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My Suggestion for Holiday Gifts: Buy Marine Layer

November 15, 2009

On Friday I dropped by a happy hour at Marine Layer, a new start-up shirt company, at its new headquarters on Polk Street in San Francisco. Anyone who has seen pictures of me on Facebook knows this company because I live in these shirts (So far, I’ve purchased four). The owner is a guy named Mike Natenshon (@mnatenshon), a longtime friend of my older brother Adam (@adamjustinlynch).

Marine Layer

As Mike’s “about” page sums up, he used to have a t-shirt problem:

“Mike Natenshon started Marine Layer because he couldn’t find new t-shirts that fit and felt like his precious few favorites and his girlfriend was going to dump him if he kept wearing the same 5 tees from college.  It took about a year of trial and error and a heap of credit card debt to get the first shirt made, but it was a beauty.”

So Marine Layer was born, as was an elaborate sizing system to make sure none of us ever had the same problem. I serve as a good use case for Mike’s shirts. I’m tall enough (6’2”) that I necessitate a shirt with the length of an XL, but I’m also a wiry-looking runner, which means that I need the width of a Large, making his “larger” size the perfect match. The shirts are made with American materials, a blend of two yarns called Pima Cotton and MicroModal. The latter comes from recycled Beech Wood. All of the manufacturing processes occur in California.


Aside from the custom sizing and top-quality fabric, the logo is what makes these shirts not just a shirt. The Marine Layer logo is a man who uses the Golden Gate Bridge as a hammock. A leg dangles out of the hammock. Not in a scary or precarious way as if he’ll fall, but with the comfort and ease that would come when relaxing at the entrance and end of one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Will you feel like that every time you put on a Marine Layer shirt? I’m sure Mike hopes so. And he wants people all over the world to wear them, not just here in SF. From what I understand, he’s been doing just that. He and his VP of Everything, Sarah, have been shipping them out left and right.

If you are local, though, you should see the amazing office he’s constructed, equipped with a Shuffle Board table and a fridge of Macrobrews and racks of shirts. The Marine Layer website recently received an impressive overhaul, and can help you find the shirt and size you prefer.

For readers of the Lynch Blog, the first few to contact me can get a discount on their next Marine Layer purchase, as I still have a few friend of the fam discount cards. If you’re looking for a custom run for your company, then drop me a line and I’ll put you in touch with Mike and Sarah.

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