With an onslaught of upcoming Spring/Summer weddings we decided that it was time to release our first Tuxedo Shirt.

I have always had trouble finding the right formal shirt so we set out to make a few alterations to the classic design. Here were my issues:

The Bib: I have never been a fan of the front bib. I can appreciate that it gives the shirt a little flair, but if you take your jacket off at the end of the evening your formal look becomes more swashbuckling than classic.

The Cummerbund: I find that I look like a waiter when I wear a tuxedo and a cummerbund only exacerbates that fact. Consequently, it’s a rarity that I will wear one (I prefer suspenders). But, a problem with most formal shirts is that the studs (as well as the bib) only go ¾ the way down the front. This leaves the final waist button exposed, which can look sloppy.

Buttons vs. Studs: Depending on the occasion I like to wear buttons or studs. Most formal shirts don’t give you that option

So to address these issues we did the following:

Fabric: We opted against the bib and instead made the entire shirt out of beautiful royal twill. The weave creates a diagonal rib that gives the shirt depth and texture. It’s more formal than poplin and has the additional benefit of being incredibly soft and comfortable.

Removable Button Band: We made the shirt with a removable button band so you can wear studs of buttons depending on the occasion. Simple, but helpful.

Placket Covered Waist Button: We hid the waist button inside the placket. This enables you to wear the shirt with studs, but without a cummerbund.

Collar: We used the classic Ledbury spread collar, that is a great look with a bowtie. I am strong believer that a tuxedo shirt should always have a traditional fold down collar. The wingtip is a by-product of the 70s/80s, much like Ponchos and Hypercolor (editors note: I would like to see the latter come back)

So there you have it. A few minor details, that are equal parts neurotic and thoughtful, but make for a great shirt.

May 16, 2011 — Ledbury