My fourth daughter, Harriet, is very soft-spoken. She has had language differences her whole life, and her words come sparingly and slow. Because of this, her wit and keen observations are like little gems... gifts that surprise and delight me every time. And since they are unexpected, they hit the mark all the more. What she lacks in word count, she makes up for with timing and the funniest, driest delivery. I will never forget being with her in the checkout line at the grocery store. She was eleven or twelve, just back from summer camp, where I had sent many care packages filled with candy and notes and Tiger Beat magazines. She quietly slipped another magazine of the same ilk (J14?) onto the conveyer belt. I challenged the add – "you have so many of these already!" (How much Jonas Brothers gossip could there be, really?) Her reply: "no – this one is D I F F E R E N T." How could I argue? In her brevity, she was exactly right. This is the same way I feel about cellulare. While I have dozens of shirts in my closet – this fabric is D I F F E R E N T.
Cellulare is this amazing summer cotton fabric that Sid has been obsessed with for years, and it is always a big presence on our line. (Both men's and women's!) It's Italian, so it's pronounced chell-you-lah-ray. "Call you on my cellulare" is the running joke around here. Up close, the weave has a cellular-looking structure... a lot like honeycomb. It is a little weird, and I can't help but remember the silly sci-fi movie I watched as a kid, where a team of scientists travel through a human body in a little pod... the cellulare makeup of the body enveloping the ship. Sounds a little scary in retrospect, but I promise it was cool. If the sci-fi thing is too much for you, perhaps it reminds you of hexagonal tile... maybe even chicken wire? Whatever your reference, it is a weird, wonderful fabric that we love here at Mashburn.
Not quite pique – not quite oxford – definitely not poplin – just special. It's airy and open, but substantial at the same time. And even though you may have as many men's-style shirts as I do, you absolutely need one in cellulare, I promise. It just has that little something different (à la Harriet) that gives it a reason to be. Sometimes it is those tiny subtle details, so hard to describe and capture, that take something from good to great. That herb that you can't quite identify in the salad dressing your friend makes. The haircolor of your blond toddler on the beach and the magical way the light hits it, that you try to recreate in the salon chair. (Can you tell I truly regret not staying blonde?) The "what is that" smell of confederate jasmine in the spring that makes your garden better with just that hit of scent. Just the little something extra that takes something over the top. That is cellulare to me.
I love it in the Tomboy Popover style as the subtle differentiator in my blue shirt lineup that justifies its spot in the closet. This is a shirt that I like in my usual size, but also one size bigger. I push the sleeves up and unbutton it as deep as my bra or camisole will allow. It is perfectly slouchy without looking sloppy... which I adore. This season, we leaned in and used cellulare in some of our more novelty styles as well. The Tie Tunic makes every woman look a little slimmer – the tie cinches your waist and the length covers you in the back. (The navy is chic, too.) And the sweet Amelie Ruffle in citrine feels very breezy and feminine... especially here in Atlanta where the heat often makes long sleeves tough. There are a million styles that work for different shapes – flat-chested or fuller up top – whether you like to cover your arms or show off your work at the Pilates studio.
We have a newish Made to Order program in stores (though you can always call in,) where you can choose from six of our most classic shirt styles, plus a dress, and get it made in any one of 50 different fabrics, made just for you. We made sure to include a few cellulare colors in the mix so you can literally design your very own... the white is especially fantastic. It is a bit sheer, but nothing that nude underpinnings can't handle. Though a word to the wise if you are buying cellulare for a man in your life – we recommend a color for anyone who is extra hairy in the chest. Between the translucency and the open weave, the white can go a bit more Burt Reynolds than you usually want for a sport shirt... it works beautifully on 95% of men, and is a major bestseller, but worth mentioning. Moving on!!
One more movie reference comes to mind as I am writing this... the classic Great Gatsby from 1974, with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. You probably know the scene I am talking about already. Gatsby makes a show of all of the wonderful shirts crowding his closet, their beauty as important as their bounty. It gets a little strange when Mia begins to cry... and no one really needs THAT many shirts. But a little something "different" is just the thing to freshen your repertoire, whether it's cellulare or the sweet smell of jasmine. You need this, I promise.