Editor's note — This is part of a continuing Pinstripes and Tweed series on custom clothing.
Recently I was measured for a new shirt from J. Hilburn.
The whole process was a real pleasure — seriously.
Unlike other internet-based custom shirtmakers, J. Hilburn has a battalion of trained style consultants across the country who meet with you to take your precise measurements. This invaluable service greatly adds to the personalized experience of ordering a shirt that falls somewhere between made-to-measure and bespoke in the spectrum of custom clothing.
In my case, I met with Lena Piskorowski, a Detroit native who like many her age returned to the Wolverine State after jump-starting their professional career in places such as Chicago or Los Angeles.
While I occasionally have reservations about taking menswear style cues from women — just as yours truly refrains from opining on what women should wear — Piskorowski's knowledge and service was superb.
She knows her stuff because it's in the blood: Her grandmother was an established Detroit dressmaker and tailor.
In addition to measuring me for a shirt, Piskorowski also took other measurements as J. Hilburn has expanded beyond shirts and now offers a range of custom clothes, including suits and sport jackets made by a well-known Portuguese tailoring house that also makes clothing for a very prominent, high-end brand.
|PHOTO by PinstripesandTweed.com.|
Flipping through the book of fabric swatches, the light blue herringbone cloth from the Italian mill Tessitura Monti caught my eye. I went with this and further selected an English cutaway collar (13 other styles are offered), French cuffs and a slimmer fit.
Prices, which range from $99 to $169 depending on the cloth, make J. Hilburn competitive with both off-the-rack offerings at upper-end department stores and other custom shirtmakers, who often require customers to measure themselves.
Once the finished shirt arrives in a couple weeks, a comprehensive review will be undertaken.
One thing, however, is clear: With its exceptional service, J. Hilburn has carved itself a niche in what is becoming a rather crowded market of custom shirtmakers.
— Dennis Lennox