Thomas Pink is in town, well, Johannesburg to be precise, and with them they bring true British style. In case you are not familiar with Thomas Pink, he was an 18th C tailor who was made famous by creating the iconic red riding coat. And in keeping with true British values, they have kept the tradition if exceptional tailoring alive and well, still available through the more than 80 Pink stores worldwide – although nothing quite matches up to experiencing their flagship store on Jermyn Street in London.
If you think that a shirt is just a shirt, and that all shirts are more or less the same, then Pink would be lost on you. In fact, true tailoring when it comes to shirts is lost on most people, who opt for a better understanding of tailored suits. However, a great suit can be brought down in flames if the shirt is not perfect and equally as masterfully tailored. Its a sign of a modern gentlemen – a man that appreciates the craftsmanship, heritage and style of a perfectly tailored shirt, made of the finest cloth and cut to precise measurements.
The Thomas Pink belief is that every Thomas Pink shirt is an exercise in perfection – and they mean it. The English never do things in half-measures, and demand that once an item is perfected, that this standard is maintained at all costs, which is why Jermyn Street and Saville Row continue to be regarded as the best places to get bespoke English shirts and suits respectively. And while the cut and tailoring of the suit is beyond reproach, more so, the selection of the correct cloth is also of great importance.
Pink shirts are constructed from the finest-quality two-fold cotton, and are available in various styles and colours. While the shirts may appeal to the generally forward thinking English customer, by design standards, these are sufficiently conservative to Italian and American standards. It s a matter of always looking good, impeccably stylish, but without crossing the line into gaudy or flashy – that’s just not English.
And yes, you guessed it, as with anything of exceptional quality it costs a little more than most – and at Thomas Pink a shirt may set you back between ZAR1800 and ZAR2500 – but rest assured you are buying an item of the highest quality, you will be noticed, and your shirt will garnish a few comments of admiration. Its an investment into your reputation – owing and wearing a Thomas Pink shirt says that you recognise, appreciate and support a perfected craft – you are a person of distinction (and if you can afford to have one, you fall within the “wealthier than the average” bracket.)
The store is small, but packed with stock imported directly from the UK, receiving stock as soon as the new lines are launched in Jermyn Street. And while the various shorts on offer are the primary product offering, Thomas Pink also offers a selection of ties, cuffs, suspenders, bow-ties and jackets.
In addition to the exceptional quality in product that has resulted in a reserved but loyal ‘cult’ish’ following, Thomas Pink stores are also known for their exceptional service. The staff are selected and meticulously trained to offer a service that aims to be long-standing and multi-generational. As with Saville Row, customer books are Jermyn street go as far back as the stores history, giving testament to generations of fathers and sons who have selected Pink as their family tailor. The Hyde Park store also seeks to establish the same principles in customer service – and I can highly recommend the service offered by Gayle.