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DRESS SHIRT QUALITY HALLMARKS
1. Pattern matching
If the pattern is matched on the sleeve and the shoulder on both sides, you know it's a quality shirt because someone paid attention to it.
The higher the stitch density, the higher the quality of the shirt overall. Also, you want to look for consistency of the stitching. The best way to look at the stitching is at the bottom hem where it's round.
A quality shirt will always have a single needle stitching which takes a little more time but creates a cleaner look. On the other hand, a low-end shirt will double needle stitching
3. Collar and the cuffs
A lower end shirt will typically have a stiff interlining in the collar and it just comes in one level of stiffness. On the other hand, a higher end shirt will either give you an option to go with a softer interlining or something stiffer.
Traditionally, they were split in half because people usually have one shoulder that is usually more sloped than the other and they use that part to correct that. Today, most factory made shirts and even made to measure shirts don't even take that into consideration anymore so all you can look at is the yoke split in the back. if so, it's another step, it's more expensive, it helps to match the pattern on the sleeve and it's basically all it is.
A $30 shirt will likely have plastic buttons and they're sometimes made to look like mother of pearl.
The next detail to look at is how the button is actually sewn onto the shirt.
Most of the time, relatively inexpensive shirts or low-end shirts have huge armholes and that makes them uncomfortable to wear because as soon as you lift your arms, everything moves up and becomes uncomfortable.
If you have a machine buttonhole that was first sewn and then cut, you have fraying edges on the inside and it just looks bad. On the other hand, a high-quality machine sewn buttonhole has a very high stitch density and you will not find fraying threads.
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Any time I've bought a shirt, they are in a package and you can't look at any of that. I guess they are cheap shirts. I'm guessing 90% of dress shirts sold are under $50. What brought me here though is that the fabric on the pointy parts of my shirts tends to wear off and show white underneath. That's not good.
I have ample experience sewing, all self taught, and i just started my own tailoring business. I would like to correspond with you about things i should do to give my customers the best bespoke shirt possible.
Sven, please don't say c**p. This word is not the sort of word used by a gentleman. Instead just tell the viewer how a product is of poor quality - the buttons fall off, the sleeves are not on straight.. That sort of thing. M.
you should really also recommend a few (unsponsored) brands within those price ranges so we dont have to go around being like "hey, i just licked the Calvin Klein button, let me lick the Ralph Lauren one next!".
I don't get the logic. If I go to a premium clothes store and see a £100 shirt why should I try and do all these things to verify, it means that world famous brands are lying and passing off cheap goods as premium quality.
If it takes this much education to tell a premium from a cheaper shirt, that to me means that lower end shirts are doing a good job overall.
Most men I know wouldn’t know the difference. What do you think?
Great video. What I find useful is that if I choose to buy some high end shirts I’m not going to spend 200+ and get ripped off, because now I know what to look for.
I just wondered what you thought in relation to when it’s best to go budget and when its best to spend up, assuming you can’t afford to spend up on every item? Might be a good topic if you’ve not already covered it.
Steve W unfortunately what it comes down to is details. Some small ones you can pass on, some are more important.
Buttons, small stitching details you can live without.
But the fabric matching seems and the quality of the cut... That's what really matters.
And of course the fabric itself...you can't fake that. And that's where I notice cheaper clothing begins to die, they don't age well, the get destroyed by the wash and look terrible in due time.
I've boughten many dress shirts. From $30 Old navy shirts to $300 Tom Ford Dress shirts.
My honest humble opinion, if you can... Spend a little more and get yourself a decent shirt around the $80 mark, I find that to be a sweet spot for quality and craftsmen ship.
If your going to spend up and when. I'd say a few shirts in your wardrobe should be top quality, as an example... A crisp white shirt is a staple in every man's arsenal. He should own one for whatever the occasion. Rather it be a Interview, a professional meeting, a formal event or a wedding.
If you can only afford $30ish dollar shirts, this white one should be your $80 shirt.
If you can afford $80 shirts this special white one can be justified with say a $220 Eton shirt
Who makes the shirt you have the close up of at 1:42? Is that the same one on the mannequin throughout most of the video? (My computer screen is doing strange things to that pattern from a distance). I would love to have a shirt exactly like that if possible.
i got to tell it, in Rome there are a lot of independent tailors who create a quality bespoke shirts from 70 euros to 100. Sure if you want a shirt made by hugo boss or armani price is more higher. Personally, i don't need to spend a lot of money for 1 shirt, with 400-500 euros tailors can create bespoke suits in Rome with a high quality. Anyway i found your channel really interesting for video and style advice. Keep it up
I own some high quality shirts but I have to say that for everyday wear Charles Tyrwhitt's shirts are fantastic value, especially the promotional offers. Far superior to many more expensive department store shirts I have bought.
If you take care of yourself, pay attention to style, pay attention to fit, do a little minor tailoring here and there when needed, and portray yourself with confidence and decent posture . . . then you can make a simple ready to wear shirt look great and get compliments. I nearly choked with laughter once, when I was in a shop that had $90 shirts. $300?? You gotta be kidding me. At that point you are just hemorrhaging money for details that nobody will see or care about.
I love your channel and will keep watching to slowly improve my very modest wardrobe. But please, remember that there are mere middle class mortals out here as well.
Any recommendations to resources for someone interesting in making their own shirts? In my mind, once a person has made a pattern that suited them well, creating articles of clothing with different materials should be fairly easy, correct? Or is that oversimplified?
I appreciate details, as it's required in my work. But the details you're paying for here mean jack. I don't spend a lot of money on shirts, but there are inexpensive ones that have good fabric and cut, drape really well, feel and look good through our tropical summers, and last a few years. I'm not going to pay for things only I can see and feel superior about.
It is almost like watching a very interesting movie, when I see someone taking their time explaining to one person or many persons about what they are passionate about what they really know. To me this is a salesman's salesman. He is someone that you would not have to keep your guard up when looking for clothes that are the very best for you. Many people are no longer aware that quality makes quality and the right clothes actually make you feel like you can do anything.
I took someone (skateboarder) who had never worn any shirt but logo tees. I had my Taylor in Italy hand make him ( after an exact fitting) a white silk shirt and the first time he put it on he was speechless. He just kept shaking his head. He had no idea what real quality felt like on him. He actually won't let his mother wash that shirt. He waits and takes it to a cleaners, and not a cheap one. Thank you for the video.
This series is by far one of the most useful and comprehensive on youtube. I had to laugh on "you may be the weird guy licking at buttins at the store but at least you know it's a quality shirt" though :)
I am wearing a 30 $ shirt and I can move the fabric in the collar apart from each other. GG suit guy. Btw if you want a good quality cheap shirt. The store you should visit is the Weekend. But their pants are truly shite.
Because of the different materials of thread and fabric, the area between the double needle stitches will wrinkle heavily after a few washes. Thus, single-needle stitches are of higher quality as it doesn't ruin the shirt.
This video made complete sense and I will remember to appreciate all the fine details and workmanship that went into making the quality shirts that i have. As far as brands go I found incredible value in the Hart Schaffner Marx Brand shirts that Dillards sells, also Lacoste has incredible quality in casual mens shirts. The Bugatchi brand is just OK but has great designs.
If you have to lick the buttons in a store, that says enough about what you do not know about fine business attire. If you go to Neiman Marcus or Standly Korshack, you are buying the best made shirts available. If you walk into Macy's or Dillards, no need to lick buttons because you are buying shit. Tom Ford and Charvet, doesn't make crap.
For a video so detailed on shirts, I was surprised that your shirt cuffs were creased, ewwwww. Come now, properly ironed shirt cuffs need to be perfectly circular. seeing that iron crease is the cringe, not normally, but on a gent like you doing a video like this. Tighten up those shirt cuffs for the shirt vid :)
Thank you for the video, always very informative.
I would also suggest to check the seams at the bottom of the armhole, close to the armpit: in bespoke shirts and (very) high quality shirts, the sleeve under seam DOESN'T match the side seam of the body of the shirt. That indicates a much complex contruction of the shirts, in which the sleeves are set and sewn (usually by hand) only after the body has been finished, so that the sleeves fall in a more natural position and follow beautifully the arm movements. In medium and low quality shirts (let say the 99% of the shirts in the market), the sleeve under seam runs uninterruptedly, from the wrist, through the armpit, to the hip. That's because it's sewn AFTER the armhole seam is completed. That indicates a much easier construction, resulting in a flat shirt.
Lately, many shirt makers try to imitate high quality shirts adding a lot of features usually found on them, like mother of pearl buttons, high density stitches, and sometimes even hand made details (i.e. the superficiality), but they cannot replicate an hand stitched armhole, it's just to complicated and time consuming.
Your videos are spot on, not necessarily aiming for people that want to be a dandy, but someone to be successful and well groomed. When I retired from the Air Force and went into insurance sales, people automatically presumed I was the boss as I had 30 suits custom made for me and dressed to the nines, and kept my wardrobe updated as time passed.
I stumbled upon your Channel which i have found very interesting and informative.
After watching this video, for the first time, I felt compelled to comment and would be interested to hear your thoughts.
May I ask, are you differentiating in quality between what you describe verbally in your video as 'Low End' and what you describe within the video title as 'crap'? Or are these 2 categories one and the same?
I'll precede my next statement by saying I don't own any shirts above £50 (around $65) so i'm not speaking with any experience with regard to a comparison in quality when it comes to high-end.
What caught my eye particularly was that the shirt you went with exhibiting for 'low-end' was a Charles Tyrwhitt. After trying a few reputable Shirt Manufacturers (and with my restricted budget) I now exclusively wear this brand for my work shirts. Firstly, although they would be classified as 'off the rack', they offer a great level of customisation. This includes 3 substantially different cuts (the super-slim fits me perfectly), plus 3 types of collar, single & double cuff, and 7 different arm lengths (or specified arm length at only £9). Plus - anything above a 36" arm automatically has an extra inch or so added to the shirts overall length so you don't have to worry about it untucking at the waist. This provides thousands of combinations to choose from. They also have an extensive array of fabrics, offering more than 30+ types of white shirt alone in a variety of weaves.
Whilst I cant speak of a M2M £300+ bespoke shirt, I can say that all of my C.T shirts have shown excellent finish and durability. The stitching has about 8 stitches per cm, has never snagged or pulled, the neatness of the hem around the cuff-link eyelets (I wear French Cuff) is floorless, and the pattern matching across all panels on my striped or check shirts is impeccable. Add to this the fact these shirts are worn weekly, washed just as frequently and still iron well, have crisp collars and colours don't fade, and I really think C.T offers an excellent shirt when you consider cost. They nearly always have a sale, so I can't recall paying more than £25 for a C.T shirt. One of the main things which caused me to move to them was that after wearing my first C.T shirt to the office, I instantly noticed a sharp rise in compliments on my appearance. I believe this is largely down to how well their cut fits my silhouette. Anyway, I've harked on about how much i rate C.T for the money. Do you agree with any of my points, or do you think i'm way off the mark and that C.T should be avoided at all costs?
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