THE WORLD OF BESPOKE TAILORING REVOLVES AROUND SHARP SUITS, BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO END THERE. VIRTUOZITY EXPLORES THE WORLD OF BESPOKE SHIRT MAKING
many people, it’s something they’ll wear more often than their suit.
To find out how the process works, Virtuozity visited Ascots and Chapels in Dubai’s Marina Mall to try out bespoke shirt shopping. The company treats the shirt process in a similar manner to buying a highend luxury car. You sit with the consultant to run through the available options, fabric and styles, all from the comfort of a classic leather sofa.
But if anything, the choices available with bespoke shirts are as varied as a full suit. When designing your shirts, you can opt for a variety of different cuffs. Then, of course, there are the collars, which again have a multitude of styles depending on your taste and usage.
Buttonholes and stitching also require a design decision and the colour of the stitching can be changed to provide a bit of contrast for the wearer. For an extra touch of style, you can add your initials, stitched into the shirt.
The tailor can even make your watch wrist sleeve slightly bigger to accommodate your favourite watch, such is the level of attention to detail. The whole thing is recorded on a tick box-style sheet, which you sign for once done.
It’s odd that very few men think about bespoke shirt buying. It’s strange because the cost is about the same per unit, as buying a quality shirt from a normal store, but with that perfect fit bespoke provides.
It’s also very easy to do. With brands like Ascots and Chapels operating from airconditioned malls, there’s no longer a need to visit the backwaters and alleyways of the city to find a good tailor. It can now all be done as part of a visit to the shops, without the hassle of parking, irregular hours and the myriad problems that come with dealing with the backstreet operators.
In short, it’s a bit like flying business class. Until you do it for the first time, you’re quite happy flying economy. But once you’ve done it once, you can’t figure out how you’d go back to economy.
Having been through the process, few people are ever satisfied with off-the-rack again. Why should you pay for something made to roughly fit you, when, for around the same price, you can have something made exactly for you via a personalised service?
If anything, the world is going full circle. This is how people used to have shirts made. With the industrial revolution and mechanisation, most people moved to massproduced generic clothing. But for those in the know, the move back to traditional hand-made clothing is truly taking hold.
Clearly, sometimes the old ways are actually the best.