Your choice of neck tie knot can be a touchy subject if you ask your Pops. I have found that change for the old man may not be his forte’.
If you were fortunate enough to have your Dad around when you got that first gig, he most likely taught you the knot of his choice. But did you know that the collar style of your custom dress shirt itself can actually point you in the right direction?
The Casual Approach
When you are working with the less dressy look of our Button Down Collar or even the Hidden Button Down, your tie knot choice should also be a little more laid back. You may automatically think of the old standby, Four In Hand. Here is a nice twist on the usual called the Double Four In Hand.
So you have the power to choose who makes your custom shirts. Well, your custom shirt maker also has some choices and alternatives they could make. Today, I want to let you know about those fine details some shirt makers may skip and hope you don’t notice.
Stitchy Business: SPI, or “stitches per inch” is extremely important when it comes to the quality of a custom dress shirt. A quality shirt maker should choose a high SPI to enhance not only the seam performance and elasticity but the strength and the appearance of the stitch itself. In case you are wondering our custom dress shirts are made with an SPI of 20. NOT too shabby, huh?
Don’t Blow it on the Fusing: Let’s face it, or shall I say “interface” it? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) You’ve probably had to toss out your favorite dress shirt because of a bubbling issue on the collar or cuff at some point. This is so disappointing because the rest of the shirt still looked great on you, right? When a company chooses to use a lesser quality interfacing or the compatibility between the fabric and fusing don’t match up, the bubbles begin. And they won’t iron out. Ever. We use the highest quality German fusing to make our custom shirts.
Hate to Thread Our Own Needle But… When purchasing thread, just hope your shirt tailor doesn’t go the cheap route. First of all strength truly matters to create gorgeous stitching. Also the strength of said thread (sounding like a Dr. Suess book now) must be compatible with the fabric quality. At Best Custom Shirt we choose a superb thread to accompany our fine fabrics. We actually specifically pick the thread based on the fabric that you choose when we create your shirt.
Don’t Yoke it Up: Some custom shirt makers may skimp and avoid the split yoke. We understand the shoulder blade and upper back area is where a lot of your ninja moves originate from so we offer the split-yoke. You need some movement at work as well but feel free to karate chop away!
We choose the 12 Step Program: Our Quality Control department offers 12 steps to ensure the product meets your specs before it ships. I won’t list them all here or you may snooze out on me but know that we focus these efforts on fabric, measurements, thread, stitching, and your styling details.
Does it Matter if My Collar is Bias or Straight? If your collar is cut “straight”, the shirt maker saves money. How, you ask? When the fabric is properly cut for a collar, “on the bias”, it uses more fabric as the fabric is cut in a more circular pattern to fit, well…your neck. It needs to hug your neck which creates a little more fabric waste. Our CHOICE is the bias cut. We are not afraid to lose a little fabric in order to increase the quality of fit of your collar.
Proper Alignment Takes Time: Currently stripes and check shirts are what the ladies like to see you in. We choose to take a little more time to properly align those handsome stripes and the windowpanes of yours to match up. This detail is important to get that crisp looking design you are after.
Collar Stays and Buttons That Stay: Our high quality Giorgenti buttons are always a hit. If you want a specific color to match that Midnight Blue shirt you created online with us, just let us know. We also offer Mother Of Pearl for those who want a little something more. We use removable collar stays on most orders and are always willing to send you extras if you ask. If you prefer the permanent stays, just let us know when you place the order.
Retro-fitting is Out: Again, we could choose the easy way to do this. But we don’t. We DO NOT modify an existing shirt or even an existing shirt pattern. We choose to create a unique pattern for each of our customers. It is true we use a CAD system but there must be a pattern making team there to input the information into the system for the pattern to be created. Inside tip: How do we make sure we don’t mix your pattern up with someone who has the same name? We link your unique pattern to your email address. There are no doppelganger email addresses out there, after all.
If you have ever taken the online custom dress shirt plunge, you may have encountered a few problems. Here are the 7 most common problems with ordering a made to measure shirt online.
1. The Painful Process-You decide to go for it. You log on and begin answering a few questions about your body type. Then all the sudden the form is asking you for your bone density and exact weight after running a marathon. Okay, I exaggerate but you understand what I am getting at. “Wait a minute. I am not a tailor!” Precisely the reason you began the process, right? At Best Custom Shirt, we make sure to offer two options for the body measurement process. One takes 5 minutes, the other 10, TOPS.
2. The NO ANSWER, answer- Moving along in the measurement form, suddenly it asks for your waist measurement, you follow the instructions and it is 4 inches different than your pant size. You question this. You retake the measurement. Same story. Make a quick call to ask a rep, right? Wait. No phone number? Or better yet, you find one and it is a call center. “Someone will call you back with how to take that measurement in the next 48 hours.” Well, Best Custom Shirt again has you covered. We have an 800 number blaring on the website where you call and speak with someone not only located in the US but someone who works directly with the pattern makers, style department, and shipping clerks. If you have been a customer in the past decade, chances are you talk to me quite often! (It’s me, Meghan)
3. Boring Selections- There’s nothing worse than pouring over the same fabric choices time and again. We have an ever evolving fabric selection. We follow the trends and offer great color selections and new trim and styling options. We love to see the designs of custom dress shirts you create with our fabrics!
4. Irritating Fabrics-Some companies work so hard to make their shirts “non-iron” and “wrinkle-free” that they are actually treating your shirts with Formaldehyde. Yes, I said it. This harsh chemical treatment has been linked to lymph node and testicular cancers in men. Don’t do it. I repeat…Just don’t. (We don’t.)
5. The Dicey Pricey Game-Many companies have one price, HIGH. We offer 3 price points in our fabric lines so you can decide what and where you spend your money. It’s your money to spend, after all. Right?
6. The Pop Up Vendor- Who are these custom shirt makers anyway? There is very little information on where they came from, how long they have been in business, and HOW TO GET IN TOUCH with them. (I know I am bringing that up again but customer service is so important to me.) We were established in 1993 and I personally have been with the company for almost a decade. Wow. I am getting old. I digress. The owner and designer Janine Giorgenti, just Google her if you haven’t heard of her. What I am saying is, We actually know what we are doing.
7. The Shrinking Confidence- So you get the custom dress shirt in the mail from a shirt maker, and it fits! “Yes!”, you think. “Well done!” But alas, you send it to the cleaners and it returns looking like your son’s shirt. We actually factor the shrinkage allowance of each fabric choice into the pattern when we create your personal custom dress shirt pattern. So, although it most likely won’t fit when you open the package, your mom probably told you that you should wash your clothing before you put it on anyway, right?
I know. I know. Not ready to let go of summer just yet are you? Well, you can continue to take those evening strolls while the sun is fading, venturing home to your favorite high gravity beer while your custom shirts are being tailored in the latest release of the Fall 2015 PANTONE colors!
Lee Eiseman explains how the Pantone colors are finally masculine enough for your closet. “The Fall 2015 palette is rooted in multi-faceted androgenous colors that portray a kind of effortless sophistication and it’s across both men’s and women’s palettes. It’s the first time, actually, that we are seeing a completely unisex color palette.”
Here are our gorgeous fabric swatch selections that should be on your next order. Although we show one example per Pantone item, there are many more to choose from.
The dressier fabric choices are of course the solid and stripes but we also offer these colors in the more casual checks, plaids, and flannel fabrics.
A dress shirt with too much fabric at the waistline looks sloppy and unprofessional especially when the shirt has no jacket to hide beneath.
There are two quick fixes to trim the fat of your shirt. You may have it professionally altered or buy a new custom dress shirt.
Having a shirt altered is an expensive endeavor and there is no guarantee that the shirt will even be a great fit at the end of the process.
Buying a new custom made shirt with your specific body measurements is the better option. Once you get the right fit, you can quickly and easily re-order.
Technology has made it quite easy to buy a custom dress shirt. Be sure to find an online shirt maker with a good and long standing reputation for quality craftsmanship and tailoring. Once you have a great fitting shirt without excess bulk around the waist, you will look and feel more confident.
Dress Well! Be Well!
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New Trends, Styles and Dressing Tips are revealed by renowned designer and wardrobe consultant, Janine Giorgenti.