03 December 2010

Mercer & Son's Buffalo Bill Gingham

"Our shirts really do have character where other shirts look like they're made by robots. If it looks perfect, it really has no style. Art not science. " David Mercer

"Being as small as we are, often we're doing one shirt at a time. We have always been focused on quality first and value second." DM

"We were 5-6 weeks and are 7-8 at moment. -hope to cut that back to 5-6." The wait

"Dried Blood Gingham."

Same Mercer roll as the button down

Best to stay outta PJ Clarke's

Perfect button holes

Broad cloth, surcingle & canvas

Understanding the history-

if for no else...

...than you.

I reckon I've tried a half dozen MTM shirt makers in the last couple of years with varying success. I have developed an eye for a well made shirt and my rule is, "The simpler the better." If Mercer & Sons aren't MTM - they should be. Left arm half inch shorter than your right? Mercer will take care of it. Don't want a pocket but do want a locker loop. Mercer will take care of it. Each shirt is cut for you after you order so nothing is off the shelf.

David Mercer and I worked on this shirt together. I wanted a dark burgundy-over sized gingham and no one had the fabric. A lotta folks said, "No problem, we can get that." And when it came time to get -- they couldn't. This happens a lot in the MTM shirt biz. For whatever reason the swatch in the book is not supported by yardage at the plant. It's frustrating.

I'll never know how David found this fabric but my "Dried Blood Gingham" was perfect for what I had in mind. David did talk me into a plain collar for what he calls, "the Buffalo Bill." My first plain collar will not be the last.

It's softer and more comfortable than the button down. It's not lined and unbuttoned it's very relaxed looking with a perfect roll. There's no matching sleeve to yoke patterns but that's easily overlooked by just how damned well this thing is put together.

There's a lotta mass produced crap out there with bespoke details like split yoke, double/ triple button cuffs and contrast button hole stitching but they come in M, L and XL along with goods of questionable origins. It's amazing what some folks are getting away with. I paid $135 for mine but David is offering you the Buffalo Bill for $102 and free shipping.

That ain't bad at all for what probably are the best, non-MTM-but-better-than-MTM-shirts out there. Go here for details and the secret order code.


Anonymous said...

beautiful collar but it looks like it's sticking up. is that just the camera angle?

Anonymous said...

P.J. Clarke's, not Clark's.

tintin said...

That's the form more than the collar. Things get worse with a tie.

It's difficult to tie a tie without getting all kinds of crap going wrong with the collar. I'm not a window dresser -- although I play one at work.

Anonymous said...

(At the risk of upstaging the shirt) I really like the surcingle and the canvas trou- can you divulge your source for these as well?

tintin said...

Anon- My old boss owned the two in Chicago. No wonder I can't spell it.

Anon- The belt came from Cordings in London. The pant is canvas and was designed by Avery Lucas. Made in the US. Beautiful cut.

Anonymous said...

It looks like you actually visited Mercer up in Maine. More details about the shop would be interesting (at least to a shirt-nerd).

Do you order any other customizations on your Mercers? (No offense, but I don't see you going for "slim jim" option or putting a smaller body on a given neck size.) I think some people are scared off by the purported "baggier" cut of the Mercer shirt, which I think is actually exaggerated.

La Maison Fou said...

Good looking shirt so Fa La La La La.........
Valentines good too!

tintin said...

Anon- No offense taken. My left arm is a half inch shorter than my right.

David will not allow me to come up until things slow down. I asked him if he would take some pics of my shirt being made.

I'm not the guy to ask about how baggy Mercer shirts are. But even if you're a slim guy a shirt should have some sail to it. I have always preferred a Brooks Makers cut. Even when I had a 30 waist. By the way, you won't look so dated in pictures 20 years from now when no one will remember who Thom Browne was.

Family Man said...

Plaid and plaid? Giuseppe will love it.

The shirt material alone has all the fuzziness requisite for ADG to love it, though if he were to get a shirt made out of this material, he'd probably want it skewed so that the plaid runs diagonally.

Alice Olive said...

Dried Blood - what a fantastic description. I love the over-size gingham, too. Simpler. Cleaner. All good. (And I would never have thought of a tacky restaurant's tablecloth...)

LPC said...

A good gingham is irresistible.

Silk Regimental said...

The whole ensemble is fantastic! Perfect look and amble --

Don't call it "blood red"!

Charlie G. said...

Those are good looking new labels. Nice factory shots as well.

"a shirt should have some sail to it."

Couldn't agree more.

Giuseppe said...

Soon as the Christmas bonus rolls in, Mercer is at the top of the list for ways to blow it.

Brummagem Joe said...

I can see the appeal of the shirt when cutting trees down or lounging on the Maine shore but it's not exactly the sort of shirt you wear with a tie. Seriously it's great looking shirt, but loose the tie.

Oyster Guy said...

With striped cloths, I think matching sleeve to yoke patterns is highly desirable, but with plaids I am very much against it. It just looks too gimmicky some how with an unbroken swath of plaid pattern arm to arm.

Anonymous said...

I will confirm that Mercer & Sons make a beautiful shirt. A small indulgence but well worth it. Mr Mercer (David) is courteous and helpful; a gentleman with whom it is a pleasure to do business.

Vince said...

a good updraft and you could take fight with that collar - i like it though

Anonymous said...

Hi Tintin,

I have had 2 shirts made by David Mercer and really liked them both, especially the collar and overall fit. I also ordered the oversized gingham you featured. thx !!!

Also agree that David Mercer is a claas act and great person with to do business.


tintin said...

This'll make you feel even better about David's shirts:


Hamilton's version of dried blood in S,M,L, & XL for $225. I hear they're selling fur sinks as well.

Anonymous said...

Hi again Tintin,

That put it in perspective. What a rip at Hamilton 1883...caveat emptor. It reminds me of your expression about PS in which you state " Paul ' hands up Stuart"... thx again tintin and I Just noticed all the typograhicals in my previous missive. My apologies.

All the best,


tintin said...

I brought the Hamilton shirt to David's attention and he wrote me back,

I suppose some people buy only if an item is cheap. Others will buy only if it is expensive. Neither one may understand the real value of what they've purchased."