By Eric Yang
on 12.18.09

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Like your favorite drink, there’s really no turning back once you’ve had it. And like a well-prepared drink, a custom shirt brings the same joie – if even for that first sip or each time you put that custom shirt on. We’ve discussed several custom-tailored shirts in the past and the Gear Patrol team will inevitably go on finding more, but a month ago we sat down with newcomer Alexander West, a Manhattan based clothier specializing in, you guessed it, custom-tailored shirts.

First things first, Alexander West shirts are quite fantastic; from cost, to measurement, to delivery there’s few skipped beats. Fabrics, paterns, and options are in abundance with this brand. Thomas Mason fabrics? Done. French round cuff instead of a French angled cuff? Done. Monogramming? Done. Back side pleat? Done. Larger left cuff to accommodate that oversized watch? Done. Details… they’ve certainly got a few.

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The shirt I eventually came to decide on (shown above) was measured by Alexander himself and features all of their signature touches: 3mm-thick double-white mother-of-pearl buttons, cross-stitching on all buttons, double-stitching (18 per inch) around the armholes for strength, matched pattern on placket and sleeve, full sleeve placket, and a bottom horizontal button hole. Two custom features I was accommodated for were discreet monogramming on the placket (shown top), and a slightly larger left cuff to accommodate my Panerai. Each shirt is shipped in it’s own translucent storage parcel and includes a set of metal collar stays. If your shirt arrives and doesn’t fit, Alexander West will be more than glad to make the necessary alterations.

The artisans at Alexander West pride themselves on not only the custom shirts they craft, but also the care and courtesy that goes into their customer service. Whether you’re comfortable measuring yourself at home or are in the NYC area for an appointment, it’s worth your time investigating the brand for your next shirt. If only for the sheer reason that their price is not too far from what you’d pay for a premium off-the-rack brand. Their measurements are full custom bespoke (not just sleeve length and collar) and kept on file for future orders. You’re only responsibility beyond the care of your shirt is making sure you don’t gain 20 lbs over the holiday season.

Cost: $120+