If you have 20/20 vision or wear lens-free hipster glasses, skip this post: You won’t understand it. For my remaining four-eyed friends, here is Fift design studio’s Wipe Shirt. It’s a T-shirt that’s been enhanced with three segments of micro-fiber for cleaning your eyeglasses and phones. If I understand the text correctly, the micro-fiber segments are graded differently (like sandpaper) making each one more or less appropriate for a specific surface to wipe.
People who wear eyeglasses will understand what led to the creation of this product. Modern lenses, especially those with anti-reflective coating, smear mercilessly and perpetually. We have three options: 1) Walk around with smeary glasses, 2) Carry a micro-fiber cloth at all times, or 3) Clean the lenses with your regular shirt and risk scratching them or smearing them further.
Enter The Wipe Shirt. (It also comes in a dress shirt style.) Because I have clean glasses, I can totally see how Fift was attempting to solve the problem outlined above through design. For that, they get props. The only thing is: While The Wipe Shirt successfully addresses the functional problem of smeary glasses, it disregards the principles of design. Am I right that this shirt is kinda fugly? I am the target demographic here, and I wouldn’t wear it. (I do think the decision to render the micro-fiber in the shape of windshield wipers is conceptually cute though.)
Incorporating a bit of micro-fiber into your everyday gear is a good idea. You could sew a strip of the cloth into the inside hem of a more attractive T-shirt or buy a micro-fiber keychain that you can sometimes find in camera shops. (Jon Burgerman also designed a special cloth for wiping your laptop.) But if you want this novel shirt (and you have 6,300 JPY ~ $81USD burning a hole in your pocket), you can get it online through Novelax here. The name Novelax translates roughly to “loose with novelty,” an expression I find rather endearing.