Emma Willis, Jermyn Street, a Gentlemans handmade shirt
66 Jermyn Street
+44 (0) 20 7930 9980
A Gentleman should have a range of shirts for different occasions but in thinking about what a Gentleman would want when choosing I came up with the following.
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Elegance – This happens to be one of my favourite words. One of the reasons is its highly hard to define. Elegance is a feeling just as much as a fact and I think in today’s world is much needed. One of the reasons I think The Emma Willis brand is elegant, is its run by ladies, and that, not solely is part of their success in producing garments that have a lightness to them. I felt this when walking into their shop. Though traditional in some ways I felt a slight air of Liberty, Elle Decoration and a photo shoot in an old building in The Hamptons.
Courtesy – This sits at the very core of being a Lady or a Gentleman. The saying “you’re a true gent” or “she’s a real lady” has nothing to do with money and everything to do with having just a bit of style. Equally however if one is entering a high calibre fashion store, particularly on Jermyn Street I want to be welcomed and looked after by someone who can conduct a conversation. Again top marks…
I cannot stand places where they think they are too important to have a smile on their face. Alexandra, the store manager certainly welcomes you and has impeccable nails, always a good sign…
Product – This I think everyone would agree is the most important aspect. As you may tell I have an interest in interiors and I like to see cloth that stands out. The reason to me their designs stand out, is the subtlety. It’s a modern take on Gentility. I found Emma and I liking the same things, which for me is very often using subtle hues of lavender and pink which on a man, just looks so smart. These soft narrow stripes also gives a great deal of flexibility. Dress it up with a smart suit, tie and brogues and very much my look which is dark blue jeans or chino styled trousers and brogues.
It would probably would be quite fun to see how many different types of outfits they could be incorporated into…. And maybe your girlfriend may take a shine to it as well. I do remember a particular family relation often taking a liking to my brother’s sweaters…. So I suggest you keep your Emma Willis shirts on your side of the wardrobe!
Style – To have Emma Willis produce a shirt for you, all that happens is you visit their store, with a certain amount of online options available. I suggest you seek guidance from the team. Once the fabric is chosen, they measure you, cleverly taking into account ones unique body shape, which means many people have one shoulder higher than the other, the shirts use is discussed, with or without tie and more. Obviously the shirt can be worn in a variety of ways but if one has particular wishes then these can be incorporated at this point. After which the details go off to their factory and then a few weeks later you have your shirt. I went in to collect and check my shirt fitted, which fitted like a glove, but this time is available should any tweaks be necessary.
You may be interested to read the Savile Row feature we wrote earlier this year, where Emma Willis provided the shirts for the very unique event at The War Rooms in Central London. The English Gentleman at The Cabinet War Rooms – www.chivas.com/savilerow
All Emma Willis shirts, boxer shorts, socks and night wear are made in England in their Gloucester factory. All their RTW shirts are made using single needle stitching for neat, flat hems and side seams usually reserved for high end bespoke shirt making. Real mother of pearl buttons are used, handmade gussets, split back yokes cut on the diagonal for movement, and patterns are matched at the seams.
The luxurious Swiss cottons used to make their shirts, boxer shorts and dressing gowns it is said neither fades, shrinks or stretches, and becomes softer as it ages.
Ties are Handmade in London uses 36oz and 50oz silks. The amount of silk in the tie gives it a luxurious look and beautiful drape.
In 1989 she began designing shirts and opened a small workroom of highly skilled seamstresses.
She champions quality, English-made bespoke shirts with clients in London, Paris and New York.
In 1999 Willis became the first woman in history to open a bespoke shirt atelier in St. James’s trading under her own name.
A passionate advocate for British manufacture, she opened a larger factory in Gloucestershire in 2010 and has designed exclusive collections for Harrods, Selfridges and Mr. Porter.
Emma’s charitable incentive, making bespoke shirts, walking sticks and accessories for young servicemen and women injured in conflict has been rewarded with royal patronage.
Ultimately there is a personal preference that comes into play. I genuinely love their brand and style and think they represent The Best of British
66 Jermyn Street
+44 (0) 20 7930 9980