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Why Bespoke Shirts? - Page 7

post #91 of 133
Alex: If you were to order a shirt, would you prefer MOP or troca buttons? And which collar is your favorite? What material (oxford, french oxford, end-to-end, etc)? How about french cuffs, which style do you prefer? And is it common for your shirts to last 20 years? How long should they last under normal wear (say, once every 8 days)? Thanks.
post #92 of 133
Truly awesome MOP Alex. I am also impressed by you photographic capabilities. The middle pieces would make great cufflinks. Thank you.
post #93 of 133
Thread Starter 
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(linux_pro \tPosted on Feb. 26 2005,16:07) If you were to order a shirt, would you prefer MOP or troca buttons? And which collar is your favorite? What material (oxford, french oxford, end-to-end, etc)? How about french cuffs, which style do you prefer?
There would be no decision to make: M.O.P. unless it wasn't available because a color was needed. My favorite dress shirt collar style is the one (I believe on page 9) listed as "No Tie Space". My favorite Summer material would be the Alumo 2x2 170s Striated Voile or the Albini Zephyr Linen/Cotton. My favorite Winter fabrics would be the Alumo 2x2 170s Broadcloth, the Albini 2x2 170s Twills, or the GoldLine 2x2 140s Royal Oxfords. Finally, I almost always wear cuff links. However, if favorites are the issue, I prefer single link to folding French cuffs. Why do you ask about my favorites? Is someone offering to buy me a shirt?
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(MCA \tPosted on Feb. 26 2005,16:36) Truly awesome MOP Alex. I am also impressed by you photographic capabilities. The middle pieces would make great cufflinks.
I was actually not happy with the photo because the real detail, especially of the hand-carved Muscatine buttons, is not visible. But at least the colors show. The middle pieces are already great cufflinks (shirtmaker's perk). I shall have this button display at the Regency for anyone wishing to 'reach out and touch'.
post #94 of 133
Alex, I just saw one of your clients today. I went to Harvard to watch the college squash nationals and Tom Wolfe was there watching his son, who plays for Trinity. He was dressed as dapper as always. I couldn't talk to him as I was seated far from him, but would have liked to ask him about your shirts.
post #95 of 133
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My favorite dress shirt collar style is the one (I believe on page 9) listed as "No Tie Space".
Mine too. I notice that all those collars pictured are edge-stitched -- even the buttondown -- rather than having the more common 1/4" border stitch.  Personal preference, or client request?
post #96 of 133
Thread Starter 
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(petescolari \tPosted on Feb. 26 2005,17:43) I went to Harvard to watch the college squash nationals and Tom Wolfe was there watching his son, who plays for Trinity.
Now you've gone and done it. As if age wasn't evident enough in my hair color ... the last time I saw Tom's son, he was with a group of his elementary school friends I led in my Cub Scout pack. Thanks, Pete. I'll just go get my (malacca) cane and hobble off into the sunset, now.
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(Manton) I notice that all those collars pictured are edge-stitched -- even the buttondown -- rather than having the more common 1/4" border stitch. Personal preference, or client request?
I'm not sure about that button-down. The shadows are doing funny things to the edge but I believe it is actually quarter-stitched. I would shuffle down to the studio and look for it to confirm, but it is on an upper shelf. A Cub Scout leader of my advancing years wouldn't want to be on a ladder without staff members ... or at least Tom's son ... around to catch me ... But I digress. At this point in my career, the vast majority of the collars I make are edge-stitched. If you notice that the collars are particularly flat, that is my usual style. I find that the quarter-stitch tends to break up the flat, clean line of the leaf surface. Hence, most of my personal collars are edge-stitched. After many years of visiting with clients while wearing my collars, most of them have liked the appearance, switched over and now wouldn't wear anything but. More interesting, perhaps, is how my penchant for edge-stitching originally came about. Back in the day ... when the clients used to walk in, peer over my shoulder, and ask, "where's the shirtmaker?", most of my staff were in their 50's. As such, they tended to be going through 'the change'. It was quite common for one of them to be yelling, "I'm hot. Isn't the air conditioner working?" at the same time as another was shouting, "Why it is so cold in here?". Between the clients doubting my abilities and the seamstresses certainty that I was the cause of all of the world's ills, days could be rather trying. Edge-stitched collars are the hardest of all to sew. As such, they constituted that young shirtmaker's only revenge. And so edge we stitched. Grumble they did. Sweet revenge was had. And client preferences did change. However, my bespoke Cubmaster shirts are quarter-stitched ...
post #97 of 133
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However, my bespoke Cubmaster shirts are quarter-stitched ...
bespoke cubmaster shirts...that is so awesome. are the patches all hand-embroidered as well? /andrew - was a cub, long ago.
post #98 of 133
Thread Starter 
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(Faustian Bargain) bespoke cubmaster shirts...that is so awesome. are the patches all hand-embroidered as well?
No, the BSA Council wouldn't permit that (they had enough trouble dealing with the 100% cotton thing). However, if you look at the pearl button display on Page 9, 2nd row from the bottom, 5th button from the left ...)
post #99 of 133
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(mack11211 - all) Some questions about monograms, where to put them and whether to have them at all.
In my case, they are advertising. On the breast, they wouldn't show unless I were sans jacket.
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I first began to pay attention to them about 25 years ago, in the years of preppy style and the Preppy Handbook. I think it stated that proper WASP style was at the breast or on the breast pocket. Cuff monograms were frowned upon. Now they seem to go in all sorts of places -- on the breast pocket, on the breast where the breast pocket would be, some inches lower above the left internal organs, on the sleeve, on the cuff (where your ASK appears in the cuff photo in the Departures magazine spread) or even on the shirt tail, in the photo of the now-famous blue linen shirt with the particular collar. Do the different placements mean, or suggest, anything?
The most generally accepted placement on dress shirts is the left chest where the pocket shouldn't be. Cuff monograms have the advantage that, as indicated above, they show when wearing a jacket ... and the downside that a cuff refurbishing is going to cost an additional $28-$35. The lower chest placement, approximately next to the 4th button, is more common in Europe. Alan Flusser has popularized it here in the U.S. Inside the yoke, it can be used as a replacement for infernal laundry marks. On the lower left tail, it is a very personal statement as it is normally seen only by the wearer ... unless he gets lucky that day. As a bespoke maker who entirely defers to client preference in this arena, I have trained all preference out of my mind.
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Do you sew the date of manufacture into your shirts? I have seen this in other custom shirts on the label at the neck, or on a label sewn into the placket, or even sewn into the placket. The info usually consists of the month and year.
I date all the shirts I make with a woven Month/Year tab on the lower right-hand front center non-placket. I have seen more cost-concious shirtmakers use only the year, which I suppose contributes to a reduction in wasted labels. Sorry, but having re-read this answer, I realize that you have come to the end of a long post only to know not much more than when you began reading. How 'bout this? Not all the shirts I make have monograms - it's roughly half if that is an indicator of a larger whole.
post #100 of 133
Alex, This is with regard to the shirt lengthening discussion in the "thrift shop" thread. I have about 7/8" of fabric inside the cuff of one of my shirts. Is this enough to extend the sleeve by 1/4" or 1/2"? What is the minimum amount of fabric needed to lengthen a shirt by a given amount? Thanks.
post #101 of 133
Thread Starter 
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(Hopkins Student) This is with regard to the shirt lengthening discussion in the "thrift shop" thread. I have about 7/8" of fabric inside the cuff of one of my shirts. Is this enough to extend the sleeve by 1/4" or 1/2"? What is the minimum amount of fabric needed to lengthen a shirt by a given amount?
The minimum amount of sleeve needed to attach a cuff is 1/4". Any additional fabric contained inside the cuff may be used to lengthen the sleeves. Remember that you will have to scrub the needleholes away with the sleeve wet using a toothbrush in a circular motion. This scrubbing, plus a couple of machine washings, should get rid of most of the holes.
post #102 of 133
Mr. Kabbaz, Concerning the bespoke Cubmaster shirt, I was recently made Scoutmaster and after seeing what the BSA charges for their stiff cotton/poly uniforms I might be in the market for bespoke Scout shirts. Micah
post #103 of 133
Thread Starter 
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(Micah) Concerning the bespoke Cubmaster shirt, I was recently made Scoutmaster and after seeing what the BSA charges for their stiff cotton/poly uniforms I might be in the market for bespoke Scout shirts.
Any time, Micah. However, all is not lost. My sons' shirts were the traditional BSA issue. They only required 75-80 washes before actually needing a hanger. Before that, we just stood them up in a corner of their closet. Time cures all ills ... well, almost all. P.S.: My sympathies on the Scoutmaster promotion. At least Cubmaster is only a four-year sentence.
post #104 of 133
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They only required 75-80 washes before actually needing a hanger. Before that, we just stood them up in a corner of their closet. Time cures all ills ... well, almost all.
Being a Boy Scout, and then a leader, for 11 years now, I have learned the true secret to 'breaking in' a new shirt from council. The trick is to wash it a few times right away, and then wear it on a camporee or other event where it's required for meals, &c. AS SOON AS YOU GET HOME, completely forget about the shirt stuffed in the bottom of your pack until the next campout, when you find it while looking for the neckerchief slide you know you threw in there at the last minute Repeat as necessary. Hey, at least it's not those horrendous green pants.
post #105 of 133
Thread Starter 
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Hey, at least it's not those horrendous green pants.
Hey. You gotta admit - at least those have a purpose. Tie the legs shut, hold under the lake until they fill up. That polyester is so non-porous we used to make it all the way back up to the lean-to and still have a couple of gallons left in each leg for coffee and pasta making. Still have your hat in its hat-press?
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