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Alexander Kabbaz shirts

Steve B.

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In a word: Yes. Many of you remember Alex, who posted frequently back around the New Year, and educated us all (along with Shirtmaven) about the finer points of dress and custom dress shirts. I was fortunate enough to acquire a couple of fitting samples from Alex a month or so ago and wanted to report on my experience. I've owned a lot of great quality shirts from most of the big names: Zegna (including Napoli Couture), Borrelli, Kiton, Fray, Charvet, Borrelli, Brioni, Lorenzini, Turnbull and Asser, Canali, Armani, Ike Behar, Robert Talbott. I've purchased them mostly RTW, but have had MTM and custom as well. They all pale in comparison to these Kabbaz shirts. The shirts IMO are demonstrably superior to any others I've owned. Pretty remarkable given that they're fitting samples, which Alex chose after I sent him my measurements, and I didn't get the yoke measurement right. The shirts are solid white and solid black. The fabric on both is an outstandingly soft broadcloth- the white (according to Alex) "nothing special" and the black "a nice 140s". The stitching is perfect; incredibly small and precise done on a machine. Sturdy, too- no way this shirt is ever coming unstitched. No gussets- with such precise stitching they aren't needed. Firmly anchored, cross stitched buttons, medium width, same color throughout the button. Extra button with hole at the bottom to help keep shirt tail together. The cuffs are made for cuff links, but with a single rather than double cuff. The positioning of the aperture is 2/3 toward the bottom of the shirt (sort of the reverse of Borrelli) to showcase the cuff links. Also much better IMO for fitting under a suit or sport coat. Fit, and Alex's house style, is closer to the body, but it's not constricting, even for a big guy like me. You notice that the shirts fits tighter than other shirts, but in a reassuring, not restricting way. The finest feature for me is the collar. Finely fused, substantial- but still soft and comfortable. Medium spread, longer points, stays are long and thin. I REALLY like the double, slightly staggered collar buttons, which make it fit PERFECTLY, especially with a tie. No more fidgeting all day and readjusting the tie and collar. It's locked down exactly the way I want it as soon as I pull the knot tight. Obviously, I highly recommend Kabbaz shirts to those of you who are interested. I hope to see his shop the next time I'm on Long Island, and look forward to being fitted by Alex personally (if I don't spend my cookie jar funds on shoes first)
 

banksmiranda

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Two different schools - Matuozzo = Neapolitan style, Kabbaz = purely custom house. One thing in common - both use excellent fabrics.
 

Steve B.

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Sheepish admission: I don't have a digital camera. But I will try to arrange something.
 

Alias

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Thanks for the review. The price is still a bit steep in my opinion, but then again, he's not the only one charging that much for a shirt.

In other news, my arms seem to have mysteriously shrunk in length. I wonder if this has anything to do with my weightlifting.
 

banksmiranda

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I recently met the owner of an old tailoring firm.  He said that the fewer clients a firm has, the greater the cost to each customer.  This may be especially true for those based in large cities, where overhead costs are high.  However, true custom houses may have difficulty serving a very large number of clients because of the amount of work that goes into outfitting each client.  Yet they must have enough clients such that their prices fit somewhere within the range of "market" prices so they can remain competitive.  Some Savile Row firms have added RTW offerings for this reason - RTW supports their custom offerings.
True artisans must charge whatever they must to make enough to justify spending their time doing what they are.  If they are dedicated to the craft and passionate about what they are doing then money should not be an issue.  Concerns(worries) about money should not be on their minds.  Otherwise how can they properly do the task at hand? A shirtmaker must charge enough to recoup material costs and employees' labor costs and to make a "profit" which is equal to what he thinks his time spent making shirts instead of doing something else is worth.
 

ken

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In other news, my arms seem to have mysteriously shrunk in length. I wonder if this has anything to do with my weightlifting.
Doubt it. Probably your shoulders are a bit broader and your arms stick out a bit more, which will cause more of the sleeve length to be used up in the shoulder/tricep area and therefore seem shorter.

Oh yeah, and any shirt that costs $400 American is overpriced unless it gets you chicks EVERY time you wear it.
 

FCS

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Steve, did you pay full regular prices / discounted prices /  get them as free samples?
 

Alexander Kabbaz

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Steve - I am truly blushing. Thank you very much.
Alex

P.S. FCS - That's an awfully gosh inquiry. How unlike you. Nonetheless, Steve and I bartered. There really aren't that many of us in the upscale end of the men's clothing business and it is just easier that way.
 

banksmiranda

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Great to "hear" your voice back on StyleForum, Mr. Kabbaz.
 

FIHTies

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Sheepish admission: I don't have a digital camera. But I will try to arrange something. Â
Of course you dont have a digital camera... How can you afford one, paying close to 500 bucks on a shirt... Pardon me if my typing is off, I am still a little dizzy and my nose keeps bleeds periodically from Andrews post of his trip to NY and something about 10K for a pair of shoes...
 

regularjoe

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In other news, my arms seem to have mysteriously shrunk in length. I wonder if this has anything to do with my weightlifting.
What the user, ken, said.

Also, don't forget, you're probably broadening your back and chest area in addition to your shoulder. I hope your suits have room to let out....
 

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