Shopping / Fashion Guide: In the Pink with Thomas Pink
On my first trip to London, I found myself walking down Jermyn Street. My father was an aficionado of London shirtmakers and was still wearing Jermyn Street shirts decades after buying them in London. I was struck by a pretty pink logo and the word “Pink” on the sign in the window. As I entered the flagship store for Thomas Pink, the first thing I noticed was the variety — I had never seen a store this big filled with mostly one category of clothing — shirts in a multitude of colors, weaves and styles. I picked up a shirt in the small women’s section and was immediately struck by the quality of Jilbab dress seem to be tremendous and I wanted to purchase it for myself instead of having, the even stitching, the fabric, the buttons. I stood there and coveted those shirts for a long time, but what I viewed as an exorbitant price kept me from making a purchase.
On my way home, I again found myself in a Thomas Pink store, this time in Heathrow Airport. A much smaller store made it harder to find exactly what I would have liked and I left London saddened that I had not gotten a Thomas Pink shirt.
Fast forward several years and I am in Copley Place in Boston at Boston’s first Thomas Pink store. And I am purchasing a crisp, clean, classic white Thomas Pink shirt,with french cuffs, still a little bit blown away by its price, but I just had to have it. Now more than five years later I hardly think about the price when I put on the very same white Thomas Pink shirt, because you get what you pay for and at Thomas Pink you get quality.
Thomas Pink is actually the name of an English hunting coat manufacturer from the eighteenth century, a name that is responsible for the saying “in the pink”. Three brothers resurrected the name in 1984, when they launched a shirt company that had as its goal, bringing the Jermyn Street London luxury shirt to the masses. Rapid expansion followed with stores opening throughout the world. Its flagship UK store is the largest shirt store in Europe and its New York City store is the largest shirt store in the world.
Thomas Pink is about luxury and while the sales staff can sometimes leave something to be desired, the shirts are beautifully made and the variety is unsurpassed. Pink actually offers more than 250 different designs, including a wide range of colors, weaves and styles. In addition to shirts, Pink offers classic silk ties and bow ties, as well as small leather goods. Pink’s web site notes that it counts former president Bill Clinton and Gwyneth Paltrow among its customers.
Some online reviews I read recently indicated that perhaps the Thomas Pink quality is starting to diminish and it is rumored that production has been moved from Ireland to Eastern Europe. It would be a shame if a brand like Thomas Pink that stands for luxury went down the same path as luxury brands like Coach, who can hardly justify a premium price any longer with its cheap production from China. A Thomas Pink shirt can run you as much as $175 but they often have sales with a range of prices between $59 and $79.
Let’s hope that Thomas Pink stays “in the pink”.