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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello.

How frustrating. My first post/short essay was fully typed and as I pressed submit I was informed that somehow I had been logged out. I shall try again..

Short Version: If you lost your wardrobe and had to rebuild it again from scratch. What would be the first 5 shirts you bought? Please be specific - cuff, fabric, collar etc.

Long Version: I am going to law school in London in a weeks time having just come back from travelling for the last 6 months. As such, inexplicably none of my previous now seem to fit. I saw this as an appropriate opportunity to have some bespoke/MTM shirts made up. As a student I cannot afford Jermyn Street just yet however I had heard complimentary things about https://www.raja-fashions.com. I suppose this thread is also an inquiry into everyones dealings with Mr Raja. How have people on this forum found his service?

I am considering having 5 shirts made for me. Pink, Blue, White, Blue striped and finally Pink striped. All with spread collars, two site pleat back and I intend to leave monogramming well alone. Is this choice a little obvious? I will be wearing these shirts regularly, and although my university is known for being a little left wing, that taste does not extend to how you are expected to dress. I will have a lot of law society meetings, internships and other occasions where being impeccably dressed is a requirement.

I always try to be well dressed, and am usually a little overdressed. I need help selecting these basics. I would appreciate all thoughts, comments or observations.

Thank you in advance.
Eric
 

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I would second the ecru recommendation instead of the pink stripe. I think with only 5 shirts, pink wouldn't be my fifth choice. Try to find another blue, whether it be a different shade solid, end-on-end, or a different stripe.
 

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Another vote to replace one of the pink shirts with something else.

In the States, having two solid white ones out of five wouldn't be a bad idea, but I get the impression that in London stripes and colors are much more popular.

Perhaps an ecru, or a different shade of blue, or a different type of blue stripe. Or maybe even a multicolored stripe, which one would wear with a relatively conservative tie picking up maybe one or two of the shirt colors at the most.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Pink stripe will now be swapped for a different blue stripe or an ecru depending on the fabrics he has. I am assuming that 100% cotton is the way to go?

Finally - am I limiting my options by having all spread collars? They certainly flatter my face the best but should I get a range to provide me with more options? The same goes for the body back and body bottom - keep the same or get some variations?
 

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Are you certain you need mtm/bespoke?

If you don't have some physical characteristic like being exceptionally thin, longer arms, or overweight you may walk right into rtw, Many people buy custom shirt that don't need them. In any event, check out Harvie and Hudson. I have about all the Jermyn st shirt mavens, and H&H is the best I have found thus far. I wear there rtw shirts, and in spite of the exchange rate they are cheaper than US shirts.
 

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If it were me, I'd stay far away from ecru, but that's because against it, my skin looks pale, greenish, and sickly. Were it me (again, from the US), for my first 5 shirts, I'd go 3 white, 1 blue and 1 pink. But that's just my preference.
 

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If you don't have some physical characteristic like being exceptionally thin, longer arms, or overweight you may walk right into rtw, Many people buy custom shirt that don't need them. In any event, check out Harvie and Hudson. I have about all the Jermyn st shirt mavens, and H&H is the best I have found thus far. I wear there rtw shirts, and in spite of the exchange rate they are cheaper than US shirts.
Are you suggesting that you and republic have the same build and posture in recommending H&H RTW? As republic already clarified that Jermyn St prices are above his budget, do you know something that we don't, such as a magical exchange rate between the Welsh currency and the GBP?

republic, I think you noticed that the aversion to pink has been expressed by people across the pond. I think your selection is fine, inclusive of pink, but would add that the cuffs should be double cuffs.

I have no experience with Raja so cannot comment on them. If you are happy to share how much you are willing to spend for 5 shirts, some forum members may be able to make relevant suggestions for alternatives.
 

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Shirt selection

I don't think there's anything wrong with obvious choices for your basic wardrobe. There's a reason why they are obvious. You wouldn't want to build your basic shirt wardrobe around, say, lime and chocolate.

That said, I think you should go with your first plan and buy two pink-based shirts. In my opinion, a plain white dress shirt is simply dull, and a pink or blue serves equally well for a conservative, flexible shirt. In addition, they are less apt to look grungy at the end of the day than white shirts. Outside of a couple of tuxedo shirts and one very old dress shirt, all of my white shirts have at least a subtle stripe.

Similarly, I would not substitute one an ecru shirt for one of the blue or pink ones. Ecru is equally dull.

As for cuffs, I generally prefer French cuffs with suits, so I would get French cuffs on at least one of the solid color shirts. For the others, I would opt for two button cuffs, which can be worn with more casual clothing. As for collars, etc., I would go with whatever is most flattering on you for all five shirts.
 

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I guess I skimmed the OP. Ok, five shirts:

1- White
2- White
3- Robin's egg blue
4- Pink
5- Lavender or Light green, depending on complexion/taste (for example, if you are more likely to wear black shoes/belt, maybe lav, if brown maybe green, etc)

In my opinion, anything you plan on wearing with a suit, get french cuffs. If you are worried about them being to dressy, wear them with a jacket but no tie after 5, it is casual enough. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@dfloyd - In considering MTM at this point I am being a little excessive, however I am a prime candidate for it. I am 5' 9 and have a deceptively large chest at 42". This tallied with short than usual arms and a 30" waist means I do struggle to find shirt that fit me well in all areas.

@misterdonuts - Thank you for your detailed response. Raja is offering shirts at around £40 depending on fabrics. So around £200 for 5 shirts. One of the reasons I'm trying his service is because I would usually pay that if not more for an OTF shirt.

@sotsoj - I hadn't considered double cuffs as I only own one shirt with double cuffs and that is my tux shirt. An excellent point to raise. Thank you.

For £200 for 5 shirts can anyone recommend another shirt maker? Following recent advice I will stick to roughly original shirt colours, ensuring a few have double cuffs, and the final choice will be made on the day depending on what fabrics Raja has to offer.

Many thanks for all the replies so far.

PS. Having just mentioned my tux shirt, I was planning on replacing it as it is a truely bad fit. I hadn't thought of getting it custom made. Do many people have tux shirts custom made? Any pit falls I should be aware of?
 

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Tux shirts

I had a tux shirt custom made for my wedding. At the time, I was fairly thin, and RTW shirts looked horrible on me. I used a local tailor who took measurements (in Washington, DC), but the shirt was made elsewhere. I wore it once. The stance of the collar was too high, and although it was not as bad as RTW alternatives, it was still too large around the waist. I have since purchased a Charles Tyrwhitt tux shirt, and, in an emergency situation where I realized I had forgotten the CT shirt the day before a wedding, an Armani shirt. Of the three, I prefer the CT. All of that said, I see no reason not to get a custom tux shirt, but unless it's urgently needed, I would wait to make sure I had found a maker I liked before ordering.

I don't know anything about Raja's work, but I can recommend Hemrajani Brothers (www.mytailor.com), from whom I've ordered several shirts, a blazer and a couple pairs of slacks (I wasn't crazy about the slacks). Basically, I asked them to copy the style of an H&K shirt I own, but, of course, tailor the shirts to my measurements. Their tailor's fabric suggestions are helpful, and the shirts, while not as nice as the H&K, are considerably cheaper, and considerably nicer than comparably priced RTW.
 

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I guess my recommendations would side with several of the posters from the Old Europe - pink rather than ecru (agree with cpac that ecru can look really awful, depending on your complexion - it certainly doesn't suit me), several double cuffs, fewer whites (maybe one only), at least one or two striped.

Here's my list for the "essential five"

1 solid white, double-cuff
1 solid blue, double-cuff
1 blue herringbone or (Royal) Oxford, double- or single-cuff
1 blue/white striped, probably a rather mute stripe (low contrast - pale blue, narrow stripes), double- or single-cuff
1 pink or pink.white stripe, double- or single-cuff

Admittedly, five does not in my opinion cover all "essential" variations, but then most people would consider my shirt selection rather excessive.

Regarding collar styles etc, I would argue this is a question of individual build and personal preference rather than dress standards. I personally like a slightly higher moderate spread for a collar, no breast pocket (no discussion whatsoever if double-cuff) but go with what you think suits you best when it comes to these details.

dE
 

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I'd have to second dfloyd's recommendation of Harvie & Hudson. I'm 5'8" 165# and find BB shirts leave me with room in the body to conceal almost anything (contraband, small children...) and the cuffs aren't small enough to hold the sleeve at the proper level.

H&H OTOH, has some fitting of the body, a cuff that fits me properly straight OTR and MOP buttons all for a price after shipping well under what BB charges for an equivalent quality shirt.
 
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