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Questions about "luxury" shirting

epsilon22

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RLPL mtm probably costs more than bespoke.

Okay, so maybe this is unpopular, but I don’t see the point in 400€+ for a shirt. 100 hands, I’m sure is nice, but the fabric won’t last long enough for the workmanship of that level to matter.

I like my stuff to be functional. It reminds me of an old quote from Antonio Panico: “a ferrari is arm candy. A Porsche is a woman to love.”

A quote I like so much, I’m putting it in my signature haha
What would you consider to be the sweet spot between the fully handmade shirts and machine-made shirts, assuming they use the same fabric?
 

jonathanS

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What would you consider to be the sweet spot between the fully handmade shirts and machine-made shirts, assuming they use the same fabric?
For me, I think 200-250€ / shirt is more than fair. Less than 300€.

So that’s mostly machine, some hand were necessary and if it makes a difference. But everything being handmade, to me, is superfluous
 

clothingfun

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@Shirtmaven - They are true bespoke shirts so yes…I did have them made for me. 😊

@othertravel - Yes, Anto does a load of work for the studios. I’ve been doing business with them for nearly thirty years now.

Many, many years ago I briefly experimented with a few other shirtmakers. Including a few mentioned here on SF. Mainly out of curiosity.

They all have certainly been nice enough shirts and very pleasant gentlemen. I have no complaints and I’m not here to say anything bad about anyone.

However, I always went back to Anto because it was simply a better product. From experience I genuinely believe Jack, Ken, and Anthony are the best in the business.
 
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SpallaPerfetta

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There are plenty of excellent shirtmakers out there. Unfortunately, most shirts are made in factories that maximize efficiency over quality. There are some very expensive brands selling garments of mediocre construction.

I would have to see a shirt in person to give opinions.
What are the key differences in production quality between say Proper Cloth and something you would make?
 

Shirtmaven

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@Shirtmaven - They are true bespoke shirts so yes…I did have them made for me. 😊

@epsilon22 - Yes, Anto does a load of work for the studios. I’ve been doing business with them for nearly thirty years now.

Many, many years ago I briefly experimented with a few other shirtmakers. Including a few mentioned here on SF. Mainly out of curiosity.

They all have certainly been nice enough shirts and very pleasant gentlemen. I have no complaints and I’m not here to say anything bad about anyone.

However, I always went back to Anto because it was simply a better product. From experience I genuinely believe Jack, Ken, and Anthony are the best in
@Shirtmaven - They are true bespoke shirts so yes…I did have them made for me. 😊

@othertravel - Yes, Anto does a load of work for the studios. I’ve been doing business with them for nearly thirty years now.

Many, many years ago I briefly experimented with a few other shirtmakers. Including a few mentioned here on SF. Mainly out of curiosity.

They all have certainly been nice enough shirts and very pleasant gentlemen. I have no complaints and I’m not here to say anything bad about anyone.

However, I always went back to Anto because it was simply a better product. From experience I genuinely believe Jack, Ken, and Anthony are the best in the business.
I have know Jack and Ken for many years. First rate shirtmakers and individuals. I even knew Nat Wise who was the top shirtmaker in Los Angeles. Before anto purchased that business.

I guess I am more of a minimalist in my work.
I would have just made the Italian collar without the distracting white collar band.
That is what I call a look at my shirt detail.
not that I haven't made outlandish shirts. These are usually for theatre, TV, or film.
 
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JohnMRobie

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I think you missed my point.
I prefer to make well fitted shirts out of lovely fabrics and add buttons that are complementary. I have seen your shirts in the past. They always have details that feel a bit off and pretentious. The white collar band and the octagonal buttons, and the lack of collar button. These details make your shirt "special".
Look at my Instagram and you can see some "interesting" shirts. Of course they are usually for theatre or film.

I also know Jack and Ken for 30 years. I also knew Nat Wise whose business they bought which took them up to being the premier shirtmaker in Los Angeles .
they make an excellent shirt. We speak a few times a year. We .

I have know Jack and Ken for many years. First rate shirtmakers and individuals. I even knew Nat Wise who was the top shirtmaker in Los Angeles. Before anto purchased that business.

I guess I am more of a minimalist in my work.
I would have just made the Italian collar without the distracting white collar band.
That is what I call a look at my shirt detail.
not that I haven't made outlandish shirts. These are usually for theatre, TV, or film.
This is the way.
 

JohnMRobie

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What are the key differences in production quality between say Proper Cloth and something you would make?
I don’t have any shirts from Carl but I do have a couple mostly machine made bespoke shirts I can compare to a shirt from proper cloth.

@Shirtmaven can correct me and I’m certain I’m using the wrong words. I’ll try and stick purely to production quality with the assumption that you can get exactly what you want from Proper Cloth’s selections vs bespoke but for me that’s another piece I weigh.

Generally speaking, the stitching is less precise on the proper cloth shirts and the stitches are a bit wider apart. My proper cloth shirts also suffer from loose threads in random places (note this is a random sample of two that I got to test out because normie friends asked if they were any good) and the threads are more prone to fray over time whereas I haven’t had that issue on my bespoke shirts that have been laundered and worn a bunch more times and are older.

Three shirt collars side by side.
IMG_8635.jpeg


The much longer answer though is that it’s not just about production quality. For me it’s about fit, flexibility and the relationships I get to make with my makers through working with them. There’s also a level of trust involved and relying on their expertise instead of a website.

Beyond that, and I mentioned this a page or two ago, the proper cloth value proposition disappears when you start playing around with better fabrics. I tend to really enjoy high thread count shirts which is why I’m in this thread about luxury shirting. For example on my business shirts I use Thomas Mason Super Hampton twill for my white shirts. I use Alumo Soyella poplin for most of my blue shirts. I tested out DJA 200/2 Popeline for my most recent batch of stripes. I’d venture to guess that I paid less than Proper Cloth would charge for the same fabric in each of those instances.

I also get freedom to modify my collar in collaboration with my maker and really dial in what I’m after. They take things like my ties, my face, my neck etc into consideration instead of hoping one from Proper Cloth’s list works.

For a guy who is going to say “good enough” to Proper Cloth’s basic poplin or twill and lock in at $100-125 and just needs a shirt or two? Go for it. But as soon as you start wanting to change details, try different fabrics or build a relationship there’s no comparison to the options you have with bespoke.
 

jonathanS

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For me, I think 200-250€ / shirt is more than fair. Less than 300€.

So that’s mostly machine, some hand were necessary and if it makes a difference. But everything being handmade, to me, is superfluous
I should also add that this is based on real prices I’ve paid. So it’s not like I’m just making up prices.
 

Mute

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Having had shirts made by Proper Cloth and a custom shirtmaker (Freddy Vandercasteele), the main difference you'll notice will be in the stitching and the fit of certain parts of the shirt, mainly collar, cuffs and the shoulder. You can get a very good fit with Proper after making the necessary adjustments, but things just fit and move with your body just a bit better on a truly bespoke shirt. Granted, using the same cloth, the bespoke (at least from a good shirtmaker) will cost more without a doubt. Just from looks, you probably won't notice too much of a difference, but how the shirt feels on you will be noticeable.
 

clothingfun

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@Shirtmaven

I actually did understand your point. I was joking a little in my reply. In a fun and friendly way though. Not at all meant to be derisive.

Points taken sir and understandable for some clients. Not for me. I’m not being “pretentious.” Simply wearing what I like and makes me happy. In regards to my shirts being “special” or “off” well yes…that’s the point! I love this kind of thing! In public I actually receive many nice compliments. I think it helps though I work very hard to keep myself in shape.

More importantly “The Boss” loves it. I actually have her choose most of my fabrics. What’s cool is Jack, Ken, and Anthony are so darned good at making this type of stuff. Also, their pattern drafting and the subsequent fit they obtain is simply excellent. I’ve had some more conservative shirts made in the past and they are certainly great at that too. I just rarely buy much of that.

FYI the no collar button is actually something they do and is a bit of a house style. I like it. The collar on these particular shirts wasn’t my idea either. It’s a variation of a one piece/Italian collar that Jack came up with fairly recently. He calls it, “Modern Italian.” My last drive out to CA I saw examples in the store during my appointment and really, really liked it.

I don’t spend a significant amount of time here on SF and only post occasionally. However, I’ve become used to getting bashed and that’s cool. Everyone fire away.

It’s apparent the majority of the regulars here on SF live in large metropolitan areas and honestly everyone here looks pretty much the same. Any variations outside of NY, CA, D.C., etc. aren’t very welcome.

I grew up on (and still live on) a pair of family ranches of many generations in the Southwest. I’ve been married for nearly fifty years to a Mexican woman. Since retiring I seem to be spending more and more time south of the border with her family.

I’ve never owned a pair of dress shoes. Strictly cowboy boots all my life. Just how I was raised. I commission pink sport coats from Dege and Skinner. I commission bespoke “special and pretentious” shirts from Anto. Guess what? I love it all and am just being myself.

I just like higher end clothes and come on here once in awhile to share and have a good time. Which I do actually or I would drop out.

@JohnMRobie - No offense kid but that’s your way not mine. Decent shirts you have but it’s a closet full of the exact same thing.
 

jonathanS

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@Shirtmaven

I actually did understand your point. I was joking a little in my reply. In a fun and friendly way though. Not at all meant to be derisive.

Points taken sir and understandable for some clients. Not for me. I’m not being “pretentious.” Simply wearing what I like and makes me happy. In regards to my shirts being “special” or “off” well yes…that’s the point! I love this kind of thing! In public I actually receive many nice compliments. I think it helps though I work very hard to keep myself in shape.

More importantly “The Boss” loves it. I actually have her choose most of my fabrics. What’s cool is Jack, Ken, and Anthony are so darned good at making this type of stuff. Also, their pattern drafting and the subsequent fit they obtain is simply excellent. I’ve had some more conservative shirts made in the past and they are certainly great at that too. I just rarely buy much of that.

FYI the no collar button is actually something they do and is a bit of a house style. I like it. The collar on these particular shirts wasn’t my idea either. It’s a variation of a one piece/Italian collar that Jack came up with fairly recently. He calls it, “Modern Italian.” My last drive out to CA I saw examples in the store during my appointment and really, really liked it.

I don’t spend a significant amount of time here on SF and only post occasionally. However, I’ve become used to getting bashed and that’s cool. Everyone fire away.

It’s apparent the majority of the regulars here on SF live in large metropolitan areas and honestly everyone here looks pretty much the same. Any variations outside of NY, CA, D.C., etc. aren’t very welcome.

I grew up on (and still live on) a pair of family ranches of many generations in the Southwest. I’ve been married for nearly fifty years to a Mexican woman. Since retiring I seem to be spending more and more time south of the border with her family.

I’ve never owned a pair of dress shoes. Strictly cowboy boots all my life. Just how I was raised. I commission pink sport coats from Dege and Skinner. I commission bespoke “special and pretentious” shirts from Anto. Guess what? I love it all and am just being myself.

I just like higher end clothes and come on here once in awhile to share and have a good time. Which I do actually or I would drop out.

@JohnMRobie - No offense kid but that’s your way not mine. Decent shirts you have but it’s a closet full of the exact same thing.


Cool story bro
 

Blastwice

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Very interesting thread. Makes me want to visit your shop Shirtmaven to see what I am missing.

From my limited experience:

Proper Cloth has a great selection of fabrics, good shopping experience and it’s convenient.

Bespoke Shirts from the Bespoke Club in Miami definitely they dialed in the back with darts and sure the fit is way more personalized, but I could probably do the same with MTM PC or Luxire by having them duplicate the pattern/sizing.

My biggest issue with shirting is that the cloth often wear out before the workmanship does. When I was machine drying my shirts (don’t do this) they’d shrink and wear quickly. Now that I’m cold washing and hang drying everything, I’m seeing longer lifetimes for individual shirts where the stitching or handiwork might matter. With that being said I usually only have issues with buttons coming lose, chipping, etc. haven’t ever replaced a collar on an existing shirt or anything like that.

As for the cost/accessibility I’d love to be able to hit bespoke up every time (and shape in person), but like I’m in Miami now for a work trip and just a round trip Uber to shop in person costs as much as a whole shirt at PC so I guess it’s weird for me to hear arguments over value of the say, Thomas Mason stuff there when it’s really just “one Uber ride” more to upgrade to their nicest stuff.

Obviously, relationship with a maker (as much as can be expected) is key and certainly a secret sauce, that I know.
 

Shirtmaven

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@SpallaPerfetta

TAL is the manufacturing partner of Propercloth.
they make 1 of every 6 shirts sold in the USA. they perfected the taping method for wrinkle free shirts.
they know how to make a shirt as effeciently as posible to still make it look passable.
most TAL shirts are made using computerized machines. the sewers rarely know how to make more then a few parts of a shirt. in fact they are rarely sewing. just feeding parts into a machine.
there is absolutly no love or pride in their shirts.
From what i see, PC gets TAL to do more for them then most makers that work with TAL.
A few years ago, i was told that if I could promise TAL $1mm in business, they would set up my own manufacturing line.
with all of the crazy requests PC gets, I assume mistakes happen more often then they should.
their low cost of manufactruing and their ability to place large orders with the mills for better pricing make the shirt attractively priced.. that and the fact that they will remake your shirt numerous times.

MY shirt is similar to many other shirtmakers who have been making the same way.
I dont have special folders to speed up making sleeve plackets. we do it the old fashioned way.
most custom/bespoke shirtmakers dont have large enough production to have individual sewers make only a few parts of the shirt.

I have 7 people in my shop every day is different in terms of what is made.
a group of basic shirts and then sheer, satin trimmed shirts for the show Moulin rouge.
a ruffle tuxedo shirt next to a linen camp shirt.
theatre is keeping the shop very busy at the moment.
by the time of the Tony award cutoff, I will have shirts in almost 20 shows on Broadway.
Anto makes more shirts then I do for film/TV. the accountants would love for the costume departments to make shirts in lower cost countries. the problem is fit and timing.
two weeks ago, we made two shirts in an afternoon for Daredevil. they were on the actor the next morning.

I know some people love to see hand work on a shirt.
100 Hands makes a beautiful shirt. their labor costs are a fraction of mine.
Hand work just adds time and cost to the garment. I dont think it improves the shirt.

@clothingfun enjoy wearing your shirts. it is not a look that many men could pull off.
i feel that a well made shirt that is laundered properly can last 5-10+ years. odd details look dated after a couple of years. you may grow tired of the look.

I dont claim to make the worlds finest shirt. I think my customers enjoy their experience in addition to wearing a shirt that makes them feel good.
 
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SpallaPerfetta

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Very interesting thread. Makes me want to visit your shop Shirtmaven to see what I am missing.

From my limited experience:

Proper Cloth has a great selection of fabrics, good shopping experience and it’s convenient.

Bespoke Shirts from the Bespoke Club in Miami definitely they dialed in the back with darts and sure the fit is way more personalized, but I could probably do the same with MTM PC or Luxire by having them duplicate the pattern/sizing.

My biggest issue with shirting is that the cloth often wear out before the workmanship does. When I was machine drying my shirts (don’t do this) they’d shrink and wear quickly. Now that I’m cold washing and hang drying everything, I’m seeing longer lifetimes for individual shirts where the stitching or handiwork might matter. With that being said I usually only have issues with buttons coming lose, chipping, etc. haven’t ever replaced a collar on an existing shirt or anything like that.

As for the cost/accessibility I’d love to be able to hit bespoke up every time (and shape in person), but like I’m in Miami now for a work trip and just a round trip Uber to shop in person costs as much as a whole shirt at PC so I guess it’s weird for me to hear arguments over value of the say, Thomas Mason stuff there when it’s really just “one Uber ride” more to upgrade to their nicest stuff.

Obviously, relationship with a maker (as much as can be expected) is key and certainly a secret sauce, that I know.
Thank you for the thoughtful reply. I have never sewed so much as a button but I always had an inkling that "hand work" was more a marketing ploy than something that improved the quality of the shirt.
 

Thomas Auer

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Since Alumo was the topic a few weeks ago: Does anyone have any informations on the future of Alumo. They merged with their "finisher" Cilander a while ago, and Cilander is set to cease operations come August 2024? Are there any information on how this will effect Alumo?
 
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