Top Shelf at the Ryder Cup 2016

Top Shelf is very proud to have created the official outfits for the executive committee of the 2016 Ryder Cup going on right now at Hazeltine National Golf Club. These seven men have worked for the last 4 years to present this premier event in Chaska, MN. The weather forecast is looking good, and so is the American team.


Loro Piana and the Zenit Collection


Vicuna is often times referred to as the “Fabric of the Gods” for it’s incredible hand and the ability to insulate in both directions, keeping the animals warm on the mountaintops and cool in the valleys where they graze in Peruvian summers. Once almost hunted to extinction, they were placed on the endangered species list in 1965. Today in partnership with the Peruvian government, Loro Piana has created a preserve for the animals and their numbers have rebounded so that a limited amount of their fibres can be legally obtained and woven in the Loro Piana mill in Italy.

Vicuna, chinchilla, cashmere and mohair combinations along with the most precious Super 200’s quality wools are available to feel and purchase at Top Shelf, where our tailoring skills are capable of working with these rare fibres.

You can visit to learn more about these and other fine fabrics that can also be found at Top Shelf!

CTDA Houston

I just returned from Houston and a gathering of the Custom Tailors and Designers Association. It’s the oldest trade organization in the United States and Top Shelf has been a member for decades.

It was a great experience to share knowledge with many of the finest custom clothiers and suppliers to the trade. The conference included a trip to one of the largest dry cleaning operations in North America (MW Cleaners), and a keynote presentation by Christopher White, executive director of America’s Best Cleaners. The global view of dry cleaning trends, changes in chemical processing, and the implications for care of ultra fine fabrics was something that every seller of fine custom clothing should be mandated to understand to assist the end users in finding a quality cleaner, and taking care of their clothing investments. Many of the most prestigious mills and manufacturers in the world invite Mr. White and his company to visit and test the newest fabrics and advise on the care labels and special instructions necessary to successfully clean their materials.

The implications of Green Clean marketing and other new cleaning agents, the fragmentation and now consolidation of the dry cleaning business was discussed. The trends in how frequently garments were being cleaned. Surprisingly, the nation wide efforts that have banned smoking in restaurants and public places have had a lot of impact on people needed to clean suits and jackets more often.

Developing more cooperation between tailors and dry cleaners was a much discussed topic, instead of the adversarial finger pointing that occurs when a problem occurs during the cleaning process.

More to follow…

To tie or not to tie?


This morning I was in a pollinator mood…

Wearing a tie can be a game changer. Ties can alter the mood and provoke many responses from the “signals” produced by the pattern, width, and design of a tie. We hypothesize the reason men have gone away from ties is less about the casualization of the American workplace and more to do with collars that don’t fit the neck comfortably.  There’s many reasons why men’s collars aren’t comfortable to wear buttoned up:

  1. Many men don’t know what their real collar size is, and they don’t understand the way that shrinkage changes the collar size during the first 3-5 commercial launderings.
  2. Even when they buy the correct size collar, after a year many ready made shirts (including some of the most expensive brands) have become smaller than the size they claim to be. This is directly related to the use of fusible interfacing in the majority of ready made shirt’s collars and cuffs
  3. Men have been buying smaller collars than they should to get slimmer body fits, and ignore the fact that the collar won’t be able to be buttoned comfortably.
  4. For many the collar size changes with age.

We tell new clients that 80% of the purchase of a custom shirt is in the creation of a collar that is both comfortable and whose design flatters the individual face shape of the wearer. We use sample collars in every 1/4″ increment of size to allow our clients to actually feel the size of the shirt AFTER shrinkage. Because we build our collars and cuffs without fusible interfacing, we can guarantee that even after years of repeated commercial launderings, the collar will still measure the size that we ordered.

**Our neckwear is a curated collection of unique and individualistic ties to complement the custom suits and shirts we produce. We generally buy only two of a pattern so that our clients won’t have the embarrassment of seeing others wearing the same tie. Our brands like Mila Schon, Dormeuil, Paulo Albuzatti, Italo Ferretti and Tino Cosma are chosen for their uniqueness in a variety of widths.