European Luxury Famed for White Shirts with Thomas Pink
March 2, 2018
Thomas Pink. Perhaps not as well-known as Brooks Brothers and its ilk, but the brand has been around since 1984, and has quickly developed a reputation that rivals the longstanding shops in Britain's Savile Row.
Started as part of the famed Jermyn Street menswear hub—but has branched out all over the world thanks to an acquisition by LVMH—the luxury goods group that owns Louis Vuitton, Dom Perignon, and Dior Perfumes.
What Does Pink Do Well?
They’re a detail-oriented shirt maker, first and foremost. While Thomas Pink makes polos and a range of women’s clothes, too, they’re totally shirt-obsessed. This is a brand designed for people who pay attention to the weave of poplin their wearing under their sports coats and care deeply about stitches per inch.
Here are some of the highlights:
The White Shirt Bar
So, what makes a good shirt? Surprisingly, a lot of things come into play. There are so many types of collars, from button down to spread--flying or curling.
Thomas Pink's CEO describes their collar as a piece of engineering. He says the company focuses on the small stuff, with shirt makers who have worked there for 30+ years, committed to building a better white shirt--something we maybe didn't know we needed.
But, what's cool about Thomas Pink is, they've kind of thought about everything white shirt related. They've got shirts that are designed to be worn under a jacket with a tie, as well as another, The Independent, a shirt with a collar that stands up over the jacket.
It is a mobile product; it is naturally breathable, it reacts differently depending on the weather and washing. And each person is different regarding how their collarbone is and how their neck sits. So it is indeed a piece of engineering to produce a good collar.
It’s a Collar Thing
Shirt collars are at the crux of what makes Thomas Pink, well, Thomas Pink and not J. Crew or Brooks Brothers. The collars, again, are intricate. Collars are made up of 18 different components--providing a particular strength to the shirt. And the collar stays are meant to, well, stay, but you’ll need to pay extra for permanent, metal stays.
It’s a Stitches and Seams Game for TP
Oh boy—you get what you pay for in spades with certain aspects of the Thomas Pink shirt. Shirts are designed to provide a crisp, clean look—and they do a good job hiding seams, resulting in a sculptural shirt that flatters.
This is because Thomas Pink has a high stitch per inch ratio—so they go relatively unnoticed. And combined with color matching, you’ll hardly need to acknowledge that your shirt is made from more than one piece of fabric.
You'll notice when you turn the shirt inside out, that the seams are double stitched. We like the finish this provides, as well as the fact that this reinforcement will keep the shirt from splitting or stretching.
While shirts are something of an investment piece here, the suiting staples feel relatively affordable. Jackets are just under $800, while trousers are just under $300. That said, there doesn’t seem to be much of a distinction between the suits from Thomas Pink and any other comparably priced brands. The other thing we didn’t love was, the online store does not seem to offer any variety in suit fit—there’s no slim fit or relaxed—just classic.
Not Quite Made to Order
In store, shoppers have the option of getting fitted or simply choosing something off the rack. The latter, however, is something of a missed opportunity. Why? Because the retailer boasts a deep collection of fabrics (200+), a selection of different collars and details, a range of cuffs, and the option to monogram.
Pink hits kind of a sweet spot between traditional off the rack retailers and the MTM game—so you won’t find the Alton Lane 3D body scanner or get the one-on-one measurements you’ll find at Blank Label.
But, Thomas Pink does measure the cuffs, collar, and body length. Shirts come in three fits, and the bulk of their fabrics come from the Thomas Mason archive. Ultimately, the stitching and the attention to detail come at a hefty price point. Thomas Pink is designed for the guy with an unabashed passion for the small things—finely stitched collars and the weave of a dress shirt.
Shirt enthusiasts claim that the $200 price tag is worth it—you’re getting a long-lasting piece, but you’re not reaching the pinnacle of luxury you’d find on Saville Row or from famed Parisian shirt-maker, Charvet. Additionally, the online store doesn’t provide the option to send in your measurements, so if you don’t live near a Thomas Pink outpost, you’ll find yourself out of luck.
But, that said, there are plenty of under $100 brand shirts on the market, shirts that also get the job done while providing an air of quality to any outfit casual or formal.