The T-Shirt Shop Marine Layer Opens in Bucktown

This new store on Damen Avenue is stocked with super soft, California-casual t-shirts.

San Francisco-based casual wear brand Marine Layer has opened its first Chicago store in Bucktown.   Photo: Courtesy of Marine Layer

Everyone has that perfect, worn-in t-shirt that fits just right. I myself have quite the collection —old college t-shirts, embarrassing concert shirts, and my dad’s vintage Lane Tech tee that I’ll never part with. So when I heard that Mike Natenshon, founder of Marine Layer, started his clothing line to recreate his favorite shirt after his girlfriend threw it away, I felt for the guy.

His background is in finance, not fashion, but Natenshon got to work on creating a custom fabric blend of Pima cotton and recycled beech wood. He launched Marine Layer out of his San Francisco apartment in 2009, and every step of production is still done in California. The resulting tees ($39) are not just soft, but “absurdly soft,” Marine Layer rep Nish Nadaraja says. If you like casual wear brands like James Perse, Splendid and Madewell, you’ll dig what Marine Layer is doing with its laid-back line of t-shirts, button-downs and maxi dresses.

Marine Layer now has a store open in Bucktown (1646 N. Damen Ave.), its first location outside of the West Coast. The shop will hold its grand opening party on Friday, August 8. From 6 to 8 p.m. the store will be 20 percent off with complimentary beer, wine and cornhole. To attend, send an optional (but appreciated) RSVP to party@marinelayer.com.

Expect to see more from this San Fran brand soon. By the end of the year, Marine Layer hopes to have a second Chicago location open in Lincoln Park.

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