Someone who knows just what a perfect shirt looks like is Chris Buchanan, the driving force behind premium shirt delivery service Mr Shirts. Specialising in high quality shirts at short notice, Mr Shirts is the modern-day answer to your trusted local tailor.
For those needing a last-minute shirt for Spring Racing Carnival, a corporate event or just a romantic evening in town, we’ve started up a handy partnership with Mr Shirts at The Blackman, enabling guests to use the in-room menu and have a shirt shipped in under 24 hours.
To celebrate the partnership, we thought we’d chat to Chris and get the 411 on where the idea for Mr Shirts came from, what he knows about dressing up in style and where he visits when he’s in town.
The Mr Shirts concept is quite different from a traditional tailor or suit retailer. What was your starting point for the business concept?
We believe that things can be better. We do this by challenging the status quo, thinking different, acting bold. We just happen to make shirts (for now), which is our manifesto - we simply exist to make things better: better product, better quality, better service.
What Mr Shirts achieves is luxury quality at assessable prices where fit, service & affordability are all of equal importance.
After years of wearing everything from your department store “sandpaper” variety to high end luxury brands, it became evident the perfect shirt boils down to two things: the cut and the quality.
All the elements we weave together to create our shirts are about achieving those two things: from the 100% superfine cotton we use for cloth and Mother of Pearl buttons to our use of single-needle tailoring and fusing Vilene® Interlining from Switzerland into all our collars and cuffs, every part of our process is designed to bring our clients that quality and cut at a more affordable price.
Whilst it might all sound rather lavish for a daily dress shirt (and whilst other producers don’t bother) at Mr Shirts we wanted to deliver a shirt without compromise. But that is just the start, we also offer free next day delivery, free 100-day returns and free luxury gift wrapping – because we believe things can be better.
You’re a Sydney local – but where are your favourite spots in Melbourne and what do you always include in a trip down here?
I might operate from Sydney, but as a Melbournian it’s where the heart is. I am just grateful that I get to fly down every month. A typical trip always includes a stay at an Art Series hotel be it The Olsen or The Blackman. Every time I step through the doors, I’m like “why did it take so long for Melbourne to get a hotel of this ilk” – I’m just glad Melbourne has a hotel that you can confidentially recommend to international travellers.
That said, a trip is never complete without a Negroni at Siglo, a visit to the book store at NGV and a run around The Tan!
The Mr Shirts experience has been described as luxurious and enviably packaged. What does luxury look like to you and what do you treat yourself with?
Luxury is an interesting word. It’s defined as “A state of great comfort or elegance, especially when involving great expense” – I just find that jarring.
Luxury to me is about the quality of materials used, the level of service provided, the enhancement to one’s life. As for the expensive part, well if you want 100 people in your supply chain and each to take a cut - of course it’s going to be ridiculously priced. We need to be better than that and Mr Shirts proves this.
What are you most excited about in collaborating with Art Series Hotels for the Mr Shirts activation at The Blackman?
I have lost count of the number of times I have extended a stay – be it for a boardroom meeting or weekend escape – only to confront reality that I don’t have the right wardrobe! If you have a meeting or hot date in few hours dry cleaning can’t save you! Enter Mr Shirts x The Blackman – not only do we put a roof over your head, but we also have your back covered!
How will the Mr Shirts service at The Blackman expand the Mr Shirts experience? Tell us a little bit about the collaboration.
The collaboration is exciting, because we get to focus on one product, our hero shirt which we call “The Weapon”. Nothing looks better than a crisp, immaculate, high-thread-count, perfectly fitting shirt. For us our white Poplin is a case in point. Every man needs a failsafe classic white shirt, crisply cut and sharply detailed. This refined piece will be your go-to shirt whether you’re headed to the boardroom or a weekend lunch.
Ordering this product off the in-room menu is genius! Allow me to demonstrate: dial 0 – “Excuse me, 1 white poplin in size 39 thanks” and it arrives in 10 minutes - what a service! I hope it is well received by guests and we get the opportunity to roll out the offer across the Art Series Hotel Group properties.
Finally, we couldn’t help but notice you mentioned you make shirts “for now” – What’s next for Mr Shirts and are there any new products on the horizon...?
Well spotted! At the end of the day, we only exist to “make things better”. Be it our product, our site or our service, we have set the benchmark high - but there is always improvement to be found and new levels to reach.
In the office we regularly find ourselves saying “At Mr Shirts we don’t shirt around” and our manifesto reflects that new categories are on the horizon. If only I could tell you what category we are seeking to disrupt next...
Find more info at Mr Shirts on their website.
Please note the MR SHIRTS activation has now ended. Throughout this activation, shirts were made available at The Blackman as part of the in-house inventory or as part of an express delivery service, easily ordered from a suite.