After a bit of an ordeal, my first custom-made dress shirt arrived from Biased Cut. In short, I’m pleased with it and would definitely order from Biased Cut again in the future. For this review, I wore the shirt pretty much the entire weekend, sweated in it, got caught in a rainstorm in it and spilled nachos on it. I wouldn’t have done that if I didn’t like wearing it.
Still, my praise is not without criticisms, none of which are what I’d call deal-breakers and they’re all easily resolved. The one thing I give Biased Cut enormous credit for is their customer service and willingness to take on additional customizations not listed on their site (more on this later).
The shirt fits me well. I should note that I took measurements off of another well-fitting shirt (one made by MyTailor.com) to use as a baseline for this shirt. If you don’t have a well-fitting shirt, then you’ll be forced to use the option of measuring yourself or using a few questions and basic neck/sleeve measurements to get a shirt. I can’t comment on the rest of these options because it’s not the route I chose to take.
Wearing the shirt, it’s comfortable and doesn’t feel too tight or restrictive. They have options for “slim” or “normal” fit, and I chose the “slim” option. The “normal” option will give you more room in the torso, bicep and armhole. If you’re used to the Brooks Brothers Extra Slim Fit line, then go with the “slim” option, because I feel they’re similar in some respects.
In regards to the back of the shirt, Biased Cut does two things — one of which actually alters the fit of the shirt. The first is to add darts on the back, which is something none of my other shirts have. You can request that they not add darts by emailing customer service after you place your order. I decided to give it a shot since it is a part of their idea of how the shirt should fit.
The darts definitely do reduce the blousing effect on the shirt’s back and waist area when tucked in. I’m overall not sold on darting my shirts just yet, but I can see the appeal. In terms of aesthetics, I’m just not sure if I like how it looks and as my tailor once commented, it can definitely remind one of a women’s shirt.
I will say that the darting doesn’t strike me as too visible or noticeable on this particular fabric (I chose the “Everton”, a light-blue steel chambray), but would probably make any sort of patterned shirt look odd when the pattern doesn’t line up along those seams.
The second signature of the Biased Cut shirt’s back is the full-length back pleat. As you probably know from all of your other shirts, this is really unusual and I’ve never seen this done elsewhere. Visually, it adds a line on your torso that creates some sort of vertical line down your back. Functionally, it does nothing. The pleat is non-functional and is just extra fabric that’s purely decorative. So, unlike a traditional back pleat that actually adds real bulk to a shirt’s back (usually to allow for extra movement), this is just there for looks.
I like the look of the full-length back pleat, however, one obvious downside to it came about when I had to iron my shirt after washing it. The pleat’s folds came undone and needed to be re-pressed. This was a bit frustrating to deal with and a bit of a hassle I hadn’t anticipated. For future orders, I will definitely ask that my shirts not have a full-length back pleat.
The shirt’s quality seems pretty good. The stitching looks much better than off-the-rack shirts I’ve bought before (Nordstrom, Brooks Brothers) and definitely better than any of my MTM shirts from Modern Tailor. I’d put the quality on par with MyTailor.
The buttons are mother of pearl and are securely sewn on. Unlike the Modern Tailor cuffs, these cuffs are soft and comfortable on the wrists, yet still have enough rigid structure to them to hold up. Oh, and they include a button on the sleeve plackets, which is nice.
One detail that I really enjoyed was how the top button of the shirt on the collar was actually smaller than the rest of the buttons on the placket. I assume this is for when you’re wearing a necktie that it doesn’t get in the way of the knot and add bulk. Not a big detail and definitely subtle, but still shows some extra thought went into that detail.
The collar itself was also pretty good. It felt stiff enough to stay up, but not like a cardboard box around your neck. I chose the standard spread collar and the length on it worked well enough with all my jackets. One thing I cannot stand is the trend toward shorter collars, which increases the likelihood of the dreaded collar gap — plus, thicker bladed neckties tend to stick out from under the collar, too. No worries about that here.
As I mentioned earlier, there are some more customizations you can do to your order that are worth knowing about. I think the approach Biased Cut gives its customers through its online user interface is one of simplicity. Pick a shirt, enter measurements, pick a few limited details and order it. Unlike a lot of other online MTM dress shirt sites, they have a lot less visible choices for customization. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get extra details and additions done or make special requests.
For instance, some shirts don’t come with a pocket. But you can request a pocket be added (I did for this shirt, and I find pockets are very essential functional elements for my EDC because they carry my calendar and pen).
You can also add a club collar or contrast collar (or both!) to any shirt. You can also have a non-contrast or non-club collar and have a “normal” collar using the same shirt fabric on any contrast or club-collared shirt. So, that’s worth noting and means you could get the Basso in a spread, bengal-striped collar.
As previously mentioned, you can ask that the full-length back pleat and darts not be included as well. And I don’t know this for a fact, but I’m sure you could ask that your button-cuffed shirt either have a mitred or rounded edge. As for any other customized details, I’d just ask them by sending an email before you order to see what’s possible.
Where do I place Biased Cut in comparison to other MTM online shirtmakers? I think Modern Tailor has a huge selection and quick turnaround time, but suffers from quality control issues that’s pretty much made me hesitate to use them again, even at sale prices. MyTailor is great for their optional, in-person service to take your measurements and let you consult fabric books. Their quality is also very good and their selection is huge. The downside, however, is the turnaround time of 6 to 8 weeks and their prices tend to be a little bit higher than Biased Cut.
So, I think Biased Cut hits a good compromise. They have the quality, they have a reasonable turnaround time of 3 to 4 weeks and the pricepoint sits lower than MyTailor. Their largest weakness is that they don’t offer a large amount of fabrics nor a lot of the crazy customization options you might see on other sites. Still, don’t let this distract you from the fact that if you have a well-fitting shirt to base your measurements off of and they have a fabric that is appealing to you (they certainly do stock the basics), then they’re a good deal.
I plan to use them again in the future (along with MyTailor) and will be keeping an eye out for the fabrics they’re stocking from season to season.