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Review Summary

The John Elliott hemi shirt has become a classic silhouette of the brand that was first released back in 2019. Often constructed from 100% midweight cotton, all hemi shirts feature an oversized, boxy, and slightly cropped cut with elongated sleeves that stack at the wrist. Being made in Japan, the construction quality is incredibly high with unique proprietary finishes that include multi wash cycles and hand brushed fading for a well worn in look and feel. A raw hem can be found at the bottom of each shirt which is a nice touch not typically found on any other offerings.

When purchasing true to size, be prepared for a wide relaxed fit as the hemi silhouette is cut rather large. Given this extra space throughout the torso and sleeves as well as the borderline heavy weight cotton, the shirt is undoubtedly very comfortable. Whether buttoning up or wearing open, this is the perfect shirt for layering a basic tee beneath for added detail. New patterns, washes, and materials are regularly released on a seasonal basis making the hemi shirt a style that can easily take over your closet. With a price point of $398 per shirt, you’ll need some level of commitment to pull the trigger. That being said, I have zero regrets as I’ve seamlessly worked this relaxed aesthetic into my regular rotation.

Review Ratings


  • Made in Japan premium construction with unique designs and soft 100% cotton
  • Oversized fit with cropped torso and longer stacked sleeves allows for layering options
  • Raw hem is a beautiful added detail that slowly and elegantly frays over time
  • Midweight cotton is quite thick, borderline heavy, which feels high quality, adds warmth, lays nicely, and is very comfortable
  • Tons of patterns to choose from with updated colorways released seasonally


  • At a full retail price of $398, your wallet is sure to feel the pain of the purchase
  • Depending on your height, sizing may be difficult as sleeves are quite long with the torso being boxy

John Elliott Hemi Shirt


Review Details

John Elliott Hemi Shirt Sizing

I’ll start by saying that I’m not a regular wearer of any type of oversized clothing. I usually prefer a more tailored and trim fit which includes my pants, shirts, and outerwear. Having been intrigued with many of the John Elliott hemi shirts over the years, I finally pulled the trigger and purchased a few to give them a shot. For starters, I’m currently 5’11” and weigh 170 pounds with a somewhat athletic build. I wear a size 31-32 in denim, a size 2 medium in John Elliott pants/shorts and a size large in shirting and outerwear. Based on the sizing guidance on the John Elliott website, I purchased a size 3 large in the hemi to embrace the true relaxed fit.

It was immediately noticeable upon trying on the shirt that it is indeed, no doubt, oversized. Where this is most noticeable is in the width of the body which has a true boxy fit that is a bit billowy. The sleeves are also proportionally spacious throughout the full length of the arm with the bicep having a decently large circumference. The shoulder seams extend a good deal past the tops of the shoulders and down towards the middle of the upper arm, slightly exaggerating the relaxed fit. The armpit area narrows more than I was imagining which luckily avoids the wingsuit look, a big plus. The hem lays just past my waist line and is horizontally flat all the way around. 

The sleeve cuffs strike a perfect balance between being loose enough to slip over the hand when putting on without needing to unbutton, but tight enough to hug the wrist nicely when worn. There are a few stacks that form when my arms are by my side, however, when extending my arms in any direction the sleeves remain nicely around the wrists. I quite prefer this to the alternative.

While I think that a size 2 medium would totally work fine as well, I’m rather happy with the relaxed fit, comfort, and overall proportions of the large. I think if you’re looking for an even more dramatic cropped cut, then a medium may be the way to go if you’re around 6’ as it reduces the body length by 0.75”. But if a wider shoulder and the ability to layer with shirts that are both shorter or longer is important to you, a size 3 large may be best if you’re similar to my proportions.

John Elliott Hemi Shirt Construction

Most if not all of the John Elliott hemi shirts are pridefully made in Japan with great attention to detail. Garments produced in the land of the rising sun are generally synonymous with top tier quality engineering, often using processes and finishes that result in a very unique final product. One of the hemis that I purchased is constructed from midweight 100% cotton while the other is made from a super soft baby corduroy, both unique in their own right.

The midweight cotton version is the more standard offering from John Elliott with most of the hemis being made from this material. It’s a very thick and weighty shirt that instantly gives the sense of quality. The hand feel is surprisingly soft and due to the heft, the shirt lays very straight with nice stacks around the wrist. The baby corduroy option is equally as nice to the touch with thin narrow corduroy lines adorning the exterior. I was pleased to find that the shirt does provide a nice amount of warmth, allowing me to wear it on some of the cooler days without the need for a sweatshirt. 

Where this shirt really shines is from the unique non traditional cropped cut. When laid flat, the sleeves extend past the hem by a decent margin. When worn, the hem hits just past the natural waist with the sleeves producing a few stacks at the wrist. Each and every John Elliott hemi has a raw hem all the way around that appears frayed by about a quarter inch. The loose threads have thus far remained securely in place without any type of unraveling which I imagine will be the case for the duration when following the wash instructions. A few will stray from time to time which actually adds to the raw aesthetic, but nothing overly concerning or compromising.

Additional construction details include seven flat tortoise shell buttons with an added placket running down the front. Two additional buttons of similar style can be found on the square barrel cuffs which are pretty thick due to the double layer construction. A single open chest pocket is a permanent staple on the left pectoral across all hemi shirts which is a nice asymmetric touch that I rarely use. The collar is relatively standard in shape and it too is on the thicker side similar to the sleeves. 

Many of the midweight cotton variants feature a proprietary wash process which makes the cotton incredibly soft to the touch. A custom hand brushed finish gives each hemi a properly worn and vintage aesthetic which is typically only achieved after many years of wearing. These speciality treatments certainly add to the overall price tag of the shirt, but are absolutely worth it for the added character. Having worn the cotton version for a little over a year and the corduroy model for about 3 months, I have zero durability or longevity issues to report. I imagine with regular wear and appropriate washing, I’ll see many more years of use from each of these John Elliott hemis.

John Elliott Hemi Shirt Style

The John Elliott hemi shirt has become a staple of the brand for over 4 years for a reason. Its unique styling elements and oversized fit make it a casual and easy to wear recognizable classic. A rather versatile garment, the hemi can be worn in various ways pending the style you seek. Most commonly worn unbuttoned with a complimentary undershirt, I prefer to pair with a John Elliott anti expo tee when I want a longer layer that extends past the hem or a reversed cropped tee when looking for a shorter layer that can only be seen from the opening in the front. Either of these styles work with a nice pair of jeans, cargo pants, or work pants.

Rarely do I wear it fully buttoned as I prefer the free flowing nature of it open. That being said, there are instances where it is a good look. When paired with a shorter short like the himalayans or frame shorts, I do like the cropped boxy aesthetic that it creates. I’ll also pair it with the more upstyled pleated studio pants that hit right above the ankle, again creating a unique cropped look all around. During the colder months, buttoning up the shirt is almost as effective as wearing a light sweatshirt given the overall weight and warmth of the cotton. Being so simple to wear, you really can’t go wrong with throwing on a hemi and just about any pair of bottoms (maybe even jean shorts, maybe). 

Having been around now for many seasons, the hemi has seen its fair share of refreshes. New materials, washes, and styles are generally available with each drop, most of which are non traditional plaid color combinations that are always interesting. Lately, John Elliott has introduced more single hue offerings which includes the corduroy variants. Whether you’re a big fan of the brand seeking to expand your collection or are looking to buy your first John Elliott item, the hemi shirt might just be the perfect purchase.

John Elliott Hemi Shirt Value

When you think of a flannel type shirt, I can guarantee that you don’t think one would cost $398. But as is typically the case with John Elliott, the price can shock, even for elevated basics. The patterned hemi range typically is priced at $398 while the solid options usually start at $298. You do receive more hands on finishing touches with the more expensive variations such as specialized wash processes and brushed cotton This is unarguably high priced by all standards, however, the longevity, quality, and style of John Elliott always comes at a cost.

If you’re patient and can risk the potential loss of your favorite patterns, you can wait for select hemi shirts to go on sale each season. Remaining stock will usually end up discounted anywhere from 30-50% on the John Elliott site, however, top styles sell out quickly. Grailed also has a few gems from time to time, although you may need to sacrifice on size. If there is one that you must have (for me it was the talladega corduroy in haze), I recommend shelling out the cash as this is one shirt that seemingly can stand the test of time both from a durability and stylistic standpoint.

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