The appearance of the business suit and dress shirt in the 19th century signalled a revolution in men’s clothing. This new way of dressing was based on a simpler silhouette that allowed who a man was to outshine what he wore. The new business attire was something of a uniform, but there was still room for the reflection of personal style. Those with discerning taste learned to express sartorial style through high-quality fabrics, impeccable tailoring and flawless details.
The introduction of mass produced, ready-to-wear clothing in the mid-1800s allowed the average working man to buy ready-made dress shirts in standard sizes. Men who understood the value of high-quality dress shirts for business and formalwear continued to have their shirts custom tailored. Custom dress shirts, designed and created according to customer specification, became a mark of distinction.
Today, custom dress shirts are still the answer for many of the problems related to ready-to-wear shirts. A dress shirt has several key fit points, including the collar size, sleeve length, chest size and overall shirt length. Few men can find a ready-to-wear shirt that satisfies all of these fit points. Then there is the question of fabric. The customer has far more control over fabric content and pattern when a shirt is custom-made. Finally, there is no doubt that a custom dress shirt is far superior to its ready-to-wear counterpart in terms of finish and details. With construction details that include stripes that match at the seams, a hand-turned collar and hand-sewn buttons made of mother of pearl, the custom dress shirt speaks volumes about the taste of its owner.
The popular saying “you get what you pay for” is never more true than when applied to bespoke men’s clothing. Mass-produced dress shirts made from inferior polyester blend fabrics may seem like a good buy, but they consistently fall short of the mark in terms of fit, style and long-term wear. A bit more money will buy a custom dress shirt that has been carefully crafted to fit the form and taste of the buyer. A custom dress shirt is the mark of a man who understands the true value of a high-quality dress shirt for conveying a sense of power, professionalism and style.