February 25, 2013 by Ville Raivio
Back in October I set upon a voyage. Frustrated and bored with readymade shirts cut like sails crafted from gossamer, topped with saddening collars, I turned to online shirtmakers. After having mastered eBay and forum sales, this felt like a natural step. The consept is clear: the customer selects his cloth and details, measures his best-fitting shirt and places an order. After a bit of searching I found around four dozen online shirtmakers. I wasn’t too keen on having a go at all, so limits had to be set. I only chose makers with fabrics from reputable mills, clear webstores, several collar options and ones who offered – or could make by request – unfused collars and cuffs. This narrowed the list down to about a dozen.
The odyssey’s goal is to present and review online shirtmakers. Accuracy of measurements, quality of make, selection, ease of use, customer service, customization and price-quality ratio are the variables I’m looking at. After having placed my order, I waited for a day or two before contacting the shirtmaker and requesting changes. This helped me assess customer service. Most of my orders were similar: a 5 cm high collar with a point length of 9 cm, unfused or soft collar and cuffs, slim fit, back darts, mother of pearl buttons, split yoke, white or blue in colour. I sent the same exact measurements to each maker, offering as additional information my height, weight and slim figure along with slouching shoulders. Most of the orders have been placed and received, reviews are due any day now. The winning maker gains my support and future orders.