An Island Fashion Crisis. Solved!

WARNING:  The subject of this story prefers vodka over rum.  The travesty!

A few months ago, just as we were turning the corner to summer, I had a fashion crisis. Not a crisis insofar as I didn’t know what to wear or wanted to change my look. More of a crisis in that my look needed more of the same but of better quality. Quality and comfort that was hard to find at any price.

Okay, I’m talking t-shirts, just t-shirts. This is a serious discussion, stick with me on this. If you are a sea loving, beach going, island hoping, bikini designer like myself you need good t-shirts. I call them my dress t-shirts. It has probably been over a month since I wore anything with a collar, and that was a polo shirt. My friends at the my local bar laughed at me. You would have thought I dropped by for a craft beer in my tuxedo.

My favorite "RUM" shirt shooting Ron de Jeremy Rum review

My favorite "RUM" shirt shooting Ron de Jeremy Rum review ©2011 Carlton Grooms

My problem is quality and comfort. I’m just not a Hanes beefy-t guy. Too rough for me and I don’t think they look all that great after a few washes. I don’t think you can just slap a design on an average t-shirt and then try to bend me over by charging me north of $35 for it. No, rather I’m a soft material, doesn’t shrink in the wash kind of guy. I also like my neck line to actually come up to my neck, I’m not trying to look like a French sailor.

So there I was, crisis at full tilt, desperate for an upgrade. I threw out almost all of my old shirts and decided that I was going to prevail and find myself some comfortable and cool t-shirts. I looked at myself in the mirror trying to make that serious I’m going to prevail face. Thoughts of Jim Belushi in Animal House trying to motivate his fraternity brothers flashed across my brain. “Did we give up when the German’s bombed Pearl Harbor?”

All fired up I yelled, “Hell no!” and ran to my computer looking to buy some t-shirts.

Team Cocktail Swim Suit. My favorite.

Team Cocktail Swim Suit. My favorite. ©2011 Carlton Grooms

Guess what? I succeeded. I found a few good companies. I also got suckered and ordered some low quality shit as well. The best I found is Team Cocktail. No they don’t sell alcohol they sell cloths. Go figure, me finding a clothing company called Team Cocktail. It was meant to be.

(Ethics Statement: These people aren’t paying me for this. Normally I prefer to do write-ups about companies who shower me with lots of free things, the more expensive the better. Instead they made me buy their shirts with my hard earned cash. The nerve!)

Getting back to the story. So I ordered a few new shirts from various companies but the shirt from Team Cocktail was heads and shoulders better. The difference was the care in selecting the quality of the material to start with. Just like a good chef knows that fresh locally grown organic produce will always make a superior dish, Team Cocktail took the time to get the basics right first. Then they put their stupid designs on them. No, just kidding, their designs are cool too. Simple graphics with island and cocktail related themes. What’s not to like.

Lyndsey and Carl in Miami

Lyndsey and Carl in Miami ©2011 Carlton Grooms

Eventually I found Team Cocktail on Facebook and Twitter (@teamcocktail) and started to chat with whomever was on the other side. Mindless, stupid, drivel. I found out that they were going to be at the Rum Renaissance Festival in Miami so we planned to finally meet in person. Kind of like for t-shirts. I know it’s kind of shallow at best, creepy at worst.

When I arrived in Miami, late, I was getting twitter messages chiding me for ignoring their booth (which was not in the rum tasting room). I publicly defended myself and eventually found my way to say hello. Thus I got to meet Lyndsey one of the owners and made a new instant friend. That night a group of us went out, Rum Shop Ryan included and hit South Beach. The three of us were the only soldiers standing at sunrise after talking, drinking and having a great time all night. I must tell you however, I am disappointed that Lyndsey appears to like her vodka better than her rum. The travesty!

Lyndsey and Rum Shop Ryan, South Beach

Lyndsey and Rum Shop Ryan, South Beach ©2011 Carlton Grooms

The next morning, well a few hours later really, I dropped by their clothing display and bought a bunch more shirts. I also eventually purchased two swim suits from them. I really like my blue ‘Rum’ shirt that I recently wore while doing my Ron de Jeremy Rum review video. My wife also got a few shirts that looked great while hopping around the Virgin Islands.

If you are tropically inclined, love creating your own tiki cocktails and throw parties by large bodies of water (with tanned bodies that smell like coconut and wearing very little) drop by Team Cocktail and check out their clothing. They also write a blog that is well written that I know you’ll like as well.

If you do go to their store and buy something from them, please, please, please let them know in no uncertain terms that I sent you. Maybe the next time I see Lyndsey she’ll pick up my bar tab.

By the way as closing endorsement.  Marriott Hotels is running a romantic getaways competition and our friends at Team Cocktail are trying to win.  It’s based on votes so here is the >>LINK<< please go there and vote for BECAH F.  You can vote once a day.  SO.  Vote once a day and support the island team.  Cheers!


Don’t forget to follow me and look at my bikini site:

Bikini Store:



10 Responses to “An Island Fashion Crisis. Solved!”

  1. Cody July 27, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    Carl, I respect your desire for good-fitting t-shirts. Let me know if you like any of our styles for yourself or your wife:

    I’ll send you some free of charge!

    Or, better yet, I can bring them down to Key West this weekend!

    – Cody

  2. RumShopRyan July 27, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    I have to agree with my pirate friend Carl, Team Cocktail does have some great shirts. Quality is top notch and they are great people. Plus, Lyndsey lives in Kansas City, where I grew up! Good people up there.

    I was the original Marriott Beach Blogger and do agree that Team Cocktail would be a great fit for the Resort to Romance Beach Blogger contest. Good luck guys!


    • Team Cocktail July 27, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

      Thanks Carl for the great review! We are on a mission to create to best quality t-shirts for our little latitude loving friends! Because as we see it life is best enjoyed in a t-shirt, shorts & flip flops…and with a drink in hand! Now whether that drink is vodka, rum, or beer…we won’t judge. :)

      Looking forward to our next get together…we may even spring for a round of drinks! All kidding aside, we appreciate your thoughts and are thankful that you love your TC gear as much as we do. We’ll have a few drinks in your honor tonight!


  3. Justin Hamlin July 27, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    See, I did things a little backwards from you, but came to the same result.

    I found Team Cocktail on Twitter first, chatting it up with whomever was behind the keyboard at the time. After countless hours, they made me buy a shirt. Some silly $15 mystery shirt promotion that I completely fell for. (fool me once, shame on you)

    The shirt is top notch and I love it.

    Then came the news that Team Cocktail would be at the Beer, Bourbon and BBQ festival in Washington DC, a mere 6 hour drive away. So, with the lure of Beer, Bourbon, BBQ and Team Cocktail, they made us drive down there to hang out with them. (fool me twice, shame on me)

    Now my wardrobe is rocking 2 of their shirts and I am lusting after a few more. Oh, and I need a hat before embarking on the Team Cocktail Cruise in January, 2012.

    Somewhere in that mix, Lyndsey had me write this:

    She is good, that Lyndsey, she is good.

    Oh, and lastly, you should totally NOT vote for Trey and Becah for the Beach Blogger contest by Marriott, you should vote for ME and my wife. We need a belated honeymoon. No, seriously. We do.

    • Carl Grooms
      Carl Grooms July 27, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

      Thanks for sharing that great story. (and link). As for the voting, good luck!

    • Team Cocktail July 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

      Nothing is more fun for us than when 1. people love our stuff and 2. when our FB & Twitter friends become actual friends! Looking forward to many good times in the future!

      Oh and we can share the love. Everyone should be voting for Justin H. and Becah F. in the Beach Bloggers contest. How fun if you all got to vacation together?


  4. Randy Rutledge July 27, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    Reminds me of a few years ago when we had a developers (read code writers) meeting with some outside investors. The developers arrived dressed normally, shorts, t-shirts and flip flops, but let us know in short order that they were “dressed-up” for the occasion. They wore t-shirts without logos in deference to our visitors.

    • Carl Grooms
      Carl Grooms July 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

      Love it! I have a closet full of custom tailored suits and shirts. Now collecting dust. Thank goodness.


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