Niall’s virtual diary archives – Wednesday 18th May 2011

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Wednesday 18th May 2011: 9.50pm. Last entry I mentioned that I was going to review some "custom" or "bespoke" clothing which really is "Made to Measure", or "MTM" clothing because custom/bespoke is when the tailor performs multiple fittings on you personally (and of course charges for it). I actually got into the idea because of the lack of affordable quality shirts for potential work/interviews, and because the great trouble with my body shape is that I'm still fairly slim and all the reasonably priced shirts you see in the stores are way, way too baggy for me. Now, if you're willing to go past €50 a shirt you can get a "Euro Slim Fit", and if you're willing to enter the €80 price range you can get a decent fitting shirt made from quality material that looks good. Anything less has shoddy quality, or doesn't fit with folds of excess material, or more usually is both. Another thing which you can never find is a shirt with a decent length, they're too short so they keep coming out of your trousers during the day which makes you look like you're a teenager still in school or something.

Yeah, as you might be able to tell, getting decent white work shirts have irritated me for years ...

Here's another thing which irritates me: ties, especially when made of silk, have the annoying tendency of working themselves loose over the day unless you do up the knot so tight that you crush and wrinkle the material which does not bode well for its longevity and kinda wastes the money you spend on them. Thankfully, this is a well known problem - what you do is to get a collar with a tie hold ("tab collar"). This consists of a fold of material (sometimes a pin) which you clip under the tie and which holds it in place right throughout a full day of movement which is great and solves the problem nicely. Unfortunately, getting a shirt with a euro slim fit, decent manufacturing AND a tie holding collar, well best I could find at that time was Savile Row and they charge £60 a shirt (though in fairness, this includes delivery) [That was last October/November. Typically, now they are charging £20, and I see all their competitors have similarly halved their prices too. Maybe the factory direct MTM websites are forcing them to compete?]

The next thing I tried was a MTM suit, this time from India. That didn't go so well, but I'll leave that to the next entry. Be happy!

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