Why Bespoke Shirts?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Alexander Kabbaz, Feb 18, 2005.

  1. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    So is this collar only a sport shirt collar? Not for dress shirts, and not with ties?
     


  2. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Short story. Oh, no. Not a Kabbaz "short" story. Quick, J, order more bandwidth. In 1983, a client came to me and told me how much he absolutely loved my Italian collar. From now on, he said, he wanted nothing but. He was going to use it with business suits ... as well as for casual. Twenty one fittings later, I sheepishly admitted defeat. All of the benefits ... the soft and consistent roll, the attractive open appearance, the extreme comfort ... work in direct opposition to even the hint of installing a collar button. The roll creases. The attractive open appearance becomes one of ugly wrinkles and bulges. And the comfort? Becomes an unbelievably constricting garot. Deciding that I preferred living to strangled clients, I abandoned pursuit of the dual-use Italian collar. It is only for wearing open. It is, however, the most perfect frame for the tucked ascot, whatever mode of dress your lexicon determines that to be.
     


  3. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    Upon further consideration Alex, if you are charging $875 for a single shirt, I hope you do use imported Swiss water to wash / iron it.

    Jon.
     


  4. Etruscan

    Etruscan Senior member

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    Much as I love luxury in general, and fine clothes in particular, and thus have amassed a greater wardrobe than my professional or social life requires, I cannot reconcile the virtues of 'bespoke' (which I don't doubt) with my hunger for a bargain (which I can't deny). When I see that the cost of even a MTM shirt exceeds what I've paid for any of my suits (all bought new, lest you guess otherwise, by the way), this is not an expense that I wish to justify. And as I never remove my suitcoat during the course of the business day, I'd guess that it would be only such a garment's superior comfort, and not its superlative detailing, that would would be apparent. So, though with great respect to those fellow forum members who are proud purveyors and consumers of such rarefied goods, it's RTW for me. I'm glad to know that there are limits to my extravagance.
     


  5. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    "Italian aristocrat anytime", "English gentleman in morningwear", or "Butt-clenched-so-tight-as-to-be-able-to-crack-open walnuts." Many who sport this look aspire to either of the first two, and succeed in becoming the third.
     


  6. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Alex, Your Italian collar looks to me very much like a Johnny collar. I suppose the construction and the way it falls is what differentiates it from what rockabillies and pro bowlers wear? (That, and the fact that you probably don't make shirts out of 100% polyester [​IMG] Ernest, $875 is a lot for a shirt. I will not, unless I win the lottery in grand style, ever get to wear one. And I do not doubt that I would harbour a lot of, um, dislike, for some of Alex's customers attitudes towards a great number of things. Nevertheless, if you haven't seen a Kabbaz shirt (and I have not, yet), it is hardly fair to say that his shirts don't merit their price. It's like saying that a Project Alabama t-shirt is overpriced (at ~$350 to $450). There is a significant markup, yes, but the sourcing of the necessary materials and the sheer labor intensive nature of the work makes even the wholesale price incredibly high. You may not like them, or you may do it yourself. I've personally hand de-constructed and customized enough t-shirts and have friends who are in the business of doing so to tell you that sometimes it takes a whole day to do the job right. Watching the game (basketball my favorite) while handstitching one t-shirt onto another which has a cutout in it is a very painstaking job, not to mention finding the right tees to do the job with (Three Dots thermals are good for the backer tee), vintage or American apparel for the "front tee" works well too, but I am still looking for the perfect tees to work with. Hey, maybe this means that I'm a shirtmaker too?
     


  7. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    No, we try to stay only with the higher quality 60%Poly/40%Cotton.
     


  8. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    But only 2x2, 140s and above. Alex has standards.
     


  9. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I had always read that you couldn't have two-ply yarns in poly-cotton blends. But maybe if it were long-staple polyester...
     


  10. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    I do have my standards. It is Sea Island polyester.
     


  11. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    As promised, a decent photo of an Italian Collared shirt: [​IMG]
     


  12. uppercase

    uppercase Senior member

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    Beautiful shirt, Alex.
    Very, very elegant.
    I have several Italian collar shirts and they are absolutely fabulous for Summer wear, very comfortable and perfect for strolling the corniche prior to stopping for an aperitif at dusk.
    Dress them, dress them down.
    Perfect, elegant Summer wear.
    Your interpretation is perfect.
     


  13. uppercase

    uppercase Senior member

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    BTW, do you have any photos of button downs?
    TIA
     


  14. linux_pro

    linux_pro Senior member

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    Holy cow, that shirt is gorgeous. I thought your site said you weren't accepting new customers, Alex. Why are you teasing us with pictures like that? I love that collar. Heck, I love the whole shirt.

    And if you want to tell us why bespoke shirts are so great, pics (visual demo) do the best job I think, and also feel. So, on that note, maybe you should post some pics of completed work, and then "donate" 4 or 5 shirts for me to wear for a year or two (just to verify the fit after repeated wearings and how they hold up), and then I will graciously volunteer to fill in the whole forum on the extensive benefits of bespoke shirts (by Alexander Kabbaz, of course). Heh heh.

    Please?

    (my mom always told me that if I asked politely and said please, than I could have one)
     


  15. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    And, linux, your Mom was entirely correct. I would gladly have given you one. But that wasn't enough, was it? You just had to push the envelope and go for the BIG prize ... the four or five. BZZZZZ Buzzer Sounds - Regis looks crestfallen. Well, linux, you lost the grand prize ... but let's see what Vanna has for you. Oh. You win the wonderful new Salad Spinner and ... but wait, there's more. Seriously, guys, thank you both. That was very nice of you. I shall try to find - or take - more photos as soon as the Regency event is over.
     


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