Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Reviving Shirts II

For those who recall the post about restoring worn out shirts, I took several more shirts to the Wellesley shirt maker (Custom Clothiers) to replace the worn out collars and cuffs.

Harry was happy to provide replacement therapy, and I was quickly talked into transitioning the shirts from conservative (business-acceptable) to a more social configuration.

The first was a nice Thomas Pink number I've had for a LONG time. I chose "lilac gingham" (as TM Lewin says) and with a tab collar. French cuffs replaced the barrel cuffs, and the result was interesting.

The next was a small butcher-check in black and white from Brooks Brothers that I bought on clearance about 10 years ago. It got the exact same treatment, again switching barrels for thick French cuffs. Since I never wear these shirts without a jacket, I could allow a thicker and sturdier cuff.

The tabs close nicely with tiny buttons, and the contrast is fascinating to some and offensive to others. Success.

Like all good tab collars, they lift the tie just so, creating an illusion that the collar stands higher and more formally than it actually does.

Have a shirt ruined with ink or rips in the body? If the collars and cuffs are alright, consider saving them and scrapping the rest of the shirt. There is a good chance that your local seamster/seamstress can attach them elsewhere, or if you are good with very small stitching, it seems a great way to cobble together a great salvage job. If you try this, please feel free to send in your photos, and I will post them in a future feature.

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