By Kathy Sherlock
Next issue: Review of Dickies’ Tactical Polo for Women
This shirt is 100% Polyester and “moisture wicking”. It has a long, drop tail with vents on both sides. There are Mic tabs on both shoulders, and a sunglasses tab on the front placket. There is a divided pen pocket on the left sleeve. The front placket has three “non-break” buttons, and the collar is “self-fabric” – meaning is is made of the same thing as the shirt, rather than the knit stuff that curls. The underarms also have a mesh insert to help with breathability.
Dickies offers this polo in ladies sizes S – 2XL. Colors offered are Black, Sand, Red, “Midnight”, and White. I chose white, for reasons I’ll explain in a bit.
Over all, except for one detail, this shirt fit me true-to size. The ladies XL I chose (as I always do, due to shoulders and boobage) fit me well across the shoulders and chest. The shoulder seams fell right where they are supposed to, and there was no pulling across the front or gapping in the placket. The shirttail was long enough to stay tucked, and it cleared my hips/butt easily without getting hung up. The fabric was soft and comfortable, and the athletic type mesh in the underarms was an interesting addition.
My only issue with fit, is with the collar. It seems too large proportionally for the rest of the design of the shirt to me. It almost looks as if they took a men’s XL collar and put it on a women’s XL shirt. It’s not a huge deal in a range shirt, but if I were working EMS or LE, I might think it looked a little sloppy and unprofessional. Just my opinion, having sewed a lot of clothes for myself in my life. As I said, this was my ONLY issue in an otherwise well-made and well-fitting shirt, and it may be at least in part due to my strange body proportions.
POLO STAIN RESISTANCE
Although the polo shirt did NOT carry the Teflon stain resistance claim that the pants did, I (perhaps unfairly) subjected it to the same stain torture test as I did the pants. I just wanted to see. And because “science” 🙂
It actually did pretty well considering. The pen ink didn’t come out even after three tries, and there’s still a little colored lip balm residue, but even the oil and blood and grass came out eventually. As above for the pants, this still exceeded my expectations, since Martha Stewart, I ain’t. You may wonder why I included sunscreen and lip balm, and it’s because this represents my life. I use Burt’s Bees pink a lot, because I chew on my lips at matches, and I sometimes forget, and wipe my sweaty face off on my sleeve. Hello sunscreen and lip balm stains 😀 This is one of the reasons I chose white – I may yet punt and try all fabric bleach.
As I mentioned above, I chose the white color for a reason. Besides staining, I also wanted to check for bra show-thru. I purely hate it when a white shirt for women is so sheer that you have to wear another shirt underneath it just so the world doesn’t know what kind of bra you’re wearing. I think I must have been traumatized by twelve years of Catholic school or something, because this has been a pet peeve for my whole life. I also think it looks unprofessional.
The good news is that Dickies did a pretty good job here. You can’t have the fabric be too thick if you want a shirt to still be breathable, so there is still a “little” show-thru. But a beige bra provides a decent compromise. I didn’t think it looked objectionable. There can be a similar issue with tattoos and sleeves. Many employers want tattoos to be covered and not visible under professional uniforms. But many women’s polo shirts have only cutesy little cap sleeves. The Dickies sleeves provide good coverage. I have some pretty bright ink on the upper arm, and it was still adequately covered with this shirt. Thus, Dickies wins my “white shirt challenge”!
As far as range performance goes, the button-up placket kept hot brass out of the delicate areas, but could still be opened up for ventilation when not on the line. I like this versatility better than an untrustworthy V-neck for range wear. I have been burned too many times by V-necks — Literally.
I’ve washed this polo shirt five times so far, and the collar has remained neat – without curling – and the white has remained white – not yellow or gray.
Overall, I am very pleased with both of these pieces of tactical wear from Dickies. I shouldn’t have been surprised. Dickies has been clothing hard working people of all shapes and sizes for generations. I’m glad they have stepped into the tactical market for women, and I can highly recommend these pants and shirt for any woman who wants to be Practical – not just “Tacti-Cool”.
Also available from several online uniform supply companies.