THE IDEAL STARTER WARDROBE
If you (or those you mentor) are just starting out in professional life, you may need to know how to build the ideal starter wardrobe. Creating a personalized ensemble that shows your individual style while presenting your professional image to business associates will offer you the confidence that comes from looking fantastic so you can focus on taking the business world by storm.
Suit: A perfectly tailored suit is the foundation of your all-occasion business wardrobe. If you’ll only have one suit in your closet, choose a dark grey or dark blue wool suit with a two-button coat styled with classic notched lapels.
Shirts: White shirts will work with any suit color. When you are ready to branch out, add blue shirts next, and then shirts with plaids, stripes, and checks.
Ties: Your ties should all look fantastic with your suit, so consider the suit color when you select ties.
You can look sharp and modern-without falling prey to passing fads-with a customized wardrobe that’s built with classic style and is custom-fitted to your body. Designing your professional wardrobe carefully will ensure you project the professionalism that will carry through a successful career.
Thomas Mason Founded in 1796
Thomas Mason founded his textile mill in 1796 at the height of the English Industrial Revolution. His company specialized in producing cotton shirting fabrics woven exclusively with long staple two-fold cotton. In a short time Thomas Mason became the point of reference for elegance.
Thomas Mason fabrics have maintained the characteristic techniques and styling which made this trademark famous. The fineness of the yarn, the continuing design research, the special finishing treatments, and the highest attention throughout production, guarantee the excellence of this top quality fabric.
Today, one of the more notable products of Thomas Mason is the Giza 87 Collection. This precious cotton is cultivated in cotton fields in the Nile delta in Egypt. This area’s particular climate and fertile region has produced this fine cotton they use to produce fine shirtings. With this cotton Thomas Mason is able to produce fabrics which does not degrade over time as other fabrics do. Also, the freshness of the material and its original brightness is absolutely maintained contrary to numerous washing.
At Hamilton Douglass we carry a vast array of fabrics from this Thomas Mason collection. They are ready for you enjoy year after year and season after season. Make your appointment today to see what we can design for you.
Hard To Fit? Custom Is For You!
Part of the appeal of custom clothing is being able to fit a hard-to-fit physique. Whether you’re short or tall, stocky or slim, customized options can create your best possible look.
For Shorter Men
Keep the break in your trousers minimal to lengthen the front crease line. Place your suit coat buttons a little lower (two-button coats will be more flattering than three-button coats) and consider using peak lapels-the longer lines add the illusion of height. Enjoy the bolder fabrics that your taller colleagues can’t always pull off, such as glen plaid and Prince of Wales.
For Taller Men
To keep things in proportion, choose wider ties and a spread-collar shirt. Accessories such as a belt, a tie bar, or a pocket square can help break up the impression of height. Rounder toes on your shoes are helpful, along with ties with horizontal or diagonal stripes.
For Stocky Men
Unless you’re sitting down, keep your suit coat buttoned to avoid drawing attention to your center. Shirts are best kept simple and elegant, as busier prints will emphasize girth. Boxier toes on substantial shoes can keep your feet from seeming too small for your frame. Choose notched lapels instead of peak to avoid adding extra thickness to your chest.
For Slim Men
You can create the impression of greater substance without wearing oversized clothes. Instead, choose lighter colors for your suit, such as gray or blue. A thicker-gauge fabric can also add bulk, both in your suits and in your shirts. Choose plaids or checks over pinstripes, and allow your ties to add a splash of color. Thicker ties may overwhelm your frame, so choose one that looks well-proportioned.
The key to looking fantastic is, as always, a perfect custom fit, no matter your build.
WHAT DOES YOUR WARDROBE REVEAL ABOUT YOU?
Mark Twain’s famous quote says that “the clothing makes the man,” but we believe it’s more accurate to say that the clothing reveals the man. A man’s wardrobe choices showcase his thinking, his beliefs, and his core values.
Custom clothing allows you to make sure your clothing reveals the best side of you. A well-tailored wardrobe demonstrates to the world that you’re confident, willing to invest in yourself, and successful.
When you’re ready to update your wardrobe, give us a call. We can help make sure that your clothing showcases your best qualities-both internal and external.
Custom Shirts Are Made For You
This is a very good question especially when we travel the local malls and see the plethora of dress shirts, casual shirts and specialty dress/casual shirts. What is so special about having a custom shirt? Aren’t they just expensive shirts like they sell at these malls?
Well, let’s begin with an overview of the history of dress shirts. The dress shirts of today had their start as mere undershirts and it wasn’t until just over 140 years ago that they acquired buttons all the way down the front. You were considered wealthy to even have your shirts cleaned frequently let alone have enough shirts to change regularly as well as wear white shirts! As collars go, the turndown collars we have today didn’t even become popular until the 1930’s. Before that, it was the upturned collar. Do you remember seeing collars that were detachable? (I vaguely remember them from Laurel and Hardy movies). These collars could be washed separately from the shirts and the shape could be varied. As of the end of World War I, dress shirts that we have now, have not changed much except for the addition of a breast pocket.
Ok, that’s all great history to know I’m still wearing undershirts and everything. But, what is the difference in what I get at the mall versus a custom shirt?
Let’s look at some characteristics of a custom shirt. First, every good shirt will have removable collar bones or stays. Those are those thingys in the collar points that your always losing or the dry cleaner is always stealing. These help the points of the collar from turning up and give the collar the right curve.
Next, patterns will always match. Take a look at the seam at the shoulder of a striped or checked shirt. On a well-made custom shirt, the patterns will connect and match exactly.
I think one of the most important qualities or characteristic is in the stitching. Custom made shirts always have single-needle stitching. This provides a precise seam and the material does not become wavy after washing. Off-the-rack shirts use double-needle stitching, which is more for high production than high quality.
Ever wonder why shirts are always coming untucked and looking like your wearing your wife’s blouse? Custom made shirts are made long enough in back to prevent this look.
Buttons on custom shirts can vary, but the best are Mother-of-pearl. These are so hard that they can even break a needle of a sewing machine.
One last quality is the sleeve and cuff. The sleeve will be pleated several times where it meets the cuff and there is a small button above the cuff. The best shirts will have hand sewn buttonholes.
Is that it you say? Might you have seen some of these qualities at the local mall?
Ok, ok, so what is the big difference? You do know that everything that is in the malls is massed produced, right? What do you think are the odds of getting a shirt that fits just you? The manufacturers are counting on you to believe that one size really does fit all.
“It sure would be nice to have at least one shirt that fit right!” This was said recently by an exasperated new client about his “mall” shirts. Next time your out and about, take a look at the guy walking down the street (or at the mall) and see how he looks in his shirt. Are the sleeves too short or too long? Does it look like he’s wearing his wife’s dress around his waist? Is his collar choking him or swallowing his face?
Here is what we do at Hamilton Douglass. After calming you down about “mall” shirts, we sit you down and get to know you and what you are looking for in a shirt. (when has a sales clerk ever got to know you?) While we are still discussing you and your habits and likes and dislikes we are now measuring you 8 to 10 different ways. It’s such an enjoyable experience, it’s over before you know we started.
Ok, that was the easy part. Now the fun part is looking over the 100’s of samples of high quality, 100% Cotton in a variety of colors and textures. This, of course, is with our expert guidance of matching the right fabric and color for you.
Yeah, yeah you say. So, somebody paid more attention to me than when I was in diapers! Ah, but wait, in 4 – 6 weeks you will have a present waiting for you. That most awesome dress shirt that you’ve ever worn is just waiting for you, and you probably forgot all about it. Or you may have been marking off the days on the calendar, just hoping it would get there.
You finally come to pick up your soon to be favorite dress shirt. You are presented with The Box. It’s opened and there all wrapped up for you is the shirt in the fabric and color that YOU picked out and YOU designed with the collar you always wanted and special trim on the inside! You can’t wait so you try it on right there and when you do, your new dress shirt just hugs you, like your wearing your own skin. It’s just loose enough in all the right places for YOU. The sleeves are in just the right place, the collar doesn’t choke you or swallow your face whole! And you wonder, is this how dress shirts are really supposed to look and feel.
So are Custom dress shirts a big deal? Yeah, they are that big of a deal. I didn’t even go into the types of fabric, I will save that for another time. But, yeah, it’s a big, big deal. Even if you are not all that fashion conscience you owe it to yourself to really find out what the big deal really is in a custom made dress shirt, just for YOU.