Fashion Guide: Custom-Made Shirts

Introduction- Pretend you’re a medieval knight preparing for battle. The most valuable piece of armor you’ll need is your breastplate. It protects your entire torso and is your last line of defense before your opponent’s steel pierces through your chest. Blacksmiths spent hours working in order to perfect such an important piece of armor. Since we don’t live in the Middle Ages, the equivalent to a breastplate in today’s society is your shirt. Medieval knights focused on details in their armor, so why shouldn’t you focus on details when it comes to your shirts? You want to look the best you can, and your shirt is your last line of defense with the ladies. At some point in your life, you should own a dress shirt (or ten) that was custom-made. Because custom-tailored shirts can be expensive, you might have to save up a bit before your closet is filled with them. This post is a guide to purchasing custom-made shirts so you can appreciate spending your hard-earned money on something that fits YOU perfectly.

Finding An Experienced Tailor- If you want to achieve sartorial success, you’ll need to find a tailor you can trust. The first step to purchasing a custom-made shirt is to find the right tailor for you. Choosing your tailor can be a tough decision. He/she is almost as important as your doctor or dentist. The two most important things you must look for when searching for a tailor is experience and outlook. Finding someone with experience is key so you can get the results you’re looking for. A good tailor should have no difficulty determining which style of shirt will meet your personal preference for comfort and most flatter your bone structure and physique. The second factor you should consider when searching for the right tailor is his/her outlook on style. Is he/she up to date with new trends or is he/she more old school? An experienced tailor with an outlook on style similar to yours can help you broaden your knowledge and open you up to new ideas. To find a reputable tailor that you can trust, ask your friends with sartorial savvy who they recommend.

Thread Count- The higher the thread count of the fabric, the better. High-end shirts often exceed 200 threads per inch, but any cotton with a count above 140 will feel very soft. Finer dress shirts are also made from two-ply fabric, making them softer, stronger, and less prone to wrinkles. You may also want to pay attention to the country that the fabric came from. Italian and Egyptian cottons are considered to be very good fabrics. Thread count is one of the reasons some dress shirts go for over $150.

Get Measured- This is the most important step to a successful custom-made shirt experience. Whether you’re shopping online or in person, making sure you know your measurements is key to making successful purchases. To make sure you don’t buy a shirt that looks like it was made for someone else, make sure your tailor takes your measurements. If they don’t measure you, then I suggest you find someone else. Request collar, chest, shoulder, half-shoulder, sleeve, waist, hip, and length measurements. Make sure that when he measures your neck he puts the tape around your Adam’s apple in order to get a precise measurement. You’ll want to be able to fit one finger between your neck and collar. If you find yourself wearing watches often, you may want to bring one with you to take your cuff measurements with it on and off. Taking your measurements will allow for you to buy a shirt that fits perfect to your body and makes you feel, and look good.

Details- When it comes to buying your custom-made shirt, don’t feel hesitant to focus on specific details. If it isn’t how you want it, get it fixed. The fabric, the buttons, and the stiching should all be flawless. Plastic buttons are still the most common, but pearl buttons are the most admired and worth spending the extra cash if you can afford them. Superior cuffs usually come with gauntlet bottoms, and horizontal buttonholes. The sides of a custom-made shirt should always be hand-sewn rather than fused because hand-sewing results in a more durable shirt. If your shirt is striped, make sure that the stripes are aligned properly throughout. The collars on a top-quality shirt should come firm, with no wrinkles. You should consider investing in collar stays, otherwise known as collar tabs, to help keep your collar looking sharp. These are all details you should remember to pay attention to when dealing with a custom-made shirt.

When all is said and done, you will have yourself an expensive yet worth it, custom-made shirt. Make sure you try it on and double-check for any mistakes. Remember the DETAILS! If the shirt doesn’t fit right or there is something you want to change, then get it fixed! You didn’t spend your time and money to settle for anything less than perfection. Remember to check for space between your neck and collar. The sleeves of a custom-made shirt should be long enough to cover most of your upper hand when you’re standing, and you shouldn’t be able to get your wrists through the sleeves without unfastening the buttons on your cuffs. Tuck your shirt in to your pants and raise your arms. If the shirt comes out of your pants it means it’s too short. The time and money will prove to be well spent once you’re happy with the finished product.

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