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Old 04-03-2014, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Chicago
5,412 posts, read 8,290,648 times
Reputation: 6352

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I want to help my hubby improve his wardrobe, but he hates shopping. We are starting with dress shirts, which he usually buys off the rack at Nordstrom/Macy's, etc. So yesterday I took him to a tailor that makes men's custom shirts.

There were so many choices - shirt cut, material type/weight/color, print, collar type, collar lining, sleeve cut, button type/#/material, cuff type/button, placat, pocket #/cut, # of seams, etc. So many choices!

We chose a basic light blue with subtle stripe, harringbone basket weave cotton, standard curve collar, 1 sq pocket, 1 pearl button cuff... I had the collar lined with white herringbone material.

I am really confused about all these shirt options! My hubby wants me to help him pick everything out.

Now that the tailor has his measurements, I would like to periodically order more shirts - slowly replace his existing dress shirts with a custom shirt collection.

Any recommendations on the type of shirts that should make up his collection? I think he wants to move away from the basic white, blue dress shirt and be more stylish (but not too crazy!). Know of a good web site we can look at for ideas?

Last edited by GoCUBS1; 04-03-2014 at 11:40 AM..
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
1,645 posts, read 1,138,404 times
Reputation: 6024
What's wrong with off the rack clothes?
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,972 posts, read 4,700,121 times
Reputation: 4002
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCUBS1 View Post
I want to help my hubby improve his wardrobe, but he hates shopping. We are starting with dress shirts, which he usually buys off the rack at Nordstrom/Macy's, etc. So yesterday I took him to a tailor that makes men's custom shirts.

There were so many choices - shirt cut, material type/weight/color, print, collar type, collar lining, sleeve cut, button type/#/material, cuff type/button, placat, pocket #/cut, # of seams, etc. So many choices!

We chose a basic light blue with subtle stripe, harringbone basket weave cotton, standard curve collar, 1 sq pocket, 1 pearl button cuff... I had the collar lined with white herringbone material.

I am really confused about all these shirt options! My hubby wants me to help him pick everything out.

Now that the tailor has his measurements, I would like to periodically order more shirts - slowly replace his existing dress shirts with a custom shirt collection.

Any recommendations on the type of shirts that should make up his collection? I think he wants to move away from the basic white, blue dress shirt and be more stylish (but not too crazy!). Is there a men's fashion web site we can look at for shirt ideas?
Honestly, while "custom" dress shirts are nice (I have a handful that I do really like) - I believe that finding the few perfect off-the-rack brands can be more beneficial and cheaper for the bulk of someone's dress shirts and 99.9% of people wouldn't know the difference. I have had several people ask me at work if I get my shirts custom-made or tailored to me. I don't (none that I wear to work anyway). But I did spend time at lots of stores trying on LOTS of brands (in every cut and size they offered) to find the few combinations that fit my body perfectly. Everyone's body is different, but there is a very, very high chance that there are a few brands who have a certain cut that fits your husband near perfectly.

For example, for me I have found that Bonobos' Slim Small shirts fit me like they were custom made to my body. They are basically identical measurements to the custom shirting I have had made in the past. By far the best off-the-rack choice for my body-type. (I have probably gotten the most compliments on this brand). Banana Republic's Tailored Slim Fit in Small fits me really well too. J. Crew's Slim XS also fits me well.

Now, like I said, it took me trying on a lot of different brands until I find the ones that "worked" with my body, but I get these shirts (often on sale or clearance) at a fraction of the price compared to the ones I used to get custom-made or tailored for me and they look just as good.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,972 posts, read 4,700,121 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1986pacecar View Post
What's wrong with off the rack clothes?
The dress shirts that most people pick up off-the-rack fit them HORRIBLY. Blousy around the waist, puffing out at the back, arms too long, armholes extending too low, etc.

You can find great off-the-rack items, but you really need to spend the time to identify the right brands. I'd say the majority of people I see have dress shirts that don't fit their body well in at least one of the areas I mentioned. The ones who have proper fittings shirting really stand out (in a good way) to me.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Chicago
5,412 posts, read 8,290,648 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1986pacecar View Post
What's wrong with off the rack clothes?
The tailored shirt is a more customized fit for his body and provides more styling options (hundreds of beautiful materials, colors, patterns, shirt options, etc.). It is also convenient as the tailor is 5 minutes from our house and delivers - also allows full returns. Now that the tailor has his measurements, we can order online. Just want to try something new....
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
21,487 posts, read 22,741,215 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamiecta View Post
The dress shirts that most people pick up off-the-rack fit them HORRIBLY. Blousy around the waist, puffing out at the back, arms too long, armholes extending too low, etc.
That's definitely true, but it's probably less confusing and less money to buy a shirt off the rack and take it to a tailor to have it fitted.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Below the clouds
52 posts, read 59,462 times
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I would say it depends on his style, his profession and what he wears on a daily basis. Does he wear a lot of suits, is he in a conservative profession or more artsy profession. If he's more conservative, I would say stick with the basics like the whites, blues, with an occasional pinstripe or occasional light color like a lavender. IMHO, the thing about shirts are the quality of the fabric and the fit. The other things like the collars or cuffs may depend on what he's wearing it with.

For example: My husband wears mostly suits to work. He likes the spread collars because he likes to wear ties with wide knots. He also likes to wear cufflinks when he wears suits so he has french square cuffs on his shirts. Working with a lot of conservatives, he wears white shirts with his suits most of the time and will mix up his accessories with colorful socks and or a colorful pocket square.

But for a more business casual look or with jeans, he'll wear shirts with more color or contrasting collar with regular cuffs. He get's some of his stuff through this company J.Hilburn, but also if you talk to some of the salespeople at like a Nordstroms or Saks, they can give you some tips. A website with a lot style info is Styleform.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Chicago
5,412 posts, read 8,290,648 times
Reputation: 6352
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamiecta View Post
Honestly, while "custom" dress shirts are nice (I have a handful that I do really like) - I believe that finding the few perfect off-the-rack brands can be more beneficial and cheaper for the bulk of someone's dress shirts and 99.9% of people wouldn't know the difference. I have had several people ask me at work if I get my shirts custom-made or tailored to me. I don't (none that I wear to work anyway). But I did spend time at lots of stores trying on LOTS of brands (in every cut and size they offered) to find the few combinations that fit my body perfectly. Everyone's body is different, but there is a very, very high chance that there are a few brands who have a certain cut that fits your husband near perfectly.

For example, for me I have found that Bonobos' Slim Small shirts fit me like they were custom made to my body. They are basically identical measurements to the custom shirting I have had made in the past. By far the best off-the-rack choice for my body-type. (I have probably gotten the most compliments on this brand). Banana Republic's Tailored Slim Fit in Small fits me really well too. J. Crew's Slim XS also fits me well.

Now, like I said, it took me trying on a lot of different brands until I find the ones that "worked" with my body, but I get these shirts (often on sale or clearance) at a fraction of the price compared to the ones I used to get custom-made or tailored for me and they look just as good.
I think the thing that was most appealing, in addition to the custom fit, was the material quality (went through hundreds of swatches) and sheer number of choices on color, print, shirt options.... I think it is a good way to add a unique style to your wardrobe. The materials seem to be of higher quality than what's off the rack (e.g. weight of the cotton, tight basket weave of the herringbone, etc.), but maybe we're not shopping at the right places for shirts.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Below the clouds
52 posts, read 59,462 times
Reputation: 54
A couple of other options for shirts are buying off the rack and having them tailored or made-to-measure instead of tailor made. Made to measure may be a little cheaper then custom made, since they generally start with a pattern and tweak it to the customer's request.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Chicago
5,412 posts, read 8,290,648 times
Reputation: 6352
Quote:
Originally Posted by WindowShopper View Post
I would say it depends on his style, his profession and what he wears on a daily basis. Does he wear a lot of suits, is he in a conservative profession or more artsy profession. If he's more conservative, I would say stick with the basics like the whites, blues, with an occasional pinstripe or occasional light color like a lavender. IMHO, the thing about shirts are the quality of the fabric and the fit. The other things like the collars or cuffs may depend on what he's wearing it with.

For example: My husband wears mostly suits to work. He likes the spread collars because he likes to wear ties with wide knots. He also likes to wear cufflinks when he wears suits so he has french square cuffs on his shirts. Working with a lot of conservatives, he wears white shirts with his suits most of the time and will mix up his accessories with colorful socks and or a colorful pocket square.

But for a more business casual look or with jeans, he'll wear shirts with more color or contrasting collar with regular cuffs. He get's some of his stuff through this company J.Hilburn, but also if you talk to some of the salespeople at like a Nordstroms or Saks, they can give you some tips. A website with a lot style info is Styleform.
Thanks for the advice and links. We did consider French, fold over cuffs but just went with the standard cuffs. It sounds like your husband has great style! This is what I'm trying to help my hubby with. He dresses very conservatively (dare I say, boring), but I think he wants to add a little more style with his shirts. He just doesn't know where to begin - he doesn't like shopping or thinking much about clothing, but he is pretty open to wearing any color/pattern/etc.

He is in a conservative field (engineering) but owns the company. I think he should dress with a little more style for presentations, etc. He also sometimes appears in media (e.g. pics in articles about his field). He does have quite a few very nice conservative suits, so thought he could add some more style with better fitting shirts. I think he may need a stylist...lol... I'm not too good at this.
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