Alright I have another quick product overview for you. This time I purchased a shirt from Charles Tyrwhitt – a primarily mens suiting and shirting label. They seem to have a lot of hard-copy advertising going around at the moment around Australia. I have seen their brochure in two or three different places in the past month or two. One came in a box of wine. Another fell out of the local daily newspaper. And I saw one on the street in the city, which I took as the final sign I should buy one. It looks like each of those brochures was also offering a sale – selling shirts at half price or lower, and with free shipping. I’m always sucked in by free shipping.
I placed my order for a Blue Wide Herringbone Non-Iron Extra Slim Fit Shirt. It took me a while to work out my measurements. I had about 30 tabs open at once comparing different brands of shirts I own to measurements on their various charts and finally to the chart on the Charles Tyrwhitt website. I settled on a size which thankfully turned out alright, although the sleeves are far too long. I’ll get on to the fit shortly. One thing I appreciate is the sizes of both the sleeve and collar are printed on the label, so I can see roughly what size I am easily next time.
I didn’t know whether to choose the “slim fit” or the “extra slim fit”. Typically in brands like Calvin Klein, Herringbone, Baubridge & Kay, even Van Heusen, I will wear a “slim fit” or “tailored fit”. I looked at measurement charts over and over and in the end bought the extra slim fit. I am really glad I did. Charles Tyrwhitt shirts are large fits. Very large. There is still a lot of “extra” fabric in my “extra” slim fitting shirt, and I’m not that lean. I find Van Heusen’s slim fits to be a touch too slim for me because it touches my belly and that’s just awful. However, the extra slim fit from Charles Tyrwhitt isn’t quite as big as the European Fit from Van Heusen so it’s not billowing. If you normally wear slim fits I suggest you buy the extra slim fit from CT. I imagine the classic fit would be a fine fit for guys who have a strong relationship with beer and couches.
I opted for double cuffs to wear with cuff links, and I really love the style of the cutaway collar. It is a really decent cutaway collar, as opposed to some brands with weak-ass attempts at cutaways. There are no upper pleats on the shirt, however there are darts pleats in the middle of the shirt to keep the shape. The blue herringbone looks great and has the low sheen typical of fine cotton herringbone weaves.l
So are Charles Tyrwhitt shirts good quality? At this stage I can’t confirm yes or no. From what I can tell so far it is really nice fabric and there are barely any stray threads hanging around. The buttons feel solid and the button holes appear to be quite well sewn in the well constructed placket. There are brass collar-stays included, which can easily be removed for washing. (Don’t forget to remove them or you might end up with brown stains on the collar!)
There is no button on the sleeve placket, which leaves a gaping hole in the sleeve as you raise your arms, bending at the elbow. Although, as it is a double-cuff I suppose not having a button there is fine, although I’d prefer one, particularly because these sleeves are already way too long.
When buying online, CT shirts can be optioned with a breast pocket and/or monograms for small additional fees.
I also ordered a Casual Shirt at the same time for my dad. He chose the Raspberry Gingham Check Non-Iron Slim Fit Shirt. Again, the slim fit is really not slim at all, and my dad falls in the beer-belly category. (Sorry Dad!) He would usual wear an extra large of many Australian brands, however for this shirt he went with the Large size, and it’s still too large. The length works because he can easily tuck it in, however there’s a fair amount of extra fabric around his body, and the upper sleeves are pretty baggy for anyone packing wings.
Sizing aside, both the business and casual shirts from Charles Tyrwhitt are really nice. Like I did with the Marcella shirt review, I’ll try to update this in the future with my final thoughts after having worn it and washed it a few times. And incase you were wondering, the shipping time was very quick, about a week, and it appears they came from a local supply warehouse in Australia.
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