T.M. Lewin kindly gifted my partner three beautiful shirts, each one for different occasions, linen, casual and casual smart. I’ll get round to his feedback in a little bit, after I’ve introduced 120 years worth on incredible tailoring, with some interesting manufacturing background details too.
T.M. Lewin was founded in 1898 when Thomas Mayes Lewin in partnership with Geoffrey James Lewin, opened the first T.M. Lewin store in Panton Street, London. Shortly afterwards the partnership moved and T.M. Lewin established themselves in Jermyn Street, the home of English shirt making, in 1903. In the early 1900’s, Thomas Mayes developed a reputation for design and quality among London’s gentlemen, and with it came the start of the first ever button up shirt. Regarded as one of the pioneers of the then known ‘coat shirt,’ a shirt that a gentleman could put on without having to redo their hair, it was referenced in London Opinion and Today as a ‘Novel’ idea. With this, Thomas Mayers Lewin created a product so iconic that 120 years later it continues to sit firmly and proudly in the wardrobe of every gentleman across the planet. During World War I, T.M. Lewin supplied the RAF and the British Army with uniform to support the country’s war effort in Europe. The business continued to grow from strength to strength after the war before Thomas Mayes Lewin retired in 1938. The business continued with the Lewin family, trading under the trading name of T.M. Lewin & Sons Ltd and has continuously traded to date.
T.M. Lewin continued to grow and soon partnerships were established with some of the best fabric mills globally. T.M. Lewin sources the best cottons and wools from around the world to ensure each garment delivers on comfort for all-day use. These include sourcing from the small and famed town Biella, Italy for some of the world’s best wool from a handful of their prestigious mills such as Loro Piana, Vitale Barberis and Reda, located about 80 kilometres (50 miles) northeast of Turin and about 80 kilometres (50 miles) west-northwest of Milan. It lies in the foothills of the Alps, with the first inhabitants Celts and Ligurians.
As it so happened, we had planned to visit family in Liguria but as flights were being cancelled we chose to spend a week in Crete, the perfect place to showcase the Linen Model mix shirt. This timeless white shirt is crafted from a supremely breathable linen-modal blend. This fabric is designed at the prestigious Tessitura Monti mill in Italy, renowned for its passionate use of colour and masterful weaving. “Linen modal is a sustainable, natural fibre with a soft handle and the ability to absorb significantly more moisture than cotton, while still maintaining an airy feel. This makes the shirt ideal for the warmer months”. The shirt was the perfect everyday item for warmer climes, teamed with pastel chino shorts and Fairfax & Favor driving shoes or with chinos in the evening. It also felt softer than standard linen.
T.M. Lewin has evolved and grown over time, with over 70 million shirts sold in their 120-year history. Throughout the years they have refined and developed our shirts and clothing to the highest quality, working directly with the garments and being alive to the importance of noting every little detail to ensure that each is crafted so that you get a product that fits.
Back to reality the following week, and it was the turn of the casual smart classic Oxford shirt. This is an adaptable shirt that bridges the gap between smart and casual. This edition is in timeless white, making it an even more versatile choice. “The fabric has the traditional basket-weave structure of all Oxford shirts, which gives it a slight criss-crossed texture and a subtle sheen. The pure cotton is both robust and soft, ensuring that you stay cool and comfortable throughout the day”. The typical informal touches are found in the button-down collar, which looks at its best without a tie, and the simple single cuffs, this worked perfectly with a blazer and jeans for Friday in the office (on less exciting, more domestic note; this was an absolute dream to iron).
On the subject of ironing, enter shirt number three…
“Quality you can see and feel. Our ultimate non-iron shirt has a superior suppleness for incredible comfort to keep you looking the business all day”. Wash it. Hang it. Wear it and “Ultimate Crease-Free Technology” these were strong claims, but did it impress? Whatever technology T. M Lewin do use, it’s rather impressive. The gingham shirt did exactly what it said. Three very different shirts but each have the same great quality throughout.
To buy or for more information see online.