The best custom shirts in NYC? That’s an aggressive question to answer as well as a bold implication. I cannot say that the shirts that The Sock Hop makes out of its small Nolita store (I don’t think anyone truly knows the borders of the neighborhoods down there) are the best in NYC they are certainly some of the best. I can say, however, that the shirt they made for me is certainly one of the nicest shirts I own and the nicest shirt that I have had made by a brand in NYC. In fact, it may perhaps be the only shirt I own that was made on Manhattan.
The Sock Hop opened for business late in 2010 and is strictly a family business. It also, as the name leads one to believe, sells socks. Some really great socks actually, but we will focus on the shirts for now. The Sock Hop was founded and run by Vincent and Theodore Nasserbakht, who are 2 of the 4 sons of Reza Nasserbakht. Reza is the shirt maker extraordinaire at The Sock Hop, he has been making shirts since he was 7 or 8, he is now 67. Although his career started in his native Tehran, Reza immigrated to the United States and had his own store in Chicago. He retired for a time, and then his sons asked him to move to NYC to join their operation. However, the art of shirt making spans further back than Reza. Reza’s father was also a shirt maker, which means that the craft has been in the family for over 100 years.
After talking with Vincent about socks, shirts and music (there is always music playing in the background, usually, if not always it is from vinyls) we got down to business. We opted for a blue oxford for the fabric. For the details of the shirt we kept is pretty simple. A cutaway collar, beveled single button cuffs, single yoke and no detailing on the back (like darts or pleats). This is actually the same style of shirt I have been ordering for most of my shirts the past few months (probably about 12 in total).
Vincent was nice enough to make the shirt for me free of charge, but normally their shirts run $200-250. Which is more expensive than any of the shirts I have talked about previously on the blog. But it is also in a different class because of the way the shirt is made and what it is made from. Vincent sources some of The Sock Hop’s fabrics from Thomas Mason and Spechler Vogel. Others are obtained from random sources such as when Vincent is traveling and sees fabric he thinks will make good shirts. Additionally, a customer can bring in their own fabric if they would like. The fabric needs to be 45-60″ wide and of at least 3 yards in length. And it of course needs to be of suitable quality.
The Sock Hop’s shirts are bespoke. Reza drafts a pattern by hand for each customer, the pattern is then stored for future purchases. So now that my pattern is on file I can easily call up to have further shirts made. As I have mentioned before, all of the shirts are made in The Sock Hop’s store. Which made the shirts pretty unique, there are not many brands/stores in NYC that make their goods in store or on Manhattan. Sometimes I am a sucker for this type of stuff and other times I am not. In the case the former is certainly true.
In conclusion I am very happy with my shirt from The Sock Hop. Unfortunately, I do not have anything to compare it to because I have not purchased or reviewed other shirts at that price level. But given what if offered the shirt seems to be a good value, especially if you are someone who wants to see how and where something you are buying is made. That, along with the fact that the shirts are bespoke are what set The Sock Hop apart from many of the brands I have reviewed in the $50-200 range; in case you were wondering. And the value of these two things is different for everyone so it is up to you to decide if you can afford the shirts. I can only tell you that they are some very nice shirts and that if I was a man of greater means I would purchase shirts from The Sock Hop. If you have any questions, comments or experience with The Sock Hop feel free to sound off in the comments.
Note: FYGblog did receive this shirt for the purpose of review. Like always, the utmost effort was taken to ensure the review was unbiased and informative.