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Golden Deer / Lee Kung Man (Hong Kong) Cotton Kung Fu Shirts (Short Sleeve)

Golden Deer / Lee Kung Man (Hong Kong) Cotton Kung Fu Shirts (Short Sleeve)

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July 17th, 2021

I've been asked to offer these shirts for sale several times over the years. These are the last kung fu shirts still made in Hong Kong, a few miles from my warehouse, and they've been made here continuously since the 1930s. These are made with Swiss cotton, which is mercerized with caustic soda to tighten up the fabric and make it more durable and smooth with a silk-like luster. The shirts are stitched on loopwheel/tubular knitting machines from the 1950s. There definitely aren't many of these machines still in use around the world, let alone in Hong Kong, and old machines have to be cannibalized for spare parts for the machines still in use today. These shirts are of course on a completely different level of quality from the Guangdong-made Cicada kung fu shirts.

These shirts are soft and lightweight, and very, very comfortable. While similar to the 555 shirts, these shirts also have unique differences, including genuine mother-of-pearl buttons (the 555 shirts have been out of production for several years now). The vertical streaks on these Golden Deer shirts seem specific to the tubular machines used, and these vertical lines weren't found on the last of the 555 shirts.

These Lee Kung Man shirts have a reputation for being both absorbent and quick drying, and some people swear they perform better than modern quick-dry polyester sportswear as far as wicking sweat away and keeping you cool, even in our hot and humid climate here in Hong Kong.

Bruce Lee was known to wear these shirts in both the short and long-sleeved lengths. This short-sleeved version has a ribbed cuff on the sleeve. This cuff is tight on me in size XXL (equivalent to US size large), so if you lift weights, the short sleeve may be too tight for you.

I would size up two sizes from UK or US sizing (in men's sizing). I wear a L in UK and US shirts, and an XL in Hong Kong sizing, but XXL (40-42" chest size) in these Golden Deer shirts fits me perfectly (see the pictures). You can of course size up and down if you want a looser or tighter fit. 

These shirts are also available in 3XL and 4XL (equivalent to US XL and XXL, respectively). Please note the larger sizes do not have ribbing on the sleeves (see the last two pictures).

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