Our Premium Shirts explained
Our premium range contains our most popular shirts. There’s a wide range here to cover you from Monday to Sunday. Our formal tab collar shirts are cool, yet hard-wearing Monday-Thursday workers; the quietly spoken, unsung heroes.
Come Friday and our casual range takes over and sees you through the weekend.
The premium range has those little differences which, for the discerning wearer, make all the difference: the embroidery, the Mother of Pearl buttons and our signature close-edge stitching.
These shirts are slim-fitting but, being high quality cotton, light and very breathable. These are shirts for everyday wear, while being far from everyday themselves.
Our Pin Collar Classics explained
The classic range contains our simple, ‘classical’ style shirts. We’ve left out the embroidery, relaxed the fit a little and moved the stitching to give a more conventional feel and look. As with all our shirts the Classical range is hand-crafted from the finest quality cotton, sourced from ethical providers.
While Hawkins & Shepherd pride ourselves on our unique designs and distinctive colour schemes, below every monogrammed ‘P’ lies the basis for every great shirt (at least every great cotton shirt), the cotton.
Cotton is woven in a wide variety of patterns, which affect everything from a shirt’s weight to how it breathes to how easily it is to iron the next morning.
Hawkins & Shepherd currently uses two weaves: ‘Poplin’ and ‘Herringbone’.
Poplin, the lightest cotton weave. Poplin has a simple, uncomplicated, close-thatched finish which makes it an office favourite all year round. It is cool to the touch and breathes easily. On the off-chance your office doesn’t give you a paid summer vacation, a light Poplin weave shirt will be your best bet.
Twill: Another basic weave type is 'twill' with its distinctive diagonal pattern. Hardier than the plain or poplin shirts, yet still smart and easier to iron, this weave is your office wardrobe workhorse during the cooler months.
Herringbone is a sturdy variety of twill weave. Un-cryptically named, since the pattern of the weave mimics the skeleton of a herring, herringbone is also aptly more water-resistant than its less aquatically named cousins. It has a shiny, ‘clean’ finish and is hardier than simpler weaves.
Oxford: The Oxford or Panama weave is used for more casual shirts. It's also thicker, and thus warmer, than Poplin or Twill. For a hardier shirt try its more titled cousin, the Imperial Oxford.
Pinpoint: The pinpoint weave is a lighter, more breathable variation of the Oxford. A popular weave for casual shirts in spring or summer.
Collars & Cuffs
Our flagship Pin collars are built around championing the tie. These have been purposefully designed in order to accommodate a collar bar, which in turn pushes the tie forward.
All of our shirts match the edge of the collar with the detailing on the cuffs. For example, where you find curved edged collars, you'll find curve edged cuffs.
The Shirt Fit
Once you’ve decided upon a shirt one crucial question is how well fitted you should have it.
A classic regular fit is just what you’d expect - the classic shirt shape with plenty of breathing room. If you want to leave slightly more to the imagination about what lies beneath the cotton, a Classic fit is the way to go. A couple of decades ago the Classic was the default. Think Godfather Part 2; a boxier, grown-up, here-to-do-business style shirt.
The slim fit is, as the name suggests, a closer fitting shirt. It’s a fit that follows your figure closely but not too closely. It gives a good general impression without being obscene about it (if you wantto get obscene you’ll need a fully fitted or bespoke shirt). Slim fit is more popular with generation Y and a few, less shy Gen Xers. For younger and/or slimmer people, this is probably your best bet. Just remember to give yourself a break and keep a classic on-hand for Christmas party season.
Cotton; The Raw material
At Hawkins & Shepherd all of our shirts and pocket squares are 100% cotton.
Our cotton is sourced from America or Egypt, depending on the variable yield and price. While we don’t pick every boll of cotton ourselves we will only work with fair trade employers who ensure a good, liveable wage is paid to those who do.
The advantages of cotton over synthetic fibres are numerous. As a natural fibre it breathes, resulting in a cooler summer-friendly shirt. Its weight, and thus suitability for different seasons, varies according to the weave used (link to weaves section). It also helps that it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing plastic.
Cotton’s versatility means it’s used for everything from socks to T-shirts to denim jeans to the shirt we hope to put on your back.
Why our Pin Collar Shirts
The first thing I look for when purchasing a new piece of clothing is something I’m not looking at, at all; it’s how it feels. All of our shirts are 100% high quality cotton so they’re cool, durable and most importantly they breathe. When you buy a new shirt it’s nice to know you’re in charge; with these shirts you’re wearing them, not the other way around.
Once you’ve found a brand that feels right, of course you want a good looking shirt. There are a lot of attractive shirts on the market so why a Hawkins and Shepherd, Pin Collar shirt? Don’t all formal shirts look the same and shouldn’t they anyway?
We enjoy a big bold cuff, especially on our formal shirts. A strong 8cm cuff on our formal shirts means business, a more discrete 6cm for winding down. The formal range has a double button running vertically up the cuff while the casual range’s pair runs horizontally.
The collars come in a wide range to suit the occasion. We have conventional collars, well suited for the classic half Windsor tie knot. For a more modern look, there’s the extreme cutaway. Then of course there are the ‘Pin Collar’ collars. Other retailers have simply added a couple of holes to give you the option of wearing a collar pin. We have designed and built the entire collar for this very purpose. The punched and hand-embroidered holes are placed such that they draw in the collar ever-so-slightly when the collar pin is put in place. This allows the tie itself to sit proud of the shirt…as well it should!
The curvature on the cuffs matches those on the shirt’s collar. A curved collar is matched with a curved cuff, a straight collar with a straight cuff. Different occasions call for slightly different modes of dress, even if the differences are this discreet: the right people will notice.
*edge stitching is used on all of our shirts.