I grew up in the Midwest, where we are not too fancy. We wore dress shirts to get a job done, not make a fashion statement.
During college, I studied abroad in Hong Kong and something odd and unexpected blew me away. Everyone wore custom dress shirts, not just bankers and lawyers, but bank tellers, retail salesperson, and even students.
I asked around and found Hong Kong had a large network of affordable tailors, which I immediately tried and ended up purchasing five shirts. In the US, I saw the same process was expensive and opaque, but that aside, here are the five things I have learned from wearing custom shirts.
They feel great
Everyone seems to be talking about athleisure right now because it’s comfortable. That’s how a good custom dress shirt feels. I used to wake up and dream of working for a company where I could wear a polo or a t-shirt to work, but with a dress shirt that fits just right, I don’t get that feeling anymore.
You feel more confident
The moment you put on something designed for you, you feel great about wearing it. There’s a sense of pride and ownership that radiates out and others notice. I’ve gone from in shape and out of shape quite a few times in my life. A custom shirt makes you look better, no matter your body shape, and that makes a big difference.
The perfect size
Traditional shirts are made on averages. The average, height, weight, neck size, and arm length. If you don’t meet the average, good luck! Custom is designed for you. Don’t worry if your short and slim, big and tall, or vice versa. Your shirt will fit well regardless.
They last longer
I still have the shirts I bought in Hong Kong over five years ago and they’re still in great condition. When you buy something made well and take care of it, it’ll last. That’s worth the extra price.
There are more options
My first time in a tailor shop, I was blown away by how many different fabrics they had. Dozens of reams on the walls, thousands of samples piled on a table, you could spend over two hours looking through them and never find the bottom.
At Williamson, we have over 500 fabrics. We choose to only publish a few at a time, but the options are endless. You don’t get that with off-the-rack shirts. Plus, nothing is worse than finding the option you want and finding out they don’t have your size. We never have that issue.
Looking back at when I bought my first shirts, I thought it was pretty pretentious. I thought "I don’t wear custom dress shirts, I don’t even know anyone who does". Once I started though, there was no going back. So give it a try and see what I’m talking about.