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More than a Century of Bespoke Tradition

Hamilton Shirts has reigned supreme as one of the oldest bespoke shirt makers in the country. b

There are only a handful of companies that have positioned themselves to withstand the test of time, and Houston has been home to one of them for more than a century. Through a rich history of depressions, recessions, and the ever-changing trends of the fashion world Hamilton Shirts has reigned supreme as one of the oldest bespoke shirt makers in the country.

Founded in the 1800s at a time when men’s shirts were more of an undergarment than the focal point of an outfit, the Hamilton Brothers started a clothing company and made all kinds of men’s apparel - everything from suits to hats. Over the years, the Hamilton brothers went their separate ways, and the family business consolidated into what it is today, Hamilton Shirts.

Now run by the family’s fourth generation, brother and sister team David and Kelly Hamilton, the shirt makers, continue to focus on the values that have remained at the core of their business: customers, the highest quality products, and their employees.

“The retail space and fashion are always changing and sometimes dramatically, but our business stays the same,” says David Hamilton. “Quality and fit have always withstood the test of time. People want something that is high quality and enduring. If you take any man and put him in a shirt that fits just right – he is going to look better. We have never had to advertise; we rely on word of mouth and satisfied customers.”

The clothing company is best known for its two types of custom shirt programs, Hamilton Made-to-Measure and Hamilton Bespoke. The made to measure option is a simple program with fewer measurements. Customers can stop in the store to try on several possibilities, or the try-on shirts can be shipped directly to them, very similar to a Warby Parker shopping experience. The customer then decides which one fits best, and a few tailored modifications are made before the final shirt is produced. The Bespoke Program, however, is customized from start to finish with a paper pattern and fitting specialist available to walk the customer through the whole personalized experience.

“In general, there has been a shift to more individualized things. I think because of online shopping, people are used to ordering something and having to wait a time to receive it,” said Hamilton. “Customization in all kinds of products is here and is only going to increase. Men’s fashion is going to become more casual, and men are going to want to wear the same item of clothing in different environments. We are working to keep up with those changes.”

For the first time in history, consumers spend the least amount of their income on clothing but have more clothing than ever before. In a time where Instagram feeds proffer a different outfit for each day at unbelievably low prices, Hamilton Shirts remains steadfast in their commitment to slow fashion.

“We spend almost all of our budget on our materials and the people who make the shirts. We have customers who ten years later are wearing the same shirt, and they still look great,” said Hamilton. “As consumers, we should demand more from the people who make our clothing. It is important to buy your clothes somewhere where you know that they value their employees and where you will also know that you are buying something made to last.”

“Quality and fit have always withstood the test of time. People want something that is high quality and enduring. If you take any man and put him in a shirt that fits just right – he is going to look better."

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