Luxury fashion shirt-maker Thomas Pink shop

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How Thomas Pink's made-to-measure service celebrates individualism in shirt-wearing

21 March 2024 • Written by Peter Howarth

London-based shirt-maker Thomas Pink has launched a made-to-measure service. It’s very fitting, says Peter Howarth

To be clear, Thomas Pink does make pink shirts. In some ways these have become a signature for the brand: today it has an ongoing art project called Portraits in Pink in which it sends a pink shirt to a photographer somewhere in the world and asks them to shoot it in any way they see fit. So that’s why, in the label’s flagship Jermyn Street store, you can find images of an American cowboy wearing Pink’s pink shirt, as well as a handsome Neapolitan in one too. 

As yet there is no image staged on a yacht, but it’s surely only a matter of time. The series of photos underscores Thomas Pink’s commitment to individualism in shirt-wearing, and now to facilitate this further the firm has launched its made-to-measure service, inviting customers to become involved in the creative process and fashion their own pieces.

What distinguishes this programme is that, unusually, you can order just one shirt, which means you are able to explore unique creations. The service has been designed by Lizandra Cardoni, a shirt-maker who has conceived special pieces for celebrities including Sam Mendes, Kenneth Branagh, Jamie Foxx and Alex Kapranos. The key at Thomas Pink is that Cardoni has made a tight edit of 20 beautiful fabrics from luxury Swiss shirting mill Alumo to simplify what can be a bewildering process.

As well as the selection of fabrics, there is a choice of block (the cut), cuffs, collar and mother-of-pearl buttons, and shirts can be made in a single colour or stripe, or as a Winchester style. This last, named for 19th-century American businessman Oliver Fisher Winchester, is where a white collar and cuff is combined with a bold or striped body and sleeves. It’s come to be seen as something of a 1980s throwback and is having a moment right now. 

There are some “rules” that apply to a Winchester, though, says Cardoni: “You wouldn’t offer this on a navy blue shirt.” Monogramming is also available, and a script or block design can be placed at the waist, on the right or left cuff, or on the shirt front. 

Thomas Pink was launched in 1984 and its shirts were distinguished by pink tabs on either side of their gussets, a style badge that one of the founders claimed he had seen men comparing by pulling their shirts out of their trousers. The tabs remain today, but of course shirts – and how we wear them – have evolved along with the rest of the male wardrobe. Today you don’t need to team it with a tie or even a jacket, but donning a beautifully tailored shirt is definitely a statement that you appreciate style and quality.

And quality is the thing at Thomas Pink. Even on ready-to-wear styles the collars have “floating” interlining (rather than glued) so they are soft and don’t lose their shape; 18 stitches per inch means better strength and straighter seams; textiles from top mills in Europe ensure comfortable, hard-wearing and beautiful materials; and displaced side seams are a technical detail that helps with fit and movement of the arms. There are also stretch fabrics that are well-suited to a more active lifestyle. Like that which you might lead on a yacht.

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First published in the March 2024 issue of BOAT International. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.

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