Time was when men had to get all of their shirts tailored. Now, tailored shirts are considered luxuries. Commissioning a bespoke garment is certainly luxurious in the sense of choice and improved comfort, but luxury, in this case at least, does not mean penury; in reality, a tailored shirt costs only a fraction more than an off the peg variant that almost invariably has baggy sleeves, whether you opt for the 'classic' fit or the 'extra slim' fit. But if a bespoke shirt is a realisable option for any style-conscious gent, six choices need to be made to ensure the perfect fit:
1. Colour: Regent recommend that your first bespoke shirt be white. Every man needs a white shirt in their wardrobe and this provides a perfect start to get the measure of the bespoke process. Thereafter, the range of colours and patterns is really only limited by your imagination.
2. Cuffs: There is the obvious choice between a button cuff or a double cuff, but you will also need to decide whether the facing corner of your cuff is square, rounded or cut at a forty-five degree angle. Your decision here might be influenced by your style of collar. (If you want to flaunt a favourite watch on your wrist, it is worth considering that one of your cuffs can be made fractionally larger.)
3. Collar: There is a very limited choice of collar styles when buying off the peg. By contrast, Regent offer various styles of shirt collar. Your decision will be governed by preference as much by occasion; a buttoned collar (a style that is common in America) would suit a more informal look, for example; a rounded collar, reminiscent of nineteenth- and twentieth-century vogues, could be worn for formal and informal occasions and is more distinctive. A rounded collar might go well with a rounded shirt cuff; a straight collar would lend itself to a straight-cut cuff.
4. A single or double placket: The placket is the vertical panel on the front of the shirt to which the buttons are attached. British convention favours a double placket with vertical stitching either side of the buttons. A placket in the continental style only has stitching on the outside edge of the shirt and can look a little more informal.
5. Pleats: For a roomier fit, two pleats can be incorporated into the rear panel of the shirt between the shoulder blades. Pleats would suit a summer shirt, to allow more air circulate around the body. A shirt without pleats will have a slightly tighter fit and will be more inclined to crease at the back when you are moving.
6. Buttons: Finally, you will need to pick the buttons for your shirt. In the majority of cases translucent or pearl-effect buttons would probably be advisable, but a bold and colourful statement could be made if you opted for something brighter in contrast to the material of the shirt.
Regent shirts are made long, so as to reduce the chance of them riding up when worn, which is never a good look! Considering the comfort, choice and price - Regent offer customers their first bespoke shirt at a slightly discounted price - a bespoke shirt really is an example of affordable luxury.