If one is honest, it’s not often that a shirt retailer would really merit consideration for inclusion in this section of the magazine for the simple reason that it can be a case of seen one, seen them all. Not so with the Hawes & Curtis flagship on Jermyn Street, which opened last week.
For a start there’s the matter of scale. The great majority of shops dealing in what is essentially an increasingly uncommon piece of attire tend to be very small – a range of plains, a range of stripes and then maybe a few fancies on top if you’re lucky. Most of them will make much of the collar cuts that are on offer and merchandise by style and/or collar size.
All well and good, and entirely predictable. This store, however, spreads across two floors with a more formal offer on ground and fashion-led ranges on the large first floor. The first floor is also home to an extensive women’s shirting range. Yes, there are the perimeter walls with box-style shelves to allow the shirts to be displayed, but how many stores of this kind do you
walk into and feel that not only is there room to breathe, but that you might want to linger?
Standing in this space with a colleague, who was in search of the ‘right’ shirt for her partner, indecision was the order of the day. This was no fault of the store, but principally because the offer was so extensive that opting for a particular model proved irksome. Eventually, she made her mind up and settled for a paisley number. In other stores of the kind, she might have emerged empty-handed.