The bottom three pics are of my bespoke Ascot Chang shirts. AC are the only shirt makers that have been able to accommodate my sloped shoulders & not so tall neck with a 2 button band.

What’ s most impressive is that it only took 2 fittings. For sure money & time well spent.

Many bemoan the entry price for a shirt from Ascot Chang, let’s not forget you get what you pay for. So I have 5 in light blue Thomas Mason end-on-end & 5 in white Thomas Mason poplin - I have been set for the last 2 years & will be fine for some time.

putthison:

The High Collar

I’ve always liked slightly higher collars. Such collars are made with a taller collar band, longer collar points, and are designed to sit a bit higher on the neck. The result is a quasi-Edwardian look that I think has a bit more panache. This style was popular seven or ten years ago among certain style enthusiasts, but I think it has since lost its cache. In Rome and Naples, however, many well-dressed men seem to still wear them. 

To wear such collars, you need to consider a few things. First, though the collar will always peak out from your jacket a bit more than orthodoxy would advise, you need to make sure its relationship to your neck stays within some range. If the collar is too tall, it can quickly end up looking like a neck brace. As such, if you have a short neck, you should avoid these altogether. Second, I’ve found that the collar points have to be made just right. The points should be slightly longer in order to maintain a balance, and they should be constructed with a softer interfacing. This will allow the more prominent collar to look soft and casual, not stiff or domineering. 

You may also want to consider getting two-buttons on the band. This helps prevent a couple of things. First, because the collar band is quite tall, a single button can act like a hinge and allow the band to rotate, which would then create an awkward opening below the collar. Having a second button helps act as a lock to prevent that rotation. The other problem, which is almost always present on any collar, is that the left side can droop down a bit. This is because the left side of the band goes over the right when its buttoned, so it essentially holds the right side up. When you have only one button, centered from the top to bottom, the left side can fall, so you need a second button to keep things in place. 

Of course, it can be difficult to find this off-the-rack, and even custom makers will have to go through a few iterations before they get something that looks right on you. After all that time and effort, you may find that you don’t like high collars after all. If you do end up liking it, however, I think it can add a really nice detail to a tailored look. 

* Photos taken from Ethan Desu, MostExerent, and The Sartorialist

Hand or machine stitched?
(Taken with instagram)

Hand or machine stitched?

(Taken with instagram)

In preparation for summer, I visited a tailor that I have not used for some time to get some linen shirts PRONTO.

We went for a long spread collar (or as I like to call “Itarian/Ingresh” spread), double button collar band, soft interlining, shaped in the sides instead of darts (for a cleaner back as I will not be wearing a coat), plain front, no pockets, & single cuff in Italian linen.

Will test one tomorrow.

*please don’t ask who my tailor is as your messages/emails will go unanswered. Men do not share tailors or mistresses with strangers.

My only advice when looking for a tailor in Asia is:

  • do not expect miracles as it takes time
  • avoid hawkers
  • if they say 24 or 48 hours no problem, it will be a problem
  • be realistic as the tailors in HKG are trades people not artisans, so if you have no idea you will get no idea
  • want cheap, get cheap

Shirt #3
Details specific to this shirt:
Guido Button Down Collar ;o) - variation of Italian & English point
2 button collar band
Only difference to the previous shirt is the above 2 points.
After 10 hours in the hot seat - I have the same conclusions:
Body needs more taper - deeper back darts
Sleeves need to be 1cm shorter or reduce cuff circumference (as most noticed before), though am hesitant for the following reasons. I want to accommodate different watches & I swap wrists (don’t know why, just do). IMO correct sleeve length instead of just moving cuff buttons or reducing cuff circumference ensures that when wearing a coat & bending arms (especially when sitting etc) there is NO PIRATE shirt effect i.e. the excess cloth does not puff out of the coat sleeve.
I always though that a 2 button collar would never suit me due to my neck size (I have quite a wide neck for my height & not a long neck), but working with this maker has made me think otherwise.
IMO 2 button collars are versatile in that it provides another feature when not wearing a tie.
What do you think?

Shirt #3

Details specific to this shirt:

  • Guido Button Down Collar ;o) - variation of Italian & English point
  • 2 button collar band

Only difference to the previous shirt is the above 2 points.

After 10 hours in the hot seat - I have the same conclusions:

  1. Body needs more taper - deeper back darts
  2. Sleeves need to be 1cm shorter or reduce cuff circumference (as most noticed before), though am hesitant for the following reasons. I want to accommodate different watches & I swap wrists (don’t know why, just do). IMO correct sleeve length instead of just moving cuff buttons or reducing cuff circumference ensures that when wearing a coat & bending arms (especially when sitting etc) there is NO PIRATE shirt effect i.e. the excess cloth does not puff out of the coat sleeve.

I always though that a 2 button collar would never suit me due to my neck size (I have quite a wide neck for my height & not a long neck), but working with this maker has made me think otherwise.

IMO 2 button collars are versatile in that it provides another feature when not wearing a tie.

What do you think?

Shirt #2

Details specific to this shirt:

  • Guido Spread Collar ;o) - variation of Italian & English point
  • 2 button collar band

Only difference to the previous shirt is the above 2 points.

After 10 hours in the hot seat - I have the same conclusions:

  1. Body needs more taper - deeper back darts
  2. Sleeves need to be 1cm shorter or reduce cuff circumference (as most noticed before), though am hesitant for the following reasons. I want to accommodate different watches & I swap wrists (don’t know why, just do). IMO correct sleeve length instead of just moving cuff buttons or reducing cuff circumference ensures that when wearing a coat & bending arms (especially when sitting etc) there is NO PIRATE shirt effect i.e. the excess cloth does not puff out of the coat sleeve.
  3. Collar needs more shape & 1cm longer points

I always though that a 2 button collar would never suit me due to my neck size (I have quite a wide neck for my height & not a long neck), but working with this maker has made me think otherwise.

IMO 2 button collars are versatile in that it provides another feature when not wearing a tie.

What do you think?

During my recent trip back to HKG, I decided to try a new shirt maker which I will disclose once I am happy. As mentioned many a times, bespoke is a journey & not an over night success.

What I can say is that this particular maker has a formidable reputation & unfortunately this comes at a price. For example, the price is more than 3 times for a shirt made in the same cloth as my usual tailor.

In this case I chose a light blue end-on-end Thomas Mason “Silver Line” & requested 3 variations to be made.

I will wear & launder before any adjustments to be made when I am back in a few weeks.

So the journey started with 2 sessions:

1st Session - measurements, cloth decision, collar styles (button down + 2 button band, “Italian” spread + 2 button band & semi-spread + 1 button band. All with no collar gap), cuff style (all single + 2 button + angled opening), body (plain back + 2 rear darts), split yoke, 3.5 mm mother of pearl buttons, no fusing for cuffs or collars & finally my chinese name hand stitched (this is always a good test).

2nd Session (1 week later) - semi finished fitting & further measurements.

Delivery in a few days after.

I will post some macros of the details later.

So for today (after 10 hours in the saddle) it is the “semi-spread” & my initial notes:

  1. to my eye the collar points need another 1cm as I don’t like to see a gap between the shirt collar & lapel of coat
  2. embroidery is to BIG, needs to be scaled back at least 15%
  3. back darts need more shape
  4. length of sleeves perfect after 2 hot washes, but will know more in time when sending to commercial cleaners
  5. length of body is long but perfect for ensuring the shirt stays tucked in
  6. cloth has held up (must be my ironing skills - no starch just water)
  7. finish is MostExerent

What do you think?