A Cuppa With…Our Menswear Team

Size matters, which is why we’ve spent months overhauling our shirting range, expanding our sizes to make sure we have a fit for everyone.  So what makes a great fitting shirt?

“A s longstanding members of the Joules team, Senior Menswear Designer, Tim Ellis, and Senior Technician, Helen Perry, always have size, comfort and style in mind.  After months of hard work, they are delighted to introduce our new improved men’s shirting sizing, including selected styles that are now available up to XXXXL. We caught up over a cuppa (milk, no sugar for Tim; Herbal for Helen) to talk measurements, fabric and functionality:

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourselves?

Tim: “I’ve been with Joules for five years now. My role is to lead the creative process on menswear, working with our team to build new concepts and styles for the season, creating great colour palettes, looking at how to best integrate our fantastic prints and focusing on the little details that elevate our clothing from good to great.  When I’m not at work, you’ll find me ferrying my daughter to dance classes!”

Helen: “I’ve been with Joules for nine years. Menswear has grown quite significantly since from a small capsule to a complete range, which is really rewarding to see.  I’ll take Tim’s concept and build the garments, focusing on measurements, fit and comfort of wear.  It takes a lot of testing and iterating to get to the final item you see in our stores.  When I’m not at work, you’ll find me working on my never-ending house renovation or skiing.”

Q: What have you been working on recently?

Tim: “We’ve really honed in on shirting for larger size men.  A large percentage of our customers are either rugby players or part of the farming community, so we had a lot of feedback that they wanted roomier styles and larger sizing.

“Shirting is such a linchpin of a man’s wardrobe and allows us to give our customers colour, pattern and interest; it felt like the right place to start.  So we took a step back and made it our mission to create the perfect shirting fits for modern men.  We really wanted to make sure we have a fit for everybody.”

Q: How did you go about reworking our sizing to meet the needs of larger men?

Helen: “That’s when the fun started.  We worked with a group of men of all different sizes, to understand their body shapes and how they felt wearing different shirting styles.  It’s amazing to see the difference you get in shoulder slopes, length of arm, chest measurements and waist measurements when you have a whole host of different bodies in the same room.

“We found that our larger Joules gentleman would rather have a little bit more ease in his garments than maybe a smaller guy who was comfortable with a slimmer fit.  That’s when we came up with the idea of making our XL, XXL a bit roomier and launching a new XXXL and XXXXL in selected styles.”

Tim: “Helen really went into the minutiae of every fold, cut and stitch, testing each iteration on real men and working with the feedback.  There was so much tinkering of measurements.”

Helen: “When it comes to sizing, there is no industry standard.  So every brand has to make a call on what they believe is the correct sizing structure for their customers. We now know our larger customers want more room in their fit.

“It comes down to research, testing and lots of tweaking to reach a final Joules size spectrum that we feel is right for our customers.  We think we’ve got it right, but we’re now excited to hear feedback from customers.”

Q: What makes the difference between a well fitting shirt and a badly fitting shirt?

Helen: “As general guidelines when shirt shopping, start with your chest size.  That’s where we start as garment technologists.  Then look at the fit across the shoulders and sleeve length.  How it then fits around the body is about how a person feels in it.  If a man feels comfortable and confident that it looks right on him, then it’s the right fit.”

Q: What makes a Joules man?

Tim: “Men of all ages and professions shop with us.  I think it’s because we offer a lot of timeless wardrobe staples, like our best-selling Hewney, a crisp peached cotton shirt finished with chambray trims and a concealed button collar that comes in a variety of checks.  But then we also offer more contemporary colours and prints, like our Invitation shirt, which would help you stand out from the crowd.

“Our Joules man has so many different sides to his personality.  When we’re building a range, we look at fit, fabric and functionality to ensure we’re covering all the bases. We want to offer a full collection that covers him for work, weekends, outdoor adventures or family time in all weather conditions.”

Q: What makes our shirting different?

Tim: “We offer a complete range of styles.  Our Wilby is your classic fit relaxed country living shirt.  Then we have our Laundered Oxford, which is built from soft yet sturdy cotton and with enough shape and structure to give it a cleaner, crisper look more suitable for the office.

“As well as structure, we’re really focused on fabric quality.  We consider hundreds of options and get really picky.  Our fabric needs to be tactile enough that you want to grab it from the hanger, but also durable and practical enough to last and wash well.

“A Joules shirt also always comes with hidden details. The exciting range of colours and prints are visible when you purchase, but it’s once you get it home you might notice pops of coloured stitching or trims, contrast pattern to the inner back-neck, concealed coloured buttons or hidden labels. It’s the kind of personal, individual touches that you find once you start wearing a shirt.  We like to revitalise a product to make it more interesting for our customers.”

Thanks Tim and Helen and congratulations on our new sizing. You’ll now find roomier fits on our XL and XXL sizes, as well as our new XXXL and XXXXL size on selected styles.  Not sure what size to buy? Take a peek at our size guide here, or pop into a store and we’ll happily talk you through it.

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