August 22, 2011

Crisp

My Personal Photo
My Personal Photo

Brooks Brothers Tailored Fit Shirt

Crisp is the first word that comes to mind when I think about a white shirt. There's nothing like a tailored white shirt. That being said, I find dress shirts one of the hardest items to shop for. A white dress shirt is often regarded as the stalwart of a work wardrobe. I'm not devoted to those lists of wardrobe staples that every woman should own, but there's no ignoring the white dress shirt. 

When it comes to fit, I need a dress shirt that is cut extremely slim. I adore a slouchy white shirt, but a tailored silhouette doesn't swallow my frame. This shirt is perfect with its' slightly longer shirttails, traditional front placket, front and back darts, and single-button barrel cuffs. Perhaps what sold me on this shirt is that the sleeves hit my wrist at the perfect place. As any girl with long limbs knows there is nothing worse than having sleeves that are too short.

A white cotton button down was on my shopping list for some time. After finding the perfect white shirt some time ago, my search had to start from scratch when it was discontinued. Having exhausted my options I figured this might be an item that I have custom made. When I was in Hong Kong I was preoccupied with having the perfect silk shirt and trousers made. This shirt is sharp and versatile. Upon realizing what a great shirt this is, I promptly stocked up on a few. When something so simple is this good it's worth owning more than one.

PS- Does anyone else find button downs difficult to shop for?

24 comments:

  1. It's a beautiful shirt. Yes - I find the perfect mix of fabric (neither too sheer nor too thick), shoulder fit, something that is slim cut and yet doesn't gape over the chest peculiarly difficult to locate. Might I ask, is this a women's BB shirt, and if so which style?

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  2. Oh my god, is there anyone who DOESN'T find button-downs difficult to shop for?

    I love Brooks Brothers for their tailored cuts, colours and the quality of their fabric, but even with their shirts, I always use a safety pin to make sure there's no gaping when I wear them tucked into skirts or trousers. I am not too keen on white - light blue, blush pink, buttercream and pistachio are my favourites.

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  3. A- You are so right about the fabric being too sheer or too thick. Brooks Brothers fabric quality is excellent. For me shoulders are really hard to fit. Even for bespoke shirts, I usually have to send the shirt back at least three times for the shoulders. I don't have issues with shirts gaping at the chest, but that's so frustrating. This is their tailored fit non iron dress shirt for women. Surprisingly, even though I'm taller than 5'3" the smallest petite size works and isn't too short in the torso or sleeve.

    Ammu- It's so difficult and frustrating to shop for button downs. I really felt like I had exhaused all options. I always keep saftey pins and double sided tape (I can work wonders with this) at work, because so many women have this issue.

    I love how the light blue shirt and blush pink looks more relaxed than white. The pistachio golor is gorgeous. I like to use the white shirt to tone down some of my skirts that have a lot going on.

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  4. Even better you don't have to worry about ironing it. I know I'm in the minority but I actually prefer their not non-iron shirts. The crisp fabrics tend to bother my skin.

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  5. Prêt à Porter P- I still feel like the non iron shirts need to be pressed. Although I'm sure most people don't feel this way. I'm rather compulsive when it comes to ironing and steaming, unless it's a fabric like linen that's meant to wrinkle. I don't think I would have tried a non iron shirt, until little by little they have scaled back the selection of plain shirts for women. I know what you mean about the fabrics.

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  6. Yes, the white shirt is very difficult! Is it perhaps because we do all need such specific fit details to fit our bodies?

    Yours looks great. Isn't a crisp white shirt a beautiful thing?!

    I found a shirt shop a few years ago in my home city of Sydney. Not bespoke but pretty close if you didn't want to pay true bespoke pricing! They made me the best-fitted shirt ever and I then proceeded to stock up! I loved being able to pick the fabrics. I also love sleeveless. Sleeveless anything! So I had them made me sleeveless white shirts, too!

    It's five years later and I'm in the States. I still wear those shirts to work. True investments!

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  7. Agreed - I find button-downs extremely difficult to shop for. Especially when you're looking for a well-fitted, tailored top, which is why I usually go for a loose, slouchy fit. Thanks to your post, I'll be recommending BB to my sister -- she recently purchased a button-down from J. Crew that turned out to be too sheer and loose (even in the smallest petite size).

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  8. Alice Olive- So difficult. That's exactly it- we all need such specific details to fit our measurements. One bespoke shop I went to mentioned that they take 25 measurements to get the shirt just right. 25 is a lot of measurements.

    A white shirt is such a beautiful thing. It's nice to be able to appreciate the simplicity.

    The shirt shop in Sydney sounds wonderful. I know exactly what you mean about it not being bespoke, but being well made and fitting properly. Such a testament to the quality that you still have those shirts five years later. So timeless and such a good investment. So smart that you stocked up!

    Rachel- Very difficult to shop for. I loose interest when it comes to shopping for items like this. The issue of shirts being too sheer is so frustrating. I find that the sizing at J.Crew has become more and more erratic, but that's a problem throughout the industry.

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  9. Ugh, the bane of my life! Apart from my fave blue/white check shirt, I find cotton shirts almost impossible to buy. I have a nice white one from my corporate days but the French cuffs mean that it isn't exactly conducive to throwing on with a pair of jeans for a casual day out. Sigh.
    Your shirt looks immaculate though, a very nice fit and shape. Well done :)

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  10. Yes! Well kind of. I find that with collared shirts, the less effort I put in to make it fit, the better. My absolute favorites are my dad's old cotton shirts and those very drape-y sheer ones from AA. I can't get enough sheer. The 'tailored' shirts always make me look like a disproportionate vase. A masculine cut always wins for me.

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  11. La Fille mal Gardée- Thank you! Immaculate is the perfect word.

    Your blue/check shirt sounds perfect. I love how relaxed the check looks. Cotton shirts are impossible to buy. I know what you mean about the French cuffs- they aren't nonchalant enough for casual days.

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  12. ZEOLITE- I think it's a matter of lifestyle. I love editorials that feature a slouchy fit, but they don't always work best in a professional/formal setting. I find that you really do have to watch that items aren't too slouchy or sheer when it comes to work. I designed my silk shirts looser, but this means that they have to be tailored even more expertly so they drape perfectly.

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  13. Ah, you know, a brooks brothers white shirt has been on my list FOREVER. I love it!

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  14. My first white shirt was a cheaply tailored shirt in Bangkok. I wear it less now because the finishings are terrible and I've been meaning to change the cheap-looking buttons to something nicer, but the fit was immaculate. I prefer a looser, slouchier fit but I needed a fitted one for job interviews and that shirt was perfect. I love that I could raise my arm and nothing would tug or become untucked - it has enough give in all the right places. I've never found a fitted shirt off the rack that fitted me the same way.

    My bugbear about white shirts is finding one that isn't too sheer. I think that's partly why I gravitated to blue ones after a while, haha.

    I wish BB worked better on my frame but they just don't Shirts from Massimo Dutti fit me better, and I like the slim men's shirts from A.P.C - they fit me perfectly and they have that nice small collar and lapel I like in shirts.

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  15. You are so right! Shirts and jackets are extremely hard for me to find, I have long limbs as well and my clothes usually end up being carried to the tailor for adjustments. I can never find something perfect as it is.

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  16. Anait- Thanks. It's definitely worth keeping on your list!

    Lin- Changing buttons on items is a great idea. It can totally change the look. Your tailored shirt from Bangkok sounds like it did it's job.

    To avoid the issue of sheerness I gravitate towards heritage brands that make great men's shirts. The fabrics at Brooks and Charvet are never too sheer. I'm also a fan of these shops having services in shop to deal with fit/alterations. Even if you end up altering at your tailor- it's nice to be able to get a fitters opinion right there.

    Very cool that you know you can rely on Massimo Dutti and A.P.C. for shirts.

    Florina- I know exactly how you feel. I have almost all of my clothing tailored. Finding a good tailor is a process, but they really can transform items.

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  17. The perfect white shirt is always so Chic! And this one looks wonderful on you!

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  18. Camille S.- Thank you! You are so right about white shirts being chic.

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  19. I know what you mean about appreciating a crisp white shirt, they always seem so irresistibly fresh.

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  20. Austere- So fresh! I love the one that you have.

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  21. I've written a post about white shirts a few months ago so I totally understand what you're getting at. You've found a winner!

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  22. Joy- I remember your post about white shirts- so good! It's so interesting to read about everyone's search!

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  23. Love Brooks Brothers' shirts..their oxfords are also a great classic casual shirt that dresses down a plain black pencil skirt or dresses up a perfect pair of jeans.

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  24. PrincessClaire- Yes the Brooks Brothers oxfords are great. They're a very practical purchase.

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