in a few solid colors with a chest pocket, as well as some two-tone options without a chest pocket. We love our chest pockets on polos, but we couldn’t pass up the cool, and more unique two-tone offering, so we went with a black and grey fabric for this review. The color is spot on, as the grey is neither too light nor too dark, and the same goes for the black. The fabric itself, though, is super, super casual. It’s a true mesh, and, up close, would likely be see-through to some extent. So, leave this polo for the super hot days when it would be more excusable, or at the very least do not wear this with a suit jacket. It’s just not dressy at all. Perfect for the golf course, or for a day at the park; much less perfect for the office. This was, in all honesty, a bit of a disappointment. We wished that the mesh would not have been as noticeable, but it is, instead, quite noticeable. The collar is also, in our opinion, a little bit too big for the look of this polo, and sits a bit floppy because of it. While you cannot really fault a mesh polo for being what it claims to be, we do still think this could have been executed a bit better. B+
Quality & Construction
Mack Weldon always delivers solid quality in their products. They sure as hell charge for it, but you do get what you pay for, for the most part. There are no complaints here, when it comes down to it. The fabric breakdown is 47.5% Combed Cotton, 47.5% Modal, 5% Polyester. It feels and moves incredibly well. It feels like you are wearing next to nothing. It’s silky smooth, and a breeze, quite literally, to wear. Again, on the golf course, this thing would be a God-send. Mack Weldon knows their tech fabrics, and this polo is no exception. Again, we wished it looked a bit better, but as far as the feel is concerned, they did a bang-up job. It breathes super well, is indeed very moisture wicking, and overall is very comfortable to wear. The whole built is good too, with solid-feeling buttons, and clean stitching throughout. The fabric, I suppose by its nature, does feel very, very thin though, and so the almost-weightlessness of this polo might come across as a bit cheap-feeling to some. We think that is the nature of the beast though. If you want a super lightweight polo, well, then, it’s going to feel super lightweight. Either way, we can see getting a solid amount of wear out of this. At almost $70, though, we don’t think it delivers $70 worth of quality. It’s good, but that good? That’s hard to argue. The price is super expensive, the quality is there, but is this really double the quality of a Banana Republic polo? Hard to suggest that. Still, though, if you want a fabric like this, there is nowhere else that really offers anything truly close. A
(Note: I am 6’1” and 165 lbs. and usually wear a size S or 15” shirt in a slim fit.)
This is considered to be their Slim Fit. I went with my usual size Small. I found it to be a touch short, as well as too wide in the armholes for slimmer and taller guys like me. Shorter guys with a bit more meat on their bones will find this polo alright in respect to its length and armholes, but will run into some odd problems with the chest and waist measurements. It is a mystery to me who this polo was cut for. The chest is only a hair wider than the waist. Who has body measurements like that? While this polo fits me, a tall, slender guy (presumably their target audience with a Slim Fit polo) perfectly in the waist, it is too tight in the chest and cuts uncomfortably into my armpits. Surely, going with one of their more classically fit polos would realist in armholes that are much, much too big and a waist too wide as well. Once again, we gotta say, despite this being labeled a Slim Fit, it’s not truly a great slim fit, with off chest and waist measurements. Tall, skinny guys won’t fit into this well. See the full chart below for more details and a better idea. B-
Value & Conclusion
Mack Weldon Vesper Polo — $68: This is not cheap for a polo. There’s not two ways about that. If a true performance fabric justifies that price to you, then go for it. It’s well made and, assuming that it fits you, you’ll get what you pay for and will be happy with a polo made in a fabric you cannot readily find elsewhere. If you won’t fit into it so well, and just don’t see a better performance fabric than what you can find elsewhere as being worth about double the price, then we say you should pass on this. Still, with free shipping and pretty easy returns, it’s worth giving it a shot if you think it might be right for you. Final Grade: B+