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Carlo Franco shirts - Page 4

post #46 of 70
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(JCusey) the fabric in the splice with the fabric in the shirt
Isn't the dreck to which you referred which is no good for making sh.tkickers?
post #47 of 70
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(linux_pro @ Feb. 26 2005,23:42)
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Originally Posted by Alexander Kabbaz,Feb. 26 2005,17:44
Only once in my entire career has a RTW manufacturer come to me and said, "Take my shirt apart and tell me how to make it the best it can be. Cost is not important". I was so shocked, I forgot to send a consulting bill. That manufacturer was Carlo Franco.
Yeah, he told me about that on the phone.  I think it was really quite exemplary of you to help someone like that, even though he is selling a product in your same market.  Obviously, the existence of his shirts will not diminish your market at all, but still it was a very nice thing for you to do. As for Chuck's (www.carlofranco.com) shirts, I can honestly say now that you would have a hard time finding a better RTW shirt on the market, and I've owned many brands.  The shirts are worth greatly more than the $119 asking price.  My Facconable shirts cost $125, the Zegnas are $250, and I own a few that I paid a bit more.  The Carlo Franco shirt "feels" higher quality than most of them (I have a Facconable that is a personal favorite). One thing that really jumped out at me with his shirts was the fabric.  I always thought Egyptian Cotton was the cheapo stuff.  The fabric in these shirts doesn't feel cheap, and definitely does not look cheap at all.  It has a very silky, smooth sort of feel (and has a slight "shimmer" to it), and is very breathable, which I like. I have to comment again how well-fitting his shirts are.  Like most on this board, I LOATHE tent shirts (Ike Behar has some real tents out there in this price range).  The Carlo Franco shirt fits me extremely well, almost like an MTM.  There is no excess fabric at the sides at all when I tuck it in.  I will have to post a picture. I think I've said it all before though.  Once again, if you don't already have one of these shirts, get one.  They are worth much more than the asking price, IMHO.
Contemplating getting some new shirts and this discussion as well as others like it has been enough to draw a long time lurker out. Hello all. Pleasantries aside, now down to business. How did the shirt wash?  Any shrinkage?  Way too many shirts shrink when washed so this is important. Of course pre shrunk cottons wont or shouldnt shrink with additional washes, are these pre shrunk? You didnt answer the question above about the hand detailing as well as the stitches per inch on the machine seams assuming that there are machine seams although if Drizzt3117 can compare these to Borelli, Kiton, Barba et al. (really?) I imagine that there are no machine seams but see my next question. I assume that the shirt is all single needle tailoring although on the site it says double track stitch seams. What does that mean?  Do you know the difference? Pardon this question if it sounds snotty, but how much experience do you have with shirts if you thought that Egyptian cotton is the cheap stuff?  Especially in light of the fact that on the Carlo Franco Site he says he uses the best materials available and then proceeds to list Egyptian Cotton. (and by the way, which cotton do you have thats not breathable?  Anything with an "ester" at the end is artificial) Finally and this is probably what brought me out of lurksville:
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I think it was really quite exemplary of you to help someone like that, even though he is selling a product in your same market.  Obviously, the existence of his shirts will not diminish your market at all,
If (obviously) the existence of CF shirts will not diminish Mr. Kabbaz's market then Carlo Franco is not selling a product in Mr. Kabbaz's same market.  Right? And although he didnt say it,  I suspect Mr. Kabbaz's is glad you approve of his behaviour.
post #48 of 70
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I asked Chuck once, and hopefully will remember to ask again this coming wknd, but does he do 17/17.5/36? When I asked last he didn't...
I'm waiting for him to make 17x36 as well.
post #49 of 70
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Isn't the dreck to which you referred which is no good for making sh.tkickers?
In the first place, the only footwear that I kick sh.t in was purchased expressly for the purpose. In the second place, I can't think of any footwear less suited to the purpose than that made from voile or 2x2 200s. In the third place, what else are you going to use to splice the sleeves? Why would you waste good leather?
post #50 of 70
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(StewF18 Joined February 2005 Posted on Feb. 27 2005,11:45 )Contemplating getting some new shirts and this discussion as well as others like it has been enough to draw a long time lurker out.
I am replying here for two reasons: Firstly, you cited me. Secondly, Chuck is away until late next week.
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Way too many shirts shrink when washed so this is important. Of course pre shrunk cottons wont or shouldnt shrink with additional washes, are these pre shrunk?
None of the good high-count Italian cottons are pre-shrunk. Pre-shrunk is a marketing gimiick which means that a certain amount of the potential shrinkage, not all of it, has been removed. I'm sitting here right now in my pre-shrunk Levi's ... trying to fasten the button. Damnned cinnamon scones ... If your high-quality non-bespoke shirt claims to be pre-shrunk ... caveat emptor.
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double track stitch seams. What does that mean?
As far as I know, it means Texans don't speak very good English (sorry, Cusey). The Carlo Franco shirt I examined had double-needle stitched side-seams. Changing this was one of my ideas for improving an already value-filled product. I have not seen a more recent run and you therefore must await Chuck's return on this aspect.
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Pardon this question if it sounds snotty, but how much experience do you have with shirts if you thought that Egyptian cotton is the cheap stuff?
Common mis-statement, probably also deriving from the lack of language facility in the Tumbleweed State. ALL of the finest cotton is grown in Egypt ... except for some of the Sea Island. It is then woven either in Switzerland or Italy. No concessions here - only Swiss or Italian. Not the 160's from Japan or China. Not the "180's" from Century in India. They're comin' along but haven't made it yet. The only thing I am certain of about Carlo Franco fabric is that it is woven in one of Italy's better mills of Egyptian-grown ELS cotton. Disecting the fabric was not my goal when disecting the shirt.
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You didnt answer the question above about the hand detailing as well as the stitches per inch on the machine seams assuming that there are machine seams although if Drizzt3117 can compare these to Borelli, Kiton, Barba et al. (really?) I imagine that there are no machine seams but see my next question.
So much in two sentences. What do you mean by hand detailing? If you like the appearance of a hand-made buttonhole, the CF shirt does not use them. If you are referrring to the advertising gimmicks of mass-producing the hand-attachment certain parts of the shirt, they are nothing more than gimmicks, a fact which many forum members have come to realize by now. You reference comparison to Borelli, Kiton, Barba, et. al. If you are implying that those brands have no machine stitching I believe that you are incorrect. Finally, the CF shirt I inspected was a very large herringbone with very long floats and an extraordinarily high sheen. Even bespoke, I question whether any competant maker would exceed 17-18 stitches on this type of fabric without chancing total destruction. The CF shirt came in at 16 which is perfectly appropriate.
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And although he didnt say it, I suspect Mr. Kabbaz's is glad you approve of his behaviour.
I am puzzled as to what relevance this has to the quality of a Carlo Franco shirt.
post #51 of 70
Ernest, you must either be blind or terribly unobservent to not notice the heaps of praise that Carlo Franco gets here. Who cares if it isn't known in Paris? Seriously? What are people on style forum concerned with; - Top quality (Franco is top quality) - Value (Franco is an excellent value) - Excellent service (No one gives him anything but 5 stars) Therefore, I must again ask you why Chuck's fame or apparent lack of reknown in the city of dog waste should matter to anyone who wants above all a garment that is of top quality, value, and is accompanied by excellent service.
post #52 of 70
PHV - Much as I agree with (almost) everything you said, would you be so magnanimous as to allow me to point out that, in certain quarters, only four of your words are going to be seen?
post #53 of 70
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PHV - Much as I agree with (almost) everything you said, would you be so magnanimous as to allow me to point out that, in certain quarters, only four of your words are going to be seen?
Perhaps, but one can only afford someone so much patience...
post #54 of 70
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(StewF18 Joined February 2005 Posted on Feb. 27 2005,11:45 )Contemplating getting some new shirts and this discussion as well as others like it has been enough to draw a long time lurker out.
I am replying here for two reasons: Firstly, you cited me. Secondly, Chuck is away until late next week.
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Way too many shirts shrink when washed so this is important. Of course pre shrunk cottons wont or shouldnt shrink with additional washes, are these pre shrunk?
None of the good high-count Italian cottons are pre-shrunk. Pre-shrunk is a marketing gimiick which means that a certain amount of the potential shrinkage, not all of it, has been removed. I'm sitting here right now in my pre-shrunk Levi's ... trying to fasten the button. Damnned cinnamon scones ... If your high-quality non-bespoke shirt claims to be pre-shrunk ... caveat emptor.
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double track stitch seams. What does that mean?
As far as I know, it means Texans don't speak very good English (sorry, Cusey). The Carlo Franco shirt I examined had double-needle stitched side-seams. Changing this was one of my ideas for improving an already value-filled product. I have not seen a more recent run and you therefore must await Chuck's return on this aspect.
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Pardon this question if it sounds snotty, but how much experience do you have with shirts if you thought that Egyptian cotton is the cheap stuff?
Common mis-statement, probably also deriving from the lack of language facility in the Tumbleweed State. ALL of the finest cotton is grown in Egypt ... except for some of the Sea Island. It is then woven either in Switzerland or Italy. No concessions here - only Swiss or Italian. Not the 160's from Japan or China. Not the "180's" from Century in India. They're comin' along but haven't made it yet. The only thing I am certain of about Carlo Franco fabric is that it is woven in one of Italy's better mills of Egyptian-grown ELS cotton. Disecting the fabric was not my goal when disecting the shirt.
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You didnt answer the question above about the hand detailing as well as the stitches per inch on the machine seams assuming that there are machine seams although if Drizzt3117 can compare these to Borelli, Kiton, Barba et al. (really?) I imagine that there are no machine seams but see my next question.
So much in two sentences. What do you mean by hand detailing? If you like the appearance of a hand-made buttonhole, the CF shirt does not use them. If you are referrring to the advertising gimmicks of mass-producing the hand-attachment certain parts of the shirt, they are nothing more than gimmicks, a fact which many forum members have come to realize by now. You reference comparison to Borelli, Kiton, Barba, et. al. If you are implying that those brands have no machine stitching I believe that you are incorrect. Finally, the CF shirt I inspected was a very large herringbone with very long floats and an extraordinarily high sheen. Even bespoke, I question whether any competant maker would exceed 17-18 stitches on this type of fabric without chancing total destruction. The CF shirt came in at 16 which is perfectly appropriate.
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And although he didnt say it,  I suspect Mr. Kabbaz's is glad you approve of his behaviour.
I am puzzled as to what relevance this has to the quality of a Carlo Franco shirt.
Mr. Kabbaz: Thank you for taking the time to answer my first post however when you state that I cite you unless you were referring to my quoting and commending Linux pro for commending you I dont recall citing you elsewhere.  And if that is what you were referring to then I will answer your last comment first. I needed to mention you in the discussion so as to get the comments of a professional on the subject and not someone that thinks that Egyptian Cotton is the "cheapy" stuff. Now then, when I questioned the issue of washing and shrinkage while I did mention the issue of shrinkage I did also mean the manner in which the fabric changes with wash, or better yet how it responds to wash.  Quite similar to what was quoted in the departures article that had your writeup (my complements on that).  How will this shirt be 1 year after purchase, 3 years etc. I find it odd and not a little foolish for someone who owns a shirt for 2 days and who probably hasnt washed it yet to claim that they are the best RTW shirts on the market. Another comment that I questioned was the comparison to Attolini, Borrelli etc.  Is this for real?  While I am sure that there is significant value in a Carlo Franco shirt isnt comparing it to a Borrelli while certainly flattering at least slight exaggeration? And while the mass marketed hand details are in some cases quite possibly fluff, do you doubt that a Borrelli is a first class shirt that easily beats most if not all other RTW? For example on the topic of stitching I know that you are a rather strong advocate for single needle stitching, and I recall reading about how you burn shirts and people that enter your studio that are double needle, and you yourself state here that you advised Chuck to change this aspect, then surely there are better made RTW shirts? I don't question the value nor do I question the quality and as often mentioned here the service is also top notch.  I will have to disagree with ernest here, can't please everybody can we? I do question the evaluation of someone who doesnt know the difference between Egyptian Cotton (Linux pro,   ELS by the way means Egyptian Long Staple) and Egyptian heiroglyphics when he states that its the best RTW known to mankind.  I also think that when someone writes that a Carlo Franco shirt is better than a Borrelli or an Attolini shirt that a serious shadow is cast upon their evaluation.
post #55 of 70
Dear StewF18, Rather than take up valuable bandwidth by requoting your entire well written reponse, I'll just respond as simply as I know how. Perhaps Linux was overly enthusiatic ... a feeling possibly deriving from what he describes as a wonderful "fit". I can understand this ... as normal RTW shirts are what we advise our Cub Scouts to substitute when appropriate shelter cannot be found. I accept your clarification regarding your use of the word "shrinkage". However, quality of make and not quality of fabric was under my purview. I would comment that the shirt I dissected was a wide satin-stripe herringbone with, as I previously mentioned, long floats. These fabrics are extremely prone to damage from exterior causes due to the floats and would not be among that which I would advise were longevity the primary consideration. As far as I know, the brands you cite are all in the $300+ range. I would contend that the Carlo Franco, priced in the $125 range, is a better value by far. The material and workmanship far exceed that which would normally be encountered in a shirt of that price whereas the manufacturers you have mentioned are charging more than merited by their products. Having never done a direct comparison of any of the brands you cite - with the notable exception of restitching too many of the damn Borelli sleeves - I am in no position to offer educated comparitive opinions.
post #56 of 70
Thread Starter 
Hey, take it easy. First, I never claimed to be an expert about the materials used for making shirts or clothing. I said openly I know very little. Until a few months ago (and even now) I had no idea what single-needle stitching is, or how that affects a shirt's quality, nor do I know the different cottons or anything about them. I never made that claim. I go by feel, appearance, and so on. Frankly, those details are a mystery to me because I have never had the time to investigate. That is why I am on this forum now. Second, I didn't say the Carlo Franco shirt is the best RTW on the market. I said it matched up with everything I personally own, and "feels" & "looks" better to me than most of them. Do I care if an Attolini or Borelli is a "better" shirt? Uhm, no. Because I don't own any of those, nor do I plan on it. If I wanted to spend $350 or more on a shirt, I would just buck up the extra few pennies and give Mr. Kabbaz a call. I thought I had made it abundantly clear that my opinions were those of a novice, and completely subjective. Unless I had the knowledge of Chuck or Alex, I could hardly claim to be an expert on shirts. The opinion I gave was focussed on fit, feel and appearance. Not sure how my knowledge (or lack thereof) of various cottons has anything to do with that. I didn't mean to write an opinion that was supposed to be anything even close to the inspection Mr. Kabbaz gave these shirts. I'm not a shirt-maker, after all. But, I have spent about 20 years of my life in various dress shirts, and so I do feel that my subjective opinion on the quality of the shirt still stands. What I had tried to express in mentioning the other brands of shirts is: yes, I have owned hundreds of shirts by Ike Behar, Facconable, Zegna, and other makers in the $100-$250 range. That is most often what I buy. Carlo Franco's shirt is in this range, at least price-wise. My subjective and novice opinion is that this shirt is of higher quality than the other makers I have tried (again - fit, feel and appearance). I will leave the technical details to those more knowledgeable about shirt-making, such as Mr. Kabbaz. After all, I could care less about that stuff in the long run. What I do care about: How well does a shirt fit? How does it feel? Does it look nice? How long can I wear it? And yes, I have no idea how the shirt will hold up over time. I was hoping someone would pipe up and give their first-hand knowledge of such info. Again, I thought that when I said I had just received the shirt and was giving quick feedback on my first impressions, that this would not be misconstrued as some sort of "expert opinion" on every detail of these shirts. I thought people would understand it was a simple, subjective "first-opinion" on a product I had purchased. I, as many other owners, could give you an opinion on my SLK-350. I love it. The car is awesome. Wouldn't trade it for anything else. It handles great, has awesome power, looks sexy as hell, love the heated headrests, and so on. Does the fact that I know nothing about how the Mercedes engineering team mounted the motor have anything to do with my first-hand opinion on the car? Maybe to a gearhead. But not to 99.9999% of anyone who is going to test-drive one. Like me, they are more convinced by the "feel" of the car, how much they like it in subjective terms. And subjective feedback of other owners (who had owned one for very little time) was a major impetus for getting me into the showroom. I own shirts which I am sure might be manufactured "better" than the Carlo Franco shirt, or at least I should say they might, but I have no idea. But if there are any in my closet, the actual advantage of the superior manufacturing has had very little impact on the "feel" of the shirt, because the Carlo Franco shirt "feels" and "looks" better to me than most of what I own (outside of my favorite Facconable, which is one of the cheaper ones). And that is what I was trying to say. I apologize if I had led anyone to believe anything else, and for my lack of in-depth knowledge on dress shirts and how they are made, but if you think that somehow affects my ability to tell how well a shirt fits me and feels, maybe you should just spare yourself the time of reading this, and buy one to try it yourself.
post #57 of 70
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(linux_pro) I apologize if I had led anyone to believe anything else, and for my lack of in-depth knowledge on dress shirts and how they are made, but if you think that somehow affects my ability to tell how well a shirt fits me and feels, maybe you should just spare yourself the time of reading this, and buy one to try it yourself.
Unnecessary apology, IMHO. I, for one, took your clearly written opinion at face value and was in no way lead to believe that you were proclaiming Carlo Franco to be the Holy Grail. Never mind what Chuck claims for himself.
post #58 of 70
Wow, this thread exploded. I own Borelli shirts as well as Carlo Franco. The Borelli's are nice shirts, no doubt, but not without their flaws, such as patterns not matting on the sleeve placket. However, my favorite shirts are the Carlo Franco's. And they consistently get more comments from other people about how nice they look (probably because of the luxuriousness of the textured fabric - one thing's for sure, Chuck loves textures). Considering that Borelli retails at $300-$450+ and Carlo Franco is $129, I'd buy a dozen more Carlo Franco's before I'd buy even on more Borelli that wasn't on super deep discount.
post #59 of 70
Comparing Carlo Franco shirts to Borrelli, Kiton, Attolini, or any of the other highest tier shirts isn't really the point here. I believe what we are all saying is that for $129 bucks, Carlo Franco delivers a shirt unmatched by anyone at that price point or even at a price point $100 dollars more premium. Great textured fabric (though here's hoping he adds some patterns to his line), great MOP buttons, and MOP collar stays make his shirts look pretty unparalleled by his price-point competition. Chuck's shirts (and ties too, for that matter) offer a great value and an attention to quality that is much appreciated by those of us who have purchased from him. Oh, and the customer service Chuck offers is worth another 40 bucks he doesn't charge.
post #60 of 70
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Oh, and the customer service Chuck offers is worth another 40 bucks he doesn't charge.
Oh yeah? Try to reach him before next Wednesday.
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