One Guy Recommends: T.M. Lewin Shirtmakers

If you’re like me and have trouble finding a nice shirt at a decent price, fret no longer. The solution lies across the pond in the form of British shirtmaker T.M. Lewin. With all the history that one expects from a British firm located on Jermyn Street, Lewin’s operation is over 100 years old and offers great quality for fantastic prices. The firm perpetually offers four shirts at a price of 100 GBP (depending on the exchange rate, around $170CDN, or just over $40 a shirt).

T.M. Lewin - Blue Textured Stripe

I tend to prefer a wider spread collar than is typically available in Canada (other than from custom shirtmakers) and given the British preference for this look, they are easy to find in old Blighty. T.M. Lewin offers a number of different collar styles (from nearly cutaway to relatively narrow) and two different fits: standard and slim. Being a relatively thin guy, the slim fit shirts are fantastic and fit nearly perfectly off the rack.

T.M. Lewin - Windsor Slim Fit

In addition, they have a fairly extensive catalogue of styles available, from the staid white and blue to loud stripes and plaids in a variety of colours (a look that is far more common in London than in most urban centres in North America). The quality of the shirts is extremely good for this price point, but one will not hesitate to replace a worn shirt in a few years’ time at $40 a shirt. Another great line offered by Lewin is their “Traveller” series of shirts. Treated to prevent wrinkling and with special buttons that allow one to button french cuffs in the event of forgotten cuff links, they are perfect for a forgetful guy that is a bit hard on his shirts, like myself. A word of warning about the Traveller shirts, however: be sure to wash them at least twice before an extended wearing as the collar can be slightly scratchy at purchase.


These shirts can be purchased online at www.tmlewin.co.uk, with shipping available at reasonable rates to North America. Or, if your travels take you to the United Kingdom, T.M. Lewin has shops throughout the country.

9 Responses to “One Guy Recommends: T.M. Lewin Shirtmakers”

  1. 1 Matt
    June 22, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    I’m super-impressed with that site. Thanks for the tip!

    • 2 canuckstyle
      June 22, 2009 at 7:54 pm

      Anytime. It’s a great company; I order from them all the time. Very seamless shipping and order process. If you can find somebody to join you in the order, you can even split the shipping costs.

      • 3 Matt
        July 3, 2009 at 2:19 pm

        Now that my super-stylish shirts are on their way, do you have any recommendations for pants? I’d like to find some nice kakhi-coloured cotton dress pants (for non-suit environments) that are priced as good as these shirts. My only local option is Mark’s Work Wearhouse (bad fit, bad construction, just bad all around). I like the looks of these, but they’re a bit pricey: http://www.jcrew.com/AST/Browse/MensBrowse/Men_Shop_By_Category/pants/dresspants/PRDOVR~89387/89387.jsp

      • 4 canuckstyle
        July 3, 2009 at 6:23 pm

        I’m a big fan of J. Crew stuff; Ralph Lauren at half the price. J. Crew is definitely an option that I wouldn’t necessarily shy away from, although I would sign up for their emails. They have 20% off sales (usually if you spend over $150, but not always) just about every month that are only sent to their email subscribers via promo codes. So definitely do that. Also, as the summer goes on, the pants will probably end up in their “Final Sale” section and will likely be at least 30% off if you can afford to wait (although you take the risk that they won’t run out of your size).

        Now, the other thing I would say is that if you find a pair of pants that are what you’re looking for in terms of colour and construction but don’t fit all that great or aren’t as modernly cut as you may like, take them to Tam’s Custom Tailors in Winnipeg on Ellice at Sargeant. Great guy who has made much of the clothes for movies like Capote, Shall We Dance and the upcoming Don Cherry biopic and very reasonable prices. If you pay in cash, he’ll probably waive the taxes as well. So, you could always go to a place like Old Navy or Winners and see if you can find something that works and then have Tam tailor it to what you want. He’s done a few pairs of pants for me and he knows what he’s doing. He can even do things like take the bootcut out of a pair of jeans if you want.

        Also, another option for khaki-esque pants would be to get them in a colour like navy, which look a bit more formal, particularly for the office. They’ll be cool (temperature wise) because they’ll be cotton and set you apart from everybody else rocking the khakis (not that khakis don’t have their place). I’d look at J Crew for them.

        For other J Crew options, you could go with these (although they’re a bit less formal), a more interesting option are these or, as an alternative to khakis, these.

      • 5 Matt
        July 3, 2009 at 7:39 pm

        Thanks for the tips! I live several provinces away from Winnipeg, so I certainly won’t be flying in to get a pair of pants tailored, nor to shop at Winners or Old Navy. I will, however, sign up for the mailing list you mentioned.

        Are you aware of somewhere I should try if I find myself with some spare time in Vancouver?

        Thanks again,

      • 6 canuckstyle
        July 4, 2009 at 12:28 pm

        I somehow thought you went to U of M… In terms of places to go in Vancouver, you definitely have far more options. My favourite khakis are made by a brand called Save Khaki, which just started getting carried by Holt Renfrew (and so they tend to be greatly overpriced in Canada; grab a pair if you get to NYC…). I would also say that Banana Republic might be worth a look for some plain, nothing-particularly-special khakis. If you can find them, some of the best khakis (which would be very much like the original pair you showed me from J. Crew) are made by Ralph Lauren Black Label and cut on the lean side but are a bit more formal (and thus work-suited) than you might otherwise find. Holts might have them (I’m not sure who else carries RLBL in Vancouver). I would also have a look for John Varvatos, who makes really nice stuff and probably does a nice khaki; again though, might not be cheap.

        That having been said, khakis are a solid 12 out of 10 on the boring scale for work attire. Boring isn’t always a bad thing at work, but they khakis have always had very informal associations. I have a pair of grey khakis that are probably the most comfortable pair of pants that I own and I tend to wear them at the lake, or other casual places, but I tend to steer clear of them for work (that pair is also very worn, but even my pressed and new pairs, I tend to bring into the work rotation very infrequently). It might be a better call to have a look at some very light-weight wool dress pants, or perhaps cotton pants in a different colour (ie. navy), but that’s just my preference. If you’re set on the khakis (again, not necessarily a bad thing at all), I would look for a pair that are cut on the modern side and have vertical, suit-like pockets (J Crew sells them) rather than the more informal, and widely available, horizontal “5 pocket” type found on jeans. They will make them look infinitely more formal and definitely set you apart in an extremely subtle way.

      • 7 canuckstyle
        July 4, 2009 at 12:39 pm

        One more thing…. if you happen to be a size 30, I couldn’t recommend these pants (or this website) more highly: http://www.styleforum.net/showthread.php?t=122564 . Incotex makes some of the best pants available and Zegna is one of the finest menswear makers around. Can’t beat the price of $75 shipped to Canada! I’ve bought a bunch of things from a bunch of people on this site and I’ve not only never had an issue but I’ve got some unreal deals. If you’re a size 30, I would buy these pants for sure (if you’ll notice, they have the vertical pockets I was talking about).

  2. July 23, 2013 at 6:57 am

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