One of the major pluses of being married to a firefighter is all gift giving occasions have become a million times easier!!! There's always some gadget, a cool shirt, or some novelty decoration that has been requested. I must admit too, it's pretty fun shopping for fire related stuff.
Last Father's Day I decided to purchase some t-shirts for 374 - one from me, and one from the kids. He hadn't had a chance to order any station shirts yet, and I knew he was itching for some fire gear to wear around the station. Who am I kidding? Any fire wife knows once they build a collection of fire shirts, it's all they wear anymore!
In my search for two perfect shirts for hubby, I stumbled upon Black Helmet Apparel. Prior to that, all I was finding were your generic fireman t-shirts with semi-witty sayings and pictures of flames/hoses/helmets, etc. While these are all and good for most, I knew it wasn't quite what I was looking for. When I found Black Helmet Apparel, I knew I found something special.
Black Helmet Apparel was founded by a fireman. The products are created with firefighters in mind. They use high quality materials. The Black Helmet Apparel website states: "You will find no clip art here. You will only find images that relay the fearless, but frightening side of our job. No cheesy sayings. This is how we live. It's what we love." The company has been around since June 2008. I must say, I hope they are around for a long long time because their products are truly worth every cent!
For that Father's Day 2011, I purchased one Black Helmet shirt. The Keep Back Leary Foundation Shirt to be exact. I also purchased a cliche, clipart volunteer firefighter shirt from another site, but the Black Helmet Apparel shirt was an obvious favorite as soon as he opened his presents. The material is a good weight. It's not too heavy of a shirt, but it's also not super thin like a lot of shirts you find on the market these days.
This shirt got a lot of wear for many months before more shirts were added to his collection, and it's held up just fine. I will say that I do not dry any of our tops, so I can not vouch for their no shrinking claim but it's definitely held it's shape and size through all the washing. There's been minimal, if any fading to his shirt. To me it still looks like it did after the first few wears. Their sizing is pretty true to size. I usually buy 374 an XL for tops, because he is 6'5''. They run pretty true to an XL size, maybe even a bit larger.
One of my favorite features of their shirts is their printing. They call it a discharge printing, which is soft and doesn't fade or crack. This is what makes these shirts stand out from the generic clip art shirts I bought. Even with no drying, the generic shirts's printings have begun to crack a bit. Not at all with the Black Helmet Apparel shirts. Besides his station shirts, his Black Helmet Apparel shirts get the most wear. The printing and coloring will not show that. If I lined up all the firefighter shirts, you'd swear he wore these the least!
The company does more than shirts. They have shorts, hoodies, hats, as well as a line of women's and children's clothes. You will also find accessories and decals, as well as some gear items. They offer a smoking hot gear bag that is on the top 374's wish list. Also found on their website is an awesome tri-fold wallet made from decommissioned bunker gear. Don't tell 374 but that's at the top of MY list for the next gift he receives!
We have since added the Firefighter's Maltese V-Neck and the Force Entry Classic T-shirt to our collection. All I can say is HOT HOT HOT! I love my firefighter in these shirts. I know there will be many, many more Black Helmet Apparel products to his collection.
Thank you Black Helmet Apparel for offering top quality products for these guys who do so much for the communities they serve. My firefighter LOVES your products, and I LOVE seeing them on him. They are a young, unique way for him to show his pride in his job. He gets SO many compliments on them everywhere he goes, and we've turned a few guys, (and a gal cadet!) into customers. Please continue to offer these amazing products, you have a customer for life here!
Find Black Helmet Apparel on Facebook!
Looking back through my photos I realized I don't have any that show him in these shirts well. Being the busy full time worker, and volunteer firefighter he is I did not have time to snap pictures of him before writing this post. I will use next week's Wordless Wednesday to showcase his Black Helmet Apparel!