1. And... we're back. You'll notice that all of your images are back as well, as are our beloved emoticons, including the infamous :foo: We have also worked with our server folks and developers to fix the issues that were slowing down the site.

    There is still work to be done - the images in existing sigs are not yet linked, for example, and we are working on a way to get the images to load faster - which will improve the performance of the site, especially on the pages with a ton of images, and we will continue to work diligently on that and keep you updated.

    Cheers,

    Fok on behalf of the entire Styleforum team
    Dismiss Notice

The OneShirt: A Phoenix from the Ashes [4/24/13 UPDATE: A SHIRTMAKER, AN ENGLISHMAN, CHAMBRAY, AND F

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mafoofan, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,795
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    My Matuozzo shirts are truly on their last legs. I can no longer wear them into a work environment without feeling conspicuously sprezzed out. The fraying has reached catastrophic levels. The collar and cuff edges are fully worn through to the interlining and some shirts are even fully worn through where the collar folds over.

    So, I'm taking the opportunity to embark on a new project. Since I'm changing shirtmakers (largely because I can't justify Matuozzo-level prices to myself anymore), I figure now is a good time to re-think my entire approach to shirting. Sacred cows will be slaughtered.

    Like the OneShoe, there will be a OneShirt. Similarly, it will not be absolutely monolithic, but will certainly play a dominant, foundational role in my wardrobe.

    My present state of thinking on the concept:

    1. Light blue chambray cloth
    2. Spread collar
    3. Single cuffs (yes, you read that right)
    4. No front placket
    5. No gauntlet buttons
    6. No back pleats
    7. Back darts

    The second and third elements are somewhat up for debate, though more the latter than the former. The only other collar I'd consider is a buttondown, but I'm not all that confident in cajoling Geneva to make me one that is just right. Also, it's less versatile to me, as the OneShirt would be worn with a tie and jacket ninety percent of the time. As for the cuffs: I am partial to links as I generally find well-fitting barrel cuffs too constricting, yet interested in something lighter than a double (French) cuff. I understand the single cuff is associated with formal wear, but I'm not sure it can't be adapted to daily business dress. I'm probably convinced one way or another on the matter, but please feel free to opine.

    Here's the real lynchpin: if someone can convince me that Geneva is capable of making an ideal buttondown collar with a bell-shaped roll, and can instruct me on how to instruct them, I will be very, very tempted to go that route. In that event, the linked cuffs will have to go altogether, and I'll switch to rounded barrel cuffs. Incidentally, such a shirt would replace my somewhat-but-not-entirely-successful modified OCBD from Brooks Brothers MTM. An added benefit.

    In any event, a spread-collared shirt (with linked cuffs) will be essential at one point. I will probably add a blue-and-white bengal stripe and a large gingham to the foundational chambray. If I wind up doing the chambray in a buttondown collar, I may add a light blue end-on-end to the spread-collared assortment. No more small checks or graph paper for me.

    There it is. Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  2. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,355
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Do you have a particular chambray in mind already?

    I understand the reasoning behind the single cuff, but for me it's just a bridge too far with a blue chambray shirt. You wouldn't rather just make your BCs a little looser if you find them uncomfortable?

    On Geneva BDs, I will try and post mine later and you can see what you think. My instructions to them entailed just showing them a picture of ET's buttondown and asking for a copy:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,795
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    The chambray is in the mail already.

    I can't stand loose barrel cuffs. They look terrible.

    ET's collar looks fine in that photo (the points might be a tad long), but I'd need to see it with a tie. That's the true test.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  4. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

    Messages:
    2,139
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Location:
    NYC
    I'm with you except on points 4 and 5. For me at least, the sleeve placket button is helpful for keeping stray armhair from showing. If you don't have that problem, then I guess it isn't necessary. I find the lack of a front blacket to be odd looking, but that could just be because I am not used to seeing them.
     
  5. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,355
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    There I can't really help you. I like the way mine look no-tie (which is almost always how I wear BDs) but don't think they're really ideal for wearing with a tie. You can decide for yourself though, here's mine:

    http://ivorytowerstyle.tumblr.com/image/36826257031
     
  6. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,355
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Geneva discourages the front placket. I think the reason is mostly so that cleaners won't screw it up.. I went along with this for my original orders, but I think I will get a placket in the future. If you are confident in your cleaner or do your own and trust yourself with it, I think the placket suits a more textured shirt well.
     
  7. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,795
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Eh. That roll doesn't do it for me. I'm looking for a distinctly bell-shaped roll, that is neither too tall nor too squat.

    Supposedly, Mercer buttondowns are closest to the ideal these days, but they seem inconsistent from person to person. I often see people raving about the rolls on their Mercers (and other buttondown collars) when there is no roll to speak of. My own example from Mercer has essentially zero roll, so I can't really show it to Geneva as a reference.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  8. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,795
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    

    Nah. I don't see it as a question of fabric choice--I just hate plackets.
     
  9. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,355
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I think the extra design "clutter" of the placket makes it somewhat more informal. So I like to have no placket on my white dress shirts and light blue broadcloth, but oxford cloth and the like make more sense to me with plackets. But I don't think there's necessarily a right or wrong to it, it's a minor detail, often covered by the tie anyway, that can just be left to personal preference.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    8,355
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    One other consideration - do you have single cuff shirts already? If you're planning to wear the links you use for French cuffs, they may be too spread and not close the cuff enough. I have single cuffs on my evening shirt and use snap links on it to avoid this problem. At the least, if you haven't tried this style yet, maybe start out with one and see how it works before ordering a whole batch.
     
  11. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,795
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    

    My dinner shirt has single cuffs and I wear it with my regular chained links. Granted, the pique facing thickens them quite a bit, so that makes a difference.
     
  12. Xenon

    Xenon Senior member

    Messages:
    602
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    How were the Matuozzo shirts handled, dry cleaning, commercial laundering or home washed? What was the shirting and how many cycles did they endure before visible fraying?
     
  13. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,795
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    

    Always machine-washed at home, in lingerie bags, on the gentle cycle. Hung dry and hand ironed.

    Early signs of fraying could be seen by the fifth or sixth cycle. By the twentieth wearing, the collars and cuffs were badly enough frayed that most people would have considered the shirts unwearable and in need of repair. I soldiered on in denial. Clearly, Riva shirting is not made to withstand being worn more than once a month.

    That said, it's worth noting that the hand-stitching has all held up perfectly. I'm really astonished by the quality of the workmanship. If I could do it all over again, I would just make sure to supply my own non-Italian shirting.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  14. onix

    onix Senior member

    Messages:
    3,847
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    

    I would expect €300+ shirts last longer than that. Or maybe their clothes stay better with dry-cleaning?
     
  15. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,795
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    

    Why would you expect more expensive stuff to last longer? Especially in shirting, you pay more for finer, softer cloth that is also more delicate. I knew there would be a trade-off, I just didn't know how big it would be. In fact, back when I first visited Matuozzo, I also saw Battistoni in Rome. The former told me Riva shirting would last ten years of regular use. Battistoni told me two years, at most. I went with the longer estimate to make myself feel better. Sadly, it turns out Battistoni was right on the mark.

    Dry-cleaning would be far worse. You should never dry-clean your shirts.
     
    2 people like this.
  16. edmorel

    edmorel Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    25,672
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
    Am I the only one who doesn't care about what Foo decides for his OneShirt :confused:



    Not because I don't love and care about you foofy but because we already know that you already have your mind made up and will vehemently knock down any suggestions anyway, not that I would suggest anything because I don't really care what you decide to begin with. Its a vicious circle.
     
    12 people like this.
  17. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    20,795
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Oh, Ed. Don't you get it? Just because you may not be able to influence my own decisions doesn't mean we can't have an engaging, enlightening discussion about shirts, using my OneShirt project as a jumping point.

    For example, what do you think of using single cuffs in daily business wear? And if permissible, does the shirting make a difference? With its formal connotations, would such a cuff be verboten in a more casual shirting like chambray? Are the connotations moot because the cuff would have been removed from its "proper" use to begin with? Would the interlining needed to support a single cuff be so thick and stiff as to be the determining factor? The mind reels.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
    2 people like this.
  18. onix

    onix Senior member

    Messages:
    3,847
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    

    I am on a different foot. I wont suggest anything to Foo since he made his mind already anyway. Though would be interested to see his one shirt.
     
  19. alexSF

    alexSF Senior member

    Messages:
    1,439
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Location:
    Italy
    Fraying at the fifth or sixth cycle it's incredible!

    I think that fine clothes can last longer only if handwashed at home (that is the standard in Italy)
    Even the finer batista fabric should last at least 50-80 cycle if handwashed and natural dried.

    I never had a shirt handwashed frayed anywhere except in the inside of the collar but was caused by the beard.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  20. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

    Messages:
    2,139
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Location:
    NYC
    I'm not sure I would be able to or want to wear the same shirt every day. I do favor blue or blue/white almost exclusively, so I like to try to add some patterns in the mix. Though, I admit, I often get into trouble in the "Good Taste" thread when wearing some kind of patterned shirt.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by