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Shirt Odyssey: What I’ve Learned

4

February 27, 2013 by Ville Raivio

After having ordered, received and reviewed made to measure shirts from around a dozen online makers, I feel a small summary of my experiences is in order. As fabric selections, my listed measurements, used machines and manufacturing methods are fairly alike, the comparisons must be drawn from other variables. Of these by far the most important is the end result. Fit is key, finishing is essential. What I’ve learned: all shirtmakers muck up. Measurements are off, collars are of wrong type, delivery times lengthen, patterns are not matched, so on. The first shirt is always a prototype. Even the odyssey’s winning and second-best maker got my subsequent orders wrong. Thus, online shirtmakers will not please the restless customer. Some orders must be returned for alterations, others won’t be quite right in the long run, and end up on eBay or such. At their best, however, online shirtmakers offer similar end results and fit as established houses. The process is just impersonal.

Most online shirtmakers have two substantial advantages: prices and ease of use. Based in India, Hong Kong, China and the like, the makers can offer bespoke-made shirts with pleasing prices. They have no stores with high rents, middlemen nor typical sales clerks with accustomed wages. Their webstores offer clear instructions and interfaces. The customer has no need to make an appointment, clear his schedule, go through endless fabric books and discuss details. Once his fit has been solved, a great shirt can be ordered with a few clicks, delivered to his office or front door. Easy, affordable, enjoyable. Online shirtmakers will not please the man craving attention and service or fast results. Others will find excellent results and never look back on readymade shirts. After my experiences, I can recommend online shirtmakers with the caveats listed.


4 comments »

  1. Ville Raivio says:

    Hello again,

    I will try the warzone oxford in the future. Trouble is, they’ve so many interesting fabrics to choose from. Not many online shirtmakers stock Tattersall checks and flannel shirtings, let alone tartans. Another quill to Luxire’s virtual hat. Yes, they’ve dissected several shirts from various established makers in order to learn and evolve. I was told they really do try to make the best shirts in the world. At this price point, they do.

  2. Alex says:

    Will definitely spread the word.

    Not surprised to hear your opinions on Luxire. If one is able to get the measurements right, I think they genuinely offer one of the best shirts available anywhere in the world. I’m particularly impressed by the non-aligned side and arm seams. This is a detail found only in the very best shirts and shows they really are made the old way.

    It’s a relief to have found somewhere so good after so long and at such an affordable price.

    Have you any experience with the warzone oxford cloth?

    Regards,

    Alex

  3. Ville Raivio says:

    Greetings from snowy Finland!

    Many thanks for the kind words. I will let you in on the likely end result: two or three shirts have yet to arrive, but so far Luxire will be the winner. They offered the best fit from the start, the prices are exceptional, selection and finishing are great, unfused construction is not an obstacle — and they never say ‘no’. All orders can be placed with as many odd details as one wants. I trust they’d even put up a smoke machine with the shirt if I’d only ask.

    If you like Keikari’s content, I would ask you to spread links online. This would allow new readers to find the unique content I try to offer.

  4. Alex says:

    Some superb content here,some of the best around, I’m really enjoying it.

    Particularly interested in your shirt Odyssey. Good shirts are extremely hard to find. I live in London and have tried many of the famous bespoke makers with little success. I’ve even tried a famous Italian maker with similarly poor results. Oddly, finding decent bespoke suits and shoes seems very much easier.

    At the moment I’m trying to get the fit right with Luxire. Results so far are very promising. The process hasn’t been without problems but the price, service and make are far better than anything else I’ve found.

    I hope you’re planning a more detailed review of the different mtm shirts you’ve ordered, I’d be extremely interested in reading that.

    Regards,

    Alex

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