Originally Posted by SGladwell
Customer service issues aside, I don't understand the affection for T&A. Sure, their collars are nice. Yes, some of their patterns/colorways are interesting, though IMO because they're so busy they often look dated faster than most other shirts do. (At least in the sense that one gets tired of wearing them sooner rather than later.) At $100, sure, they're nice. At the standard tariffs, I don't like them. I agree with people who think Lorenzinis are better made. While I don't have any bespoke T&A (just RTW) or RTW Zegna shirts (just MTM), I do think that my Zegna Su Misura shirts are nicer in fabric and construction than T&A. Draber, perhaps, but nicer. And less expensive.
I know why I was first drawn to the brand. I was in law school and new to better clothing; all I knew about clothes came from what people in the store told me, the first Flusser book, and my grandfather's closet (a Henry Poole client, but who told me that he had no desire to sit and "talk fashion" like a bunch of women). I had a crush on the hot older woman who ran the mens department at the local Neiman Marcus, and she showed me the T&A shirts. Being an Anglophile, I was drawn to them, then they did a trunk/MTM show, and I met the eccentric and colorful reps from T&A, then the Neiman's manager gave me that T&A book, and I bought the history and pageantry angle hook, line and sinker.
Fast forward five years, even without my horrible customer service experience, and I began to understand shirt construction more, and realized that T&A shirts were nothing special (especially given the price), but I was out a ton of money in the meantime.
Even when I was an adoring young fan, I had to look hard to find RTW T&A's that didn't look like clown shirts, then I'd have to have a local seamstress extend the sleeves and re-pleat the cuff gathering, which was a pain. Obviously MTM was a different story, but I noticed that depending on the fitter, I'd end up with shirts that fit me completely different from year to year.