The father of 20th century architecture, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe once said, ‘God is in the details’.
At Smyth & Gibson we are maniacal about the details. No collar, cuff, button, placket or yoke goes unconsidered or unperfected. If the white shirt is the bedrock of a man’s wardrobe then it is the canvas of a shirtmaker, a strong yet simple foundation to which layers and embellishments can be added or subtracted.
The White Collection at Smyth & Gibson is masterfully constructed and subtly adorned. A collection of our favourite white shirts, it is an opportunity for us to demonstrate the extent and depth of our skills as shirtmakers. To create it, we examine the anatomy of the white shirt, then dissect, obsess over and finesse each component.
To guide you in finding your perfect white shirt, here is a glossary of terms you’ll find while exploring The White Collection.
Albany Cutaway Collar - A favourite amongst Smyth & Gibson customers, the Albany Cutaway is that one collar that fits all. It straddles the line between business and formal and looks just as good with a tie as it does without. This collar is skilfully edge-stitched, 18 stitches to the inch, a true mark of both quality and luxury.
Basket Weave - Typical in Oxford and pinpoint cloth, this is a weave where multiple yarns pass over one and other in vertical and horizontal directions.
Classic Spread Collar - Fourteen different processes are employed to construct Smyth & Gibson’s most elegant collar. With a subtle spread, and made using the traditional method of a bias cut woven interlining, this collar is hand turned and finished with removable bones to provide more structure.
Dobby - This cloth is characterised by its small geometric or dot pattern and its textured surface. Dobby is produced on a dobby loom and was first developed in 1840.
Double Cuff - The traditional choice for a dress shirt, the double cuff of ‘French cuff’ comprises two double folds of cloth and is fastened with cufflinks.
Penny Square Collar - A neat and precise collar that is top fused for a crisp finish. Interlining is used to stiffen collars and give them their smart appearance. The process of ‘fusing’ involves heating and gluing the interlining with fabric and results in a stiff and firm finish, making fused collars a favourite for dress shirts.
Placket - In the context of a shirt, a placket refers to double layer of fabric that holds the shirt’s buttons.
Poplin - A strong yet lightweight cotton with a corded surface. This quintessential dress shirt fabric was first produced during the 15th century in Avignon, France and was originally named ‘papelino’ after the city’s papal residence.
Single Cuff – The less formal cousin of a double cuff. Single cuffs are double cuffs without the fold and are fastened with buttons.
Troca Buttons - The making of a troca shell button is a lengthy and labour-intensive process. The shell is farmed in Australia, then carved and drilled in Vietnam. White troika shells buttons vary slightly in colour and bear a mother-of-pearl like fluorescence. Darker buttons can be made by smoking the shell just as one would with food.
Twill - A cloth woven with a series of diagonal, parallel ribs.