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Ask The Tailor: Custom Fit Shirts and Thank You Gifts

Ask The Tailor - The Tailored ManNot everyone has a wise sage in their life to go to for advice. Some people have a grizzled, savvy Uncle Bob who, over the course of his life, has gathered nuggets of knowledge that you can tap in to. In other families, Uncle Bob is the annoying relative you avoid at family reunions. That’s why The Tailor is writing this column.

I bet you thought The Tailor was only here to measure your inseam. But that’s not true. The Tailor can help in many areas: fashion (of course), but also food, entertaining, travel, and many other topics. The Tailor wants you to live a life that makes your suit proud to be on your body.

Here are a few questions The Tailor is tackling this month.

Okay Tailored Man, you’ve convinced me that a custom suit is a must for my wardrobe. But why should I invest in custom shirts?
— Suited Up in Georgetown

Dear Suited Up,

Now that you’ve felt the comfort of a made to order (bespoke) suit, don’t you want to complement that with the polished look of a shirt? You won’t always be wearing that jacket, so trust The Tailor when he tells you that a custom fit shirt will make you stand out, make you more comfortable, and allow you more freedom of movement. All of us have purchased a shirt to wear under our suit and then later wanted to wear that shirt sans the jacket, only to find that the sleeves are too long/too short, the fit is too tight or restrictive, and the shirt just doesn’t look good. No more, my friends. Once you have The Tailor fit you for a custom shirt, you’ll never look back and never look bad.

I received a great job tip from a business acquaintance and it resulted in an offer that I accepted. How do I show that person my gratitude?
— New Hire in North York, Ontario

Dear New Hire,

Congratulations on your new position. Formal gratitude is fast disappearing in our society, but it’s still a nice touch and you should let this person know how much the referral meant to you. Find out what this person enjoys doing and give them a gift certificate. For example, if he/she loves to golf, send a gift certificate to a local pro shop or golf course. You could send a gift card for an online store or a local restaurant. Use your judgment on the amount based on the referral and the company you were placed with, but don’t go below $20, and it may be appropriate to go much higher than that. No matter what gift you send, you should always take the time to craft a thank you note. This should actually be a hand-written note that expresses your thanks. You needn’t worry if you’re not a wordsmith, just say thanks and sign your name. It’s a classy touch. The Tailor has a stack of empty-inside cards at hand for such a purpose. Good luck with the new job!

One of your earlier blog posts explained how not to wear a tie clip. Good stuff. Is there ever an occasion when it’s acceptable to wear a clip-on tie?
— Clipper in Delaware

Dear Clipper,

Traditionally, there are a few reasons that men wear clip-on ties: when they don’t know how to tie a knot; when they have trouble making the length of their tie consistently the same; and when they’re lazy. However, if you’re concerned about fashion, the answer to those concerns is not the clip-on tie. The answer is: learn to tie a knot and properly adjust tie length, and don’t be lazy. Come on, there are only a few small things we can do as men that can go a long way to looking good, and this is one of them. Put a knot around that collar, fellas. Now, if you have some sensitivity issues with your neck, you get a pass. But otherwise, ditch the clip-on tie. You’re not D.B. Cooper.

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