I am always on the search for the perfect shell. For many years, I bought the Gap Favorite tees, and although the lower neckline made me slightly uncomfortable, they were soft and cozy, something which most of the shells I had tried were not. Then Gap changed their t-shirt design and the slightly uncomfortable became seriously uncomfortable. The neckline got too low to be excusable and the shirt fit got baggier. I tried on shells from different stores, but could not find any I wanted to wear more than once. A lot of them were made from itchy swim dress material, and the necklines were so high as to be choking hazards. So, my drawers filled up with shells I will never wear, while I was wearing t-shirts under my tunics that were so worn out they had holes in them.
The minute I put one of these shells on, I was in love. The material is so soft and silky that I could barely feel it. I had gotten so used to the heavy t-shirt material, or the waterproof itchiness, that in comparison, the Avanti shells were pure heaven! Several times the first few days, I had to reach up and touch my collarbone because I couldn’t believe it wasn’t showing!
Besides being extremely comfy, the neckline doesn’t cut off my circulation. I have skin sensitivities and I really can’t stand the chafing of a too-high neckline. Whether it is the “Relaxed Neck” or the regular shell necklines, all the shells sit right on the collarbone, creating an extremely comfortable, while still completely tznius, elegant look.
I also love how Avanti has so many options. I tried the long sleeves, which went great under my flowy Shabbos vest, and the sleeveless, which was perfect under my tunics. The one that I thought was really cool, however, was the cropped top. I am currently nursing a baby, and not having to smoosh her under so many layers was awesome. I just stuck her under my tunic and called it a day! These are great as maternity shells too. When I was expecting my first, I was living in Israel, and had a hard time navigating the maternity stores there. I saw a shell-looking cotton top that cut off over the stomach—something I had never seen before—and bought it in a bunch of colors. I soon realized that the bottom of the shirt did not stay in place and got really stretched out. Avanti cropped shells, however, have elastic underneath them so they stay put—something integral for us nursing mothers.
Another great new feature are the shells with 3/4 sleeves. When I was becoming frum, I was only in middle school, so even though I had learned that my elbows had to be covered, I was unable to put this idea into logical practice. In my eleven year old mind, warm weather was for short sleeves, so instead of wearing long sleeves in the summer, like religious people usually do, I went to the women’s department at the mall and bought XXL t-shirts that I swam in for the rest of middle school. I had no intentions of making a fashion statement, but I was a tiny kid drowning in massive shirts, which unfortunately became my trademark. Now that I am a little older and a little wiser (I hope!), I seriously appreciate the whole 3/4 sleeves concept! Long sleeves in the summer still doesn’t excite me—the 3/4 sleeves on these shells were such a game changer for me.
I cannot stop gushing about these shells, and I don’t think you will be able to either! Annnnnnnnnd, if you use our link to buy the new Avanti shells, some of the proceeds will go to support Nashim Magazine’s growth! It’s a win-win!
Note: Although Rochel was given free product to review, all opinions are her own.
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Photos by Yehudis Taffel