Customized shirts from Bombay Shirt Company

Shirt purchase traditionally had two possible approaches- buy ready made or go to a tailor.

Option 1: Buy Ready-made shirt- go to a store, where shirts are grouped by size- check shirts of your size, select one from the available option of colour, design, fabric etc and bring it home. This approach is almost always a guaranteed compromise, because there will always be something we wanted differently but not available at the store- like a different colour or fabric or design of the collar or colour of the buttons and so on. With no option to change them or customize, we pick up one that is closest to what we want and take the shirt home. Quick and convenient- works well if you're not very particular but there will be nothing unique in your shirt and there won't be a real sense of personalization or ownership.

Option 2: Go to the tailor: The other traditional approach is to buy a piece of cloth and take it to a tailor. Tailor would take our measurements and stitch the cloth into a shirt over a period of time and hand it to us.  This approach usually presents two challenges- one- tailors tend to be extremely busy- particularly during festive or wedding season and they take several weeks to sew your shirt. Second, the hand sewn shirt will not have the perfection/precision of a factory processed shirt. Also the customization option a tailor can provide is fairly limited-too much customization- too much time to make, so tailor would limit to some select and popular customization options and do the rest their way.

Why can’t we have the best of both worlds? Why can’t we have all possible customization options and a speedy process to get our customized shirts with precision manufacturing quality? The Bombay Shirt Company is one popular company that facilitates the same.

Bombay Shirt Company has both online and offline presence- you can order a shirt completely online, without a store visit, or visit a nearby store, let the store staff advise you on options, show samples and help you with customizing your shirt, take measurements and place an order on your behalf.

I had the opportunity to experience their offering recently on invitation. This blog post explains the process and experience I had, while ordering my own customized shirt at Bombay Shirt Company.

About 2 weeks ago I visited The Bombay Shirt Company store in Adyar, Chennai. It is located right behind Ambika Appalam on SP Road that connects Adyar and Guindy.

As we began the process of shirt customization, the first step was to select the fabric. Fabric is the core component that decides the price range of your shirt. There’re more expensive fabric and the cheaper ones. Bombay Shirt Company had three different fabric density for us to choose from and hundreds of colours. The website gives all details of the fabric you've selected- ply, weave pattern, washing instructions, name and so on.

Once material and colour is chosen, next step was to select the collar and cuff design. There were several options to chose from.
You can select if you want a contrast fabric on the inner side of your collars and cuffs and so on.

Next is my favorite part- Monogram- you can have up to 3 alphabets scripted on either the collar or the cuff. Refer first picture- I got myself SH (if length was not a limitation may be I would have gone for enidhi) This is very useful- one it makes your shirt very personal and second, it is very useful if you're living in a hostel or community where there's a chance of mix-up of shirts- say when put out for drying. For the first time I had this feature on any of my shirts and I like this feature the most among all the customization options.

Next you can select colour, design of your buttons and placket style (Placket is the region of the shirt that houses buttons- the vertical strip between the neck and bottom) I opted for a style that covers the buttons- never had a shirt of that design earlier. You can also select a placket piping with contrasting fabric.

After this there're few more- you need a pocket or not, pocket style, back style, sleeve style, bottom cut and so on. On the website you can see your shirt taking shape as you progress with your customization. Multiple customization options exist. You can take your time to select, store staff will assist you with all the details you would need.

Once you select your customization, final part is measurements. The Bombay Shirt Company will not take new measurements- but they have a different method- they would give you a shirt closest to the size you'd fit and then measure if any increase or decrease is needed in that shirt's size for best fit for your body. This is easier and quicker.

Once measurement is done, final price is calculated, order is placed. You can also select some accessories that would go with your shirt. 

The Bombay shirt company has a referral scheme- you get some loyalty points if you refer a friend.

The shirt takes about a week to be manufactured as per the specifications selected. For the first order, one has to go to the store again to collect it- staff said this is because they want to make sure everything is in order. Second order onwards shirts will be delivered to the address specified by the customer. 
Overall it was a smooth experience ordering a customized shirt at Bombay Shirt Company. Do check their website to customize your shirt and place an order- or you can always walk into one of their stores in your city. In Chennai BSC has 2 stores- in Adyar and in RK Salai, Mylapore..

So this is the story of my shirt- what about yours? When are you ordering a customized shirt and stay unique and different?

Do check a 12 min video I made on my experience here

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