C'H'C'M x Individualized Shirts Made-to-Measure Event
May 26 2012, 0 Comments
New York retailer C'H'C'M recently played host to an intimate made-to-measure shirting event lead by Jim Heiser, President of Individualized Shirts. Attendees would have the opportunity to be measured for their very own custom fit shirts, able to choose cloth and specify unique shirt features on-site. As a long-time patron of the store I was privy to advance notice of the event and swiftly accepted an early invite... Individualized, USA's largest custom shirt manufacturer, are arguably best known for private label endeavors, catering for an eclectic family of brands throughout the U.S and beyond. Based in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, the company boasts over 50 years of shirt-making experience and are ranked amongst the top manufacturers in the West. Somewhat surprisingly, though their efforts are heartily acknowledged on an industry level, few U.S consumers have been exposed to their own-brand men's shirts. Conversely, the brand have enjoyed a nigh cult status throughout Japan for many years and continue to reap rewards of such success in Asia... something I'm sure they'd hope to replicate on home soil. Perhaps ahead of the curve, a handful of U.S retailers, such as C’H’C’M, positively champion their attire. Their own-brand goods showcase years of deftly filtered experience, representing the best of their abilities. Having produced for many big brands, it very much feels like their own goods arrive as a choice cocktail of their experiences, selecting the best bits of other's attire to act as a platform to develop their own character and signature style. Since stumbling across the brand in the later part of 2011, I rarely go elsewhere for staple, no nonsense shirts. The typical American box-fit often hangs on my rather slim frame in a tent-like fashion, restricting my options with brands such as Brooks or even Polo, Ralph Lauren. Pleasingly, Individualized seem understand how to produce a delicately shaped, slim-fit shirt and thus retain my custom. Of course, as with anything, you always hope for one better. That 'one better' could perchance make itself known at this event, so on hearing of it my interest was immediately peaked. Upon my arrival I was gifted a glass of wine in tandem with an introduction to Jim; he addressed me as if I were a friend from years back and he couldn't of been happier to see me. His tone was surprisingly genuine and though clearly motivated to sell his wares, he exuded undeniable warmth and a great passion for his company's product. Their were no airs nor graces to bear throughout in our exchange and this settled me quickly; Jim came across as a regular guy, not distanced by his craft or knowledge and this ultimately endeared me to him. As we merrily rolled over various aspects of fashion, menswear, the industry....we could quite easily have been talking of Newcastle United's unusually fruitful season, each clasping a frosty chalice of Brown Ale. Following our chat before he got down to measuring me, placing the tape across me in all manner of ways to ensure he got exactly the right sizes noted down. The act far less intrusive as I'd expected and went fairly quickly, before I knew it I had my shirt profile jotted down to be saved for the store's records. [As somewhat of a brief aside, I also found I have one arm noticeably longer than the other - thanks Jim!]
Following the measuring I had the chance to peruse his traveling library of cloth samples. There were a number of classics, oxford cloth et al, sandwiched in-between some rarer dead-stock pieces and great lighter blends for summer. There was also a great number of sample shirts for sale but sadly most were medium and too big for me to take advantage of the cut price offerings. With my measurements on record I can now order a shirt for under $200.00 made to my exact specifications in fewer than 5 weeks; a seemingly grand product for what is really a rather accessible price. Overall, the event was a huge success and sits as proof that such democratization of an often-elitist service proved to be of great benefit to the gents who came along. The C'H'C'M store provided a perfect backdrop to the event, void of an often contrived sense of grandeur you can experience in stores in New York - it was very much a 'what you see is what you get' evening and that worked for me.
This initial success has lead C'H'C'M owner Sweetu Patel to confirm his intentions to offer this custom service as standard within the store, complimenting his season-on- season selection of their off-the-rack attire. Sweetu will begin to offer this custom service in a few short months after having received the appropriate training from the good folks at Individualized.--- More Info: C'H'C'M Individualized Shirts