What's In A Shirt?
WARNING: This post could upset those with a sensitive disposition! I am in a bad mood today and it's got nothing to do with the heat!
I was with a new shirt customer yesterday who had just about had it with cheap off the peg shirts. He had tried to get some of his shirts altered following weight loss and to his horror, the seamstress told him she couldn't adjust them because the seams weren't sewn. They were GLUED TOGETHER. "WTF?" I hear you exclaim - yep you heard me right.
I don't expect everyone to buy from my company - of course that is the high level goal... but it makes me MAD when I hear of other companies treating their customers like IDIOTS.
So what's the difference between a quality bespoke shirt and an off the peg shirt from the likes of Tyrwhitt, Lewin etc?
First and foremost, quality. Think about it - if you're buying an off the peg shirt from a so-called quality shirtmaker for £20-£25 what are you expecting? Gold?
These companies exist to make a profit for their shareholders. So by the time you strip out taxes, employee salaries, retail running costs plus marketing & advertising spend, you'd be lucky if the shirt costs them £1 to make. Let's be generous and say £2. So £2 of ingredients and labour went into that shirt on your back right now.
As I found yesterday with my (now happy) new customer, it's becoming more and more common to find shirts like these with seams that are not sewn but GLUED together! It's quick and it's cheap. Most guys who buy shirts like this end up throwing them in the bin after 3-6 months and replacing them. Crazy.
So, again being generous, your £25 shirt last you 6 months. Over three years you have to replace it 6 times. That's £150. And it still fit you like crap, the collars were floppy and all over the place and because they cut corners on the "cotton" it felt horrible on your skin too.
Contrast that with a shirt from a quality independent bespoke shirtmaker - sure it might set you back from £149. But you're wearing a shirt that has a minimum £70 worth of ingredients and labour in it. What a huge difference!
So the fabric feels fantastic, the buttons are of the highest quality, your collars are strong and stand proud and the fit is perfect - but here is the bonus: they last a damn sight longer too! We have clients whose shirts stick around in the wardrobe for anywhere from five to over ten years! So in actual fact that bespoke shirt over it's lifetime is cheaper than the cheap off the peg version? Crazy huh?
Our own clients only buy more shirts sooner because they just love them so much and are addicted. Like crack addicts but this is a shirt addiction which is much safer and better-looking.
You also know that shirt has been created for you and you alone, someone has sat there putting the thing together and that personal touch carries through to the relationship you have with your shirt tailor. Who CARES ABOUT YOU enough to not go cutting corners in the product you're paying your hard-earned for!
So to up your shirt game, stop settling for cheap and follow @robertorevillalondon and visit us at www.robertorevillalondon.com. You deserve better!
I'd love to hear your experience of off the peg shirts and tailored if you've had tailored shirt previously. Like, share, ask questions and post in the comments below!