Soft, impossibly light and an instant cult favourite - Dutil's Quintessential Tee has a lot of fans. And for a good reason. The Dutil Quintessential Tee has the unique feature of being both tightly knit and extremely lightweight. The end result is a t-shirt that simultaneously feels like you're wearing nothing, and wearing a soft gauze at the same time. Fans of this tee have described it as a cloud, a floating layer of air, and "pyjamas, but like, pyjamas I can wear to work." Well, who are we to argue?
Although we began this tee as a classic white crew-neck without any bells and whistles, we soon released pocketed and v-neck variants. Upon request, we followed up with an all-black colour way. Over the years, we've gotten requests to launch a new version in colours. Well, we're here to tell you that we listened.
Meet the Iteration 2. Two new colours, a redesigned fit, and a heavier jersey knit fabric. Most remarkably, these tees are made of a blend of recycled plastic bottles and recycled cotton. 1 t-shirt = 5 recycled plastic bottles.
Note: Dear reader, this section is intended for the design geeks among us. If the obsessive details that go into perfecting a plain tee isn't up your alley, you're welcome to skip to the photos at the bottom of the article. We'll try not to take it personally.
When designing this t-shirt, it was important to us to remember what makes the Dutil Quintessential Tee so beloved. We wanted to create a shirt that celebrated simplicity - we didn't want back tags, contrast stitching or other nonessential details. All of those elements have their place, but not on our tee.
At the same time, our goal is to innovate - to take what works, and to change the formula enough to create a new shirt entirely.
Immediately, we were faced with a challenge. Cotton has durability and breathability that we love, but like all organic materials it has its limitations. Natural fibres like linen, cotton and wool cannot hold colour as well as synthetics. As such, we needed a new fabric.
The decision to switch to a partially synthetic material wasn't easy. We dislike the idea of encouraging the production of more non-renewable materials in a world that is already so overwhelmed with plastic. Throughout our research, we came upon a fabric that is made of a blend of cotton and ethically manufactured RPET polyester. This unique material sources its polyester from recycled plastic bottles which are cleaned, shredded and melted down to form polyester fibres, which are in turn woven into recycled cotton. The end result is a fabric with the breathability and lightness of cotton but the durability and colourfastness of polyester.
A new fabric meant an additional challenge. Different fabrics drape differently, based on weight, weave, composition and other features of its materiality. This meant that we couldn't simply duplicate the Dutil Quintessential Tee with a different fabric and expect the same result.
We knew that if we wanted to use colours, we'd need to use a different fabric, and if we wanted to use a different fabric we'd need to create another fit. To support the weight and solidity of the new fabric, we iterated over our Quintessential fit, tweaking the body, shoulders, and sleeves to support the heavier jersey knit. The end result is the Iteration 2: a t-shirt designed with a boxier fit and a thicker trim at the collar, sleeves and hem.
Fans of the Dutil Quintessential line, be warned: this t-shirt is not the same as the tee you've come to love. It's different. This tee will feel looser in the body and just a touch tighter in the shoulders. The thicker fabric gives it less malleability and more structure. If your Dutil Quintessential tee feels a little tight, we'd suggest sizing up. Otherwise, stick to your regular size.
Key Differences between the Iteration 2 and the Quintessential
Fabric: Weighing 6.2oz, these shirts are 3.2 ounces heavier than the Quintessentials t-shirts. This means a thicker, heavier fabric.
Composition: 60% RPET (polyester appropriated from recycled water bottles) and 40% recycled cotton.
Fit: Compared to the Quintessential Tees, the Iteration 2 has a boxier body and thicker collar and hem.
Sizing: This shirt fits true to size. If you already own a Dutil Quintessential Tee, you should consider sizing up if it fits a little tight or fits perfectly.