Monday, December 28, 2009

Hands On: Taylor Stitch




It's a simple and honest manifesto...Taylor Stitch wants to put a well-made, well-fitting and affordable made to measure shirt on your back.  Whether a dress shirt for work or a sport shirt for heading out after work, guys deserve something great.  Buying made to measure, or custom, shirting is not a route many of us have taken or plan on taking, which is a shame.  Assuming ridiculous prices and a complex process, mass produced goods often feel like the only option.  Thankfully brands like Taylor Stitch are filling a much needed void and dispelling notions once deemed unwavering.

While I'll leave the in depth brand story and vision to my good friend Paul, who has what should be a fantastic feature in the works, Taylor Stitch is an upstart San Francisco "online shirtmaker and men's outfitter purveying well crafted goods."  When I first heard of these guys I immediately reached out for more information and since then have developed a solid relationship with a brand I have the utmost respect for.  When I was given the chance to get my hands on a custom shirt I jumped at the opportunity to not only get my feet wet with made to measure, but to evaluate a product that on paper seemed pretty spectacular.



After putting in my order back in early November I was finally able to rip my package from the evil grips of my apartment complex's office and get up close and personal with a shirt I helped "design".  See, that's the greatest part about made to measure.  For the first time ever I really feel like I have a personal stake in an article of clothing I own and that feeling in itself is pretty invaluable.

The above oxford cloth button down from Taylor Stitch is the fruit of our labors and I couldn't be happier.  I won't comment too much on the fit since that would prove pointless as these are my measurements and my tweaks arranged specifically for me.  I will say that the specs I worked on with Mike of Taylor Stitch fully come through in the final product.  Being a complete novice with only ideas of how a shirt should fit wouldn't seem to bode well, let alone yield such a great fitting final product, but luckily for me that's where the experts come in.  Since day one Mike was with me every step of the way discussing the intricacies of measurement and overall fit.  I don't know many brands who jump at the chance to get on the horn and talk every detail from the collar down to the buttons, but then again, I don't know of many brands like Taylor Stitch.



As far as quality is concerned, the shirt fires on all cylinders as well.  The grey oxford cloth is just thick enough and just refined enough that it will easily transition from meetings to the bar.  I'm already looking towards a very classy event next month where this oxford is going to feel right at home.  The custom red contrast stitching on the second button hole and cuff also came out perfect and add some character to the classic garment.  With a wide variety of fabrics and colors, but not enough to overwhelm, Taylor Stitch has curated both a shop and shopping experience that appeals to both menswear geeks and novices.

Made to measure is truly an enjoyable process everyone should try at least once.  You don't need to be a Wall Street goon or a tastemaker to appreciate and afford the process.  It is something that when given the proper time and thought can turn out some great gear and I can't think of a better starting point than Taylor Stitch.  With customer service that puts the White House staff to shame, an actual desire to help their customers dress better and a product that speaks for itself I think we can file a new chapter under "people who are doing things right."

-L.A.S

A big special thanks goes out to Mike and all the TS guys for the shirt, their constant assistance and attention.

12 comments:

  1. amazing company amazing people amazing shirts, getting mac one for late christmas gift. don't tell. - kat from pierrepont hicks

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  2. Would you compare the weight of the oxford cloth to a Pinpoint Oxford or to something a little heavier in the traditional manner. Any comparison to an oxford cloth from a current retailer?

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  3. Patrick- I would compare the weight more to broadcloth than anything else. I know the fabric is "pinpoint oxford cloth", but it is not the typical thickness you would expect. I used the word "refined" in the review because that is the best way to describe it. It has heft reminiscent of oxford cloth, but it is smoother and a little lighter.

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  4. Love the mitered cuff and red buttonhole stitching.

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  5. This has absolutely nothing to do with this post, but did you pick up anything on the Gilt Super sunglasses sale today? They had a black pair this time that I was lucky enough to snag after they left someone else's cart.

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  6. Memphis- I did not pick up anything today on Gilt as the Woolrich sale was pretty much a rehash of stuff I already own and I def. do not need another pair of shades by any stretch of the imagination. Did see the Super's you were talking about though...great snag dude.

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  7. What did you think of the actual measuring and fit process? That's where I feel most online made-to-measure and/or custom shirters fall down. The process is so cumbersome and difficult for most guys to do on their own, most times results in incorrect measurements taken, has too many steps before purchase, etc. I've yet to find an online only process that is simple, clean, intuitive...thoughts?

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  8. Over the last few years, I have made the transition nearly completely from off-the-rack to custom for all of my button downs. I have a few TS shirts in the rotation and have to give kudos to the guys for a pretty spectacular product and for their attention to detail in both the shirt and in the customer service. I was measured by an actual tailor and the measurements were spot on. I would recommend seeing a local tailor and calling/emailing the TS guys with your measurements or entering them online.

    I have both heavier and finer fabric shirts from them. Been very impressed by the quality of fabric (especially on the finer knits) relative to Brooks Bros and Pink made to measure, as well as my old tailor in manhattan.

    My only qualm is charging for a monogram - I won't pay for it, but love to have it on there...

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  9. Hey SAL,

    I understand your reasoning with the monogram. The only reason we charge for the monogram is because we work on much slimmer margins than most. We did not build it into the price of the shirt like most people do because we understand that not everyone wants a monogram so why charge them for it through a hidden cost.

    Please let me know if you have any questions though!

    The absolute best,
    The guys @ TS

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  10. Extremely excited to see this sort of affordable, stylish, and quality work coming back to SF. Buying from a large retailer is always boring and "just another purchase".

    It's time to buy things we can really be proud of.

    Can't wait to get mine!

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