Friday, 7 January 2011

A Shirt Tale of Bespoke Tailoring

For the first time some months ago, we introduced our personal shirt service where you could have a shirt individually made to your own fitting. In the past, I have always worn ready-made shirts so now was obviously the ideal time to try out our new service.

I went to see big Phil who works upstairs in our Sloane Street shop, who was taking care of the tailoring side of things and is a man with an in-depth knowledge on all matters sartorial. Phil proceeded to show me a whole array of beautiful two fold cotton shirtings, while pointing out that I only needed to order one shirt and as it was my first shirt. His sensible advice to me was that I should choose one to start with.

I decided that a blue end-on-end material would always useful. He showed me half a dozen collar shapes from severe cut-away to gentle pointed collars. Naturally I chose one that was called Jeremy - a classical regular collar, although he tried to encourage me to go for the James Bond cuffs! I instead opted for a traditional double cuff.

I explained to Phil that I liked the collar and cuffs to have a light lining; I don't like them when they are stiff and boardy. I like the body fit to be neat but not tight which Phil duly recorded. Armed with a tape measure he then proceeded to take numerous measurements.

He started with neck size, advising me that there should be room enough for his finger to fit between tape and neck to allow for collar shrinkage when washed. Chest and back measurements were taken, as were sleeve length and shirt tail length. He then showed me a selection of buttons from which I selected the classic mother of pearl.

Finally Phil asked if I would like to put my name to this creation in the form of a monogram. Why not, I thought? 'JPH' in red would look splendid. A diffident Phil asked me if I was sure.

Yes, I think so, I replied.

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