Review of the Week: Charles Tyrwhitt Dress Shirts

By George Manley | Nov 13th, 2008

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The Review of the Week section of is a review of men’s wear industry professionals, retail stores, brands, collections, and/or other men’s wear related concepts.

This week…Charles Tyrwhitt Dress Shirts.

I was introduced to Charles Tyrwhitt apparel about 5 years ago through a co-worker.  My co-worker, a British gentleman who grew-up in the apparel and textile industries, was always looking dapper, and he was never seen at work without a bright tie and a crisp dress shirt.  I asked my co-worker where he purchased his ties and dress shirts, and he handed me a Charles Tyrwhitt catalog.  My first observation was that the product was very reasonably priced, and once I received my first purchase, my presumption was confirmed.

The Charles Tyrwhitt clothing brand began in London about 20 years ago, and they are still headquartered in London today.  Initially only a catalog business here in the U.S., the brand has since launched their U.S. website and opened two retail stores in New York City.  I have visited both U.S. locations, and while I am impressed with seeing the merchandise first-hand, I refuse to pay the “Manhattan mark-up,” as their online and catalog prices are usually less expensive, and therefore a better value.

The Charles Tyrwhitt brand, initially known for its quality men’s dress shirts, colorful ties, and fancy cuff-links, now offers a range of men’s and women’s apparel, including suits and sportswear; however, I stand to say the best value is still in the Charles Tyrwhitt dress shirt.

Charles Tyrwhitt dress shirts are certainly not the highest-end dress shirts available; however, I would argue they present a great value, as you can almost always find them on sale online or in the Charles Tyrwhitt catalog.  Charles Tyrwhitt dress shirts are constructed in a few different fabrications; however, my favorite fabrication is the 100% pinpoint cotton 80’s weight, and I do not recommend the non-iron fabric, as it is inferior to the non-iron dress shirts offered by Brooks Brothers (to be reviewed another week).  Here is the list of the positives and negatives of Charles Tyrwhitt dress shirts:

The Positives

  1. The dress shirts have sturdy collars and cuffs (good interlinings).
  2. The dress shirts are offered in exact-sleeve sizing (for example 15×34, not 15×34/35).
  3. The dress shirts come with complementary brass collar stays.
  4. The cut of the dress shirt is not oversized; therefore, one does not get that “blousy effect” around the body, particularly with the slim fit silhouette.
  5. Charles Tyrwhitt offers a 3-month unconditional return policy for a full refund, which ensures you can wear and wash your dress shirts many times and ensure they meet your complete satisfaction.

The Negatives

  1. These shirts are double-needle construction (two-stitches running along the body of the shirt under the sleeves); this is a less expensive way to produce dress shirts, as it requires less production.
  2. The patterned shirts do not line up at the seams.  This is not surprising, as this attention to detail is often only found in pricier dress shirts.

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