Tennis star Arthur Ashe once remarked that ‘Clothes and manners do not make the man; but when he is made, they greatly improve his appearance’. And while he might not have had need for one on the court, a well-fitted shirt is at the very heart of any gentleman’s statement-making ensemble. In fact, the shirt is one of the most enduring items of men’s fashion, from haute couture to home-on-the-range casual-wear. To achieve shirt-based perfection, Scabal now offers a bespoke made-to-measure service for a range of styles.


The ideal fit of a shirt depends on both body shape and its sartorial purpose. For slimmer, more athletic shapes, the shirt should follow suit with a leaner construction. A more classic cut suits a broader physique. Formal and business shirts should hang lower than the waistband to allow them to be tucked in more easily; casual shirts can be a fraction shorter to allow for untucked wearing.


The two most vital components, the cuff and collar set the tone and style of a shirt. A semi spread or regular cutaway are the most common constructions for a business shirt, while a button-down collar offers more suitability for dressing down for weekend wear. Cuffs can add a subtle finish to the shirt – standard cuffs are most flexible; formal occasions call for a buttonless double cuff allowing its wearer to add a dose of personality with a pair of cufflinks.


From finely woven Egyptian cotton to lightweight linens or casual Oxford piqué, a shirt’s fabric construction often denotes its most practical use. Brushed cottons and linens sit at the more casual end, while fine cottons and satins are ideal for more formal finishes. Whites and pale blues are the most popular (and versatile) colours, but a range of pastels work throughout warmer months, and micro-designs add dashes of individuality.


Scabal offers an expert guide to its variety of possible shirt models, offering more than nine collar and cuff options, a host of personalised options (buttons, embroidery) and 300 fabrics to provide the broadest choice for personalisation.