Readers Question: A Perfect Gift

Words by: Andrew Williams

A friend of mine contacted me last week asking for help. She was looking for a Christmas present for her new chap. My advice may prove useful, whether you’re hunting for gifts or not.


Help me!

I have a new man and I have no idea whatsoever what to get him for Christmas. He’s (relatively) stylish, 30, American etc. I want to get him something which isn’t completely obvious (no socks, hankies or ties – I think that might be lame), I don’t really want to spend more than a tonne [£100] either.

You’re my shopping guru. Obi won, you’re my only hope!”


My first thought is book your fella an appointment with Erland at Stephan Haroutunian Shirts (Fulham), and pay for him to have a shirt made. I get my shirts made here, so what better recommendation could you ask for? They also make shirts for many British Army Officers  – chaps not know for accepting slovenliness. This was how the business actually started two generations ago.


Erland does a very good made to measure shirt at two price points, £69 and £79. There is no minimum order. This last point is very rare. Usually having shirts made to measure is quite an expensive business because most makers have minimum orders. This can be anything from 3 to 5 shirts in one hit. Erland will do single shirts, which makes it wonderfully affordable.


The shirts are made in the Haroutunian family’s workshop in Cyprus and are good quality, with beautifully soft unfused collars, although they do offer various combinations of interlining.

If your man’s a stylish fellow he’ll appreciate it. It’s a nice experience and he may even find a useful source for the future. Here is the complete lowdown.

Erland is a lovely man. I’m sure if you explain the situation and get him to write out a card along the lines of “Dear Mr X, we would be delighted to receive you at your earliest convenience…etc“. If it helps, mention my name.

Your man may already have his shirts made, but I doubt it. Most men don’t”.

While the people and events portrayed are real, some of the names have been changed to protect the identity of those receiving gifts from Santa.