DRESS SHIRTS: AN INTERVIEW WITH THE DESIGNER
The best off-the-rack dress shirts for men are being designed by a lady — meet Katie Boiano.
How long have you been designing shirts?
About a decade now…
What makes these new Bonobos dress shirts so great?
Well, a few things. First off, we’ve combined elements that used to come only on made-to-measure shirting and put them into an off-the-rack shirt: a contrast gusset, mother of pearl buttons, heavy interlining in the collars so they don’t droop after dry cleaning, back darts, fine stitching, and more. Secondly, we’re really offering a huge range of prints, and fabrics that you won’t find from other American labels. In fact, all our new dress shirts have a sort of modern, Continental feel to them.
Sounds like they’re only for skinny guys…
No. We’ve tried to hit a huge range with our sizing. We offer three different fits, and three different collars in a huge number of fabrics – both non-iron and Italian cottons from some of the best mills in the world.
What’s the most important element of a great dress shirt?
Fit. No question. So many guys in this country are used to big, boxy dress shirts with these large, overwhelming collars. And there are these guys that are a little out of shape and then wear a size up thinking it hides their flaws. It actually makes them worse. We want to educate guys to buy the right size and know their measurements.
How do you feel about the ‘going out shirt?
Ha! It’s true. Guys are still doing what they did in college and wearing dress shirts casually and untucked. Not good. Dress shirts are made to be worn in – that’s why they’ve got a much longer hem. Wearing them out is going to make you look ridiculous. We’re trying to rid guys of that habit.
How else can guys screw things up?
Starch. Who uses starch?
What’s your favorite style of shirt you guys do?
I like our spread collar on our Slim Tailored body. It’s the closest thing you can get to a custom shirt off the rack.
Fancy. Thanks Katie.