Garrison Bespoke’s Ultimate Shirt Guide
Basics & Style
Know Your Measurements: You cannot expect to get a proper fitting custom suits the same is true for fitting shirt shopping by small, medium, or large. When it comes to shirting, you need to know your neck and arm size. Two key areas, which are dead giveaways to whether or not, the guy or bespoke tailored specifically did or did not know what he was doing when shopping for his shirts.
Never Underestimate the Basics: Until the late 60’s every businessman wore a white dress shirt and for good reason. They are versatile and do not clash with any combination. As the fun as it is to experiment with different colours, sometimes it’s just as powerful to hold back and allow ties, pocket squares, and cufflinks to add the colour to your outfit. A good quality crisp white dress shirt is an absolute must in every man’s wardrobe. It is a staple item that can easily go from day to night and from formal to casual.
Pattern It Up: Once you understand how your shirt should fit, it’s time to spice up your wardrobe with patterns. If the idea of colour and pattern scare you, start off slow with the integration of small stripes and gingham patterns with low colour contrasts. If you are thrilled by this idea, dive right into it with some iconic Liberty or Etro prints . The important thing when it comes to wearing bold patterns and prints is to not cheap out on them. A poor quality pattern will not have a striking effect and will put a damper on your outfit. There is a balance that needs to be met in order to prevent your outfit from being tacky instead of trendy, which can be done by keeping attuned to your personal colouring and knowing how to work bold items into your wardrobe.
Won’t be Sacred to Wear Pink: All men can wear pink, and there is no reason to think otherwise. It does not make you less of a man if you do wear it and it doesn’t make you more of a man if you don’t. At the end of the day, it is a colour that can be quite complimenting and powerful worn as a shirt. A light pink dress shirt can be as versatile as your go-to white shirt, as it pairs nicely with many different coloured suits and looks sharp on its own. Knowing how to wear a pink shirt with confidence will send out a very attractive message.
Add Your Own Flavor: If you are at the point where your shirts fit perfectly, and you have satisfied your exploration of patterns, it is time to add your own personal touch to your shirt. The way you wear your dress shirt is something that is completely up to you. Whether you are a chest-exposed or sleeves rolled guy the way, you wear your shirt says a lot about who you are and your outlook on life.
Custom-made: There are couple reasons to get a custom-made shirt. The first is that you cannot find off-the-rack shirts that fit you. Second, is that you want the ultimate personalization and control; from the fit to the fabric, you are the boss. Thirdly, you respect the craft and understand the value of the work., For example, you know that the hand stitching creates a longer stitch than a machine, allowing for greater flexibility and the ability for the shirt to mold to your body. Having a shirt that feels like a second skin is worth the extra couple hundred, but be warned; once your go bespoke you never go back.
Rough Around the Edges: Let’s be honest, it can get tiring maintaining the crisp look with a perfectly pressed shirt day-in and day-out. Sometimes you just want to relax and who says you can’t wear a dress shirt doing so? You are allowed to have one or two “wash-and-worn” shirts. Shirts that never go near an iron and have no judgment on styling.
Tuck It In: It is a simple concept; if you tuck in your shirt, you look better. Dress shirts are designed to stay tucked into your pants, so just do it.
It’s the Little Things that Count: Collar stays are an important shirting tool which are inserted into slots in the under collar to stabilize the collar points. They are about 2.5” long and are most commonly made of plastic. Must they are removed before laundering and ironing. They may be small but should not be forgotten.
Collar stains are yellow stains that develop on the inside of your neckline from perspiration. The best way to fight them is with Shout Advanced Ultra Gel. Rub the area with this little stain fighter before you put it in the wash to help break down the stain.
If you Want Something Done Right, do it Yourself: Take a minute and think to yourself; how much money do you spend on dry-cleaning your dress shirts every month? Then think, how many times have the dry cleaners lost, ruined, or done a poor job cleaning your shirts? Now, put those two thoughts together and how made does that make you? When you are putting your time and money into creating a presentable wardrobe, no one is better to take care of it but you. When the cleaners have hundreds of men’s shirts being washed at the same time, there is a good chance that they are not stain guarding your collars and spot targeting your stains. Your home machine will not eat your clothing and irons will not burn up in flames. Once you get into a routine of washing and ironing your own shirts you will appreciate the care you give your clothing and the money you are saving.
The Baggy Days are Over: Your shirt should not be able to double as a parachute. If you pinch more than an inch, you need to slim down. There is no need for extra fabric on your shirt, keep it a clean cut and fitted to your body.
Don’t be Fooled by a Title: Don’t make the mistake of going into Calvin Klein asking for a Slim-Cut shirt and leaving without trying it on because the last Slim-Cut shirt you got from Club Monaco fit you perfectly. Just because everyone is making slim-cut shirts these days it does not mean that they all fit the same way. Key areas to look at when buying a shirt are the sleeve length and shoulder placement. -The shoulder seams should be aligned with the edge of your natural shoulder and when the cuffs of your shirt are unbuttoned they should sit just past your wrists.
Shirts for Tall Guys: Humans comes in all shapes and sizes so thinking that all we can all fit the same sizes of shirts is crazy. The trouble with being tall is that as you go up in size to accommodate your arms and torso, the sizing everywhere else goes up too and the next thing you know you are trying on an XXL shirt that could fit three for your lanky bodies. The only way to solve this issue is to research and find a company that has a nice slim or even extra-slim cut shirt that fits you well and stock up.
Two Fingers too Big: You should be able to fit one finger between your neck and the collar, if you can fit two the collar is too big.
One word- Semi Spread: Do not spend your time trying to learn all the different collar types out there. If you want something that isn’t too casual, but isn’t to fashion forward either the semi spread is the collar for you. It is commonly found and will work with your everyday suit and tie.
Confused by Collar Terminology? : Don’t fret; here are four basic styles, which is a sufficient amount to know.
The Straight Point: Clean, small, and minimal.
The Button-Down: Classic, longer points button or sometimes snap down.
The Semi Spread: The go-to, not too big, not too small.
The Wide Spread: Thick and wide, to be accompanied by a power suit.
Finding the Right Collar for your Face: Have you ever tried on a dress shirt that fits you perfectly, but there was something not right about it? Chances are it was the collar; the collar style has a big impact on the overall appearance of a shirt. The important thing about collars is that there needs to be a counterbalance between your face shape and collar shape.
If you have a wider face with a shorter and thicker neck, you should wear collars with a small space between collar points and short collar stand, such as the Straight Point Collar.
If you have a skinnier face with a longer and thinner neck, you should wear collars with a larger spread between the collar points and a high collar stand, such as the Wide Spread Collar.
If you are between these two categories, a standard Semi Spread Collar will be complimenting for you.
A lot of Detail for a Little Space: Cuff styles are small details on a dress shirt that allows for expression, while not drastically impacting the appearance of the shirt. Barrel cuffs with a single button are the most common style. From there, you can explore different lengths, corners, buttons, and colours. Convertible cuffs are a great versatile option as they allow for button closure or cuff link closure. French cuffs are a folded and closed by cufflinks; they are used on formal shirts, but are suitable to be worn with your work suit.
What is a Placket? Sleeve plackets are the fabric strips that support the opening of the sleeve. It is about a 1.5” wide and 5” long and is secured closed with a button. They typically have a pointed end but can be square that creates a more casual look.