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Bespoke Shirts...what are my options?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by The_Foxx, Jan 23, 2005.

  1. pejsek

    pejsek Senior member

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    I read this thread with vicarious dismay. I'm a pretty standard size (16-16.5/34) and over the years have picked up a closetful of very fine shirts, nearly all second hand or on the very deepest of discounts. It's a bit dispiriting that at your price point and with a willingness to buy in quantity you don't have more options. I can say without a doubt that the finest shirts I've worn have been bespoke Charvet--perhaps not a single hand-stitch on the shirt, but constructed with absolute precision and fanatical attention to detail; with extra material for collars and cuffs the shirts should last for decades. Bespoke T&A can also be very good as well.
    I must say that I think the Neapolitans (the big names, at least) have taken a mis-step somewhere along the line. I have some Borrelli shirts from the early to mid nineties that are still going strong. But back then they seemed to use a more substantial and durable fabric (often with a subtle irridescent sheen) and engaged in much less of what seems to be novelty handwork (I like to see all those handstitches too, but in the end it's really only the visible expression of artisanal labor and does not necessarily make for a superior shirt).
    As others have noted, I think one of the keys to getting the bespoke shirt you want will be finding exactly the right fabric. The idea of buying fabric from T&A is alluring to me, but perhaps that's not to everyone's taste. I'm sure, however, that you will be able to save some money by procuring the fabric yourself and then bringing it to a shirtmaker (just remember to buy extra for refurbishing later on). The IS shirts I've seen have been nothing special, but much of the reason for that may be that the customers are not that demanding and don't have clear ideas about what they want. As with any bespoke product successful collaboration is the cornerstone, so if you know what you want and can find a skilled tailor or shirtmaker who understands and is sympathetic to your inclinations much of the battle is already won at that point.
    BTW. I've seen a couple of those Y'Apre shirts and they were quite a cruel joke--all of the elements were absolutely top-notch (fabric, buttons, workmanship) and yet the shirts themselves were an undistinguished jumble.
     
  2. uriahheep

    uriahheep Senior member

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    I also don't care for the yApre' shirts.
     
  3. uriahheep

    uriahheep Senior member

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    Foxx, in your first post in this thread you mention a minimum of 6 at a cost of $350 each. Is this essentially the maximum amount you are willing to pay for custom shirts; 6 x $350 = $2100?
    There are shirtmakers who charge more than $350 for a shirt and there are shirtmakers who charge well under $350, some who do not require a minimum order and some who do. There are shirtmakers who charge more than $350 for a shirt but have no minimum. There are shirtmakers who charge much less than $350 for a shirt, and even with a minimum order, can allow you to stay well within your budget.
     
  4. The_Foxx

    The_Foxx Senior member

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    thanks to all for the valuable advice and information. As i've just purchased my first pair of lobb shoes today, shirts will have to take a back-burner for this month, but the oxxford MTM seems to be a good option-- provided i can control the tie-space at the collar, sleeve length, and possibly collar height.

    I'll be the first to admit I'm a clothing snob, but also please understand i'm originally from the midwest-- things made in japan, taiwan, and other far-eastern locations were (and still are, from a recent conversation with my sister about automobiles) looked down upon; I can remember my father scraping the 'made in japan' from a pair of pliers he had mistakenly thought was made in the USA. I guess i'd much rather pay for the traditions and 'passing down' of sartorial knowledge of the british and italians when it comes to clothing, especially after seeing some of the photos of "real steals" on shirts and suits made in the orient-- none of them looked quite right to me. Again, feel free to accuse me of needless snobbery; what do you expect from a guy who wears jacket sleeve buttons undone, right??
     
  5. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    snob.
     
  6. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Senior member

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    It's never needless.
     
  7. uriahheep

    uriahheep Senior member

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    The RTW made-in-Italy Oxxford shirts carried at Saks are just decent, and overpriced. The buttonholes are done decently by hand, but some of the machine stitching seems a little crude, price and company reputation considered. The yApre' shirts made by IS are also decent...but overpriced.
    If you're willing to go to a shirtmaker besides a true custom atelier, such as IS/Oxxford MTM, Ike Behar has a "custom" program with quite a few good fabrics(including 200s) and prices within your desired range. This program has no minimum. The customer has the option of buying his pattern for $500.
    Few experiences can stack up to having true custom shirts made. Paris-based Lanvin makes excellent custom shirts with no minimum order. They will give you all the fittings you need. However, I don't think that they normally travel to meet clients.
     
  8. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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    Foxx, I thought you did MTM Borrelli already. How would MTM Oxxford be an improvement? I would think true bespoke would be the logical next step.

    AlanC
    (confirmed wearer of RTW )
     
  9. Alias

    Alias Senior member

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    ha ha wtf
     
  10. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    feel free to accuse me of needless snobbery
    snob.
    [​IMG] koji
     

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