Jessica Howard Polka Dot Shirt Dress

My meeting with Howard’s back more than a year, when I tested the silk tie grenadine , iconic piece of the brand.

I really appreciated Fred because we shared the same vision of the product, finishes. A great media enthusiast like Parisian Gentleman or pictures of the Pitti, he has perfectly grasped the new expectations of men in terms of design and parts, but also of price.

This understanding of the new expectations by Fred is indeed what makes-in my opinion-the great strength of Howard’s.

An obsession with the quality / price ratio

As a reminder, Fred had already distinguished himself on his famous ties (three or seven folds), adding to his own finishes (embroidered daisy, mother-of-pearl button).

It had then attacked the scarves, with its reversible Vitale Barberis wool models (one side in elegant flannel, the other with a more fanciful motif: houndstooth, tiles or even camo).

So we logically appealed to him to our ties.

For every piece Fred imagines, whether it be a scarf or a tie, he always asks himself:

What can I bring back to what is already being done elsewhere? How do I differentiate myself from many brands? How to propose more for less?

And every time, I always hooked… so much so that it became my favorite shop to make gifts to friends.

But then why did he appeal to him again? Why pay attention to his shirts?

The evolution of the range of Howard’s shirts

I noticed that he also had a range of colored shirts that spoke to me a little less, but that Fred liked very much because he is a strong supporter of color in man.

His major project in 2015 was to fully resume this range , to return to more sober.

He began by tightening his collection at the shades. White and blue dominate now, but declined in many textures and patterns. It is much simpler to shirts to wear, more elegant,  for which the preparation remains in France.

That said, Fred sometimes gets pleasure on more atypical materials, such as printed cotton flannel.

In addition to the tissues, he leaned on the finishes, always with the idea to propose as possible at a reasonable price, even with the made in France .

Why a high-end shirt?

If we talk a lot about “power shoes” or “power suit”, the shirt tends to be less on the front of the sartorial scene.

Yet it is a garment worn next to the skin, and I think everyone here has already experienced what happens when one puts on her favorite shirt …

A flattering fit with a collar that fits perfectly and that fits properly under the lapel, are the small pleasures sartoriaux all loving man elegance must know one day!

And with this collab, it was a bit why we wanted to offer you: your new favorite shirt.

I would even say that we wanted to go further: in close collaboration with Howard’s, we wanted to concretize our vision of the ultimate shirt; To wear with a suit or blazer, with or without tie.

A semi-covered Italian collar, known as “cutaway”

Influences ”  Pitti  / Italy” Howards are obvious, and strength to see this cutaway collar in the aisles of the Fortezza di Basso (where the show is held), I became convinced of his interest – many of superstars Pitti are fervent defenders -.

Lino Ieluzzi covers only this, for example. This is also what is first noticed once the piece worn: the collar is a bit what “makes” the shirt.

Unfortunately, with our Hedi Slimane national whose influence is still being felt more than ten years after its debut, this is a type of very little this neck on the French market.

We are much more accustomed to small fine passes, while the cutaway has several very useful advantages.

This is the ideal collar for maniacs from the junction collar – jacket reverse

Because the fact that it “back” backwards allows it to position itself perfectly under the reverse .And as Luca says, “one quickly becomes addicted to this kind of details”.

It emphasizes the tie by leaving room for the node to express itself

Especially on well triangular nodes (those that I prefer, although I bicker with Luca me on this), leaving mostly appear the second pan of the tie so Pitti level 100 .

Fred, meanwhile, prefers a single node (the one he has in the video) to fully show the collar stand.

And as Fred says with poetry: “it is a neck open to others”

And who makes a big smile to life

The collar of all obsessions

Making a shirt collar is a delicate operation because you have to choose the right thickness to prevent it horn in one direction … or in the other.

The challenge is to have a design that is out of the ordinary, without being ostentatious …

But it took 8 trials on this pass , especially on the ratio front / rear collar stand, or on the corner landing on his collarbone …

Measurements of this collar

As a good technician, Fred even gives you the dimensions of the collar:

  • Length of the tips: 9 cm
  • Height of the collar at the back: 3.7 cm
  • Height of the collar at the front: 3.2 cm

There is a small wink to the universe tailor, since certain parts of the neck are not thermocollated: if the visible part of the neck is well thermocollated in order to have an irreproachable behavior, that which is invisible – The whales – is not.

Fred did not particularly want to make a collar completely assembled in free, because his maintenance and ironing are a bit technical: if you do not have the right gesture with your iron, the collar is all “wrinkled”.

An interior of a semi-covered collar

The inside collar of the foot (the part of the collar in contact with your neck) is semi-linen backed .  It’s more comfortable, and this allows the collar to make your neck more flexible .

The outside of the collar stand is against thermocollé to bring the holding and facilitate the passage of the tie . Here again, the choice of good heat sealing is very important, because it guarantees the longevity of the washing collar after washing.

Another small detail …

One last thought Howard’s, neck foot knob is smaller than the others . This makes it easier to close  ; If ever you are the kind to galler to button your collar, know that someone thought of you.

Indeed, this one is 6 mm in diameter while the other buttons make it 8.

The ultimate detail: the travettos

And we end the travettos the Capuchin leg (the opening of the sleeve on your forearm).

Originally, the purpose of the travettos was to reinforce this part of the paw when the sleeve was open for ironing.

Since this operation can only be carried out by hand, it was quickly abandoned at the beginning of the industrialization of textile manufacturing. This is how she became a purist detail and a symbol of “handmade”.

To give you an idea, installing 420 travettos (two per shirt) will need at least 40 hours , just for this detail …

It is easy to understand why the big brands have “forgotten” as soon as they could, the hourly volume would be disproportionate on several thousand shirts to assemble …

Like the Milan buttonhole, it is a rare finish in ready-to-wear. And I weigh my words, unless you have at least 240 euros budget for a shirt.

Fred, so we are extremely proud to offer this detail in this price range , and we are not ashamed to face historically known brands for their shirts.

High-end finishes “Made in France”

Fred made the courageous decision to make his shirt in France , in a beautiful workshop of Normandy. This brings him close communication with the dressmakers, in order to push the details thoroughly.

When Fred revised its range of shirts, there are plenty of finishes on which he is a little loose, which is not usually found together all that on shirts over 200 euros .

There are of course the English seams

But here they reach a sacred degree of finesse and sharpness (3 mm wide!).

At no time does the couture gather, everything is very clean. Moreover, at this level, the joining of the seams to the armpits is perfectly executed.

The pentagon-shaped reinforcing swallow

Unable to speak shirt premium not to mention the reinforcement swallow pentagonal , in a cotton twill Thomas Mason , with two well-known initials embroidered on it.

As a reminder, it aims to reinforce the joint between the front and the back of the shirt.

An incredible stitchiness (8 to 9 points per cm)

Short technical figures for the most meticulous of you: it is between 8 and 9 points per centimeter, which puts this shirt in the upper basket.

Note also that the seams of the collar and cuffs are very close to the edge , which enhances the elegant look of the shirt.

Immaculate mother-of-pearl buttons

Fred has paid much attention since the buttons is a beautiful pearl Mother of Pearl Australian, without a shadow of imperfection, perfectly homogeneous, even the back button .

It’s a costly finish too: the cost in polyester buttons is a few tens of cents on a shirt, while it’s several euros on a piece with mother-of-pearl buttons, without the pose anymore.

Note that they are slightly concave in the center to protect their assembly from the frictions of everyday life or the drum of your washing machine. So, if you look at the profile button, you will not see the wires since they are protected by the relief.

In this regard, they are sewn Zampa Di Gallina, a well known finish if you follow BonneGueule for a little while. The rendering has the advantage of being as strong as on a seam cross, but with a little twist aesthetic further.

It seems simple enough to say that, but it is the kind of detail that the French workshops do not at all (or do not want to do especially), and Fred had to insist during … three years to be satisfied with the result .

Other features that you should know, the buttons are on queue (= they are slightly raised to facilitate the button). Again, the operation is made entirely by hand, without machine.

Oh yes, the last buttonhole is, in addition to being red, horizontal! We left nothing to chance.

An adjusted cut

Regarding the cut of the shirt, it was a huge construction site (the last patronage of June 2015, so it is new), as Fred was manic at the cuts.

His modeling office almost even threw in the towel in front of his very sharp requirements, to the millimeter! And as he rightly says, “it’s hard to move things on as small values” .

Besides that, he did not fail to try prototypes to customers who spend in store, “to advance the science.” He sometimes told them that it was a proto, sometimes not in order to observe their reactions. And he wrote down everything.

For example, he particularly cared for the small sizes refining sleeve at the armhole and biceps. And as always, he has “field tested” his new patronage with his clients. The success was immediate, to the point that it became his basic patronage.

It’s a shirt to be worn in the pants, so it has a sufficient length to not get out when you move or sit.

Finally, the wrist was not chosen at random: Fred measured that of many of its customers (17.5 cm on average!), Wanting a compromise between adjusted wrist and ease for the wearing of the watch.

We therefore have: very precise requirements with the modeling office + consequent number of fittings on its clientele = cut very worked.

In terms of how to choose size, the sizing is again very classic. In case of doubt, do not hesitate to refer to this guide of the sizes.

Thomas Mason’s houndstooth

It changes a little of our usual fabrics, with the incursion of a small houndstooth pattern. From a distance, one has the impression that it is a blue shirt, but closely, the pattern reveals itself.

This is a cotton twill 100/2, balance between finesse and ease of ironing. Given its “diagonal” weaving, the twill crumbles less than a poplin.

Finally, given the dominance of light blue, there is no difficulty in wearing the shirt with a blue or gray suit. The silkiness of the material will make it particularly elegant to match a textured necktie, to make a nice constrast.

How to wear a cutaway collar shirt?

You now know the motive foot-holes, and all the nuance that can subtly bring to an outfit. Here, the shade effect is reinforced by the cutaway collar: rarer, it easily brings a touch of additional originality.

How to get the BonneGueule x Howard’s shirt?

The official launch takes place on Sunday, January 17 at 2 pm, and from Saturday for members of the BonneGueule Program. Attention, the French workshop and the work of finishes on the shirt make that we had to limit ourselves very much to the level of the quantities (I remind you that more than 40 hours of work to pose all the travettos of the shirts) is therefore 200 shirts in stock !

As usual, subscribers to the newsletter will receive the link from the product page just before. Visit for how to wear a men’s shirt.

Anyway, if you are in Paris, you can come try this Saturday 16th January in our boutique located at 14 rue Commines-75003!

And for others, register without delay to the newsletter.