My New Handmade Work Shirt

As Charles Eames once proudly proclaimed, "The details are not the details. They make the design." That single phrase perfectly describes why my new work shirt is the best work shirt this world has ever seen.

My wonderfully beautiful and wildly talented lady recently took up the task of crafting the perfect work shirt for me. The pre-production happened in two steps; first by measuring my awkward body, and secondly in having me choose the details that I find important in a good shirt. These two steps being the perfect balance of form and function.

Form (her); neck size, arm length, wrist diameter, chest size, arm hole size, shoulder width and front and back panel length.

Function (me); pen pocket, expanded box pleats, drying loop, button down collars, rear collar button, sleeve placket button and most importantly...the perfect fabric.

handmade shirt

I say "awkward body" because I'm 6 feet tall and weigh 130 pounds. That means a long thin torso with equally long and skinny arms. Off the rack shirts either fit my body well and come up short in the sleeves, or fit my arms well and have a baggy and boxy torso.

As you can see in the photo above on the left, this shirt fits well in both my torso and through the full length of my arms. That sleeve length allows me to ride my bike, run a sewing machine, high 5 hobos, really anything in total comfort and ease.

Nearly every single shirt I own has a button down collar. I have a narrow neck and face, so the taller, more structured shape of a button down collar ends up framing my head in a much more flattering way.

I use my breast pockets in the most un-cool ways possible. Basically, if it will fit, it's going in. I love keeping my phone there, money, paperwork, I would keep a sandwich in my breast pocket if the size was right. With that in mind, the pen pocket custom sized for my favored Uni-Ball Vision Micro really kicks this pocket up a notch.

handmade shirt

Men's shirts come standard with a box pleat in the center of the back. From a design standpoint, this is a useless detail. As you can see in the top left photo, I had Yuko spread that pleat all the way out to the shoulder-blade, allowing for more mobility in the shoulder and upper arm.

The top right photo shows the rear collar button. This keeps a necktie or bow tie from slipping out of its propper placement inside of the collar. The same photo also shows the drying loop on the yoke.

The lower photos above show the impeccable finishing details that you simply will not find in a off the rack shirt. The photo on the left is the top closing button, and the photo on the right is the cuff and sleeve placket button. Notice that no button stitching is visible. The buttons are attached using only the top fabric layers, leaving a clean smooth finish on the other side.

handmade shirt

The first piece made was the collar, once the size and fit was perfected, the rest of the shirt construction can continue. The final touches are the button holes, 15 total.

If you would like to order a hand made shirt from the lovely Yuko, too bad, she is my tailor, and my tailor only, hahaha...