Four-time Grammy winner Lyle Lovett is usually busy writing songs, touring with his 18-piece band, acting in the occasional movie or riding horses on his Texas farm. The last thing the singer would seem to have time for is paper patterns and a sewing machine, but these things were necessary for Lovett's latest opus: His own brand of high-end men's shirts. Houston-based Hamilton Shirts will debut the artist's first line—Lyle Lovett For Hamilton Shirts—in its fall 2013 collection.
“Lyle Lovett has been a client since 2006. He started buying Hamilton shirts at M.L. Leddy's in Fort Worth and more recently he’s been shopping at our Houston workshop,” relates David Hamilton, co-owner of the family business. “We’re big admirers of Mr. Lovett and always thought it would be cool if he designed a shirt for our collection. We never asked because we didn’t want to impose on him. But during one visit he expressed his interest in creating a line of shirts and we said we’d be thrilled.”
Yeah, we know: Celebrities stitch their names onto clothing labels all the time: Victoria Beckham, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna and the Olsen twins all have their own lines, and you can buy the Kardashian Kollection—fittingly enough—at Sears. The difference in this case is that Hamilton makes extremely fine shirts (its bespoke civvies have covered the backs of the well-to-do since 1883)—and Lovett himself actually worked on them. “Authenticity is very important to us, and Mr. Lovett has a tremendous sense of style,” Hamilton said. “He was involved in every aspect of the design process.”
Lovett is rather a natty dresser to start with, and his line is essentially his own riff on the traditional Western shirt. His touches included deepening the curve of the yoke, styling the pocket flaps to match, and adding a variety of other personal touches like a trimmer fit and three-button cuffs (those buttons are carved horn, natch.) The shirts will come in a choice of 23 fabrics from red cashmere cotton to thin navy stripes, and retail between $225-265. Only select stores (most in Texas) will carry the pieces, but sartorially inclined Western fans trapped up north can find them at www.HamiltonShirts.com starting in September.