BRAND: Hamilton 1883
FOUNDED BY: Four Hamilton brothers; Edward, Brooke, Williams, and Bernard
HOME BASE: Houston, TX
WHY WE CO-SIGN: The SXSW Festival might just be poppin' off this week, but this Texan custom shirting brand has been killing it for over four generations. Known for creating bespoke and made-to-measure custom dress shirts, Hamilton Shirts has most recently released its ready-to-wear collection, titled 1883. Keeping the old school heritage intact, the garments are handmade from paper patterns and treated for a more rugged effect. With a slimmer fit and cleaner cut, they can be worn tucked out, making these shirts a perfect staple for a summer night with wifey or if you're out there schemin' on one.
Keep reading for our interview with owner, David Hamilton...
Complex: Your great, great, great grandparents must be proud that you're continuing the family legacy. How did they get started in the first place?
David Hamilton: They were from Virginia and decided to raise sheep out West. On the train, they met another traveler, John Mason, who was on his way to open a men's furnishing store. They decided to go into business together. Mason soon left the business for the Colorado mines. Originally, the brothers made all types of men's clothing. My great-grandfather, Bernard, ran the shirt factory. Eventually the other brothers left the business and Bernard narrowed his focus to shirts.
Complex: What's the difference between Hamilton 1883 and other Hamilton shirts?
David Hamilton: Like all Hamilton shirts, 1883 shirts are hand cut according to a paper pattern in our Houston workshop. To create a more relaxed feel for 1883, we use fewer interlinings and pre-wash the shirts. All 1883 shirts are cut trim and designed to be worn tucked in or out.
Complex: What is your most popular item?
David Hamilton: Our Oxfords.
Click here to Buy It Now at Hamilton Shirts, $185
Complex: Any special tips to care for them?
David Hamilton: Nope. That's the beauty of Oxford. It's pretty straightforward.
Complex: Tell us what your five spring essentials are.
1. Lightweight plaid shirt from our 1883 collection. It's perfect to transition between spring and summer weather. It's hard to find a good short sleeve shirt and they're in high demand in Houston.
2. Our 1883 Pullover shirt .
3. A Sole Survivor Snap Belt.
4. And, of course, Tom Ford Sunglasses.
5. For professionals who are busy, travel a lot, and can't always make it to the gym, the TRX Suspension Training Gear is great.
1883 Spring Collection
Complex: What was the first designer item you bought?
David Hamilton: I'm really not sure that I've ever bought a "designer" item. An Oxford suit was probably my first big clothing purchase. Still have it and love it. They're made to last.
Complex: Describe your favorite piece in stock right now.
David Hamilton: I love the brown check pullover. It's simple but unique. The fabric is an amazing zephyr construction that breathes well. Perfect shirt for a day at the beach or a local ice house.
Click here to Buy It Now at Hamilton Shirts, $165
Complex: What do you think distinguishes you from the competition?
David Hamilton: We're committed to making the finest shirt at every price point we offer. So, we spend most of our money on materials and people and a lot less on everything else. We don't advertise. We retail out of our Houston workshop where all shirts are made. We only wholesale to a limited number of truly outstanding retailers who are committed to our product and their customers. Everything we do is designed to deliver the most value to the customer.
Complex: Any good spots to eat in Houston?
David Hamilton: Houston has some of the best food in America. Some of my personal favorites are Hugo's, Goode Co. BBQ, Vinoteca Poscal, Feast, Beavers and Max's Wine Dive. There are so many more. We talk a lot about food on our blog.