Built to last. When Thomas Pink launched, back in 1984, that’s what every self-respecting manufacturer said. From tailoring to toasters, if a product stopped working or replacement parts weren’t available, customers quickly went elsewhere. That you would sell something with the knowledge it would soon need replacing (and, guess what, with your own latest gizmo) would have been regarded as a bad joke. In the intervening decades, as an increasing number of brands got on board with making more stuff in order to make more stuff, the ‘built to last’ concept lost its appeal. The planet warmed exponentially, our oceans became choked with plastic and built to last became little more than an afterthought.
But at Thomas Pink, we’ve always taken the opposite view. That’s because our shirts are constructed for exceptional durability. It all starts with our fabrics, which are made from extra-long staple cotton. Not only are the fabrics extremely robust but they will soften and improve with age. Such are their powers of recovery that the older they get the younger they feel. (Like Benjamin Button only with more, well, buttons.) The colours won’t fade either.
Our collars feature floating interlinings, a masterstroke of technical tailoring that makes them unbelievably hard-wearing. They get better with age too, moulding to the shape of the wearer’s body. Keeping everything in line is Thomas Pink’s trademark stitching. Eighteen stitches per inch to be precise (and our tailors most certainly are), the optimum number for comfort and durability. It isn’t quick but then it isn’t meant to be – that’s why a Thomas Pink shirt takes about four times longer to construct than regular shirts. We also stitch our shirts with French seams, a technique that creates a smooth finish against the skin but also improves seam strength further. For most shirtmakers that would make their garments durable enough – except that we’re not most shirtmakers. At Thomas Pink, we add our signature triangular gusset at the side of each hem. In the event of any sudden, potentially side-splitting movements, the seams remain secure.
And to ensure the finest mother of pearl buttons attached to your new shirt are the same ones you’ll be fastening decades later, we strap them in for the long haul. First, we lock-stitch them to the shirt. Next, the buttons are whipped for added security before being heat-sealed firmly in place. So, unlike our discerning, entrepreneurial customers, they’re not going anywhere.