Hamilton Shirt Co. does custom cuts at Stag that last a lifetime
As a woman, it often seems I have endless clothing items and accessories to choose from. Long-sleeved shirts, short sleeved-shirts, sleeveless shirts, silk shirts, cotton shirts, maxi dresses, mini dresses and I could go on. But for men, the options are much more limited, especially for a classic dresser, which gives more weight to each clothing choice. Enter Hamilton Shirt Co.
Since 1883, Hamilton Shirt Co., Houston’s oldest family-owned business (currently run by Kelly and David Hamilton, fourth-generation owners), has been making custom and hand-crafted shirts with the philosophy that men should not only look sharp, but like men.
Hamilton offers three different lines of high-quality shirts: Bespoke shirts, cut from a personal pattern made after a fitting at a retailer, are truly custom. Made-to-measure shirts can be ordered online and a customer selects the fabric, style, collar size, body size and sleeve length. And Hamilton 1883 is the company’s ready-to-wear line that launched about two years ago for a younger and more contemporary audience.
Last night, Austin’s own Stag Provisions for Men and Hamilton Shirts Co. offered customers the rare opportunity to select a fabric and a size and shirt style from the Hamilton 1883 collection, which is only available at Stag here in Austin. Once the fabric, size and style were selected, Hamilton’s Robert Kuhn, cut the shirt while customers, sipping “Hamilton Buck” cocktails made with Maker’s Mark, watched. The cut shirts will be sewn in the Houston workshop, where each and every Hamilton shirt is hand-made, and mailed to customers.
A Hamilton shirt has a sense of legacy to it. Don Weir, co-owner of Stag, often has customers come in whose fathers and grandfathers have worn Hamilton shirts. “Guys often come in knowing what they want,” says Weir. “And guys who like quality come back for it again and again.”
Although Hamilton now has its ready-to-wear collection, it made a name for itself with its custom, made-for-you shirts. Customers love not only the shirt, but the process as well. “The process, for a lot of people, is what draws them in,” says Sarah Sadka, a brand specialist for Hamilton.
For a bespoke custom shirt a customer is measured, picks a fabric from over 500 choices—all one-hundred percent cotton and sourced from Italy or Switzerland, and chooses a style—button down, spread collar, etc. The shirt then goes into the factory where it makes its way through a sewing process similar to an assembly line—collar first, then the body and the sleeves, and finally the buttons and the buttonholes. Once assembled, the shirt is pressed and either hung for customers to pick up at the Houston retail shop, or boxed and mailed to customers around the world.
Although Hamilton shirts are not cheap ($195-345) they never go out of style and are made to last forever.
“I have a customer who sent in a shirt from 1985 that was in almost perfect condition,” says Sadka. “The tail was a bit tattered, but he hadn’t ordered in a really long time, so he in the shirt to be copied for his measurements.”
For Austin customers looking for Hamilton’s original bespoke custom shirts Johnstone Made to Measure is an authorized retailer.