Sometimes a fashion trend comes along and I think yes, that is perfect for Hackett - so it is with the tab collar shirt. It is enjoying a revival which up to now, seems only to have been worn by German chief executives of large pharmaceutical conglomerates.
I can distinctly remember when I first spotted a tab collar shirt. I must have been about fourteen at the time and was watching Top of the Pops on our black and white television set. The enigmatic Charlie Watts and pouting Mick Jagger were both wearing white tab collar shirts. From that moment onwards I craved to own one and nagged my Mother incessantly to buy one for me, insisting that if it was white I could wear it to school. White shirts were part of the uniform and nowhere did it say that tab collars were not allowed.
When I later worked in Savile Row, opposite was a little shirt maker which I think was called Coles. It was where I first indulged in having a bespoke shirt made. It was the seventies and tab collar shirts were all the rage so naturally once again I had to have one.
Now decades later, I find I am once again being drawn to this neat collar shape. For the last couple of seasons, we have included tab collar shirts in our ranges but I thought I would try out our Made to Order shirts. Of course the only man to see is Big Phil, who runs our tailoring department in our Sloane Street store, which is in fact soon to be expanded as we have taken another floor to showcase all our tailoring needs.
Big Phil guided me expertly through the shirt procedure. When it came to choosing cloth I said I just wanted the perfect white shirt, having already decided that the collar would be a tab. What you want, he said - is our Giza 87 quality. It is a white shirt material like no other and of course he was absolutely right.
It is a tightly woven Cotton made from long staple cotton that is grown on the banks of the Nile close to the city of Giza. It has a wonderful silky lustre and it is also the whitest of white making washing powder companies claims of whiter than white pale into insignificance. The Egyptian fabric is woven in Italy by the famous manufacturer, Thomas Mason, who take great care to eliminate any contamination, ensuring that the fabric is pure and brilliant in hue.
I am really looking forward to picking up my Giza shirt. I only wish it wasn't called Giza which in Britain is pronounced Geezer!