LONDON — What makes the perfect shirt?
It might seem a silly question — just get the right neck size and you’re done. But, says Nick Wheeler, the founder of British shirtmaker Charles Tyrwhitt, there’s a lot more to it than that.
Wheeler says: “Every shirt that we offer comes in a combination of 248 different sizes. You’ve got four fits, the collar size from 14.5 to 20 inches, you’ve got sleeve lengths, pockets or no pockets — you multiply all those up and each shirt almost ends up being bespoke off the peg.
“If you want a white twill shirt, you’ve got a choice of 248 different combinations and one of them is likely going to fit you pretty well.”
How do you choose from the 248?
“The most important thing is a shirt’s got to feel great,” Wheeler says. “There’s one big thing that makes a shirt feel great and that is the actual fit of the shirt.
“What we now do is we sell shirts in three different fits, we’re about to launch a fourth fit: Classic, slim fit, extra slim fit, and we’re about to do an ultra slim fit.”
When it comes to choosing between the four styles, it’s largely down to personal taste, Wheeler says.
“That’s one of the things that has changed about the shirt world. In the old days, people just put on a shirt and off they went and they didn’t really think too much about it.”
Nowadays, the fashion is for slim-fitting shirts, which is why Charles Tyrwhitt is launching “ultra slim fit.”
“A lot of men, men who are gym bunnies, they want shirts that fit them really well and look good on them. When it looks good on them they feel good.”