A representative of New Jersey's Mel Gambert Custom-Bespoke Shirtmakers contacted me two weeks ago to pitch me on that company's made to measure shirts with to-attach collars. I had no previous experience with the company, but a call to a shirtmaker friend established that the 75 year old Gambert firm should be qualified to make anything I could think of in the way of shirts. So I decided to see whether they would put their skills to the test.
You see, for the past couple of years I have had a vague not-acted-upon idea that I would like a classic formal shirt, suitable for wear with white tie even though I would usually wear it with black. No doubt there are others but the only makers I know that definitely have the experience to make a shirt with a cotton pique besom front, link cuffs, a cotton voile shirt body and sleeves, and a proper to-attach wing collar are New York's Kabbaz Kelly and London's Budd. I thought that if Gambert would like to take the project on we might both enjoy the process.
When I asked the Gambert representative whether the company would be interested in working with me on this shirt I got an enthusiastic response, and that is the reason a friend and I found ourselves at a Gambert dealer, Gene Hiller Clothiers in Sausalito California, where Peter Domenici measured me for my shirt.
To the extent there is risk in this project it most likely has to do with the shirt collar. A to-attach wing collar may be something the company may not have made for some time. The attached versions cannot be made as high or as stiff as they ought to be, and Gambert's regular wing collar offering looks typical of what I hope to avoid.
But we will know the outcome in about a month.