Adorning the perfect shirt not only sets you for the day, it also adds an element of self confidence and uplifts your style quotient incredibly
– Adorning the perfect shirt not only sets you for the day, it also adds an element of self confidence and uplifts your style quotient incredibly
In probably one of the most interesting scenes from P J Hogan’s Confessions of a Shopaholic, Luke Brandon’s modest editor Hugh Dancy surprises Isla Fisher’s Rebecca Bloomwood with his style transformation for a red-carpet charity event. The thrifty young man, mostly seen in plaid trousers and baggy fleece shirts at work picks a sharp dinner jacket, a crisp white shirt and fitted black trousers from haute labels and mentions that he is aware how good clothes make a strong impact.
Clothes do make a man. In an industry where the spotlight is often on the dreamy ball gown or the luxurious sari, there are those celebrated designers who earn their bread crafting the perfect tuxedos, the streamlined pants and the sharpest shirt. Their energies are trained at making menswear fabulous yet comfortable so that the decision-maker in the boardroom feels smart and confident when he calls those important shots to seal the deal. There is a thing about formal wear that even men can’t ignore. And some seriously good shirts.
Says Akshay Narvekar, owner of the Bombay Shirt Company (specialised in custom-made bespoke shirts) that set up shop in New York last November, “Wearing a well-fitted, well-constructed shirt gives the wearer an immeasurable level of confidence. How you feel internally is then reflected externally. A crisp shirt with very few or almost no stretch lines talks aloud about the personality of a person showing how organised or sophisticated they are in their thought processes. Real luxury is in a tailored apparel. It takes time but it’s bespoke.”
The young entrepreneur, who launched BSC out of his own love for custom-made shirts opines that the two main considerations while crafting a shirt are the fabric and the collar construction. “A great shirt is really a sum of all the many parts, but the fabric and collar are probably the most important. Certain fabrics like
We have always believed that a well-constructed shirt provides the wearer with the confidence and presence that a tee-shirt rarely can. A good shirt must fit immaculately and not pull across either the shoulders or waist. The collar must sit perfectly, too.
royal oxfords, dobby and houndstooth are perfect for work wear while poplins, satins, denims are better choices for casual shirts. Perfect collars make or break personalities so one needs to be extremely cautious while selecting the collar and the contrasts,” he explains.
Noted menswear designer Sahil Aneja speaks about the collar as well. “A shirt should have a neat ironed collar, possibly a button down to keep the collar in place throughout the day. The most important aspect of shirt would be the fit. If the wearer is comfortable in their clothes then it reflects on the wearer’s behaviour in a positive way,” say Aneja who is all set to launch his latest collection called Error, which means a mistake or a glitch.
The construction of the shirt is such that it implies simplicity, avers Aneja. Apart from being sophisticated, the silhouette is very versatile which complements all body shapes. Probably the reason why it is a garment the stylish man takes so much care to pick and choose. Even though it has a versatile silhouette, it has to cut to perfection to enhance one’s shoulder structure. “Wearing a well-fit shirt gives the man a neat look and a confident aura,” quips the designer.
Confidence. A quality that can make or mar a man’s persona. A great shirt goes a long way in adding to that. Says David Abraham of Abraham & Thakore, “We have always believed that a well-constructed shirt provides the wearer with the confidence and presence that a tee-shirt rarely can. A good shirt must fit immaculately and not pull across either the shoulders or waist. The collar must sit perfectly, too.”
The only Asian menswear to snap up the International Woolmark Prize, Suket Dhir, is however, of the opinion that any great garment is one that enhances the wearer’s personality. “It has to be about the wearer and not just about the shirt but both have to come together brilliantly. It has to be absolutely comfortable and look dignified at the same time. And here, superlative fit is the key,” Dhir says. The designer who has floored the global audience with his sharp yet quirky menswear ever since he bagged the coveted award in 2016, lays equal emphasis on the five Fs when it comes to a good shirt. “Feel, fabric, finish, fit and fashion are all equally important aspects. If you dim down either, the shirt would fall flat. A stylish man is one who is not willing to compromise on any of these qualities either in the boardroom where he makes million-dollar deals or while lounging with his friends,” he elaborates.
A good shirt, therefore, is the one which is comfortable and doesn’t bog the man down. It fits like a dream. Admits menswear expert Pawan Sachdeva, “A shirt is good only if it’s easy to wear and makes one feel relaxed. One wrong stitch or cut can ruin the fit of shirt. This is where bespoke products rule. It is the amalgamation of fabulous fit, good fabric as well as collar and cuff details. If all this is taken care of, the shirt is on point,” affirms the fashion designer.