Shirt Back and Sides specialise in custom made to order fancy back shirts and bespoke waistcoats. We are, as far as we are aware, the only place where your fabric can be chosen from anywhere in the world. This makes most of our garments unique.

MasterLogo copy


Welcome to my blog.

This blog is written to give some insites into aspects of the attire and the garments we produce...

I hope you some interest what you read please follow us on social media and share this blog with all your friends...

Regards Mark.

By backandsides, Dec 8 2018 04:19PM

A few days ago, I received an enquiry for a Naval themed shirt for a gift, as usual I did my searches finding approximately 30 choices within the UK and about the same from my overseas suppliers. The client took a couple of days to think about things and then asked if I could do a second search for another theme, which I duly did. She then decided on a fabric from the original search, a stunning fabric which would come from one of our main suppliers.

A thorough search can take over an hour to do and if it’s an easy theme I can find up to 50 results, each result is checked for suitability because some 100% cotton fabrics are upholstery weight not quilting weight. I also need to check price obviously and availability.

Now availability is the least important check because usually there is more than one place selling the same pattern. However, on the real precise search themes where results are limited, fabrics can be in smaller amounts. If you have followed our Facebook page you will be aware that I have found the last of some fabrics, which means in theory the shirt made of it is a total one off and therefore priceless because it cannot ever be made again. Not that I charge my client the true value of one of these fancy back shirts.

I digress, going back to the story. The client has made her choice, I then send out the deposit invoice it was promptly paid, I contact my supplier as I notice that there is only 1.5 metres showing on the listing and I need 2 metres minimum. Normally he would have about a metre over the listed amount as its end of roll. He came back with "sorry Mark that is all I have." He also tells me that he has ordered more but it comes from the USA and could take 6 months to arrive. Now I'm in a dilemma.

A search for another supplier starts in earnest. It doesn't take many minutes to realise this fabric has gone out of production and no one has any. I manage to find another metre in Germany, but postage make it unrealistic to buy. Also, the 2 metres I require needs to be a continuous length. I then started different search wordings and after a good hour with an obscure worded listing I find 2.5 metres in Cornwall so buy it quickly. Panic over...

So, to err on the side of caution.

If we do a search for you or if you look yourself and find the most awesome fabric that is exactly what you are looking for. Buy it !!! Because if it's that good and popular the chances are in a few weeks it could be gone.

If it's not a good time to finance a fancy back shirt but you don't want to miss out, you could pay the £50 deposit, we are then happy to buy and hold your chosen fabric until you are ready to have your shirt made up.

By backandsides, Aug 14 2018 10:28PM

It makes us very happy when we received pictures sent by our clients wearing the fancy back shirts they commissioned us to make.

To know that Shirt back and sides were chosen to supply something inspired for the groom on such a special day. Those memories will live on with them. We are honoured to know we helped add something unique to that memory.

As you can see from one of the pictures our fancy back shirts are great as they cannot be seen under a jacket so perfect for the photo's.

A huge thank you to Nikki & Paul and Caroline and Peter for sending these pictures. wishing you every happiness for the future.

By backandsides, Jan 24 2018 06:57PM

Brides… they pay hundreds of pounds for their dresses and almost as much on their bridesmaids’ dresses; they may only wear them for their special day.

Grooms have little choice: hire a suit or waistcoat for the day.

This does not have to be the case…

Grooms, on your big day all eyes are on the beauty of your bride and her dress and so they should be. However as things relax and the photos have been taken, meeting and greeting are all done, the meal and speeches are over:

Why not surprise your bride and guests, giving all a memory for years to come.

A fancy back shirt is a dress shirt or a formal evening shirt, smart and impeccably well-tailored, hidden while under a jacket, perfect for your special day. Once the formalities are over and the jacket is removed prepare for the attention to turn to the groom. The groom’s guaranteed WOW factor.

Our bespoke fancy back shirts can also be kept for future occasions, a nice reminder of your special day. We can help you choose a pattern from around the world to match your wedding theme, or one that shows your hobbies or interests. The Groom, Best man and Ushers can have matching patterns with back and sleeves, or just the back.

So, can you keep a secret until the reveal? This bespoke shirt cannot be seen until the jacket is removed!

Each shirt comes with a certificate of authenticity. SB&S dispatch the shirts by post, hand-packed and beautifully presented. The entire shirt ordering process can be completed by email. What a service!

Our shirts also make a perfect gift.

By backandsides, Aug 20 2017 09:18PM


I wanted to talk to you about fabric patterns, as SB&S as far as we are aware; we are the only people who give you unlimited choice on fabric patterns to back a shirt or front a waistcoat. We have patterns in our shop to give you an idea of the huge choice that is available across the world. With choices this vast, there is no way that we could list them all, let alone stock them. This is why we offer the personal shopper approach of searching for your perfect pattern for you. When you fill in the enquiry form the first thing we ask is what pattern are you looking for, i.e. Tractors, Planes, Horses, etc.…

We follow several suppliers who email out the latest patterns when they arrive or patterns for particular events, Halloween, Christmas etc.

The reason for this blog is to tell you that Facebook is where we post the latest patterns, so by following our Facebook page you will be able to see the latest patterns and up to date news. Only by following our page will you be able to take advantage of these latest patterns, because you never know when you will see that perfect pattern for your next event. These patterns are only shown on our page.

See you there. Don’t forget to say Hi.

By backandsides, Jul 16 2017 03:10PM

I took this following quote from an article I found some years ago which I kept because it inspires the strict expectations which black tie on the invite invokes.

I have read this article very carefully and at all black tie events the jacket is to remain worn until late, or in the case of the UK armed forces they are given permission to remove jackets.

As the wearer of one of our fancy back shirts no infringement to this dress code stated below has occurred. As the evening relaxes the venue warms up and conversation between guests become easier you tend to find jackets are removed, at this point everyone is still the same with their white shirts, except the wearer of the Fancy back shirt with his inspired patterned back and sleeves. All attention will be given to him it will get him noticed and will be a great conversation starter when approaching other guests. So what is stopping you? “Putting a bit of fun into formal”.

Quote from an article.

“Black Tie”, “Black Tie Required”


The appearance of Black Tie on an invitation indicates unequivocally that the host expects tuxedos to be worn. Black Tie required or Black Tie only means the same thing but can come across as heavy-handed. Hosts should avoid the latter unless they are certain that there will be guests too naïve or inconsiderate to infer the mandatory nature of the former.

There will likely be those few guests who will wrongly interpret Black Tie to simply mean "formal" and arrive in whatever they feel appropriately dressy. A gracious host will excuse the appearance of the uninformed among them, viewing the transgression as a valuable learning experience for these guests. As for the wilfully inconsiderate, the host’s congeniality need last only as long as the evening.


Wear proper black tie or send your regrets. It’s that simple.

Hosts and organizers do not specify this dress code because they want you showing up in a black suit. Rather, they have put a tremendous amount of effort into making the evening exceptional and are relying on you to respect the unique elegance and traditional uniformity that black tie so brilliantly imparts. Yet there always seem to be those men who feel the party is all about them and they can dress as they please. “Some guys,” observed The National Post, “especially younger fellows who feel they’re really successful, take pride in flouting dress codes and showing up in business suits, often not dark, and without a tie . . . Perhaps kids think it’s too much trouble to rent or buy a black tie. Grow up or don’t show up.”

RSS Feed

Web Feed.

Star wars shirt Si. use