What is it that college guys think about, you ask? If the men in question are Michael Maher, Barrett Purdum, and Mike Armenta, it’s their shared inability to find a good shirt. “Barrett was stealing his dad’s custom shirts from Hong Kong, and his dad was getting so mad at us. But nothing else fit the same way,” Michael says of their bonding experience at Babson College in Massachusetts—he and Barrett went to school there, and Mike would spend time on campus to hang with his brothers.
So with nothing more than an ambition to top the other button-downs in their closet— and a determination to live a more laidback, West Coast lifestyle—all three of them bolted to San Francisco upon graduation and started Taylor Stitch in 2008. “We didn’t know a goddamn thing. It was total trial by fire,” Michael laughs. They went to a tradeshow and found a storied men’s shirting manufacturer to learn from and partner with, and, once they had amassed the measurements of hundreds of custom-shirt customers, the trio set out to create the perfect iteration that you could buy off-the-rack.
Since then, Taylor Stitch has grown like crazy, launching new products every Wednesday with what’s become their trademark blend of East Coast prep, West Coast casual, and just-right attention to detail—take their signature oxford shirt, which features corozo buttons that are more durable than plastic ones. Now, their label includes a full range of menswear, a small collection of womenswear, and even shoes. “We’re just a scrappy team of people who are psyched about making products that make people happy every day,” Michael explains.—genevieve ang