If asked to, I believe I wouldn’t be able to pick just one favourite shirt among those I own, but this custom contrast club collar would definitely make it on to the top 5. There’s a certain unique elegance (and versatility) surrounding that rounded collar: although some might argue it begs to be paired with fancy neckwear, be it a tie or a bow, it can easily overlook them for a differentiated buttoned up sans tie look. Moreover, if you’ve been wanting to sport that brand new collar pin, there are few shirts out there as suited for it as this one. One aspect to keep in mind though, is that this model is supposed to be worn buttoned…much like double breasted jackets.
I’ve been sporting it often recently and similar models in different colors and patterns have already made their way into my wishlist. As with every shirt, fabric plays a very important role regarding the suitability and formality attributed to it: a finer fabric will reward you with an exotic dress shirt, whereas oxford cloth makes them the perfect match for that special pair of worn out jeans. This look combines several striking items, such as the checked navy peacoat, houndstooth elbow patched cardigan and the shirt itself, but they all blend in together as none is overwhelming. The emphasis is on the small details: hues darken as you approach the outer layers (light blue, grey, navy), tones are complementing among pieces (tie and patches) and the silver tie bar just adds that extra flare…
Checked navy wool peacoat by Paul Smith, grey wool/cashmere cardigan with houndstooth elbow patches by Annapurna 5+1, custom made light blue contrast club collar shirt by Gentleman, Levi’s 511 slim fitting jeans (tailored), Portuguese boots, vintage brown knit tie, vintage brown braided leather belt, silver tie bar by Tie Rack.
Have it your way: the custom shirt
If you’ve been following me from the start, you know I have a thing for custom made/made to measure items. Luckily for me, Portugal has a strong textile industry, especially here in the north, and is well known for its specialized workforce in the area (it’s not a coincidence that major players such as Paul Smith or Our Legacy have their items produced here).
I was pleased to find out that Porto still maintains its tradition in what regards the tailoring business, with several stores and ateliers still being frequently visited by loyal customers. Apart from the traditional bespoke suit (usually the most sought after item at tailors), you should broaden your horizons as what you can have made to your liking. One of the best items, in terms of quality/price ratio, is shirts. Chances are, you’ve already considered this while browsing retailers for that specific shirt you envisioned: the fit is wrong, the pattern isn’t quite what you wished for and likewise for detailing and fabric. What if you could have exactly what you pictured, and more (since it would be unique and designed for your body), for the same or a fraction of the price of ready-to-wear options? Sounds appealing right?
I’ve been wanting to get one of a kind shirts for a while, something you won’t easily find on major retailers, and my wishes were granted by a local store with more than a century of bespoke/tailoring history. I payed them a visit and ordered a club collar oxford shirt in light blue, with contrasting white collar and cuffs (it will definitely make an impression). After carefully going through the multitude of available fabrics, I made my choice as regards the tone of blue and weight of the oxford cloth: I was aiming for something in between a dress shirt and your usual oxford button down.
I then tried on one of their slim fit shirts in order to evaluate the fit, and luckily enough the Medium size was spot on: usually, the shirt would be crafted according to my measurements, but in this case, they just had to adapt their own model to my requests.
A week after, my shirt was ready: