The 48 shirts that I ordered from my sewing contractor will be ready for delivery in early October. Would you like to place a pre-order? The price is $120, but with an uncertain delivery date and all the possible kinks that could happen with a soft launch, I’m offering 2 incentives:

(1) free shipping to you; and

(2) a $10 rebate for submitting a candid review on a shirt that you keep (or, if you return it,  a choice of (a) reimbursement for domestic return shipping or (b) a $10 credit on a later purchase (international returns may only have the $10 credit on a later purchase)).

The fabric is 97% cotton and 3% lastol, imported from Italy.  “Lastol” is the generic name for Dow XLA.  (I think the diagram on this page comparing the high temperature resistance of XLA and Spandex is fascinating).  The big advantage:  it’s a woven stretch fabric that you can dry in the dryer.  If only the fabric were also “no-iron”, it would be my Holy Grail of shirt fabric.  The mill sold it to me as such, but the shirt sample that I pulled out of the dryer recently was quite wrinkled.  The only consolation is that it responds quickly to ironing.

I’m only offering the shirts in white for now.  Black will come next, followed gradually by other colors once I know which of the 18 sizes are most popular.  See pictures of the shirts after the jump.  For sizing and to place an order, go to the Pre-Order page.  Please don’t worry that I will turn this blog into an ecommerce site–once my art director and I agree on corporate identity and put a website together, all things shirt-related will go there.

Some background:

1.  The fit models wore Prima Donna Satin bras.  Marketa and Laura, the models for 8S and 8M, each wore a 34F in the Prima Donna Satin, but Marketa’s bust measurement is one inch smaller.*  Presumably, this means women with cup sizes E or F could wear size S, and women with cup size F (or a small G) could wear M.

Amy Wine, the model for 10L, wears a 34F in Fantasie but a 32H/34G in the Prima Donna Satin.  Size L shirts are meant for women who wear cup sizes G or H.

Laura is 5’7″.  Amy is 5’4″.  I’ll post Marketa’s height a little later.

2. The buttons are spaced 1.5″ apart, as shown in the final photo at the very bottom–not as shown in any of the other pictures.

Marketa in 8S.  Of course I forgot to bring the Prima Donnas on this day.  Hence the black bra underneath.  It was also the day of a big blackout in Manhasset–hence the wrinkles.  But this way you can see what it looked like fresh from the box from the sewing contractor.

Side view of 8S.   The correct number and placement of buttons will solve the bagginess at the bottom.  In these samples, the final button ended too high so that the two sides wouldn’t lie flat.

Back view of 8S.  The seam down the sleeve was Kate’s idea.  It’s great because it streamlines the sleeve so there’s less bagginess at the bustline.  Since taking these photos, the sleeve length has been shortened by half an inch.

Laura in 8M.  She’s wearing a peach bra, so you get an idea of fabric density.

Side view of 8M.  This time it’s a pale blue bra.

Back view of 8M.  Peach bra again.  And again, the sleeve has been shortened 1/2 inch since taking this photo.

Amy Wine in 10L.  Notice that all shirts in the L size come with two waist darts and a more shaped bust (or side) dart so that the shirt fits the bust without a baggy waist. Amy is wearing a nude bra in these photos.

Side view of 10L.

Back view of 10L.  These sleeves have been shortened by 1 inch.

Laura in 8M with correct button placement.  After she wore this fit sample out, her friends’ only suggestion was that the buttons go all the way up, so we changed the pattern to include 11 buttons. This way, you always have the option of buttoning to the top (under a jumper, for instance).

*This is why I don’t use cup sizes in my size chart. During the fit model interview process, I measured one woman whose bust measurement was 39 1/4″ and another whose bust was 39 1/2″. The first woman wore a 34F and the second wore a 32H. Seriously! And I promise they were both properly fitted. After I get enough feedback from customers, however, I hope to be able to give more guidance regarding cup sizes.