Two of Mies Van Der Rohe’s famous quotes regarding architecture have been cannonized, and with many of the subpar building being built today indeed “less is more”, and “God is in the details” ring as true as ever.
When it comes to bespoke hand made dress shirts, the Miesian ethos rings half true. Without question “God is in the details”, but with the best dress shirts “more is more”. Indeed, more hand work, more parts, more detailing. Like great bench tailoring, master shirt making is an art form, and as it is essential for great jacket to have much hand work especially in the areas that count, such is the case with a proper bespoke dress shirt.
Though there are many fine bespoke machine-made dress shirts, none can compare to the highest quality hand made dress shirts.
I’ve had many ready to wear dress shirts both machine, as well as hand finished or so called “hand made”, and yes, most machine made ready to wear shirts have fared better in terms of value and longevity.
The Neapolitan ready to wear variety are quite good collectively, with some being better than others, but they can unravel in places where they should not.
Thus, I myself have worn and appreciated machine made dress shirts. Nevertheless, for me, it comes down to beauty, and a hand made dress shirt is simply more beautiful. It is more interesting to the eye, something with more substance, a garment that is living and breathing.
The hand work should not be there to say “look at me”, or “this is a hand made expensive bespoke dress shirt.” The hand work should be subtle, with purpose and reason, understated, and always elegant.
Here are three superb examples.