Regular readers have been requesting information about British shirtmakers. Here is a roundup of good ready-to-wear shirt stores in London. Details of how to buy from them are at the bottom of each piece.
One of the best ready-to-wear English shirtmakers, Emmett pride themselves on the quality of their tailoring and their colourful extravagant style. Emmett shirts are finely finished with a slightly Italianate style, collars, cuffs and seams are just that little bit crisper than many other brands. They also have some quirky stylistic touches, such as using contrasting fabrics on some shirts, on the reverse of the collar and cuffs,
Emmett shop, City of London
Above all else Emmett are the masters of colourful, manly fabrics. At the moment their collection has some bold checks, striking (and often edgy) stripes and some bright solid colours. The majority of their shirts are build around a Prince of Wales (classic) collar so, allowing for conservatism, most of their shirts are suitable as work wear. They come in single and double cuff, with the single cuff shirts being in noticeably quieter colours, pale blues, muted checks etc. Emmett also have a slim-fit shirt which is basically the same model, cut a little closer to the body. They also make casual shirts, of which I like their linen stripes. There is a classic English summer style about them combined with some rather clever stripe patterns.
For me Emmett is the prefect shirt for work-into-leisure activities. Their business shirts are formal enough for your day job, but fun enough to go out and look good in.
Emmett shirts start at around £85.00 and sell both in their stores and on their website (details below) They also have a made-to-measure service (check store for availability) starting at around £125.00.
112 Jermyn Street,
+44 (0)20 7925 1299
4 Eldon Street
+44 (0)20 7247 1563
Emmett website here
The master of English shirtmaking. Thomas Pink shirts are made in Ireland at one of the last shirt-tailoring factories in the United Kingdom. Their shirts are well-tailored in very good quality cottons. As soon as you put a Pink shirt on it feels good against the body.
As befits the most successful ready-to-wear shirt brand in England they have a really wide range of shirts. Their standard business shirt comes in solid colours, checks and stripes. The patterning on Thomas Pink shirts is stylish and sophisticated, with clever colour combinations. Collars are Prince of Wales, regular business collar with a smattering of cutaway Windsor collars.
Style and fit.
The business shirt comes in double and single cuff, though fabrics and patterns vary across the two styles. Like Emmett, they mostly sell a standard Prince of Wales collar, with a few button-downs. Pink sell a neat button-down, in solid colours and fine stripes. Like Emmett they also sell a slim-line shirt. Pink’s slim-lines are very stylish, with a lighter collar, less visible stitching and bright colours and designs.
Pink shirts also come in several sleeve lengths, which is a huge boon for tall chaps like me. I dress in the classic English style, with a half-inch of shirt cuff showing below the cuff of my jacket. Pink shirts give me the sleeve length to do that. If you are not sure what collar size/sleeve length you require the staff at Pink will be happy to measure you. Service is courteous and knowledgeable at Pink stores.
Pink have a really good flagship store in Jermyn Street, where their full range of shirts are on display. They also have a “White shirt bar” where they have more than a dozen styles of white shirt, for every occasion, business or formal.
My tip with Pink is if you see it, buy it. Pink have short-run shirt ranges, with sophisticated patterning and stylish variations in cut. I have been caught out on several occasions when I have returned to a store for a shirt only to be told that the run is sold out.
Pink shirts start at around £85.00 and sell both in their stores and on their website (details below). They also have a made-to-measure service starting at around £130.00. Pink have many stores, two are listed here and I recommend a visit to their flagship store in Jermyn Street.
85 Jermyn Street,
+44 (0)20 7930 6364
16 Blomfield Street
+44 20 7374 2800
Pink website here
These are interesting shirts. Regardless of the name, Eton shirts are a Swedish company, founded in 1928, they have a process which “improves the hydrophilic quality” of the shirt and makes the shirt resistant to creases. Eton say their shirts will remain wrinkle-free though-out the day. If that is true I suggest that Eton shirts are bought by Summer Interns in Banking, as many of them seem to be incapable of ironing a shirt.
Eton shirts, Kingsway, London
The shirts themselves are classic Prince of Wales collar, (Eton refer to the style as “cutaway”). In inspecting Eton shirts my take on it is that the collar “wing” down to the point is a little larger than a similar shirt from Pink They would look good on bigger men, framing the neck appropriately.
The shirts come as single and double cuff in a variety of colours and patterns. My experience of Eton is that their designs are classic, with tried and tested colours and patterns. They also have a longer sleeve option. They also make a regular button-down, in the same crease-resistant fabric.
Eton shirts start at around £100.00 and sell both in their store and on their website (details below).
+44 (0)20 7490 1433
Eton website here
Let’s look at some Italian shirts. Boggi are a Milanese company who have recently opened stores in London. Their shirts are well-made, in good cotton. However what makes Boggi remarkable is their flair for colour and design. Their shirts are richly dyed and their shirts, particularly their striped cottons, are vivid and colourful. They have a wholes spectrum of blues, lavenders and mauves, in a wider range of shades than most other stores. Their contrast stripe shirts (royal blue/white, magenta/white) are bold and fresh. These are shirts for the man who knows his style and wants a bold shirt in classic patterns. Great shirts for younger men with a slim body shape, Boggi are cut slightly tighter than a comparable English shirt for a more graceful fit.
Boggi - Jermyn Street, London
Boggi shirts start at around £80.00. They have a shop in London’s Jermyn Street, as shown below:
49 Jermyn Street,
+44 (0) 20 7629 2495
Boggi website here
Hilditch and Key
Classic English shirtmakers since 1899, Hilditch and Key are best known for their made-to-measure shirts. I mention them here because they also have an extensive ready-to-wear collection at their shop in Jermyn Street. As you might expect, they sell a classic Prince of Wales collar, with two sleeve lengths, regular and long. Their styles are classic and their solid colour shirts are very handsome. Their tailoring is excellent, as are their cottons. I particularly like their heavy oxford cotton solid-colour shirts. Mine have lasted a long time and looked good all the while. A great buy. Their Sea Island cotton shirts are particularly fine and dress up a suit beautifully, especially when a tie is required.
Though slightly off-topic, their ladies shirts are a superb buy for businesswomen.
Hilidtch and Key’s oxford cotton shirts start at around £80.00. Their Sea-Island cotton shirts start at around £125.00
Hilditch and Key
73 Jermyn Street,
+44 (0)20 7930 5336
Hilditch and Key website here
T. M. Lewin
These gentlemen are at the competitive end of the ready-to-wear shirt market and sell to men in business through-out London. They have three ranges, the Lewin 100, the Royal, the Lewin Luxury, at various prices from £25.00 through to £90.00. I find the Lewin 100 a little thin but the Royal and Luxury are good shirts for a man looking to setup an outfit on a budget. As with other brands they sell a classic Prince of Wales collar but they also sell a racy cutaway collar in a wide range of colours and fabrics. They also have a longer sleeve option. Lewin stock a huge range of colours and fabrics so it is a good place to visit for something different. My experience is that their shirts are not as hard-wearing as some of the other ranges described in this article but good shirts all the same.
Lewin Flagship Store - Jermyn Street, London
It is worth visiting T. M. Lewin for their John Francome range. This is a designer range, including some eye-catching (read bright) fabrics and colours. These shirts have two-button collars, with a taller collar-bridge. This makes the shirt stand up under a suit (without a tie) and make your look much more stylish. So it you work in a tie-free environment then these are shirts to wear under your suit.
T.M. Lewin shirts start at around £25.00. They have many stores around England and two of the London stores are listed. They sell in their stores and from their website (details below)
103-108 Jermyn Street,
+44 (0)20 7839 3372
+44 (0)20 7430 2040
T.M. Lewin website here
Back to Italian shirtmakers. Canali make great ready to wear shirts. Their Italian cottons are superb and feel really good on the body. Their patterns and weaves are unsurpassed, managing to be both stylish and bold at the same time. Canali shirts are defined by clever stripes, rich colours and finely finished stitching. Wear these, look stylish, it’s a simple equation.
Canali - Bond Strret, London
There are some differences between Canali shirts and most English brands. Canali are of course famous for their sleek tight cut and their shirts are no exception, they are cut close to the body, relative to other brands. If in doubt, ask their staff, you may need to go up a half-size. Canali are also a little shorter in the arms and the shirt length (once again, cut for Italian men) so not such good shirts for the large or tall man. Also, unlike English brands, Canali sell more single cuff (button-cuff) than double cuff. Also the collars have integral boning, so they are a good thing for those men who are always loosing plastic collar bones.
However Canali shirts really make you look good. There is a finish to a Canali shirt that really lights up a suit or jacket. And these are the most hardwearing of shirts. The collars really hold their shape and do not wrinkle (This also makes them easier to iron). These are shirts that wash up well and look good every time. Recommended.
Canali shirts start at around £109.00 and they have two shops in London as well as some concessions. Their website is a general one and will give you a feel for the Canali product range.
122 New Bond Street,
+44 (0)20 7499 5605
Liverpool Street (18-31 Eldon Street)
+44 (0)844 93 93
Canali website here
For those men who want classic English style, Hackett shirts are a well-priced ready-to-wear option. Hackett are of course the brand for re-interpreting classic English fashion for the modern stylish man.
These are English shirts in traditional style, classic stripes and discreet checks on good heavy cotton. Double and single cuff, with classic prince of Wales collars. Hackett also sell a beautifully tailored Eton collar shirt and a handsome button-down. Not too traditional though, because Hackett make a slim-fitting shirt (The Brompton) which allows one to look true-Brit without wearing yards of fabric. Colours are perfectly matched to classic blues, greys and pinstripes. Quiet style and perfect for a business suit. For the man who instinctively dresses well.
Hackett shirts embody classic English style, with Prince of Wales check, Herringbone and other traditional patterns. They have also updated the contrasting collar (white on blue, white on grey) for the modern age. Great value shirts.
Hackett shirts start at around £70.00 They have many stores across England and sell from these and their website (details below). They have a made-to-measure shirt service at their flagship store in Sloane Street (ring the store for details). The flagship store is definitely worth a visit.
137/138 Sloane Street
+44(0)20 7730 3331
+44 (0)20 7626 7020
Hackett website here
From classic English to classic American. Brooks Brothers business shirts are of course amongst the best ready-to-wear that one can buy. They are famous for their button-downs but also do a classic Prince of Wales collar. The PoW collar is a little smaller than that of most English brands and lends itself to the current fashion for a slimmer tie with a smaller knot. The fabrics, colours and patterns are of course classic and their oxford cotton is beautiful, light and tightly woven.
Brooks Brothers - Regent Street, London
These shirts are the epitome of reliability and endurance. They always wash up good, look good on and they last a very long time. I have Brooks Brothers shirts that are over ten years old and still as presentably (I still wear them for business) as when I bought them. Great shirts, highly recommended.
Brooks Bothers shirts start from around £90.00 They have two stores in London.
150 Regent Street
London, W1B 5SJ
+44 (0)20 3 238 0030
Old Broad Street
London, EC2N 1DW
+44 (0)20 7256 6013
Brooks Brothers website here
From the classic to the extravagantly beautiful. Regular readers will know that I am an Eterno fan. Eterno are an Italian company that make beautiful, striking and dramatic shirts. They are not really collar and tie shirts but they look superb under a suit (their collars range from the high to the very high and almost all are two-button). If you want a dramatic, eye-catching look, then an Eterno shirt will transform the dullest of suits.
Eterno - Conduit Street, London
Eterno are Italian shirtmakers based in Salerno. They produce their own fabrics, sophisticated patterns woven in dark colours like chocolate, maroon, French blue, deep red. They make dazzlingly bright yellow, ice-blue and white cottons. They excel at bold stripes and clever print patterns. They tie these up with a high-collar, two-button barrel cuff shirt pattern that is elegant and eye-catching. Their regular cut is slim and the Italian darting (different from an English shirt) accentuates the chest and the shoulders. If you can’t look good in these shirts you must be already dead. You really want style that the ladies are gonna spot? Here are your shirts. Very recommended.
Eterno shirts start at around £130.00. They also have a made-to-measure service in store, which starts at around £140.00
19 Conduit Street
+44 (0) 20 7493 5603
Eterno website here
These are ten of my best ready-to-wear shirtmakers in London. There are others and I hope to write about them soon. As always, if you have an opinion, or a shirtmaker you want me to write up, drop me a comment or an email.