Monday, March 22, 2010

Best in U.S.-made: Hamilton shirts

There are myriad dress shirts on the market at various price points. For a 100 percent cotton shirt, the cost can be anywhere from about $10 ready-to-wear to hundreds of dollars for bespoke, depending on fabric and workmanship.

In previous posts, I have touched on the value of natural fabrics as a criterion for selecting comfortable clothing. I will now cut to the chase: Where possible, go bespoke. Even if you can afford one custom-made shirt, it's worth the investment.

Reputable high-end retailers such as Brooks Brothers offer made-to-measure programs with swatch books of fabrics and reps ready to take your measurements. Feel their fabrics and you can quickly surmise that price runs proportionate to quality, from solid to better-than-that to even-better-than-that.

Other U.S.-based shirtmakers include Mel Gambert of Newark, N.J., and Ripley Shirt Co. of Dallas, which offer a variety of options.

Being based in Houston, I'm admittedly biased and have to go with the home team -- Hamilton Shirts. They've been making shirts since 1883, all on the premises. The folks who took my measurements got it right the first time, and subsequent shirts that I order will have the same specs on file. It's the only bespoke shirt that I wear. At this rate, I'll wear it out quickly. But I know where to go to get more.

Kelly and David Hamilton, the siblings who represent the current generation of Hamilton shirts, are down-to-earth people who oversee the company. While I'm sure they have a lot on their minds when it comes to running the business, the quality of the shirts made under their watch speaks for itself.

Make no mistake: A bespoke Hamilton shirt makes for a sound investment if you're someone who favors clothing made in the U.S.A. and can afford a customized fit.

1 comment:

Ausaf Ahmed Qureshi said...

Give one try to custom dress shirt made by FitCustomShirts. I hope you will enjoy that clothing.