New York Shirt Stories : Making Of The Sebastian Ward Shirt

Growing up in Manhattan, my first exposure to menswear was through the people who raised me: my mother (who went to the same Florentine tailors as my Godfather), and father (a writer and squash pro who exemplified the heyday of ivy style).

When I bought my first dress shirts from an upper east side haberdashery, $70 on clearance marked down from $600 MSRP, I grew interested in what exactly made a piece of clothing worth its price. The experience brought me to design and prepare to sew a dress shirt that was more functional but equally as elegant.

After finishing my masters in Japanese from Penn, I had dinner with a childhood friend, Konrad, at the time a management consultant, who introduced me to his colleague Alika, a financier and all around sartorial enthusiast.

My designs for a better shirt resonated with Konrad and Alika, who shared similar frustrations about ready to wear dress shirts. They encouraged me to realize my designs and joined together to work towards a shared vision.

The shirts I had tried in the past were all either too tight­fitting, or too short at the tail and came fully un­tucked without much effort.

When I sat down with my partners, we agreed on the details we loved from shirts in our own closet:

  •  A tall, curved collar band that frames the face
  •  A Double button closure
  •  High armholes that allowed for
  •  A Classic­length tail so that the shirt would stay tucked
  •  Fabric and colors that could be worn in any situation

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No matter how long we had searched, we couldn’t find a ready to wear shirt that could live up to our expectations.

So, we set out to make one.

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The first step was sewing prototypes on a old Singer 221 that my mother had given to me for my birthday. I made these by hand by heavily referencing guides like “Shirtmaking” by David Page Coffin. We went through 4 prototypes before we felt that we’d achieved our goals and were ready to move on to a professional pattern maker.

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We researched and engaged only with top pattern makers in New York City as we were determined to be able to supervise and take an active role in the pattern creation process. It quickly became clear that the experts at the Gambert Shirt Factory would be our best bet to create a high quality product.

Over six months with the help of Gambert and based on our hand­made prototypes, I constructed a new shirt pattern from scratch. The pattern has a substantial and elegant collar, high armholes and custom sleeves that enable mobility and is cut to fit an athletic body type ideally.

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I invite you to check our our website and see for yourself how owning a Sebastian Ward Dress Shirt can change the way you feel in your clothing.

Our mission is to create clothing that can comfortably and elegantly be worn in any situation to reduce the decisions that you have to make every morning.

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Contributed by-

Christopher Berry Creative Director @ Sebastian Ward

Sebastian Ward is a shirt brand that manufactures Italian fit shirts for athletic men, who seek a smart look, yet a practical fit for their daily physical requirements.

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