HOUSTON IS ABOUT as far away from Savile Row (or from Charvet’s mind-blowing shop on Paris’ Place Vendôme) as the custom-shirt aficionado can get. Yet, the minute you step inside the unassuming storefront of Hamilton Shirts
(5700 Richmond Ave., www.hamiltonshirts.com
), you know you’re in for something special. Especially once the brother-sister Hamilton team (aka Kelly and David), who took over the 127-year-old business from their father, James B. Hamilton, in 2006, sit you down in the clubby, wood-paneled showroom complete with a dressing room outfitted with classic archival photos and an exceptionally pithy letter from a customer who took particular offense to a pink shirt. They’ll even walk you through the 700-plus fabric options in the on-site workshop (all sourced from top mills like Thomas Mason, Grandi & Rubinelli and Alumo), just to arrive at a fi t that’s entirely your own.
“My brother and I had to come here every summer and move these,” Hamilton tells me during our fitting, pointing to the 30,000 customer patterns they keep in a fireproof room, joking, “It’s not exactly amazing when you lose one.” If you can’t make it to H-town, no worries — Hamilton’s got an online made-to-measure service using stock body patterns (they’ll send you try on shirts) with customizable collars, sleeves and cuffs. But before you click away, let me suggest selecting one of the more contemporary, seasonal fabrics — like the camo oxford or herringbone fabric (perfect for a Western shirt) — from the new fall collection and having it fit to your exact measurements (available via phone consultation) with added flourishes like pearl snap buttons, bigger cuffs for larger watches, and a monogram stitched into the collar. Yet another reason not to mess with Texas.1883 Ready-to-Wear, $195 to $225;
Made-to-Measure, $245 to $295;
Bespoke, $245 to $495
The Writer's Custom Shirt