Like most of the world, we’ve been following the events in Japan with bated breath, hoping for the best in the aftermath of a terrible tragedy.
As Japan is a great source of quality cottons, it so happens we have a business interest there. One of our primary fabric suppliers, based in Osaka, has provided us several different fabrics at one point or another, and right now they are supplying our Purist and Coldwater shirts. Unfortunately their business operations were disrupted by the recent events, and as a result we’re unable to restock these fabrics.
We are of course looking into other options, as these two shirts are the staples of most men’s wardrobes. This supplier has provided us with some of the best quality fabrics we’ve seen yet – all are amazingly soft to the touch and vibrant in their colors – so we hope to continue doing business with them. Just as we hope to support the Japanese economy in any way we can. But until we are able to provide our customers with fabric options that are up to our standards, our Purist and Coldwater shirts will be on hold.
We’ll let you know us soon as they’re back (check us on Twitter for updates). Until then, let’s all keep hoping for the best in Japan.
Our newest offering is our first ever Tuxedo Shirt, one of the most important but least thought about items in a man’s closet. Yes, those black tie events may be rare, but when they do occur, the stakes are that much higher.
When wearing a tux, you probably won’t be removing your jacket as quickly as you would with a suit. But no matter how hard you hope to avoid the dancefloor, let’s face it – you WILL be dragged out there. And your jacket will come off.
We opted for subtle Mother of Pearl buttons and a regular collar, making the shirt simple, elegant, understated – the quality should speak for itself and not be overshadowed by too much shiny stuff. (Of course if you’d prefer a variation of the collar/buttons, we can probably do it for you).
Our latest shirt offerings, which are just the beginning of many more to come in the next few weeks, were designed with the working professional in mind. Someone that needs to maintain that clean corporate image, but doesn’t want to settle for the simple solid whites and blues.
These shirts are interesting enough to wear on their own, but they can, and should, do more than that. Lean on them as a foundation for a bolder look to really differentiate yourself in office wear. To wit:
The v-neck (cashmere) sweater is one of the most versatile pieces in a man’s wardrobe. It adds so many possible combinations. And if you’d like to wear your shirt once more before cleaning it, the sweater will hide any early wrinkling. Plus it’s just plain comfortable.
For the most part, we consider the craftsmanship of our shirts to fall within traditional sartorial guidelines. In other words, you won’t find much avant-garde experimentation in our designs. However, one unique aspect that our customers often have questions about is the full length box pleat. This isn’t the traditional center box pleat that most people are used to. Instead, ours continues down to the bottom of the shirt.
It’s certainly not the only way to have a pleat on the back of the shirt – there are several others. The difference between these, besides the aesthetics, mostly lies in the amount of extra give they provide when extending your arms forward.
- Traditional box pleat: Similar to the full length box pleat, yet it doesn’t run the length of the shirt (because it’s only sewn into the top of the shirt, it fades as it runs down).
- Inverted box pleat: Similar to the box pleat, but inside-out. It helps hide the appearance of the pleat while maintaining its usefulness.
- Side pleats: Instead of the one box pleat in the middle of the shirt, side pleats split each single pleat and spread them out to the shoulders. This allows a similar amount of give as the box pleat, but with a different appearance; however, it’s more difficult to include darts in the shirt.
- No pleats: Often, pleats just aren’t necessary. If the shirt is well fitting and/or includes darts, it may not need the flexibility that the pleats provide.
So, why do we choose the full length box pleat? While we pride ourselves on practical designs, this is a rare case of form before function for us. The full length pleat, in our eyes, has a slimming effect from the back, and also provides a touch of symmetry with the front placket. Because it’s sewn into the shirt all the way down, it doesn’t provide any of the give that the other pleats allow. But we’re confident that with our custom fits (aided by the side darts), this is unnecessary.
But of course, everyone has their own opinion, which we’re happy to accommodate. We know the full length box pleat isn’t for everyone (especially if you iron your own shirt), so just email us and we’ll adjust your shirt to your choice of pleat.
There’s no denying it – guys love their wrinkle-free fabrics. What started as an ideal solution to an age old problem for any traveling businessman has made its way to the masses. No longer do guys have to spend time pressing, ironing, or steaming (or begging their significant others to do it for them). It’s a no-brainer, right?
Well, first it helps to understand what wrinkle-free fabrics actually are. Typically it’s just a standard cotton fabric combined with a “finishing agent” (I wish we could be explaining how wrinkle-free fabrics come from a new genetically modified, environmentally friendly, cost-effective cotton plant, but we’re not quite there yet). The “finishing agents” have evolved somewhat, but are mostly still the same chemicals that were used almost 20 years ago.
So why isn’t Biased Cut stocking these shirts? We have our reasons, and, at least for now, we’re sticking to them:
- The cotton fabrics used in wrinkle-free shirts are typically of lower quality than what you’ll find in our store, and as a result they don’t breathe as well, aren’t as soft, and don’t last as long.
- The “finishing agents” often include formaldehyde (yes, the embalming fluid), which can cause skin problems for some people. While the effects may be somewhat overstated, this recent NY Times article shows that the risks are still very real.
- The chemicals used can make it more difficult to remove dirt and stains from the shirts
- While claims for environmental concerns have been vague, we have yet to hear any evidence that they are safe either
Really, we’d love for more fabrics to be wrinkle-free. But until we’re convinced otherwise on the issues above, we are sticking with our high-quality 100% cotton shirts.
And if you really hate ironing…