A while back we reviewed a white button down shirt from Dutch brand cees n’ co, the brainchild of Arien de Vries. If you missed out last time around, she’s an Amsterdam based designer born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Having worked in Holland for many years as a costume designer, de Vries learnt the importance of making actors feel good in their costume both on stage and in front of camera. No surprise then that she’s turned her attentions to making the wearers of her shirts feel like they might be movie stars as well when they’ve got on her wares. The feel, fabric, look and fit have all been so well considered, this almost feels more polished than the first white button down we were lucky enough to try – quite the compliment.
The packaging of the cees n’ co parcel is still one of the best I’ve seen. The perfectly packed shirt sits in its own mesh bag underneath a couple of elegant postcards and washing instructions as well as a nice set of collar stays. Right out of the package, the feel of the shirt is pretty wonderful, a sign of an exceptional wear to come. I feel reviewing this like I might seem over the top, but really de Vries does such a good job with her shirts that they warrant every little bit of praise I can squeeze out.
As with the first, white, button down, this feels pretty much like the perfect dress shirt. Simplicity is still the leading edge of the design process as there is no excess whatsoever in the finished product. From the front, the simple mother of pearl buttons, noticeable lack of a front pocket and semi cutaway collar all speak to a refined final product. The back of the shirt holds the same feel, where the typical pleated design has been removed and replaced by flat fabric to maintain simplicity. Though you might expect this would sacrifice somewhat the fit, it doesn’t. The angular cuff with two buttons and unique serial number sewn into the collar add further design details to a remarkably well designed shirt.
It doesn’t get a whole lot better than the original white shirt I was able to review from cees n’ co but this blue slim-fit option manages to improve on an already great product. While the cees n’ co original was a classic fit, the slimming down has made the shirt even more fitted and I have to say it wears pretty amazingly. It’s not skinny so you can’t move, it’s just slim so you look a bit like you’ve had it tailored when you slip it on. You can’t say it much better than that. The tall shirt tail as well is a real bonus as there’ll be no slipping out of your pants once the shirt is tucked in, something many other dress shirts can have problems with.
One thing that feels instantly notable when pulling this shirt on for the first time is the quality of the fabric. de Vries has sourced a poplin fabric for the construction of her shirts instead of an oxford or other cotton due to the fact that poplin is thinner and has a higher count of warp yarns, a detail that may seem small but provides a smooth, soft and strong feeling. The comfort of the poplin only increases following washing and ironing as well as the shirt will soften further while maintaining the strength and integrity of the fabric.
As de Vries says in her own words when describing the cees n’ co button down “Back to simplicity, but made with great expertise and craftsmanship. A shirt for every occasion, for business (under a suit, with or without tie) as well as casual.” She seems to have hit every point she had been gunning for, this really is a great looking shirt we’d be comfortable wearing under a suit any day, but also wearing open collared for a slightly more casual look. It certainly garners a compliment or two from onlookers and honestly you feel pretty great with it on.
Apologies if you’d read this as well last time, but there’s also an interesting sustainability aspect to the design process. When it comes time to say goodbye to your current iteration of the shirt, it can be returned to cees n’ co and a 15 euro deposit from your original pruchase will be returned to you. The shirts will then be retouched slightly and place on the second hand market for a second lease on life if possible or recycled for materials for new products if refurbishment is impossible. If you wear your shirt for over three years, this 15 euro deposit will end up going to a charitable organization instead. It’s a small touch, but one that also sets de Vries apart from many other designers.
To purchase your own blue shirt (or the white shirt for that matter, may as well stock up), we recommend clicking through to the cees n’ co website where you can also learn a little more about the designer and the shirt itself. Just ask google to translate it for you and you’ll be off to the races. The online shop offers a handy guide to taking measurements as well as a section where you can purchase your new shirt for 99 euros (before the removal of VAT, at which time it comes to closer to 80 euros). Even if you weren’t previously considering needing a new dress shirt or two, go find one or two of the cees n’ co options, you’ll be glad you did.