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Carlo Franco shirts

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
I recently got a Carlo Franco shirt from Chuck and this thing is spectacular. Easily the best shirt that I own, and IMO superior to the T&A, Kiton, Borrelli, and Attolini shirts that I have in my wardrobe. I got the white herringbone with barrel cuffs, and this shirt fits perfectly at the collar, cuffs, and is slim fitting enough to wear untucked while of thick enough cloth that it could easily be worn by itself w/o undershirt while untucked. The fabric is luxurious, almost decadent, and the workmanship on this shirt is impeccable. I couldn't believe how good a fit I got on just trying it on, I have never had a RTW shirt fit so well, I must just be lucky. Anyways, for $119 delivered I can't think of a better deal, thanks Chuck.
post #2 of 58
Does anyone think that we could open a men's store that creates great value and service, run by a knowledgeable person that knows that guys don't like shirts that fit like tents . . .
post #3 of 58
Drizzt3117, I recall from your member photo that you are generously sized. How slim fitting are the Carlo Franco shirts? I understand that he is working on some new models. Did you happen to receive one of the newer models?
post #4 of 58
Just wondering -- What's the collar like -- spread, modified spread? It's hard to tell from the picture...
post #5 of 58
Thread Starter 
I don't know if generously sized is the term I would use, but I am 6'1 and about 210, with 17" neck 44" chest and 35" waist. I am not sure if this was a newer model or not, but he did mention that he was coming out with some more options soon. It's slim fitting to the point where it fits just slightly more loosely than a t-shirt/sweater, while a T&A shirt would billow out slightly (1-2") and a Thomas Pink shirt would fit like a sail. I believe it's more of a point collar but it almost looks like a semi-spread. The 17" with 33" sleeve length was almost a MTM fit for me, nearly perfect. I believe Chuck mentioned that the 17" was right around the 44" range for the chest measurement.
post #6 of 58
Thanks Drizz :-) Fit is definately not "MooMoo-esque' like most shirts cut for the American market (and/or Roseanne Barr). The 17 is a Euro size 43. I'm built a bit like a pit bull and they fit me well. I got to hate the typical 'tent' cut back when I was a 46 chest and a 32 waist. Now that I am a fat lardass whose closer to normal proportions they still fit nicely but they would pretty much be useless if your waist is significantly larger than your chest. I've been locked into mad scientist mode working on the new line the past few weeks and we'll be in Italy Thursday for a week to finalize the new lines. Generally speaking my gripe has been that to carry the fabrics I want it costs me a fortune to stock 2-6 each in a 10 neck sizes, 3 sleeve lenghts, two cuffs, etcetera - right away one fabric explodes into 100 SKU's and naturally everyone wants a differnt collar or a pocket or a 34.56781" sleeve (some of you evil folks call me up with such requests not because you REALLY want them but just because you know I will obsess about it, dontchya???) Our thinking (be afraid, i'm thinking again) is to up the ante a bit and start offering more fabrics on the ridiculously high end and do them made to measure. I'm working with a little shop outside Napoli on a MTM program so that rather than buying 150 meters of the 2x200's that cost a fortune and have 2-3 patterns I want to buy 15 meters at a time of more fabrics, deliver them to my shop and then take orders where customers can pick fabric, collar, cuff, pocket, monogram etcetera. We'll also do a new generation on our RTW collection with about 16 changes to the shirt, about 3 of which you'd actually notice unless you are an anal-compulsive nitpicker like Jill says I am. Costwise, there is no desire or ability to compete with the Jantzens out there. Prices will be $150 to $250 probably (have found a few fabrics that would go over $300) but my interest is in having the best shirt, not the cheapest. Well, I take that back - if you want the best shirt, you call Alex and get bespoke. My target is the folks you see at the $300-$600 range in ready to wear but made to measure for a better fit. The main thing is fabric... the good stuff can literally cost 10 times what the cheap cloth does (or more) but (IMHO) it is worth it. If folks want average I figure there are 500 competitors in that market, most with more capital and ad budget than I have so I want to do what they can't... like D & J Andersen's 170's linen for spring or some of the 2x200s and ultra silky stuff we are using now. More on this next week when we get back from Italy... most of the trip will be devoted to tie silks, found a few very small mills in Como who can meet some specific needs that I'm wrestling with :-) Bringing the digicam this time (Jill forgot to pack it last time, her fault her fault..) so we'll report on the latest windows, Milan has great windows.
post #7 of 58
Thread Starter 
Sounds good Chuck, any idea on the turnaround time for shirt orders in MTM?
post #8 of 58
Hey Chuck. Thanks for the update. The MTM program sounds very promising. No doubt you've thought about this, but what about collars and cuffs? Superlative fabric is great, but I think many share the belief that collars (especially) and cuffs make or break a shirt. I'm not talking about collar/cuff styles, I'm referring to the quality. Like I said, I know you've thought about this, but I'd like to hear you say a few words about your selection process.
post #9 of 58
I have been repeatedly assured that turnaround will be within 3 weeks. 3 Italian weeks equals roughly 5-6 American weeks. The concept of 'rush' does not translate into the Italian psyche very well - they are more rational than we are about life. Previous efforts at expediting have generally resulted in very hard thimble thumps upside my head and rapid fire angry words and gestures from little old ladies with scissors and pins - I try not to piss them off. I'm hoping for 30 days from order to delivery.
post #10 of 58
Thread Starter 
Personally I really like the collars/cuffs on their current shirts, so if the newer versions will be of better quality, it would be an impressive shirt indeed.
post #11 of 58
Renault - Collars and cuffs are something that we've redone. I hate to sound like I'm slamming my existing inventory all the time :-) but I had some help from an expert in this area help us redesign them to have more substance. Also we made a few little changes that might not be noticed unless you really study them like the stitching being twice as dense. Most of the stuff on the RTW market is made very poorly. Again, this is one of those areas where if you are making a million shirts per year and cut 25 cents here, a dollar there and look for the cheapest and easiest way to make a shirt it really adds up. There are shirts on the market with a $14 production cost and a retail price of $135. Not the thievery it sounds like - add in advertising, 3 middlemen and the ability to have sales and the store is not being ridiculous at all. This will sound odd but we're looking at ways to put more dollars into the production, as long as it adds value. If I add a few dollars here, a few there and pass it along nobody complains about the price - the message I get from customers is that if I make it better and charge a bit more for each improvement they don't mind that a bit. Now if I add $15 to the price to buy an ad you guys would have me castrated with a rusty butter knife so we'll lay off that :-) If one of you guys can figure out how to get the #%&#& Euro down to a buck each I'll be a lot happier and have less to bitch about.
post #12 of 58
They sound great. I hope that one day Carlo Franco makes shirts in size 17 X 36.
post #13 of 58
16 1/2 neck 34 sleeve.
post #14 of 58
Can you comment on when this will begin, and also make a few remarks about your sock and MTM trouser projects?
post #15 of 58
Dave - Socks need one last detail nailed down this week and Jill and I have a meeting outside Venice just to nail down one last little detail. On Sunday we'll be meeting up with the tailors for the MTM program and will get the (Hopefully) final prototype approved. We are still interviewing the trouser makers. There are a couple we're looking at who make some lines you know but I am favoring a very small outfit right now that I think will be the right fit for us (no pun intended) who do small volumes of extremely high quality. We like dealing with the little family owned businesses and have very good relationships among that community that are expanding because those guys talk - so some places that we were having trouble getting into 2 years ago are now inviting us in. Kinda sorta takes a unique situation - finding those who are capable of really great work who are very anxious to do a very high end line. We're in a bit of a rush now since there is a hard deadline for early March to have these lines in before we do a few shows so we've been running like mad. Lead times on certain fabrics are 90-120 days so we find ourselves ordering fabrics long before we decide where they'll be headed. A long update will be out late next week when we get back. Meanwhile, I'm about to post a 'what options do you want on a shirt' thread for the MTM program. Thanks for the patience and input guys - when you guys are happy the average guy is thrilled :-)
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