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Shirt "comfort"

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by tdial, Mar 12, 2005.

  1. tdial

    tdial Senior Member

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    When you guys think of "comfort" in a shirt, meaning, "this shirt is comfortable," what dimensions or criteria do you use to determine if it's "comfortable?"

    To me, comfort is defined by it's "feel," that is, it's softness.
    It is also determined by fit, which would lend to ease of motion and no excess balooning.

    I would guess no excess "chafing" or rubbing would be a factor as well.

    Anything else? Anything with the fabrics that inherently lend themselves to achieving comfort for the wearer?

    I was just really intrigued by this concept of comfort and what actually determines it to the wearer. We've focused a lot on proper fit on this forum, and I was wondering how much the fit and the other qualities provide to overall "comfort."

    Alex, what would your experience tell you about comfort?
     


  2. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    1) Can you pull the tie all the way up into the collar without feeling choked? Can you leave the collar buttoned all day without feeling bothered, or tempted to open it?

    2) Can you move your arms freely without feeling a pull across the back?

    3) Are you equally conformtable when standing and sitting?

    All these are fairly easy to accomplish with shirts cut like tents. But with a shirt that fits, aye, there's the rub.
     


  3. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Distinguished Member

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    A comfortable shirt, both mentally and physically, should have the following characteristics. 1] You should put it on in the morning, button the buttons, tie your tie if a dress shirt. 2] You should untie your tie if a dress shirt, unbutton the buttons, and place in the laundry pile at the end of the day. Inbetween, you should feel absolutely nothing except perhaps two things: The first would be a faint 'swish' of fabric as it lovingly caresses your skin; the second should be an extreme sense of pride as people offer you compliments. And for those doubting Thomases who are thinking, "Kabbaz is just waxing eloquent again', I am completely serious. You should not be feeling your shirt. Can this be accomplished with a tent? No, for at all those pleats and folds where it is tucked into your trousers, in the bunched up fabric at your armholes when you put on your jacket, and in the pleats of fabric showing where your jacket fronts end in the center, you will feel it. Conversely, a 'skin-tight' shirt with no folds or pleats will also be felt by its tightness. Again, the primary characteristic of a properly fitted shirt is, caressing aside, you should not feel it.
     


  4. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Distinguished Member

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    I would respectfully disagree. The fit I described is an unattained, theoretical ideal. It has nothing to do with classical. It is that to which every shirtmaker should aspire ... even in the case of close-fitting (woven) shirts.

    I was not referring to the fit of knitted (stretch) fabrics. In that case, the criteria are completely different. A well-fitted knitted shirt will touch and caress you ... gently ... everywhere. It should be a "second skin". Again, an unattained ideal.
     


  5. familyman

    familyman Senior Member

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    Agree completely with Mr Kabbaz. I do want to add though that the shirt looking good to others is a second part of comfort. If my shirt is perfect to me, but by some attribute (color, style, whatever) makes people gasp out loud and children cry and women turn their heads in disgust, then the shirt will certainly make me uncomfortable. If I were to wear a perfectly cut immaculate shiny pink shirt to visit a group of welders on a job site, I would feel uncomfortable.
     


  6. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Distinguished Member

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    Correct. It would need to have a matte finish. [​IMG]
     


  7. bch

    bch Senior Member

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    I think a comfortable shirt is what everyone else has already said. You shouldn't feel it strangle you, nor pull at the cuffs as you reach, nor across the back. It should not be so long that you feel like you are wearing a second pair of boxer briefs. It should be tight enough at the cuff so that it does not swallow your hand and make you appear to be a grade-school kid looking to grow into his clothes someday. It should fit at the waist and not make you look 20 pounds heavier just because you dare to take off your coat. It's collar should not bend under at the collar bone making you look like a dolt, and it should take to ironing so that it does not look a rumpled mess at the end of the day, let alone by 10 a.m. Also, there is the psychological, which is maybe the sum of everything else. It should imbue confidence to the wearer, or at very least not become a liabilty.
     


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