For many years, my budget was such that a $150 button-up shirt simply wasn’t a possibility. During that period, I had two choices: 1) scour local thrift stores in the hope of finding something at least marginally well-fitting (a near impossibility for my size). Or, 2) go to H&M / Gap / Etc. and shell out $50+ on a piece of disposable, slave-made crap. Needless to say, neither was particularly appealing. That’s why, for me, the discovery of Swedish custom clothier The Tailor Store was such a revelation. It meant that I could pick-up a shirt for equal to, or less than, the cost of any comparable mall brand, have it fit exactly how I wanted, and, know for a fact that it was made in an ethically run factory.
Fast forward to now, and though my budget isn’t quite (underline quite) as restrictive as it used to be, my appreciation of the Tailor Store hasn’t dwindled one bit. Admittedly, the company’s branding and website don’t exude the same kind of understated (and on-trend) cool as the blogger-approved labels, but, in no way does that diminish the quality of their product – the shirts are solid, and, moreover, how they look in the end is totally up to you. So, when Tailor Store CEO Jan Höjman asked if I wanted to review a shirt made from one of the brand’s new GOTS certified organic fabrics, my response was a very enthusiastic yes.
Being no stranger to TS’s fantastic shirt-designer program, ordering was a breeze, and two short weeks later, the shirt arrived. As expected, it’s great, in both fit and construction. However, since I realize that words and fit pics can only tell so much of the story, I’ve decided to also include a side-by-side comparison with one of my Gitmans, to show just how the TS measures up.
At present, the Tailor Store offers eight collar styles, available in three stiffnesses and four heights (that’s 96 possible collar combinations in total). I opted for a normal height, soft button-down, which, as you can see, is very similar to the Gitman collar in size and shape. I like that there’s an option for a soft collar, as it gives the shirt a more casual, worn-in look right off the bat.
Though not quite as dense, the stitches per inch on the side-seams are much closer to Gitman in number than any other similarly priced shirts I’ve seen (cough *Shades of Greige* cough cough *American Apparel*).
Both the button hole and button are secure. I can tell you honestly, that I’ve never lost a button, or had the thread on the button hole come loose in all the time I’ve been wearing TS – and some of my shirts are over three years old.
As for the fit…
…well, I’d go ahead and call it just about perfect, in that, it’s exactly what I ordered. Really, the single and only area that TS doesn’t match-up to the blogger brands is the fabrics – they just don’t have any that are as heavy. And, for that reason, I don’t recommend their oxfords or chambray. But, the stripes are great, the plaids are great, and the organics are some of the softest shirting fabrics I’ve ever felt. Really, for the price, it doesn’t get any better. Period.
To begin designing your own custom-made shirt, visit The Tailor Store.
A big thanks to James for the photo help.