Hawkins & Shepherd Celebrates its 6th Year | A look into their future plans

Today I mark the 6th year anniversary of Hawkins & Shepherd. I want to thank many of my new and existing customers who not only support the brand, but reach out to me personally to thank me for the quality of service. 

The luxury shirtmaking industry is a fiercely competitive one. London has a great pedigree of manufacturing made to measure shirts, I'm humbled and proud to align myself (dare I say) with some of the marquee names such as Emma Willis, New & Lingwood, Turnbull & Asser etc. 

Whilst I might not have quite the history of some of these notorious ateliers, I've been inspired by their commitment to quality. As Hawkins & Shepherd continues to grow I want to give you some tiny insights into what lies in store for Hawkins & Shepherd. 

Sustainability. I'm currently looking into different fabrics that can provide a more eco-friendly alternative to cotton. The eco-textile market is an ever shape-shifting landscape and it's very much early days, but I can tell you I'm currently keeping an eye on reports out of Finland on a fabric called Ioncell that's derived from birch trees. 

The website will be getting an overhaul to enable a more slick user experience. I'm currently in talks with 3 developers that will help bring my vision to reality.  

I'm also looking to offer more style advice on what to wear for formal occasions. As you may have seen in recent weeks I've had the pleasure and privilege to be invited to some of the most prestigious events in the country such as Ascot, Goodwood and Henley

I don't want anyone to be floundered at what to wear to these events. DM me or comment below for any advice, more than happy to help. 

I've also teamed up with some other mens fashion influencers to offer unique discount codes on some of my shirts. I don't want to give too much away at this point but stay tuned James Bond fans! 

All these ideas I'm implementing to help strengthen my position in the luxury shirt market. As well as constantly releasing new seasons collections such as the New Cashmerello range, I'm also in the throes of recording 'versus' YouTube videos, pitching my shirts against other high street brands. 

If you're interested in knowing what makes a luxury shirt and the differences you should be looking out for, please check a previous post on The Perfect Shirt

The Perfect Shirt | Top 5 Ways to Know if You’re Buying a Luxury Shirt

Today I’m going to give you 5 things that make the difference on a luxury dress shirt. I’ve been running Hawkins & Shepherd for around 6 years now and have acquired a lot of knowledge and experience in the shirt making industry. Here are some things that I look out for immediately when determining the quality of a shirt.

THE COLLAR

The collar on a man’s dress shirt needs to be high quality. The first thing I look for is edge stitching. What is edge stitching? This is a term given when the stitching runs to the edge of the seam It’s harder to do as a tailor because there is less room for error so therefore it takes longer. It’s a technique that takes greater skill.

Most shirts will have quarter edge stitching.

Another thing to look out for on the collar is whether the collar is non-fused. There will be a lining in a collar that is sometimes fused to the fabric on one if not both sides. It’s a cheaper and quicker way to manufacture shirts. Sadly that adhesive used to fuse the collar can perish and react with the fabric over time and washes. You may have recognised a bubbling effect on your collars if you’re buying entry level shirts. To test whether you are buying a quality dress shirt you should be able to pull the fabric away from the lining on both sides. 

Lastly don’t forget about the removable collar stays. Entry level shirts will have them fused in which can be problematic when ironing. Plus ironing over plastic is not desirable and over time will leave nasty indentations on the collar.

STITCHING

Let’s talking about stitching on a dress shirt. Stitching is the most expensive part when it comes to manufacturing. Especially if the shirt is composed using single needle side seam stitching. (Try saying that after one too many Heinekens). A cheaper method of manufacturing is to use the double needle. But single needle leaves a beautiful finish.  

THE SPLIT YOKE  

The all-important split yoke. I’m talking about the block of fabric situated on the back of the shirt that sits over the shoulders. A split yolk means that 2 pieces of fabric lay over the shoulders. It fits better on the shoulders and there is more flow if you have a split yolk. If there is a pattern shirt then it’s more of a design aspect as to whether you chose to have a split yoke.

Personally I like a non-split yoke when its striped or checked. Watch for a split yoke on a lower quality shirt, quite often the patterns will not match up. 

FRONT PLACKET 

I love it clean no stitching. These might come down to personal preferences but there are certain features that will distinguish a luxury dress shirt.

The front placket should without question have mother of pearl buttons mother of pearl buttons, tightly sewn to the placket.

 Every buttonhole should be sewn vertically, apart from the bottom one. This needs to be sewn horizontally which will allow freedom of movement. The bottom button hole will often be the one that sees the most action and needs to flex with the body.  

Talking of movement, look at the gusset of the shirt. A well-constructed shirt will have the triangle area to allow for more movement. It also cleans the hem to a nice finish.

 Some shirts are over engineered with different fabric on the front. I personally don’t see this as a luxury choice. Just extra fuss and a distraction.

The fabric entry level for a luxury shirt will be a  cotton twin 100's. The higher you go up in the yarn count the finer is going to be and more often the softer. Lower yarn count like 40’s, 60’s will be a thicker fabric and not conducive for a dress shirt.

SLEEVES

It’s crucial that the shoulders line up pattern wise with the arms. Again there should be no fused linings in the cuff. I also look for a smaller button on the sleeve placket. I love double button cuff personally, but that it not deemed a feature of luxury, more tradition. If I have a sharp cut in the collar I would also look the same in the cuff, rounded cuffs and collar. 

Introducing the Luxury Shirt Collection by Hawkins & Shepherd

Today I'm very excited to announce the launch of The Luxury Collection by Hawkins & Shepherd. It's been in the pipeline now for a long time. This collection of luxury shirts uses the finest fabrics in the world and the highest level of handmade shirt tailoring.

Within the collection I have two different kinds of luxury shirts; the Cashmerello shirt which is a luxurious blend of 15% Cashmere and 85% two fold 120's Swiss Cotton and the Soyella Duecento shirt which are a Two-ply 2/200 fabric.

Tell me what makes these shirts luxury?

Mens shirts have become something of an obsession for me. I have to have the best quality, the best fabric, the best cut. The finish on these London shirts are just beautiful. Look at the stitching on the collar, it's as close to the edge as you can get which denotes the quality.

Now look at the stitching on the collar of a Charles Tyrwhitt shirt. You can immediately see how safe the stitching is because they've brought the finish in at least 10ml from the collar edge.

Please note this is not an attack on Charles Tyrwhitt shirts. From online reviews they provide adequate shirts at an accessible price. I'm merely attempting to clarify and distinguish what makes my shirts superior and where the extra money is being spent.

The cuffs on both shirts are double buttoned only the Cashmerello shirt comes with curve edges, whilst the Soyella Duecento shirt features cut edges. Both are adorned with mother of pearl buttons.

For what occasions can I wear these luxury shirts? 

These are not dress shirts, the colours are not conducive to black tie events. Unless you buy them in white of course. However, men’s formal shirts are not quite as formal as they once were. With the advent of casual Friday and the up rise of men working from home, men are no longer restricted to wearing white shirts to the office. 

Luxury shirts brands such as Hawes and Curtis, Thomas Pink and Turnbull & Asser have also cottoned on to this (pardon the pun) with their recent capsules introducing dress-down collections. 

I'd recommend these UK shirts for most formal events. If you're looking to make a statement and want to feel confident when walking into a room. 

UK Shirt Subscription Service | Hawkins & Shepherd


I've been asked on a variety of occasions to explain the minutia of the shirt subscription service on Hawkins & Shepherd, so I'd like to walk you through it. 


Why do I need a shirt subscription service? 

Reason One

Shirts are the most used item of clothing a man could own. Unlike our American counterparts, us Brits rarely wear a vest beneath the shirts so the garment is in constant contact with our skin. Meaning it should be washed or dry cleaned more regularly. 

We also wear out our shirts quick. The elbows start to perish as they meet every day demands of being rubbed on our desks. The collars start to deteriorate and discolour. It's important for someone who wears shirts daily not only to equip oneself with a decent supply of shirts, but to have them on rotation. 


Reason Two 

You also don't want to be the guy in the office that is Mr Predictable. You don't want your co-workers to think 'he's wearing his Monday shirt' or 'he's wearing that shirt still with the toothpaste stain on the chest'. 

You're redoubtable presence in the office will not go unnoticed if you appear fresh and well-groomed for the workplace every day. 


Reason Three

Save time, save money. You don't need to shop around and look for discounts, waste weekends fruitlessly maundering the high street in search of your correct size. With the Hawkins & Shepherd subscription service we take out all the heavy lifting and ship direct to your door. 


How does the shirt subscription service work? 

We have broken the subscription service down into 3 tiers, dependent on budget and how demanding your lifestyle can be. 


Enthusiast - One Shirt per Month 

If you are a business traveller or maybe you just love the feel a crisp new shirt gives you, then this is the package for you. You can either opt for a 6 month or 12 month subscription package. UK Customers Only. You'll be asked for a few details such as collar size, colour and fit and once selected we'll be sending a shirt out to you every month at 40% off the price of an average shirt. 



Executive - One shirt every 2 months

If you wear shirts every day for work, they can become stiff, discoloured and worn. Keep up your sartorial game with this package. 

With a 12 month subscription package you'll be able to get 6 shirts a year at 30% off. 



Essential - One shirt every quarter

Everyone should to be able to wear a Hawkins & Shepherd luxury shirt. Split the cost of one shirt over the period of 3 months with this package. This is a great deal for those that are on a limited spend, but still want to have the option of getting a fresh look with an investment piece. With the Essential package you'll be getting 4 shirts a year with a 20% discount. 

If you have any questions regarding this service then please do not hesitate to ask. We aim to answer all questions within 24 hours. 

 

The Must Have Summer Shirt Collection by Hawkins & Shepherd Tailored for Versatility

When it comes to fine shirt making you do not have to look too far, in fact you are already online, so just click on one of the images above and you've found them! In an increasingly digital world Hawkins & Shepherd have focused on operating solely in an online marketplace giving their customers across the globe an equal opportunity to wear their exceptional cotton shirts. Hawkins & Shepherd which was launched in 2013, continues to grow, improve and supply its loyal customers with the best in men's shirts. Many of the London based shirt makers still own retail spaces, which are extremely costly in terms of rent, security and staffing. Paying for these overheads has to come from somewhere and that often leads to selling an inferior product at a higher price, making more profit margins. Being online only, you do not have these costs and are therefore able to offer a better quality shirt for a better price - which is why a Hawkins & Shepherd shirt will ALWAYS be handmade using skilful tailors and the best fabrics.

At Hawkins & Shepherd, they realise that more men are after versatile shirts that can be worn day-to-night. A shirt that looks equally great in the office, walking along a marina on holiday as well as going for dinner or drinks. This summer collection has been designed with that in mind, a truly perfect shirt for this summer, holiday season. They've handcrafted their shirts using 100% cotton fabric in an Oxford breathable weave. The patterns are clean lines in a variety of pastel colours and a variety of different collar types to suit everyones personal style preference.

The Hawkins & Shepherd Summer pastel shirts are simply the best choice to look smart, cool & stylish. Now also available in plain super-soft luxury cotton.

At Hawkins & Shepherd, they are forever evolving and looking for new and exciting fabrics with even higher quality, so keep your eyes peeled for their developments as there will be some exciting improviments to the website and well as their products in the coming months.