Thanks to his years of experience as an OGER customization specialist, Arthur Peute knows better than anyone how you can enhance every body type by wearing the right clothing. In this blog he shares his tips and tricks, so that you know what to look for when purchasing a shirt.

How do you, as a tailor, look at a man and his shirt?

When choosing the right shirt you need to ask yourself two questions: what occasion am I going to use it for? And what am I going to wear over it? Or in other words: in combination with what kind of jacket? A shirt serves the jacket; you tailor the shirt accordingly, not the other way around.


Suppose you are wearing a double-breasted jacket with wide lapels and peak lapels, such as lapels with the points pointing upwards. Then you can't wear a shirt with a narrow, small collar underneath. Such a collar then disappears completely. However, if you have a slim-cut jacket with a narrow lapel, then a small collar is suitable. This must all be coordinated.

And what do you mean by the 'occasion' you're using it for?

You choose a different shirt for work than for a wedding, for example.

I want a shirt for work. What should I pay attention to?

Then you look at the weight of the fabric and the binding. What you also pay attention to: do you have to travel a lot in the shirt? In that case, choose a fabric with certain travel qualities. In other words: easy iron. In such a case I recommend a shirt made of one hundred percent cotton. This is easiest to iron. So it must really be 100 percent cotton, not a mix with plastic.

What do you mean by bonding?

That is the way the fabric is woven. I think the Oxford is the best for work. Oxford is the name for the pattern in which the fabric is woven. Another binding that you often encounter is twill. A twill weave is smoother than an Oxford. An Oxford shirt therefore has a more formal look.


No way. You can get a custom-made Oxford shirt from me for 118 euros.

For the time being, shirts and jackets are still worn slim. A slim-cut jacket also needs a slim shirt. But under the influence of TV series such as Suits and films such as The Kingsman, where the emphasis is very much on the style of dressing, you see it shifting more towards the English look. Classic, more dandy-like, for example a collar in a contrasting color, or a tab collar, with a connection between the collar points. It takes a long time before such a change in style really takes hold. Ladies pick up something immediately, for men there is always a lot of water under the bridge before they switch. In that respect, if I think it is useful, I always try to advise gentlemen in a certain direction with a velvet hand.

 What do you pay attention to when measuring?

Your shirt should be in balance with your body. Then I'm talking about the build of your body, the length of your arms. The choice of the right collar depends on the shape of your neck and head. If you have a short neck, you should not choose a high collar of four millimeters, because it will then reach below your earlobe and that will not look good. If you have a long neck, you can choose a high collar to break up that length a bit. But there may also be other considerations. Nowadays you have men with a neck tattoo. In some cases they want to disguise it, and then a high collar is an excellent tool. In principle, collars go up to a height of 4.8 millimeters, but by adjusting the pattern I can sometimes get them a few millimeters higher.

And what kind of board points should you choose?

That again depends on the shape of your head. If you have a flat, thick head, you don't want a cutaway. The points point to the side; this creates a horizontal line that visually makes your head even flatter. Then it is better to take a semi-cutaway, where the points point more downwards. Such a more vertical line makes your head optically longer. Lately we have been seeing the slow return of a collar shape we call the Kent; it has a bit of a wavy shape and long points that point downwards. That looks very classic, a bit old English. But semi-cutaway is still the most worn.

I once had a shirt where the collar almost felt like cardboard, so stiff?

This is due to the interior. If you don't want the collar to be too stiff, choose it without the interior. If you want it stiff, you can line it with canvas or even double canvas. Cheaper shirts often use a synthetic adhesive. That makes the border feel like cardboard.

Are there any other aspects I should pay attention to? The sleeves?

What you see a lot at the moment is pleated sleeve inserts. At the sleeve insert, which is the transition from the sleeve to the shoulder, you will see pleats. This way, as we say, more volume is created on the upper sleeve. That method comes from the Neapolitan school. Of course, those are all male putters and because a pleated sleeve cap accentuates the deltoid muscle, you look wider, especially if you combine it with a fitted torso. I do this tailoring by adding darts in the back. This creates the so-called cup shape. And that is the advantage of customization; shirts that you pull off the rack are often those tents that blow around you.

The cuffs?

You also adjust its width to the lapels of your jacket and the collar of the shirt. That must always be in balance. As a rule, a cuff is seven centimeters long. The finish can be round, with a right angle or with a chopped corner. You often see such a cut off corner on uniforms. The most classic are the straight or round corners. You can use double cuffs, so-called French cuffs, but then you will have extra fabric around your wrist. Personally, I always find that a bit unsettling. But you see it a lot in the legal profession, for example. There it is of course also a form of non-verbal communication, just like, for example, the brand of watch that a lawyer wears. And if you really want to pay attention to the details, you also look at the stitching distance at the edges. For very formal shirts, for example a tuxedo shirt, the stitching distance is one millimeter, both at the collar and at the cuff. If the distance is greater (up to about six millimeters), it will look more informal.

Mother of pearl buttons, I assume?

Your shirt is the most washed part of your wardrobe. That is why you must choose materials that have a good shelf life. Real mother of pearl has the best shelf life. These buttons come in a flat and a thick version. I always recommend the flat one. They have a larger diameter and therefore do not come loose as quickly through the buttonhole, even when stretched. Match the color of your button to the color of your shirt, but it will usually be white. Make sure that you do not use a blind closure at the front, such as a closure that falls over the buttons. A blind closure only belongs to a tuxedo shirt.

It's very basic, isn't it? Isn't there much variation in a shirt?

No, you can't add much to it. At most, you can add breast pockets to it, which gives it a workman's look, or you can turn it into a safari shirt. But if you're going to wear a shirt under your jacket anyway, you don't need to have pockets added. Then you might as well put your pen in the inside pocket of your jacket.

Custom suit specialist Arthur Peute was six when he got his first Boston sewing machine and ten when he designed clothes for the first time. He has been working for Oger since 2012, in the branch on PC Hooftstraat in Amsterdam.

Back to blog