Thursday, 3 January 2013

Shirts: New and Lingwood

I've had the good fortune to be a customer of New and Lingwood since the age of about 13, and still have a set of now fairly useless plain white detachable-collar shirts that they provided me with in my school days. It used be that I would cheerfully buy socks and occasionally shirts from them (on chit, of course) generally unaware that I was buying from a shirtmaker with considerable expertise and pedigree.

Since leaving school, I've not continued as a regular customer at their Jermyn Street shop, but now seems like the time to recommence the relationship, and what better way to start than with a couple of shirts purchased in their pre-Christmas sale.

I went for the 'tailored' option - which generally suits me a little better and, indeed, they proved to be an excellent fit. The 'tailored' range, however, is not only about the shape: with this option New and Lingwood have gone for a generally more modern approach: a slightly more cutaway collar than their classic style, square cut tails with no reinforced gusset and a French placket (a style where one side of the shirt simply buttons over the other, without a separate placket). 

The collar is a plus, since the standard New and Lingwood is not quite as cutaway as I like, the shape of the tails are a matter of little interest to me - the key point is that they are still properly lengthy so that they tuck well in. The French placket is an interesting one; it lacks the neat symmetrical look of a traditional placket, but is more redolent of a dress shirt (which almost always have French plackets) and is, arguably, a 'cleaner' look. Of course, when wearing a tie it doesn't much matter either way, and I'm not sure I'd go for the French placket given the choice, but it's an interesting variation and is starting to grow on me with a couple of wears.

I went for two shirts, one a business-like pale blue stripe with double-cuffs to wear with a suit and tie, and the second a blue check with button-cuffs to wear more casually. The quality of materials and manufacture is clear in both, though the checked one is a slightly thinner cotton probably more suited to summer-wear, while the stripe is a heavier weave with a nice luster that contrasts nicely with the soft suiting fabrics that I favour. 

The next step, of course, is to go all-out and get New and Lingwood to just make me some bespoke shirts. That's definitely on the cards for 2013.


  1. Agree with you. Get my shirts there since I came to the UK (about four years ago). Came on the place by chance. Quality is excellent which is why I keep going back. Saying that... the service can be a little condescending at times. But not so much that it puts me off shopping there... yet...

    1. It's a great shop, but I don't disagree with you about the service at times. I don't know if you're familiar with this Mitchell and Webb sketch, but it never fails to amuse me:

      Although in this case my sympathies are entirely with the shopkeeper.

  2. As someone who spends most of his days dressed in a TShirt and jeans, I am unaccountably fascinated by your blog. I'm not thin enough - by far! - to wear any of it comfortably, and therer's the minor matter of living in the US, but I tell you honestly, if I could find such clothes here -- I'd look into acquiring them. (Where I live, fine clothing means that they sell ties.)

    1. I'm glad you enjoy the blog, and I assure you that the great thing about good clothes is that they tend to make gentlemen of any shape or size look better. They're actually far more accommodating in that regard than jeans and t-shirts, and perfectly comfortable so long as they fit right.

      Not knowing where you live (or being very familiar with much of the US except the big east and west coast cities) I probably can't guide you much on where to look for good clothes, but maybe next time you take a trip somewhere with a decent range of gents outfitters (and there certainly are such places in the US) you could do a bit of shopping. Once you find a brand you like, and a size that fits, you can always carry on ordering online after that.

  3. Thank you for sharing. I really like the pinstripe, I like it even more that you got it on sale! I lived in the UK for 6 months and never heard of that store sadly. However when I return for a visit I will be sure to check it out.

    mens clothing Gloucester MA


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