Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Flag T-shirt

Jamaica_flag_300One of our favorite people is in Jamaica this week, soaking up the tropical vibe with his family. A well-deserved, long-overdue vacation. We won’t mention his name, as tropical vacations can stir up emotions like resentment and envy for those left behind in the deep freeze. We refuse to stir up such emotions, instead we happily reminisce about flag t-shirts.

The Jamaican flag t-shirt for example is a popular fashion statement that conjures up visions of beautiful beaches, smiling people and Bob Marley. Just imagine the sun caressing your face as you recline in a hammock in your favorite T listening to Bob Marley on the radio.

There have been a few other equally evocative flag t-shirts over the years: namely the Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes. It’s hard to think of a Union Jack T-shirt without thinking of The Who. Rodger Daltry, when he wore a shirt, created quite a fashion rage with the English flag way back when. The American flag has some more recent musical fashion icons: Busta Rhymes has an awesome Stars and Stripes tank top, Mr. T had a red, white and blue jumpsuit, Lil Wayne and Axl Rose both sported red, white and blue boxers. But we digress.

Let’s get back to Jamaica and Bob Marley. Here is a little tribute. If you are stuck at your desk, keep the beat by tapping your pen against your coffee mug and imagine you are playing the cowbell in Jammin’:

Have an awesome vacation, Kevin. Ooops. Now we’ve done it. Bring us back a nice T-shirt, if you think of it.

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Cotton Weather and Signs of Spring

It is not yet t-shirt weather up here in the Northeast, but we have seen the very first sign of Spring: seed catalogs. The long winters in Vermont and Massachusetts leave gardeners (and other warm-blooded creatures) hankering for Spring. We need a little sunshine and the seed catalogs that arrive by mail right around this time of year have been a beacon of hope for almost two centuries.

cottonTheir promising images of blossoming green plants made some of our fans wonder about cotton plants. What kinds of weather can they tolerate? How far north can they grow? Should we start cotton seedlings indoors like some people start tomatoes?

The saying goes like this: “Cotton grows best in the best climate.” Cotton growers and snow-shovelers will agree that we do not exactly have “the best climate” here in the Northeast.

Our home states of Vermont and Massachusetts are in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 – 6. To give you an idea of how the Hardiness Zones work, Zone 2 is up north around the Canadian border, Zone 10 is at the southern tip of Florida. The Zones are geographically defined areas distinguished by average annual minimum temperatures. Cotton is Winter hardy in USDA Zones 8 to 11, it does not like to get much colder than 30° F.

Though cotton grows all over the world, it needs a long, moist season in a temperate to hot climate. That’s why our VP, Kevin Camisa has so many friends in warm places. The cotton for most of our garments is grown by American Farmers in the right Hardiness Zones, where t-shirt weather starts early.

To our friends in New England, hang in there. Spring will be here before you know it. Stick to planting things like tomato seeds and zucchini. We’ll leave the cotton growing to those in the warm.

image source:

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Valentine’s Day, Touch and the Meaning of Comfort

When we talk about the texture of a fabric, we talk about its “hand.” When we feel an emotion deeply, we say “I was touched by the sentiment.” Even the word sentiment comes from from Latin sentire “to feel.” Touch is important. Its power is well documented.

file2281336842641-rhinos-touchPetting dogs reduces stress and relieves depression in their owners. We know that touch improves infant development. Hand and foot massages can even prolong the life of seniors living alone. Touch increases the releases the ‘cuddle” hormone, oxytocin and decreases of the stress hormone cortisol. Last year’s NPR story Human Connections Start With A Friendly Touch describes it this way:

“A soft touch on the arm makes the orbital frontal cortex light up, just like those other rewarding stimuli,” Hertenstein says. “So, touch is a very powerful rewarding stimulus — just like your chocolate that you find in your cupboard at home.”

The surging of oxytocin makes you feel more trusting and connected. And the cascade of electrical impulses slows your heart and lowers your blood pressure, making you feel less stressed and more soothed. Remarkably, this complex surge of events in the brain and body are all initiated by a simple, supportive touch.

Though not as strong in adulthood as it is in infancy, our need for touch lasts a lifetime. The skin is our body’s largest organ – roughly 20 square feet and 16% of your body weight. Sensory receptors are distributed in a vast network of nerve endings known as the somatosensory system, located just below the surface of the skin. The somatosensory system sends messages to the brain where determinations are made: hot, cold, tickle, soft, Comfort Colors, etc.

The garment industry depends on touch almost as much as the human body does. That’s why we opted for cotton with a better hand. It produces t-shirts, tanks and sweats that are more comfortable against the skin. You can think of Comfort Colors clothing as an oxytocin-releasing, connection-making, trust-building hug — a sensation that never grows old.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Keep Comfortable.

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Red is the Color of Love and Favorite T-shirts

As Valentine’s Day approaches we are seeing everything in color: Rose are red, violets are blue. Color is everywhere: in our conversations, in the gifts we give, in the songs we sing. Donovan sang “Yellow is the color of my true love’s hair.” The Rolling Stones sang “Paint it black.” Remember Procol Harum’s hit, “Whiter Shade of Pale?” Devil with a Blue Dress. Purple Rain. Bullet the Blue Sky. Yellow Submarine. Blue Suede Shoes. Pink Moon.

roseSong writers and psychologists know some things about color: “Blue is the most popular color in the world, black is associated with elegance, wealth, power, and strength, green soothes and calms, and red is the color of love and romance.” (

Studies show that men are more attracted to women dressed in red; women are more attracted to men wearing red. But red is also the color of anger, danger, violence, stop signs, and financial ruin. Why is it also Cupid’s favorite?

It must be physiological, right? Just think of the bright red behind of an orangutan in heat, and you get that picture. “Among humans, sexual excitement is often associated with redness in the body’s erogenous areas, and with facial blushing. Robust physiological processes such as strong blood flow and high testosterone levels (in men) are required to produce a reddish skin appearance. Thus, the color itself may have become over evolutionary time a proxy signal for reproductive potential.” (

It is also cultural: we give red roses on Valentine’s Day, red is the historically accepted indicator of romance; it makes sense that we have come to subconsciously associate the color red and shades of red with sex.

The jury is still out, though, on why red is also the color of anger and the color of the ‘power tie. Regardless, “the color red constitutes a unique, significant and subconscious sexual signal, rooted in our biological heritage. Beyond its aesthetic value, red also carries psychological meaning, and it has the potential to affect our behavior and our sexual feelings.” (from the psychology today article sited above)

What this really means is that color matters. Whether we even know it on a conscious-level, the colors we wear effect our perceptions of ourselves and how other people perceive us. So, in this month of romance, love and Cupid’s arrow, why not choose red? It’s worth a shot!

Some of our favorite Comfort Colors t-shirts come in shades of red. May we suggest Blossom, Crunchberry, Neon Red Orange, Crimson, Mango, Neon Pink, Raspberry, Watermelon, Brick, Red, Salmon…?

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