June 19, 2020 - Clothing & Accessories

Ideas on How to Customise Your Made to Measure Shirt

Customise your made to measure shirts for individual style

Made to measure shirts are popular and often preferred to an off-the-peg shirt, as they are designed to fit the individual perfectly. There are many benefits of owning a made to measure shirt, which are well worth the investment as they could save you money in the long term!

Custom-made shirts are durable due to the high-quality materials, such as 100% cotton, and expert craftsmanship by the finest tailors. This means that you will not need to go shopping for a new shirt regularly as custom shirts are made to last, which is more sustainable and better for the environment.

A made to measure shirt is individually handmade by usually one highly skilled tailor instead of being made in bulk by many different garment workers in a factory production line. The tailors take great pride in their work and ensure each customised garment is made to a very high standard.


Kitenge Store African menswear tailor cutting fabric to make custom-made shirts in Tanzania East Africa


Kitenge’s African menswear tailor, Tairo, cutting out the patterns to make a custom made shirt in Tanzania

The superior fit is extremely flattering to wear so you will look sharper/more stylish and the unique shirt will flatter your own body shape. It also means that the shirt will be more comfortable to wear so you are likely to wear it more often increasing your confidence and boosting your self-esteem.

As you are in complete control of the creative design process you are able to order a shirt that suits your own personality and individual style. You are in charge of choosing your preferred fabric, collar, cuff, placket and pocket style for example. Who wants to look like everyone else wearing the same mass-produced shirts from the High Street?

If you are considering purchasing a made to measure shirt but you may not be sure about how to customise the different features, then continue reading this blog for some helpful inspiration.

Customising Your Made to Measure Shirt 

There are many ways you can go about customising your made to measure shirts, from the fabrics to the fitting, here’s some tips for customising your made to measure shirt to suit you best.

Choose Your Shirt Style & Fabric

The first step is to choose your favourite fabric, whether you would like a plain style or a more colourful, flamboyant style to attract people’s attention. That’s the beauty of designing your own made to measure shirt.

Our plain coloured shirts are available to order in black and light blue fabrics with more colours to follow. If you prefer to order more bold and vibrant patterned fabric then we have a large variety of original, 100% cotton, African print fabrics to choose from.

Kitenge’s unique collection of African print shirts for men includes darker, more subtle tones such as the Maroon Flower Short Sleeve Shirt and the Gold Floral Long Sleeve Shirt.  Also included in the collection are bolder, more brightly coloured ankara fabrics such as the Yellow/Red/Blue Short Sleeve Shirt and the Yellow Pineapple Long Sleeve Shirt.


Kitenge made to measure custom made shirt customer from Switzerland wearing his new red yellow blue short sleeve African print shirt 


Kitenge made to measure custom made shirt customer from Switzerland wearing his new brown floral long sleeve African print shirt


What’s more is that you now have the option to create a plain coloured shirt with bold and vibrant African print contrasts on certain features for a really unique look! For example, you could order a plain black long sleeve shirt with Red Floral African Print Fabric on the collar, cuffs, front placket and pocket.


Men's plain black custom-made long sleeve shirt with optional African print fabric contrasts model wearing front view


Customise & Design Your Shirt

Find out more about the different custom options available when designing your dream shirt. Learn which features are more suitable for your own unique style, body shape and where you plan to wear your shirt.

Sleeve Style 

Our colourful shirts by Kitenge are available in both short and long sleeve lengths. The long sleeve shirts are great for wearing to social events with friends, work colleagues and relatives.

The long sleeve shirts can be worn to formal occasions too such as a black-tie ball. You also have the option of rolling up the sleeves for a more casual look.


Kitenge customer wearing their african print shirt to black tie charity fundraising ball at The Dorchester hotel in London UK


A customer wearing his Green Floral Long Sleeve Shirt with a bow tie at a fundraising ball in London, UK

The premium, 100% cotton, African wax print fabric will keep you warm in cold climates and cool in hot climates. The short sleeve shirts are even more comfortable in warm conditions and are a great option for wearing on holiday or to a summer BBQ.

These versatile shirts can be worn to many different occasions by simply changing what you choose to wear with them including the type of trousers, shoes, jacket, sweater or accessories.


Selecting a Collar

There are several different collar styles to choose from including: classic, button-down, cut-away, wing and mandarin. The traditional ‘classic’ collar is very popular, easy to wear and suitable for many different occasions. It can be worn with or with a necktie.


made to measure shirts collar style classic


Classic collar

The ‘button-down’ collar is the same as the ‘classic’ collar but stays in place due to the two buttons on the collar points that fasten to your shirt. This collar is suitable for casual occasions and can be worn with or without a sweater, necktie and jacket over the top.


made to measure shirts collar style mens button down


Button-down collar

The ‘cut-away’ collar has a wider spread so there is more room for a necktie. The collar ends also point outwards instead of downwards like the ‘classic’ collars.


made to measure shirts collar style cut away


Cut-away collar

The ‘wing’ collar is commonly worn with a bow tie for formal occasions including weddings and other black-tie events. The tips sit flat and stand out from the collar, which rests on top of a bow tie.


made to measure shirts collar style wing


Wing Collar

A ‘mandarin’ collar is also known as a ‘nehru’, ‘standing’, ‘band’ or ‘choker’ collar. It is a short, unfolded style that stands upwards. It is a versatile collar that can be worn both casually and formally.


made to measure shirts collar style mandarin


Mandarin Collar

Did you know that face shape also has a part to play with collars? People with square and full faces benefit from choosing narrow point collars, while if you have a slim face, a spread collar is the best choice as it will make your face look wider.

For an everyday shirt, you could choose to have a ‘classic’ collar with a ‘curved single’ cuff, a ‘front placket’ and one ‘curved’ pocket. For a more unique shirt, you could select a ‘mandarin’ collar with a ‘straight double’ cuff, a ‘covered placket’ (hidden buttons) and ‘no pocket’.

Here is a photo of what this shirt combination looks like in the ‘Yellow Pineapple’ material taken by a customer at his home in Switzerland.


Kitenge made to measure custom made shirt customer from Switzerland wearing his new yellow pineapple long sleeve African print shirt


A customer modelling his Yellow Pineapple Long Sleeve Shirt 


Choosing Your Cuffs 

The style of cuff that you choose depends on the occasion and personal preference. There are three types of cuff available to choose from including a ‘single’ button, ‘double’ button and ‘adjustable’ where you can make the fit of the cuff either tighter or looser around your wrist.

The ‘adjustable’ cuff is suitable for all occasions. A ‘double’ button cuff is dressier and more elegant than a ‘single’ button cuff. You also have the option of selecting a ‘curved’ style cuff, which has a soft, rounded edge and is suitable for all occasions.

An ‘angled’ style cuff, which is formal and professional looking that is cut across the corner as a 45 degrees angle. It is more formal than a ‘straight’ cuff.

And finally, the classic ‘straight’ style cuff, which is a popular for both casual and business shirts. It has a straight corner and is less formal than the ‘curved’ cuff.


custom made shirts cuff curved single


Curved single cuff


custom made shirts cuff angled double


Angled double cuff


custom made shirts cuff straight adjustable


Straight adjustable cuff

If you are looking to choose a cuff style for formal occasions, such as weddings, then you can choose to have a ‘link’ cuff so that you can wear the shirt with cuff links.


custom made shirts cuff link


Link cuff


Alternatively, the most casual cuff style is the ‘angled short’ (or ‘narrow’ cuff), which is cut across the corner at a 45-degree angle with one button. It is suitable for slim fit shirts and the width of the cuff is shorter than all the other cuff styles.


custom made shirts cuff angled short


Angled short cuff

For a formal, black tie event, you could order a long sleeve shirt with a ‘wing’ collar, ‘link’ cuff, ‘covered placket’ and ‘no pocket’. You could then accessorise the shirt with a bow tie and cuff links.

A casual shirt combination could feature a ‘button-down’ collar, with an ‘angled short’ cuff, ‘no placket’ and ‘angled’ shaped pockets on both sides.


Choice of Placket

A placket is the long and narrow fabric section where the buttons and buttonholes are positioned on a shirt. There are three different placket style options available including ‘no placket’, ‘front placket’ and ‘covered placket’.

If you choose not to have a placket then the material will not be folded back over and raised like the ‘front placket’. No Placket (also known as ‘French front’) is a popular style for both business and casual shirts but can be more difficult to iron neatly.

The ‘front placket’ is the most common style and suitable for business shirts. The material is folded back over before it is sewn and fused with an interlining to give it a neat finish. A ‘covered placket’ (also known as ‘fly front’) has hidden buttons and is a more formal style.


tailor made shirts placket no


No placket


tailor made shirts placket front


Front Placket


tailor made shirts placket covered


Covered Placket (hidden buttons)


Pocket Style 

There are three different types of pocket style to choose from including: ’rounded’, ‘straight’ and ‘angled’. The choice of style is completely down to your personal preference.

Most customers prefer to have the same cuff and pocket style. For example, you could choose to have a ‘curved’, ‘angled’ or ‘straight’ cuff and pocket combination.


handmade shirts uk pocket style rounded


Curved pocket


handmade shirts uk pocket style straight


Straight pocket


handmade shirts uk pocket style angled


Angled pocket


Kitenge’s Made to Measure African Print Shirts

If you like the sound of getting creative by designing your own custom-made shirt then why not try our online service for yourself!

Browse our men’s made to measure shirts and get started by choosing your favourite fabric and sleeve length.

Then you can start to customise your shirt design by choosing your preferred features as explained above. The final step is to measure a shirt that fits you well at home by following our simple ‘how to measure’ guides. All you need is a fabric tape measure.

If you need any help during the design or measurement processes please do not hesitate to contact us or visit our helpful FAQs page.

Don’t forget that we currently have an amazing special offer that you won’t want to miss. When you purchase your first made to measure shirt from our online shop you can get another one for free!

Simply design two made to measure shirts (with the same sleeve length) and add them to your basket. They can be two different fabrics or two of the same. Then enter the coupon ‘MTMFIRST‘ to receive 50% discount off your order saving you up to £69!

If you prefer to order a long and short sleeve shirt together for your first purchase, then you can get the cheapest shirt for free by using the coupon ‘MTMFIRSTSPECIAL‘.

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