Bernhard Roetzel in his excellent book 'Gentleman - A Timeless Guide to Fashion' said ‘Dressing like a gentleman means mixing tailored garments and mass products, exclusiveness and modest practicality'’.
I had occasion to remember this piece of advice during a recent visit to H&M. Firstly I should state I do not often visit H&M without a reason. I find the large volume of stock, the often claustrophobic layout, the skin tight design of most of the clothes, just too much for me and my love of more traditional styles. However, they do stock great value plain t-shirts and very good summer scarfs.
On this occasion I went in to explore their sportswear line (more of that in another post – it was very good!), and whilst weaving my way through the racks of clothing noticed a checked button-down soft collared shirt.
The combined colours of blue, white and red had been on my radar for a while as something particularly suitable for Spring and Summer. I had found a similar shirt in John Lewis recently but the £75.00 price tag seemed excessive for a casual shirt.
I would not normally write about every shirt I purchase but this one is worth mentioning. The quality of the workmanship is very good. Despite usually fitting into a Medium t-shirt at H&M this particular shirt followed the trend of ‘slim fit’ which meant having to purchase a Large. It has well constructed seams, robust buttons, a side gusset, a reinforced collar and a horizontal final button hole (often the mark of a bespoke shirt).
It is 100% cotton, and a decent weight. It is going to work well with my tailored blue blazer, linen and cotton jackets, and even under a cashmere sweater.
And of course the price. £14.99. A classic example of what Bernhard Roetzel referred to as a 'mass produced' and perhaps it means I may need to visit H&M more often!