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Thinking tailored shirts? Think Pink.
by Michelle Sieling on May 25, 2006
Being partial to patronizing small local-owned businesses, I wasn’t so sure about visiting the London-based Thomas Pink store on Post Street, makers of finely tailored men’s shirts. However, I had been told by one of my co-workers that it was one of the best places to go for this kind of thing.
With shops all over the world, Thomas Pink’s specialty is dress shirts, but they also carry accessories such as ties, scarves and cufflinks. Here you can find almost anything you’d need to wear underneath your best suit.
Founded back in 1984 by Peter and John Mullen, the brothers named their store after a London tailor who lived in the 18th century. According to their website, the phrase “In the pink” can be traced to the hunting coats Thomas Pink made. Wearing one of his creations meant you were wearing the best coat money could buy. Although, an argument can be made for the origin of the phrase being that the traditional red hunting coats are referred to as “Pinques”. Maybe it’s both. It makes a nice story though, right?
The shelves in the front room of the shop are neatly stacked with more cuts of men’s shirts than I ever knew existed. These include the more closely cut slim fit (a big seller); the classic Black Label with a generous cut and extra long tails; the Winchester with the white cuffs and collar, and so on. They also carry formal shirts for gatherings such as weddings or black tie events, such as the 170 style, which is made of two-fold cotton (thread spun from two strands of cotton instead of one), giving it a silkier feel and a sharper look. You can also find more weekend or warm-weather suitable shirts such as the short-sleeved casual fit. The color and pattern range of all styles of shirts seem endless, though stripes of blue or pink or red seem to dominate the choices.
Thomas Pink shirts include details such as extra long tails so they won’t ride up your back during a long day at work and a choice of sleeve lengths so even the tallest guys won’t have their bare wrists poking through the ends of their cuffs. With each shirt, you can choose French cuffs, or barrel cuffs with buttons.
Just so you know, you won’t be walking out of the door with one of their classic 100 count Egyptian cotton digs unless you have at least $140 to spend. But you’re guaranteed to leave with a shirt of high quality and classic style that will last you for quite some time.
A colorful array of ties made of 100% silk, ranging in choices from diagonal stripes in gold and white to red and white elephant print ties to orange and purple madras flowers, all for $100, line the wall near the front window, perfect compliments to a new shirt.
To finish your look, an assortment of cufflinks are available, but if you’re not ready to plunk down anywhere from $95 for a set of blue oblong ones to $135 for a gated silver pair stamped with the Pink logo, you can start off with a pair of flower cuff knots in hues to match any shirt for $15.
Never underestimate the extra zing a pair of fun socks can give your wardrobe. Among the choices that Thomas Pink carries are warm chunky wool sock in colors like olive green and charcoal for $19, simple striped cotton socks in dark blue and turquoise or brown and pink for $25, or soft and luxurious cashmere socks in beige or purple for $29.
Though it may seem like a minor point, there’s something tacky about pulling a wadded ball of Kleenex out of your pocket when you are so well dressed. So consider picking up a white cotton handkerchief here for $10.
Though they aren’t tailors, Thomas Pink does offer in-store services such as sleeve length alterations and monogram embroidery for any of their shirts.
Walking through the store, I was enticed by the bold colors and patterns of the men’s shirts, but I wasn’t as thrilled with the muted pastels that made up the majority of the women’s inventory. To be fair, I was told the selection of women’s clothing is still expanding at this time (it only takes up about a third of the store), but I think you should wait for them to grow a bit more in that area if you want a women’s shirt. If I would have thought they’d look good on me, I would have grabbed one of the men’s shirts for myself.
by Michelle Sieling on May 25, 2006