Bespoke Shirt's at Debenhams Online

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One word that surprisingly became associated with the financial crisis and the credit crunch was 'luxury'. The truly rich, such as those worth billions or names we never or will never hear of, were unaffected by the global crash and were spending in boutiques like never before. As the high street saw their profits fall, they upped their game by producing pieces to a higher quality and really just made pieces that were worth investing in. 

Debenhams, the nation's favorite department store, has introduced an online service to design your own bespoke shirt, which I gave a go. I know I need a new white shirt, so it took a little shorter than I had expected, but the process takes around twenty minutes if you are not fussed. Delivery takes around two weeks so I will show you what the finished product is like, but in the mean time here is an up close look at the whole process. 

1. Start off choosing your base fabric, such as Italian Luxury poplin cotton, as well as your chosen design - which the selection is vast. Some designs are a little garish but they can work on different skin tones and body shapes. 

2. Next, choose your collar from a selection of five, for which I chose the higher Italian collar, found on many Gucci shirts. They are a great shape for slim necks of about a 16'' or below, but avoid the button downs as they are increasingly going out of style. Unless you are American, then you are slightly excused. 

3. Choose from seven cuffs choices and the length of the sleeve. I picked a barrel cuff which looks great under a suit and a long sleeve - short sleeves should be banned in my eyes, because they never look great. 

4. Pocket or no pocket. Unless you are a maths or geography teacher, click 'no'. 

5. The three details often over looked when buying a shirt of the rack is the placket, the buttons and the button hole stitching. However, when given the choice these important details become more so. I opted for a hidden placket, with white button and stitching, as it looks cleaner and smarter. 

6. Next is the shape of the shirt tail. If you are of a fuller figure or choosing it for business, go for a straight tail as it will not come out of your trouser when you move. Though if you are slimmer or wearing the shirt for a smart casual look, choose the curved. 

7. This is one of the most creative steps of the process; choosing the inner collar, cuff and backyoke pattern. It is not necessary, but gives a shirt that extra lift in a plain colour. I opted for the navy Oxford stripe which will look great when worn open collar. 

8. When I used to work for a well known Jermyn Street tailor, we used to offer monogramming as extra. To be honest, monogramming is for children's school shirts, self-important snobs or those with memory loss. Oh, or unless you are a Monarch. But you're not. However, because I could, I thought I might - only because I wanted to see the quality of the stitching on the end result. 

8. This is the really clever bit of the whole process - inputting your measurements - because it will calculate the shirt arm size to your precise stats. So how is this done? By inputting your hight, which you have to be very exact, it will calculate your arm length as from left middle finger, all the way up your arm, over your shoulders and over to your right middle finger is your height. Oh, and be honest! 

9. Review your selections, and go through to the shopping basket. One last thing, just make sure you input your post code with a space between the two parts, as I found out if you don't, it's a nightmare!

 To design your own shirt or just to have a play about, click here. 

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