Perfect fit – despite working from home: Styrians prefer made-to-measure shirts

The pandemic has changed fashion. But despite working from home and online trading, more and more men are opting for shirts that are tailored to their bodies by hand. Christina Poharec, who runs a shop in Graz, also reports on this.

It is asked exactly when it becomes really important in life. Hardly any other item of clothing makes it out of the closet as often as the men’s shirt on relevant occasions where a sophisticated appearance is required. Puristic and chic, it is one of the basics of fashion, but at the same time it is so changeable that it can be combined with any style. But does the fashion classic have a harder time with more home offices and fewer business trips than before? Christina Poharec, who runs the Piekfein store in Bürgergasse and besides making suits and coats also makes men’s shirts, could talk about this topic forever. It was actually feared that there would be no demand in Corona times, but exactly the opposite was the case. “Customers almost stood in line” “Especially when weddings were rescheduled, customers almost stood in line,” says Poharec. She partly worked until midnight in order to even manage the quota. “What surprised me is that we didn’t lose any sales. Despite the pandemic and the sweatpants boom, we have become stronger every year, ”she confirms. The reason for this is probably the high value of the handicraft. It would go further and further away from “fast fashion” in the direction of quality fashion with an optimal fit. According to Poharec, people have also learned to be a bit more patient overall. That is a factor that would benefit her very much. “Time plays a big role in bespoke production anyway, and the customers know that too,” confirms the Piekfein boss. Up to six weeks waiting time Between four and six weeks you currently have to wait for your bespoke shirt. Although there were delayed delivery times for the goods that she needed for production, the order item would not be received later than usual. “Fortunately, we were able to switch to spare textiles in stock and produce everything on schedule even at peak times,” says Poharec. However, the costs for the fine fabrics that she uses for the handmade men’s shirts have become a lot more expensive, as there has been an enormous rise in prices worldwide Raw materials like cotton existed. She therefore had to increase prices by five percent. “But that’s why the customer doesn’t do without his favorite piece made of poplin or twill,” says the managing director. Because: “With a shirt, ‘man’ is always well dressed.”
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