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Custom made shirts

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Greetings all, This is my second post, the first was on advice on an ebay suit I was considering.  I did go through with the purchase, and I would like to thank Mr. Harris for his thoughts.  As he said it was "very fine indeed." Before I get to my question, I wanted to say how this forum and the knowledge I have gained has gotten me into a lot of trouble with my wife.  She used to think I was the best dressed with my Joseph Abboud and Hart S.. M.. suits. And now I am looking to continue my upgrading of the wardrobe. On to the reason for the post.  I am like most American men - 4 months pregnant for the last five years.  I have an 17.5" neck, wear 48" chested jacket and 36-38" waist on my trousers.  I obviously buy suits for the jacket and have to get the pants significantly altered.  The problem is that I have not been able to find any shirts that fit me well.  If they fit my neck they blouse out something awful.  I have tried all kinds of tricks and nothing has been successful in the long run.   I have decided that I need to get some custom made shirts.  Here is the sad part, I live in Grand Rapids, MI.  I am not aware of a good men's store, and have to drive 35 minutes for a good tailor.  I do however travel to the UK on business almost monthly.  I have considered looking at some of the bespoke shirt makers in London.  Drum roll, here are my questions. 1) Any recommendations of places to consider? 2) Should I consider taking any items from my wardrobe to insure a good match? 3) Is it wise to buy say two shirts of the same fabric with different styling, cuffs for example? 4) Are the London makers just living off reputation, or are they truly worth the cash? 5) Any other places in London that I should consider visiting to continue the upgrade in my wardrobe? I appreciate your feedback., and enjoy reading your posts. Thanks, Andy
post #2 of 7
Andy: Several places to consider: 1st locally- L. J. Bulliam Clothiers 616.454.2380 Leo Bulliam or Jack Dozeman Mostly custom with a few ready-to-wear items also A.J. Rikks- but I'm not sure how much custom work they do. 2nd - Internet Jantzen Tailors We had a little spat in the Forum back around Christmas re their labor policies and whether or not they were over-advertising themselves here, but let's let bygones be bygones. Not everyone shares my views about scrutinizing labor conditions before purchasing. Several of the Forum guys (Nick M., Mike C., and A Harris) have purchased shirts from them and been happy. 3rd- British shirtmakers Turnbull and Asser- great shirts. I own several which I've had done custom either through Neiman-Marcus here in SF or the flagship in NY. Great product- but apprx $250. New and Lingwood- also great shirt, though I don't own any. Slightly less than T&A. Hilditch & Key- Possibly the best value for the price. Several of the guys here swear by them. Thomas Pink- Own one. Like it, and it's a good value for the price, but not in the same league with T&A IMO. Charles Tyrrwhit (SP?) See Pink above. Don't own any, but a number of fellow subscribers here have made complimentary posts. I'm hoping Bengal-Stripe will comment, as he's actually there in the UK, and seems to have an encyclopedic knowledge of these sorts of things...
post #3 of 7
Steve: You didn' t mention Ascot Chang. I have a couple of custom made Ascot Chang shirts in, I believe Sea Island cotton and love them. I bought them 6 years ago for like $110 a piece and they've held up wonderfully. I bought them mail order. They have a nice mail order program where they send you swatches and a tape to measure yourself. You take about 10 measurements so it's not something that is just thrown together. It's very much tailored to your body.
post #4 of 7
Stu: You're right- I completely forgot about them. There was a really good article in GQ in early '02 about custom shirts- also mentioned Anton in LA and Seize sur Vingt in NYC. Mark Christopher in NYC is another great source.
post #5 of 7
HRH, i went to london once, but didn't buy any clothes. i do have a couple of custom shirts ordered through the internet, and let me warn you, once you have a custom, you won't go back. i mentioned in a different topic that i had a difficult experience getting the right collar size through i also have a shirt from which is in italy. it is a beautiful shirt, although it came out a little baggier than i would have liked. it came out to about $125 with shipping plus $15 customs fee. i am about to order from jantzen tailor based on what i've read from this site. i like the fact that one can specify the exact length of the collar points, collar height, and cuff size. the shirts only cost about $45 so i recommend you try them before you go spend $200 a shirt on jermyn street.
post #6 of 7
What do you think about shirt details? I am particularly curious about: 1. Fused versus unfused collars and cuffs - I think I prefer unfused. 2. Split yoke. Again, I think I prefer this as well. 3. Buttons - how much is it worth going for really fancy mother of pearl? What about a button cover? (I forget the term for this) 4. Quality of stitching? Double versus single? Quality of work? Who has this best? - T&A?
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the replies. I have been thinking about the internet, but thought my first order should be done with a full service shop so I can see all of the options available. Steve, thanks for the local sources. -Andy
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