Shirts… They’re such beautiful shirts

He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them, one by one, before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel, which lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in many-colored disarray. While we admired he brought more and the soft rich heap mounted higher — shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple-green and lavender and faint orange, and monograms of Indian blue. Suddenly, with a strained sound, Daisy bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily. “They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such — such beautiful shirts before.”

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I have never read words more powerful and more influential. Ever since I read the Great Gatsby and that shirt scene, I have become some what of a shirt connoisseur. A life time of experimentation has made me very discerning about the shirts I buy and wear. And all that experimentation has made me realize that shirts are the easiest and the most difficult thing to buy.

I don’t necessarily buy a lot of shirts. I just buy ones that feel great when I wear them. In other words, when it comes to shirts, I hate being trendy and instead focus on getting shirts that fit well, are very comfortable and are well made to last a few years.

I also avoid big brands such as Banana Republic. Instead, I seek out smaller lesser known brands who eschew trendiness and instead focus on high-quality fabrics, cuts, stitching and the general fit of the shirt. Of course, the other upside of a smaller brand is that you are less likely to run into another person wearing the same shirt.   Continue reading “Shirts… They’re such beautiful shirts”

Microbrand: Jeremy Argyle NYC

A few weeks ago, when I was visiting New York, I realized that I had left all my shirts behind in San Francisco, and instead showed up with a bunch of T-shirts. I realized my folly when on the phone with Matt Mullenweg and shared my lapse with him. Matt knows that I don’t much care for big brands and instead appreciate smaller, limited edition well made products. I find John Varvatos too mass-market. And he knows I am super picky and get into philosophical conversations about the choice of square buttons over round buttons.

So, Mullenweg recommended that since I was in Soho, I should stop by at this store called Jeremy Argyle, which is on Spring Street, just off West Broadway. And what a recommendation it turned out to be. The store itself isn’t spectacular as say a Bruno Cucinelli outposts or the Apple store. What it is – an old fashioned shirt store: well lit, sparse and yet with great focus on things that matter the most: shirts. Walk in, pause, look around and within a minute or two, you can assess the merchandise. The best way to describe it — utilitarian elegance.