When you look back at your old family photos in years to come you may see what I have come to see. Basically it was a family joke that my dad always wore the same shirt, the ‘occasion’ shirt we used to call it, and true enough at every birthday, get together or anniversary the beloved shirt would come out. It’s strange really, the older he got, the shirt stayed looking exactly the same. Now I believe I have found my very own ‘occasion’ shirt, with the help of the boys at Tophat London.
This isn’t just any old shirt, this is the kind of shirt that comes in a box, then a velvety protector, then the plastic. I’m sure you won’t find these in the TkMaxx jumble sale either (not that I have anything against TkMaxx), why? Well because the lads are transparent with their ideals and pricing. Have a quick gander at the picture below.
Basically, these boys don’t want to rip you off. You wouldn’t find it in TkMaxx because well, you can’t really skim off the top. Without further ado, let me introduce you to the collection of chaps in whose company we find ourselves. – Just a quick side note, all of the shirts are £65 -. First off we have the ‘Chaplin’, the conquerer of the weekday shirt and like the rest of the lads 100% Cotton-twill. Then we have the ‘Carrington’ for the slightly more adventurous of you this shirt features wonderfully blended white polkadots with an intricate hyacinth violet pattern on the neck as well as the cuffs. Next up we have ‘Arthur’ which is a shirt that’ll fit into any scenario. Adaptable, with muted colours and subtle tones that make it easy to match with anything in your wardrobe. Arthur’s royal blue markings are designed to make you feel like King Arthur himself.
The final dynamic duo in this quintet are ‘Rufus’ who boasts an exclusive pattern that catches everyone’s eye. Woven with a High Risk Red thread, Rufus is more than a shirt, it’s a statement. Finally we have the most formal of the collection, the James Bond lurking in the shadows. An elaborate gun grey texture sits upon a jet black fabric with a perfectly folded double cuff to finish the look of ‘Watson’. These for me are more than shirts. They have personality, even personas which you can bring to your everyday life. Sure you can use Watson on a weekday in the office, but we all know you’ll want to save that and your best cufflinks for this weekends date.
So, whats it like to wear? The fit surpasses that of any Charles Tyrwhitt shirt that I have owned and the feel of the fabric is something I fell in love with as soon as I got it out the bag. To iron it was a doddle and obviously white shirts are the bread and butter of any gents wardrobe so to pair a Tophat LDN shirt is the easiest thing in the world. I must admit however I am not 100% sold on the robustness or durability of the shirt. Having washed the shirt a few times now, the stitching on one of the sleeves has come out and without a blazer would make me look a bit silly. ( CORRECTION since writing this TopHat London were very kind to give me another shirt and now I can happily vouch for the robustness, it has survived many a trip to the dry cleaners!) This could just be a fault with the shirt that I have and an anomaly but nevertheless I would love to be proved wrong by Tophat and to be able to use their killer white classics for years to come. Why? because I have found something in these shirts that I haven’t felt before and thats the way they make ME feel. Normally we feel that the shirt, blazer or tie looks great, but when I wore this for my shoot with @ApeisDapper in LA. I felt this shirt made ME look great.
My advise to you would be, why not? Undoubtedly you have some sort of weird brand shirt in your wardrobe that you get out now and then, you probably also have Next, Burton, basically the usual suspects. This shirt doesn’t fit in with that crowd, its new, refreshing and I’m happy to say, actually different. Treat yourself to a new occasion shirt.
Stay classy boys and girls and I’ll see you here same time next week.
The Exiled Brit