Archives: dress shirt

Never wear a baggy dress shirt again

Bespoke Clothing

We’ve all worn them at some point in our lives.

The infamous baggy shirt.

Almost blouse-like in appearance, we were told by the store clerk at the mall that despite the bagginess, the shirt fits. That the shoulder seams lined up roughly where they should be and the sleeves fit, so that’s all there is, the clerk would say.

The problem is, the back of the shirt seems like it was built for a guy twice your size. And if you’re an athletic guy it’s even worse! Why? Because your shoulders are likely 5, 6 or maybe 10 inches wider than your waist. You’ve worked hard to create a V-shaped torso, but when you wear that baggy dress shirt it all goes away. You’re left swimming in your clothes.

It’s not magic that makes a custom fitted shirt look better, it’s just smart tailoring. With this blog post I want to go over a handful of things we do to help guys get a perfect fit.

Here are some of the usual tricks we employ to dial in your fit and eliminate baggy dress shirt syndrome once and for all!

Box pleat

You know that little overlap of fabric centered on the back of your shirt? That’s a box pleat. Most shirts will have one and it will help it to conform to your body’s contour, but will also provide you room to move throughout the shoulders.

To some extent, box pleats will help to mitigate bagginess, but only if you don’t consider pleats baggy! So unless you’re trying to ride the fine line between having extra room in the shoulders without letting the shirt look too baggy, this isn’t going to be enough for most guys.

It’s worth noting that sometimes guys request not to have the ubiquitous box pleat sewn into their shirt – instead opting for a nice clean look without it. Fortunately, the box pleat isn’t an absolute requisite for a slim fit.

Darts

Whereas a box pleat will overlap shirt fabric and sew it in place at the yoke, a dart will overlap the fabric, remove that which isn’t needed and then sew together. This results in a very clean look with no excess fabric in the local area.

Common spots to find darts are going to be on the lower back of your shirt to the left and right of center. Each dart can remove up to 2 inches or so of excess fabric. And if you have a V-shaped torso, darts will be absolutely essential in creating a nicely contoured shirt.

You’ll rarely see darts in off-the-rack clothing because those shirts were made to fit, well, anybody.

Side seam

Another tool that we can use to pull in fabric throughout the body of your shirt is to take a look at the side seam of your shirt. This way we don’t need to overlap the fabric and create a dart, but can actually cut the fabric shorter during the manufacturing process to match your body type.

***

So, those are (3) tricks of the trade that we use to eliminate shirt bagginess. Whether you need to employ (1) or all (3) of these tactics depends on a handful of items:

How slim of a fit do you want?

What’s the occasion?

Is your waist slimmer than your shoulders?

But getting the fit of your shirt just right is an art form. Removing too much fabric from one area, say the side seam, may cause problems up at the shoulder seam. Therefore, when going for a real slim fit, Ron will often recommend we use a mix of the above techniques to help you build that perfect fitting shirt.

And even if you’re not a BE customer, having a basic understanding of these concepts will help you to better communicate with your local alterations specialist. Either way, remember that having only one shirt that really fits is worth ten that don’t!

Dress sharp fellas.

By Ryan Wagner

Four-in-hand knot versus the Windsor knot

If someone were to ask you what knot you use when tying your favorite neck tie and you couldn’t answer beyond ‘wait, there are other knots!?’ then there is a fair chance that you employ a four-in-hand Knot. This is the knot that our dads taught us when we were kids and the one that an amazing girlfriend will somehow know to tie.

It turns out that there are actually 4 official knots for men’s neckwear (and several more obscure ones). They are, in no order of importance, the four-in-hand, Pratt, half Windsor, and the full Windsor Knot. Each knot is said to have its own purpose, but a simple Internet search will reveal some very ambiguous descriptions. With the sole exception of the Windsor, which is as wide as the Panama Canal and suited for spread collar dress shirts, all other knots seem to be suited for, well, anything. Everyone seems to have their own opinion (we’ll get to mine soon) about what knot is best for which shirt, but there is more to picking a knot than just the collar shape and size – one must consider the occasion, level of formality, and especially the person wearing the knot!

Menswear has always been about playing off of the man’s shape. For instance, heavier guys will do well to wear vertical stripes to appear thinner. Conversely, thin guys may want to wear windowpane dress shirts to project a wider look. So, when choosing a knot, a larger guy may not want to go with a Windsor for every occasion. A wide knot will certainly not help in making him appear any thinner.

So what’s all the fuss about? Well, the namesake of the Windsor Knot is the Duke of Windsor. Aside from the British slant, this knot is symmetrical, but then again, suits are symmetrical, so are vests, trousers, pretty much everything. However, the tie, and the wonderfully chaotic pocket square, need not be. So, unless you are sporting the spread collar I don’t see any reason to hesitate tying a Four-in-Hand. The asymmetric, just right size is a staple. It looks fantastic when loosened on a Friday afternoon and can be a little unpredictable depending on the texture of your tie. After all, adding an element of spontaneity to your image is a good thing fellas.

Then again, what’s one guy’s opinion? My father and brother certainly have their own bias and will almost certainly refute this blog in a subsequent post, but in the end, you wear what makes you feel confident and to hell with the opinion of anyone else – always remember, the man makes the suit, so whatever knot you chose, wear it like a suit of armor! So there you have it, the four-in-hand knot versus the Windsor knot.

Or, you could try your hand at the Eldredge, but that’s a story for a different day.

Use our how to tie a tie guide to tie your next tie!

BE’s Signature Collar

shirt-example

Creating one-of-a-kind clothing pieces is what we do at The Bespoke Edge. So, when the company was first launched in the Fall of 2012, our original shirt design was built for my son, Ryan, for his personal wardrobe. We essentially took a classic widespread collar that can be found in many stores and recreated our own BE signature look. The most distinguishing feature of this BE collar is the double button placement that we coupled with a higher, slight cut-away collar shape. Then the collar height was increased to 1 ¾ inches. The result is a very fashionable, European look that gives our customers a stylish collar model which stands firm around the neckline.

BE Signature Collar

Our signature collar is a great choice for business casual, but should also be considered when paired with jeans. For example, BE has hundreds of fresh, colorful fabric choices in countless stripes, checks, windowpanes, and prints. Popular color choices this summer include lavenders and purples, pink shades, teals, and many blues and periwinkle tones. Beginning with one of these great colors, we can help you to customize your shirt into something truly unique – choose another fabric that will become a contrast inlay placed inside the collar, cuffs, or even the shirt plackets. Now add some contrast button and buttonhole stitching and your shirt is as unique as you are. Let’s get together soon and build that one-of-a-kind shirt for you!

 

Our Collars