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ModernTailor.com made-to-measure shirts | Buy

The Internet has done wonders for the world of made-to-measure clothing, bringing it from a laborious indulgence for big-city fat-cats to something within reach of weekend sartorialists everywhere. ModernTailor.com is a Michigan-based custom shirtmaker with Shanghai manufacturing that aims to bring speed and affordability to what is still quite often a slow and expensive endeavour. As with most makers, you can choose a standard size or send your best-fitting shirt for them to copy, but the custom-measurement option is the best we've seen. The site includes a comprehensive guide for measuring yourself or your favourite shirt, with the most options in the industry, including such small details as button colour and collar stiffness. We carefully measured a shirt custom made at an earlier date, double-checked everything, and placed an order. Our fabric of choice was a rich brown stripe, listing on the site for a mere $39.95—a great price for an off-the-rack shirt, much less a made to measure one.

The shirt arrived in exactly two weeks, which is nothing short of astounding, considering that half of that was transit time from China (they'll do it even faster with DHL for an extra $8). As is sometimes par for the course with made-to-measure clothing, the first shirt wasn't quite right. A few key measurements, particularly the chest and waist, were considerably different from our specs. And as a sort of funny sideline, one of the buttons was different from the others, a deep red instead of black. On the other hand, we can't say enough about the fabric, which is fantastic. Thick, lustrous, with a bit of stretch, and wrinkle resistant, it's superior to that on custom shirts we paid $90 for elsewhere. But of course we had to ask about the fit.

ModernTailor at this point offered to remake the shirt at no cost, but we took the opportunity to try out another fabric. Selecting a non-iron silver-grey herringbone (also $39.95) we assured them that we weren't kidding about the measurements this time, and placed the order. Again the finished product arrived promptly, in three weeks to the day, with that three weeks spanning an entire week of national holiday in China. And in the words of the great Gerry Rafferty, "If you get it wrong, you'll get it right next time." The second shirt was perfect—the fit was just as requested, the fabric was again superb, and yes, all of the buttons even matched.

Obviously it took a test shirt to get the fit dialed in, but once that's done, the service and value you get from ModernTailor is impressive. Subsequent custom shirts, using the same pattern as our last order, are expected to again take only a couple of weeks to arrive. You simply cannot beat that. Their fabric choices now number over 200, including some really imaginative patterns and almost all in the $30-$50 price range. Highly recommended, and our new custom shirtmaker of choice.
04.nov.2009 style
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