Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Button-Downs With An Affliction

Affliction Button-Down
There aren't many brands willing to give women's springtime apparel some ruggedness, which is why there is one series of button-downs that stand out this season. For the past several seasons, Affliction Clothing, once better known for women's baby tees and short dresses, has come around with something tougher.

The button-downs they make draw inspiration from country as much as rock and roll. Much like their men's line, the attention is often in the details, especially if you are willing to wade past the more predictable trademark emblazoned designs. These shirts are made to be worn in rougher settings, especially those that involve motorcycles.

Three rugged button-downs with an affliction. 

Some of of the shirts are largely straightforward like the Rock Out LS (above). Rather than carry any brands, the button-down adds its first layer of toughness with some stitched square panels down the front. After that, metallic stud embellishments adorn both the pocket and sleeves.

Affliction Button-DownDown the back, the shirt starts with another series of studs that taper away as they roll down the back.  The black, with the slightest sheen, comes across almost charcoal. Caring for it is easy. Machine wash cold.

Some of the patterns aren't nearly as subtle and they don't have to be. The Riding Wheels Woven is based on a classic Western button-down that gets completely renovated as West Coast motorcycle wear. They accomplish it with contrasting shoulder yokes and a few well-placed stud embellishments.

Affliction Plaid And LaceAside from contrast stitching and contrast lining, most of the action happens on the back. Emblazoned with something reminiscent of the Southern cross with well-placed studs, the shirt manages to reflect a harder edge despite being a bit busy.

The shirt, like most of those made by Affliction, is 98 percent cotton and 2 percent Spandex. The addition of Spandex gives the material its characteristic give. Just don't size down too much as all button-downs are meant to fit without being too snug against the buttons.

Some shirts, like the Westwood LS Woven, don't have any Spandex added. In fact, the 100 percent cotton shirt is slightly different than the rest because it adds a feminine touch with floral lace panels and shoulder yokes. It's a surprisingly smart combination.

The back of the shirt is decorated with one of the American Customs Motor Club designs. The roaring puma feels almost too pronounced, making me wish we could have seen one without even if it works nonetheless. The bottom line is most shirts aren't made with enough toughness but these three and about a dozen more are.

Tom Atencio is at the heart of design for men and women.

Affliction Clothing is fast approaching its tenth year as the manufacturer that made a business out of clothing with tribal tattoos, skeletal jewelry, and a toughness borrowed from mixed martial arts, metal, motorcycles. and muscle cars. Think about the brand as more under the radar than Ed Hardy but more accessible than Von Dutch.

The company itself was started by Tom Atencio, Todd Beard and Eric Foss. The three stepped outside of design industry standards and found an audience within the mixed martial arts crowd. The company is still evolving, especially as it has expanded its line for women.

Button-Downs For Women By Affliction Snap 7.4 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

When most people think about Affliction, they think about the marketing with fast cars, sultry women, and super-charged testosterone. But like most things, that is only part of the story. There are an increasing number of women who are just as tough as the men and Affliction is finding them.

Affliction continues to expand its global presence, opening stores in Moscow, Dubai, Tokyo, and Sao Paulo. You can also find them online, placing any orders from the company direct. To browse the newest additions to their spring line, shop Affliction Clothing.
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