Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Making the Perfect Shirt: An Examination of Neronote Shirts

At The Style Examiner we believe that a large component of the future of retail lies in the expansion of its online dimension. If you are reading this, we assume that, like us, you explore the numerous exciting virtual spaces created by the internet to find out about fashion trends, learn style tips, and purchase new products.

However, and in spite of the increased success of online retail, when it comes to buying clothes, The Style Examiner still believes that there is nothing like trying clothes on before parting with one's money. By doing this, one can have a realisation of the actual colour of a garment, or feel the qualities of the fabric on the skin. It was with this in mind that we took a leap of faith and accepted Neronote’s invitation to purchase one of their shirts online. However, despite our initial reservations, once we received the shirt in the post we became fans of their service.


What makes Neronote different from most online menswear stores is that it focuses on one single product: shirts that customers can customise to their specifications and tastes. Previous experiences proved that online customisation of a garment was not always easy to do or an enjoyable process. However, Neronote’s process is not only easy but it provides clear instructions and even useful information about the styles available to choose from.

Once you decide that you wish to purchase a shirt, in addition to selecting your size, you can choose the main colour for the garment, the type of cuff, the collar style, the shirt's cut, and interesting details such as contrasting bits of colour on the cuffs, collars, or even have your initials embroidered in a part of the shirt. The whole process is enjoyable, quick, and allows you to stay in control of what you buy. 


For our experiment, we started by selecting the fabric from over a thousand options of cotton, cotton linen, linen, silk, or stretch. The choice of colours and patterns is also generous, allowing choosing from plain colours, checks, and stripes. Yarns come in single, compact, twisted, and double twisted, whereas the options of weaving are also numerous. The seasonality of the shirt and the fabric weight can also be chosen. On our quest to find out more about the making process, we opted for a plain white cotton poplin shirt before moving on to choosing between short or long sleeved models.

After opting for a long-sleeved shirt, we were able to choose from eight different kinds of cuffs and this is where the process becomes interesting, as each style is described in short sentences and in plain language. The next step is choosing from a plain front with no buttons or from four different styles of front pockets. Once we were happy with a straight cuff and no front pocket, we moved on to selecting the fit from six options. The next step was to choose one of 18 collar styles, and we skipped the monogram option. In addition, we opted for selecting contrasting collars and cuffs in black as a way to test how two contrasting colours would do when washed together.


The process was quick, painless, and rather enjoyable. In a few weeks, we received the shirt and it fits perfectly. The fabric is high-quality and even after wearing and washing it a few times already in order to test it, the colours have not faded. The only problem that we found was that the top collar button was not stitched properly and it came off when we opened the shirt. Once this was solved, the shirt quickly became a much appreciated garment by The Style Examiner model and by all those who have seen it. In the end, we became supporters of Neronote's service and of the process to personalise one of men’s essential sartorial items, and recommend it to our readers.






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