The new year is the perfect time to reassess your look and wardrobe
More than just a garment that complements your suit, your shirt says a lot about you
The shirt is such a fundamental component of dressing well that it’s importance is often overlooked. Whether it’s a classy white number with a cut-away collar and stiff cuffs atop a pair of elegant chinos, or a brightly coloured, patterned shirt that accents the cut and lining of the suit you’re wearing, getting the right shirt tailored to your body is essential is carrying off the look you’re going for.
Hollywood heartthrob Ashton Kutcher once said, “You should always roll up the sleeves of your shirt — it makes you look like you’re working even if you’re not.” And the American fashion designer Michael Bastian said, “Everyone looks better and more alive in a pink shirt.”
Both these style icons are right. And both are wrong. Some shirts look good rolled up. But you need the forearms and work ethic to go with it. Some guys look good in pink. For others, pink washes them out. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to getting your shirt right.
For a shirt is not just a shirt. A shirt is a statement. A statement that can say, I’m refined and clean-cut with a healthy dose of sophistication. A statement that can say, I’m casual but elegant at the same time. Or, when you get it wrong, a statement that can say, I just threw this on this morning — found it at the bottom of the laundry, but this red check goes with these mustard chinos, right? No. No it doesn’t. Please don’t wear that again.
Taking the time to get a shirt tailored to your specific body type is the first and most crucial step to making your shirt work for you. Once you have that in place, you can accessorise and dress around it. For when the situation arises where you need to doff the jacket, or if you’re planning on wearing the shirt in the office all day, you need something that compliments your style and physique.
So, here’s our guide to finding the right shirt for you in Dubai.
Bombay Shirt Company
Located in the Central Park Towers of the ever-expanding DIFC district of Dubai, Bombay Shirt Co.’s offers the complete shirt fitting experience. From the more than 1,400 fabrics you have to choose from — you can touch and feel each before choosing which you want — to the top to bottom approach to tailoring your shirt — from trim, monograms and button thread colour — is an impressive and educational venture.
What stands Bombay Shirt Co. out is the transference of bricks and mortar to online platform. Once you’ve had your measurements taken in the store, they supply you with your measurements which you can then use, with your online access codes, to put into the online store to order new shirts which will fit the same. Provided you don’t mushroom out of shape or lose weight like an overnight diabetic, you can access the same service and results from your computer. Orders typically take up to 14 working days to arrive from Mumbai.
Though relatively new to the scene, Benjamin Siggers is one of those brands you can expect to hear a lot about very soon. With sustainable materials at the heart of what they’re aiming to achieve, the men’s luxury brand source their materials from Italy and, though they don’t have a bricks and mortar store out here yet, offer a first-class fitting and selection service that can travel to your door wherever it is.
B&S’s shirts are all handmade in Italy and the brand provides three different levels of construction, and the handwork that goes into making the shirts takes years of practice to master. Most of the fabrics are woven in Italy, including organic cotton which doesn’t use any fertilizers or pesticides.
In the last ten years, Matthew Benjamin and James Siggers have made tailored clothing for over 1,000 men. And since setting up their own tailoring business in 2017 in Dubai, offers some of the very best shirt options around.
“The first element that goes into defining your look is to pick a fabric of your choice from our shirt fabric collection sourced from reputed mills including Albiini, Thomas Mason, Miletta, renowned Italian based weavers,” says Black Amber retail director in the Middle East, William Chatterton.
They are the words of a man who likes to make his clients look dazzling.
Much of Black Amber’s ready-to-wear collections are sourced from the annual Pitti Uomo fashion exhibitions in Florence. But for the bespoke shirts that the brand prides itself, they import fabrics from brands including Loro Piana, Cerruti and Zegna.
A London-based label renowned for it’s luxury and bespoke shirts, Emma Willis shirts come from the elegant 18th century Bearland House in the centre of Gloucestershire. And the shirts they produce bear all the elegance and sophistry of a high-end English tailor. Available on Debonaironline.com, the range and sumptuous quality of these pieces will have you purring a sartorial purr.
An often underestimated and overlooked brand, Sacoor’s shirts are top quality and you can get them tailored in store. The Portuguese brand is always updating their ranges to move with the seasons and keep ahead of forthcoming fashion trends, and with a healthy presence across Dubai, they’re well worth spending some time going through their rails, finding a material and colour that suits you and getting it fit there and then.