What a fantasy shirt! It’s available from the Thomas Pink website and I so want to order one.
Oh, I know intellectually how to sew a detachable collar: David Page Coffin discusses it in his book, Shirtmaking: Developing Skills for Fine Sewing . He’s even discussed it with me personally on a sewing board. But still, I want to hold this shirt in my hands, inspect how Thomas Pink of Jermyn Street London performed the construction and soak in the precision.
With the collar and cuffs removed you have “grandfather” shirt. I assume that there would be a small band at the wrists to contain the sleeves and a short mandarian style collar. The interchangeable collars and cuffs would have matching buttonholes. The two pieces would be attached together by small, flat buttons sewn loosely together. I have a shirt that uses this type of button arrangement as cufflinks on the french cuffs and I am constantly searching for my button links. See? I can’t find them to take a photo to show you (uh-oh)
But back to the fantasy shirt: I want to see the shirt on a live, standing right in front of me, man. I want to see the collar and cuffs exchanged and watch how magnificently the tone of the shirt is changed. I want to study how the changes affect the wearer. Surely the white collar and cuff set will be more dressy, more uptown smart, while the blue and white stripe will be more casual and approachable uninterrupted by a change in color.
And what about the kind of man who would order this shirt? He would be looking for quality in fabric and ease in care, as a perusal of the Thomas Pink website reveals that the fabrics they use will provide both. He would also be looking for versatility in his investment of $175 so he would have the spare change available and he would have the need to look great. He would be the type to take care of his body as the fit is cut for a slim fit and he would be attracted to the crisp blue and white strip. He would want to look alert but laid back, ready for business, but not pushing it.
He would also have to take good care of the shirt. He’d have to be able to plan ahead and try to not have to change a tire in a torential rain nor fix a loose connection under the hood. He would have to be very careful when dining on sauced pasta and unlike James Bond, he would have to forego leaping into a fray to save the day.
Reality often hits hard above the belt as well as below.
The body of the shirt is not sold separately. Are custom shirt makers to hear in the future: “I have the collars and cuffs, make me a shirt that will match”?