Emma Willis of Jermyn Street is a bespoke shirtmakers dedicated to making in England from fine Swiss cotton. Ready-to-wear shirts and accessories are also available at their showroom, in addition to appointments to get fitted and discuss your bespoke requirements.
All of their shirts are made in their Gloucester factory, Bearland House, a converted 18th century townhouse. Standards are rigorous; patterns are hand cut and sewn exactly 18 stitches to the inch. A superbly neat collar is achieved by trimming the collar before turning. Trimmings for shirts are all sourced in England too, including mother of pearl buttons. Willis personally overseas the production for quality control, spending two days a week at the factory, which also makes boxer shorts, pyjamas, dressing gowns, and walking socks.
One of the things that sets Emma Willis apart from other Jermyn Street shirtmakers, is its charity work. Style For Soldiers was set up by the company’s founder to offer a free bespoke shirt, or walking stick for those that need one, for injured service men and women. The aim is to restore their confidence with a shirt they feel great in, and to help them on their way with securing a job for the next stage of their life. A Christmas party is thrown every year for soldiers who have received an Emma Willis bespoke shirt, and the patrons and ambassadors who include model David Gandy. By supporting the Emma Willis business, you also help to support their charity, and donations are also accepted.
The business first started life in 1987, supplying excellently-made shirts to other traders in London, before Willis decided to put her own name above a shop door on Jermyn Street in 1999, one of the few female-owned businesses in the area. In 2014, she was awarded an MBE for services to entrepreneurship. Production is kept limited to retain quality with the only outlets for the brand being their Gloucester factory showroom, Mr Porter, and, of course, Jermyn Street.