In the making
HENRY JERMYN has a lot to answer for: without him, London’s Jermyn Street wouldn’t have been our favourite bustling shopping destination, brimming with topnotch establishments, for the past 300 years. Enter from the St James’s Street end, look right and you might catch a glimpse of shirt-maker Emma Willis measuring up her next client. ‘I only use the finest Swiss cotton, the shirts are cut by hand and are made with care and attention, which our customers can feel,’ says Emma.
A breath of fresh air in the male-dominated world of tailoring, she can guess the hand you write with, accommodate a watch with a wider cuff and tailor to any physique. ‘A shirt should show quietly elegant taste,’ reveals Emma, whose pieces are handmade in her Gloucestershire workshop and grace the wardrobes of The Prince of Wales and Colin Firth. Her charity work includes making bespoke shirts for injured soldiers recovering at Hedley Court in Surrey. Emma’s tips for shirt wearers ‘Choose a collar shape that can be worn both with and without a tie, to maximise use. Try to own 20–30 good shirts: 12 business, six shooting, two evening and six summer-holiday linen shirts. Machine wash on a 40˚ cotton cycle, then hang to dry and iron when still damp’
‘A man spends much of his life in a shirt, so the feel of the cotton, the look and the cut are hugely important for comfort and confidence Chidwick’ Emma Willis talks to Hetty
From the boardroom to the beach... Ready-to-wear shirts start at £200; bespoke from £310 (www.emmawillis.com; 020– 7930 9980)