Custom made shirts used to act as an accessory to the suits. Nowadays, it has its own prominence. It can be worn with the suit jacket and tie on, with the jacket only, with tie only or without both.
Fabric: There are many details in the making of tailor-made shirts. Let’s start with the fabric. Apart from the craftsmanship and the level of details that are put into the works for the construction of the shirt, the fabric is the crucial factor that determines the price of the shirt. As in wool being the prominent material of choice for the suit, cotton is for the shirt. As a rule of thumb, the higher the grade of cotton, and the content in the material the more expensive the material is. Cotton is prone to wrinkle, except for really luxurious cotton. Man-made materials are added to give a stronger construct and durability to the material and to reduce the cost of the fabric. Popular cotton and cotton blend materials are plain-weaved, oxford, twill, and textured as in herringbone. Fabrics for shirts are also called shirtings.
Shirt Fit: A shirt should fit comfortably without restricting movements. Its width should also be less than the suit jacket such that it does not show up as bundling up when worn with a suit jacket on. A standard fit has the shirt be close to the body with ample room for free movements. Tapered fit can make a person with shoulders wider than their stomach to look really good. It gives an athletic look. For a bespoke shirt, loose fit isn’t that loose or baggy. It gives a little bit more room in key areas such as shoulders, chest, hip, and waist.
Shirt Sleeves and Cuffs: In long sleeves, shirt sleeves appropriate lengths are at just where the base of the wrists end and the hands form. The sleeves would extend just a little further than the jacket sleeves making them show up. They show the color, pattern and design of the shirt, and if cuff links are worn in French-cuffs, these are also in display. You can also play with the different types of cuffs; the most common being rounded, square, and French cuffs. The cuffs and collar color can also be in white. This was a signature of aristocracy in the olden days. For short sleeves shirt, the sleeves can have a plain, doubling over or v-style endings.
Shirt Collars: There are various types of collars available in a custom made shirt. The rule of thumb, the more narrow the collar, the less formal it is. Some of the traditional collars are narrow, narrow with button down, business spread, wide spread. Regarding which collar to choose is up to one’s personal taste, appearance and in respect to the function and occasion a person is attending. Recent fad has the collar be thin in width. Timeless fashion has it at around 2.75 inch. Mandarin collars are now also seen in more relaxed and casual settings or for informal functions.
Yoke: A Shirt’s yoke is the upper back part that runs from one shoulder blade to another and runs just a bit down the upper back. The yoke can be one full panel or it can be split in the middle. The splitting is done to match the pattern of the shirt especially in stripes shirts.
Shirt’s buttoning: There are various styles in the shirts buttoning. Plain front style is when the shirt’s sides come together in a plain style with no add-ons. Plain front hidden buttons style has an extra strip of cloth covering the buttoning area having the buttoning area be clean and neat. Placket style has the buttoning area be an independent vertical panel of itself. This helps in giving a more symmetrical appearance to the shirt. Another common style would be to have the placket and hidden button styles combine, forming a neat sharp look for the shirt front.
Pleats: The functions of shirt pleats are to give the shirt more room at the back and to align the form of the shirt to the contours of the back. Some shirts come with no pleat with a neat and clean look. The common pleating styles are: box pleat, as the name suggests, two close together pleats are made to form a box like appearance in the center of the upper back. Inverted pleats, also, as the name suggest, the lines form from the pleats are ‘inverted’ together, forming two close parallel lines running down. The pleat is also at the center of the upper back. Another common pleating are the side pleats, where a pleat each, lie halfway between each edge of the shirt and the center of the back. Pleating a shirt allows for more comfort and room for the wearer.
Pockets: The most traditional of shirt pocket styles is to have a single classic pocket on the left hand side of the wearer that is flapless. Custom shirt can also be made to come with no pockets. This makes for a clean and neat look and a sign of it being custom made. Other common styles are square which looks block like and rounded square, that are curve at the bottom edges. Pocket is also an area where you can customize on your shirt.
Shirt Tails: The shirt tails can come with a round cut or a straight cut. If you usually tuck your shirt inside your trousers, then curve cut is the preferred choice for easier maneuver. If you are designing a shirt to, sometimes, be worn outside the pants, as in the case of mandarin collar, then straight cut would be your thing.