Proper Suit summer fabrics & unstructured jackets

Last week, the guys from Proper Suit let me know they had new fabric books in for spring and summer. 

Since my review of Proper Suit back in November, Proper Suit has been featured in Esquire's Style Blog and Bloomberg TV — it’s good to see a Chicago men’s clothing company get some national level attention — and they’ve now opened up a 3,600-square foot office in Chicago’s River North area to take local Chicago appointments. 

But the stuff I’m really excited about are their new fabrics for the warmer seasons. The variety of lightweight wools, linens, cottons and wool-silk-linen blends offer an exciting buffet of choices for odd jackets in the summer — or suits if you intend to go with a more conservative solid linen or seersucker fabric. 

Proper Suit has fabrics available from a variety of Italian mills, including Loro Piana, Zegna, Artison Napoli, Reda, VBC, Delfino, Ormezzano, Solbiati, Imparato and Fintes. 

In addition to these seasonal offerings, Proper Suit told me they’re now offering unstructured jackets as an alternative to their traditional full-canvas construction. Customers have been asking them for a while if they can offer it and they’ve worked with their manufacturer to add the option. 

After some consideration, I picked a 240-gram brown plaid linen fabric with a mid-blue check (seen on the bottom of the first fabric photo above) from Ormezzano. 

For details: brown horn buttons, bemberg lined sleeves, patch pockets, dual vents, notched lapels and of course a 3-2 roll buttoning stance. Because of the unstructured nature of the jacket, we narrowed the shoulders a bit from my suit pattern and raised the armhole slightly. 

I’m excited to see how it turns out an in a few weeks should have photos and a review up for those curious about trying the program. If you’d rather not wait, then you can visit Proper Suit and book an appointment to see the fabrics for yourself. 


Review: Proper Cloth made-to-measure dress shirt


"We’ve been working on streamlining our process and now in just two weeks you’ll have a MTM shirt delivered to your door."

That was the bold promise of Proper Cloth, who contacted me about providing a made-to-measure dress shirt for me to review. I found this fascinating and impressive. 

One of the startling things about made-to-measure operations now is the turn-around time. Where traditional bespoke used to take months, made-to-measure now can be done in a matter of weeks — but even a two-week timeline from order placed to arrival at your door is insanely fast. 

Naturally, speed isn’t everything when it comes to custom-made shirting. Fit is still paramount alongside construction quality. But as someone who has tried several other MTM operations before, it’s interesting to see a company focus on shipping logistics, too. 

I went my usual route for measurements at the Proper Cloth site, entering in measurements off my best-fitting shirt, which usually produces the best results. Other methods are available, of course, but I didn’t want to tread in those waters. The shirt-building process is similar to other MTM shirting sites, beginning with you picking your choice of fabric and then entering details for the various elements: collar, cuffs, placket, monogram, etc. 


Now, I know I’ll get asked about that two-week delivery time, but I feel kind of bad in how I tested it: I placed the order five days before Christmas. Between two holidays and the massive postal rush, the shirt didn’t quite arrive within the timeline — just two days over. Fedex also reported an international shipping clearance delay on the package. So, I’m actually impressed it arrived as fast as it did and I’m sure under normal circumstances that two-week window is accurate. 

Enough about shipping though, let’s get to the shirt. 


While I usually enjoy wearing blue shirts, I opted to go with a checked shirt with alternating blue and brown lines to be worn with tweed jackets and suits. A bit more casual because of the pattern, but still subtle and not too loud. 

Proper Cloth offers the usual wide range of fabrics ranging from $80 to quite a few in the $150-$200 range from Thomas Mason, Canclini and Albini. I actually went with a $95 cotton broadcloth fabric simply for the design. 

You can choose from 15 different collar types and I picked the “Presidential Spread”, which featured longer collar points, which I’ve begun to prefer for shirts. The collar itself stands quite well and the length fits neatly under the lapels of my jackets, helping to avoid the dreadful collar gap. 


In terms of other details, I did decide to upgrade the shirt’s buttons to mother of pearl (additional $15) and went with a front placket, given the shirt would be worn with the more casual tweed jacket. 


Complimenting the placket, I added a pocket and barrel cuffs with a single button. The cuffs do feel softer than other shirts I’ve had in the past. They don’t feel overly stiff after just one washing. There’s also a much-welcome button on the gauntlet, too. 


It seems like every MTM shirting company has a few surprise details that come standard and impresses me. First, Proper Cloth makes split-back yolks standard on their dress shirts at no extra charge. Complicating matters further, I ordered a patterned shirt, which makes it tougher on the manufacturer to align the pattern along the split seam. I think they did a pretty good job considering the grid pattern is actually more rectangular than square (and, yes, nerds: I know all squares are rectangles). 


Also worth noting for the first time ever in my MTM shirting experience: gusseted seams. This helps keep the end of the shirt’s hem from coming apart while under stress. No other MTM shirtmaker I’ve used has done this for my shirts and it’s nice to see that Proper Cloth makes it standard operating procedure on theirs. 

I should also add that Proper Cloth uses single-needle construction on their seams, which also adds durability. It’s nice to see them not cheapening out on construction and details that I’m sure add time and cost to their manufacturing. 


To be a bit obnoxious, I did add a monogram ($10 fee) to see what it would look like. For placement, I chose the pocket — but you can also pick the right or left cuff. You can pick you thread color and script type.  


After wearing the shirt a few times and putting it in a wash, I’ve been satisfied with the fit and it wears as nicely as other MTM shirts in my wardrobe. After comparing the shirt’s measurements to what I inputed, it’s pretty darn close after a wash (cold water, hang dry). 


I’ve learned after enough MTM shirts gone wrong to give yourself enough room for movement — bending elbows, raising arms, sitting down, bending over, etc. — and not to attempt the ultra-slim “fitted” look for all practical purposes. Slightly longer and wider sleeves let you bend your arms under a jacket and keep the cuff showing still. A bit more room in the torso helps forgive a week-long bender of beer and fried food. My idea of “fit” now is more practical than it was a few years ago. 


And the shirt works well with my ideal ensemble of a donegal brown tweed jacket, navy wool tie and cream square. 

If you’re considering Proper Cloth, then give them a try — especially if you already have a well-fitting shirt you can base your measurements off. In case the shirt doesn’t fit you, their customer service is pretty top notch and they’ll work to get your fit right. 

The construction details included in their shirts are a definite advantage and you can likely find a shirt within your MTM budget. They do have a much more vibrant set of casual fabrics (plaids and checks) that are worth checking out if that’s more your speed. For those looking for something to fit in their conservative business dress wardrobe, they have those as well. 

For the price of the shirt and the quality received, I’d say that Proper Cloth exceeds other MTM shirtmakers I’ve used in the past and I can give them a recommendation. 


Review: Cottonwork made-to-measure dress shirts

Recommending a made-to-measure shirtmaker comes with a lot of caveats, which makes them tough to review. Fit is, of course, paramount, but once you’ve got a well-fitting shirt in your wardrobe, you can take your measurements from the shirt nearly anywhere. 

Provided you’ve got a shirt you’re happy with in terms of fit, then you can look for a shirtmaker who has the fabrics and options you want in a shirt. CottonWork has these in spades and the shirt they allowed me to make for a review has the characteristics I’d encourage anyone to look for in their MTM shirting. 

Let’s start at the beginning. If you have a well-fitting shirt, then you can simple take measurements off that shirt and input them at CottonWork. This is my recommended method. And if you don’t have a tape measure, CottonWork will give you a free starter kit that has a tape measure and several fabric swatches. 

From that point forward, it’s a fairly standard process that those of you who’ve done MTM shirting online will recognize. You pick you fabric and use a shirt builder that gives you a live preview of your order’s details. 

On the topic of fabric, CottonWork offers a wide variety, starting at $45 for cotton-blends to fabrics from renowned mills Thomas Mason and Tessitura Monti that range north of $200. For those wondering if there’s a discernible difference for a high end fabric, I’d argue that there is after receiving my shirt made from a Thomas Mason oxford cloth. There’s a refinement to the fabric and a softness that’s unlike what I’ve seen elsewhere. 

While I kept it fairly predictable in terms of fabric choice — as many of you know, solid blue is often my preference — I decided to make some slight straying choices from what I typically prefer. Instead of my preference for a placket front, I went with a French front and also pocket-less, too, as I intended for this to be worn with suits in a slightly more formal look.

For the shirt’s collar, I went with a spread collar and I really love how soft the collar is around the neck. It’s not stiff and doesn’t feel like cardboard’s inside like some shirt collars. You’ll also notice the buttons on the shirt are mother-of-pearl, which is a nice touch that’s often an option you have to pay extra for at most MTM shirting places, but not CottonWork.

The collar has a decent roll when worn with a necktie. I will admit that while I like that it has removable collar stays, I prefer to not wear collar stays to make the collar a bit more soft in appearance. Well-made collars and a necktie should work just fine most of the time to keep things upright. This collar might very well be the most comfortable shirt collar I’ve had outside of my Brooks Brothers OCBDs. 

In terms of construction, it’s worth pointing out that all CottonWork shirts are single-needle stitched with 22 stitches per inch. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to count stitches in an inch, but it’s a pain in the ass. And, yes, I did count them on my shirt and their claim holds up, in case you were wondering. 

CottonWork also offers an optional split-back yoke. Several other MTM operations require you pay extra for this, but it’s a free option at CottonWork. If you’re not familiar with split-back yokes, the reason for this preference is one of better fit across the shoulder. With the fabric at a diagonal in a split yoke, it stretches better when you move your arms out, but it’s also more expensive for the shirtmaker to produce. (You can read more about split-back yokes here.)

For cuffs, I went with what CottonWorks described as a Neapolitan cuff. I wasn’t sure if I’d like the style as it’s a bit flashy, but worn under a jacket it’s less obvious. Cuff construction is a bit more substantial than the collar and the sleeve features a gauntlet button, too. 

Of course, monogramming is available. I opted for the collar, so it would be hidden, but you can opt for the chest, cuffs or placket, too. I don’t typically wear monogrammed items, but I figured it’d be worth showing those reading this review what it looks like. If you don’t like scripted fonts, you should know they have two other scripted fonts and a sans-serif block font available. 

In terms of fit, I’m pleased with it after a wash and iron. I wore the shirt out on Friday evening and didn’t find any issues in regards to fit with it. My latest MTM shirts have been slightly fuller in the upper torso to allow for movement, but I’ve had them aggressively taper at the waist. While I don’t typically like to wear a dress shirt sans a jacket, this does help balance comfort against “puffy shirt waist” syndrome.

Because I used measurements off another MTM shirt I’d gotten after visiting a tailor in person, a lot of the finer measurement problems had been worked out after a few trials and adjustments. CottonWork did a good job of replicating the shirts I had already in my wardrobe. 

If you’re concerned about getting an ill-fitting shirt, then let me recommend you go with one of their $45 fabrics first to see how it fits as a test shirt. I’ve often found it takes several trials before dialing in your fit on a MTM shirt — especially if you’re basing measurements off your body instead of a well-fitting shirt. Alternatively, you can send in your best fitting shirt for CottonWork to replicate, too.

So, if you’re looking for a MTM shirtmaker that does quality construction, can easily replicate the fit of your best shirt and give you a wide breadth of optional details, then check out CottonWork. To date, they’ve been the most impressive online-only MTM experience I’ve had and have matched the in-person MTM shirtmakers I’ve used in the past with their quality of work. 


Review: Indochino

Several weeks ago I was invited by Indochino to check out their “Traveling Tailor” event. I would go through their measurement and try-on process, be allowed to pick the details of a suit and then receive a comped suit to review. 

When I first heard about Indochino a while back, the idea did appeal to me: a custom suit for under $400?! Then, after learning more from others who have tried them and seeing that the process either went really well or not quite so great, I’ll admit to having lost the enthusiasm for trying it. 

Let’s be honest: doing anything MTM, especially online, is risky. You might not take your measurements correctly and I’ve rarely had any custom-made item perfect on the first try. And with suits, there’s a lot of variables at play that have to be weighed to make sure you get the correct fit. There’s a reason bespoke suiting takes several fittings and also looks the best. 

The “Traveling Tailor” appealed a bit more to me as an idea, if only because it removes the whole process of self-measurement from the equation. This is my largest gripe with online MTM services, because the business has no quality control on the customer’s ability to take correct measurements, and you have no idea as the customer how your measurements will be interpreted. 

The “Traveling Tailor” process is simple: a pop-up shop appears in a city, you schedule an appointment and they take measurements and fit you to a suit model. For the first few minutes a salesperson goes through the process of taking a tailor’s tape to your basic measurements and enters them all into an iPod Touch. 

After the measurements are entered, I assume the app gives a suggested suit size. You’re then handed a pre-made suit off a rack that corresponds somewhat closely to your measurements and you try it on in a tiny curtained off temporary dressing area. 

The app put me originally in a suit size too small. The pants felt like jeggings and the jacket gave me zero movement in my shoulders and arms. The second suit fit a bit better, going one size up. 

From there, more alterations are made. Letting out or taking in hems or cuffs. I had them adjust for the excess fabric along the back of my shoulders. You get a close approximation of how it’s going to turn out, but it’s hard to be entirely sure. 

After measurements are done, you’re taken to check out fabrics and styles. Entire sheets of the various fabrics are draped on displays so you can feel them and get an idea of what they look like visually over a large area — no tiny swatch books here. Same went for linings, which looked more like flags on a pole. 

They had lots of forms setup, too, with various jackets styled on them with all sorts of colorful combinations and details to show off what’s possible. And they really do have quite a bit of options available. You can pick types of pockets, stitching, contrasting threads, surgeon cuffs, interior pockets, etc. 

In the end, I kept it really basic: dark charcoal, single-breasted, two-button, notch lapels, no surgeon cuffs w/ kissing buttons, jetted pockets, navy lining, double-vented. 

Overall, the experience is nice. I didn’t feel particularly rushed and you can definitely take your time picking the different design details. Being rather conservative, I opted to not take advantage of stuff like ticket pockets or flashy linings. I think it’s easy to get carried away with options like that and wanted to see how a basic charcoal suit would be executed by them. 

Then, the wait. A few weeks later, this box appeared:

The suit came a bit beat up. It was wrinkled and definitely needed a pressing — so badly that one of the lapels had a very significant crease in it. Also, it didn’t come with a hangar, so you’ll need to provide you own suit hanger. These might be little things, but I’ve yet to buy a jacket or suit online that didn’t ship with at least a plastic hangar with wide ends for shoulder support. 

Shipping methods aside, I’m primarily concerned with fit. Here’s the overall shot:

If I’d received this suit maybe a year or two ago, I’d probably be OK with the fit. It certainly doesn’t look terrible or extremely poor fitting, however, it’s not something I would wear right now. There’s multiple reasons, which I’ll detail, that will likely keep this in the closet for me. 

First, the jacket (you can see the creasing from shipping as I lightened the photo a bit here):

I’m OK with the overall length and even with the sleeves and where they landed. They actually nailed that part (I prefer to show 0.75” to 1” of cuff). However, the most crucial part that needed to be perfect is really quite off: the shoulders. 

Indochino’s suit has a lot of shoulder padding. They could remove half of its thickness and do much better. I don’t exactly have “built” shoulders (as I don’t hit the gym at all) and am actually quite boney, but the padding is so big that it makes it appear I’m wearing football pads and almost squares off my shoulders.

Additionally, the shoulder width is about 0.5” too wide on each side and the shoulder padding doesn’t help this at all. In fact, the shoulder padding makes it worse and produces divots. 

Even with Indochino’s $75 alterations credit, this isn’t something a tailor could alter and fix cheaply. Altering to narrow the shoulders on a jacket is something I’ve done once and it turned out badly and was expensive. Plus, there’s still the issue of shoulder padding, which would need to be replaced — and that would probably negatively affect the balance of the jacket, too. Frankly, doing such alterations isn’t worth my tailor’s time or the money. 

Which is a shame, as I’m not against the jacket besides these facts. Sure, the lapels are narrower than I’d like on a suit, but if you’re into that sort of thing, it’s fine. The button stance is higher, but I’ve got higher button stances on several jackets I own, too. For me, the jacket’s wearable if it weren’t for the shoulders. 

As for the trousers:

The trousers have a really, really low rise on them. Lower than any trousers I’ve owned, even from J.Crew. I asked during the measurement process if a higher rise was possible and I was basically told it wasn’t. 

The trousers are definitely trim. They actually were a bit long on the hem, but that’s because I told them to make them a bit longer. If I were to get these altered, I’d take up the hem about 0.75” or 1”. 

The pants definitely feel a bit tight. If you have larger thighs, I could see this being a bit problematic in combination with the lowered rise. 

They’re not unwearable though, especially if you’re used to a lower rise on trousers and skinnier. For me, they’re kind of pushing their slim-fitting abilities on my upper leg area and get a bit tight when sitting. 

So, what’s my overall verdict on Indochino?

I don’t think I could recommend them to someone in most cases. 

For their introductory $380 base price, it’d be an OK idea if you’re on a tight budget and have weird measurements that prevent you from buying from other off-the-rack places. Otherwise, I’d suggest going with the many other off-the-rack options out there in the same price range. 

I should point out that this suit didn’t work out for me mainly because of the shoulders of the jacket. If that’d worked out, I’d have a more-positive review. I could probably wear this suit out in public and most people wouldn’t call me poorly dressed. But I’m a very picky person who notices stuff like overly-padded shoulders and not a fan of low rises. And if I’m not 100% comfortable about details like that, then I tend to just not wear the item. 

There are definitely others who have had their suits work for them. If you’re considering Indochino — or simply want several other takes on them — consider spending time at Indochino Review, StyleForum, Ask Andy About Clothes and Put This On. And I’d definitely be on the lookout for Jeffrey Diduch’s Indochino review, as he’ll probably have a very good explanation about the suit’s quality and construction. 

Of course, if you wish to try out the “Traveling Tailor” yourself, they’ll next be in San Francisco from September 18th to 23rd and will likely have other cities on their tour list soon. 


Indochino’s “Traveling Tailor” coming to Chicago next week — If you’ve been considering going made-to-measure in suits and shirts and looking online, then you know two things. One, that there’s a ton of options available now of places that will let you fill in your measurements and in a few weeks they’ll send you a suit or shirt. Two, that different operations require different measurements and interpret them differently. 

Frankly, I’m had 50-50 odds on whether online MTM services turn out a decent shirt for me. Some nail it, some miss completely. Because of this, I’ve stayed the hell away from online MTM suiting, because it seems a lot easier to mess up and a lot more expensive risk. 

So, I’ve made a personal rule to only do MTM where an in-person tailor takes my measurements. There’s a huge advantage to this process. First, the tailor knows the kind of measurements they want and the way they want them taken. No more guess work. Secondly, the tailor knows how their measurements will be interpreted at the point of production. Also, a good tailor will know how to account for sloped shoulders, different arm lengths and your beer gut. 

After becoming one of the largest online MTM suiting companies, Indochino’s now moving to set up temporary shop in physical locations with staff on site to take your measurements, talk you over details and you’ll even get to see finished pieces to get an idea of construction. Their "Traveling Tailor" program seems promising and makes the proposition of going for a MTM suit less risky. 

Their first location will be right here in the Windy City, from August 14 to August 20 at Union Station’s Grand Hall in Chicago. 

For those of you not in Chicago, I asked Indochino about any future cities they may pop-up in and while no plans are set in stone yet, you can go to this page and enter your email and city under “Where should we go next?” to ask them to consider visiting your neck of the woods. 


From Squalor to Baller: Made-to-Measure Shirt Reviews: Ratio, CottonWork, Proper Cloth

Ian, aka fromsqualortoballer, wrote up his experience with three online MTM shirtmakers. Worth reading if you’re thinking about using these services. 

My personal recommendation is MyTailor.com, because their tailor, Joe Hemrajani, travels to measure you in person. Otherwise, I recommend finding a local shirtmaker where you go do multiple fittings until you’ve nailed it down (if you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, I recommend Spoon Tailor).

I also highly encourage you to stick with a MTM shirtmaker after you’ve honed in on the fit — it will likely take several shirts to get the fit perfect if you’re just measuring yourself or off a well-fitting shirt. I’ve made the mistake of hopping around and ended up just having to start all over at step zero, which is a frustrating waste of money. 

It’s worth considering that your first, well-fitting shirt will cost you $200 (+/-$50 to $75) just because it’ll take that many trials to get the fit correct. Also, just because you enter the same measurements from one shirt into another form, that doesn’t mean each shirtmaker will interpret it the same way. 

Of course, all of this isn’t even taking into consideration that you don’t know the quality of the cloth being used or the quality of construction until you receive (and pay) for the final product. 

For all of these reasons, I really am hesitant to push people into online MTM shirting. Once you get it right, it’s great. But the process of getting there is highly time consuming, frustrating and pricey. While a lot of these companies try to make it easy as possible, it’s far from flawless and no panacea. 


I'm curious to hear your recommendations with regards to men's suiting. Say that off-the-rack isn't a viable option due to sizing issues (short and slim), would you recommend going with the online MTM route ($379 - $600 range) and learning from ones mistakes, going with the traveling Hong Kong tailor ($1200 - $2000) and hoping for the best, or saving up for a bespoke suit from a local tailor ($1800 - $2400) with the knowledge that it'd be a fine-tuned and detailed process.

- Asked by Anonymous

I would try an in-person MTM service first before going bespoke. Ultimately, you’re going to need to do a lot of research and ask a lot of questions before committing money to just any one place. I’d poke around on StyleForum and see what others have to say about MTM places in your area (or traveling tailors).


Put This On: A Word of Warning About Online Made-to-Measure

Lots of good points here made by Jesse. Given the wide variety of experiences I’ve had just doing online MTM shirts, I don’t think I’m too eager to do something like suits anytime soon. Frankly, when you factor in the time, the hassle, the waiting after paying a tailor for alterations and just the possibility of inconsistently-fitting clothing based on your probably-not-so-great measurements, it’s not worth it.

I’d rather pay a semi-premium for a piece of clothing that fits relatively well (or if it doesn’t, then has free shipping/returns or a small restock fee) than deal with the problems of online MTM. 

The one exception I think I’d recommend is a service similar to MyTailor.com, where you can get measured by the tailor himself at an in-person fitting and he knows how his measurements will be interpreted at the point of production. At least you know you’re getting the measurement side down pat. I can only speak for his shirts though, not his suiting. 

For the most part, once you have a good fitting shirt, you can easily take measurements off of it and test out other online MTM shirting companies, which is what I’ve done with moderate success. 

There’s nothing wrong for most people to buy off the rack and then get alterations. Not everyone “needs” a custom, MTM suit. 


hi there, was wondering if you could recommend any shirt that has a good spread collar/slim fitting, price range from 50-100. i've tried hugh and crye and am very pleased, and just wanted to see other brands with different designs

- Asked by Anonymous

If you’re going to spend that much, why not just go MTM? You can just take measurements off of your existing well-fitting shirts and go to any number of online MTM services and get shirts from $75-100 that’ll fit perfectly for you and have all the details you want. 

If online MTM is too big of a pain for you, then there’s some others you can look at. Brooks Brothers averages $60-80/shirt depending if you buy them on sale or not (and if you buy 3 or more at once). Their extra-slim fit is pretty good. 

Slightly less slim would be Nordstrom’s “Trim Fit” line of shirts. Their John W. Nordstom line uses pretty good fabrics that hold up nicely. 

Depending on your size, you might be able to fit into some other retailers that use S/M/L sizing, but I have zero experience with them, since I have longer arms. 


Do you know anything about Wilfred Newman? They are having a 50% off sale on Gilt local. Any ideas?

- Asked by Anonymous

No clue. Looked over Yelp and there’s only 5 reviews and StyleForum seems to be pretty empty.

I really, really don’t like the idea of buying a flash-sale tailoring deal. Sure, it’s a “bargain”, however, unless you have a prior relationship with that tailor and know he’s great, why would you put down ~$500 into such an unknown transaction? You’re acting out of blindness without even having had a conversation with the tailor or know anything about his work.

I’d rather pay twice as much and know what I’m getting instead of half as much and later regret it. Just my thoughts.


Hey man, love the blog. Looking for intel on MTM shirting. I'm a slim dude and looking for basic oxfords has been a pain. I remember you had a good experience with ModernTailor's $20/shirt deal a while back. How have those shirts been treating you, and do you have any advice for measuring/ordering from them? Would especially love a quality comparison to BB ESF, which is what I've been wearing. Have the ModernTailors shrunk at all? Any other places I should look? Price range <$60-80/shirt. Thanks

- Asked by zombiecuddle

The shirts are fine. I wear them quite frequently for work. They fit more slimmer than BBESF because I got rid of the box pleat in the back and slimmed the waist a bit more. I didn’t find they shrunk any.

My advice would be to take the BBESF that fits you best and only make a few alterations to the sizing. I wouldn’t screw with things like the armhole under the shoulder and yolk length. Basically, use the first shirt as a test shirt and see how you can tweak it for your next one.

I would also avoid going too tight from pit-to-pit in the chest like a lot of people are tempted to do. Even when you cut that measurement down by 1”, it’s really taking two inches off the chest area.

If you have a shirt that fits decently right now and you want to mimic it, MTM can work really well for you if you’re inputting measurements off the shirt.

Otherwise, go with MyTailor, J.Hilburn or another MTM place that has a real tailor measure you up on-site.

Good luck!


Hey, I'm in desperate need of help. So i'm a skinny and tall guy, 150lbs and 6'4''. I have problems finding a shirt that has the perfect fit for myself: I get the Goldilocks syndrom with every shirt, too big, too small, except I don't find one just right. Do you have some tips and tricks to combat this problem? Thank you.

- Asked by Anonymous

Sounds like you’re a candidate for made-to-measure shirts. I’m going to assume that you don’t have a good-fitting shirt right now, so I’ll recommend you use a program that will have a real human being take your measurements.

Personally, I’d recommend MyTailor.com. Check out their traveling tailors’ schedule and book yourself an appointment. I’ve reviewed them in the past, and really liked the outcome.

There’s also J. Hilburn, which will measure you up in person. I’ve had no prior experience with them, but other bloggers (google around for reviews) have had decent enough experiences.

Now, if by some chance you’ve got a shirt that fits you good in the neck, across the shoulders and through the torso (ie: your chest measurement is pretty on point with the shirt), then you could consider just using other online MTM sites. All you would have to do is enter in longer sleeve lengths and shirt lengths into the measurement boxes.

There’s a lot of option for places like this: Biased Cut, Cottonworks, ModernTailor, etc. If you’re comfortable with entering in your own measurements, then that’s probably the quickest route. I’d highly recommend taking measurements off of a “good-fitting” shirt and tweaking it for the lengths you need rather than trying to measure your body.

Best of luck!

About The Silentist

A menswear blog on finding your personal style, written by Kiyoshi Martinez.

I work at Khaki's of Carmel and live in the Monterey Bay area. Formerly from Chicago.

E-mail me, I'm fairly nice: thesilentist@gmail.com

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