Dress Shirt Review & Giveaway: Custom Shirts by MODASUITE
June 6, 2011 6 Comments
About a month ago, I talked about trying to nail down the single most important item in a man’s wardrobe. Given its history, versatility, and sartorial significance, it would be hard to not choose the dress shirt as that piece. The dress shirt is the most versatile article of clothing that a man can own. Irrespective of one’s personal style, you can wear a dress shirt with everything from a black tuxedo to a pair of distressed jeans. From punk rocker to business man, a fitted quality dress shirt will work with everything.
Given my odd body shape, I have traditionally gone with either buying shirts that fit fine on the neck, but flare out like tents at the bottom or going for shirts that fit on the body, but won’t button up at the neck. The solution? The made-to-measure (a.k.a. bespoke, custom, tailored) dress shirt. I have owned around seven bespoke shirts and two bespoke suits and can tell you that the most important factors when purchasing a bespoke piece is the quality and the fit. With respect to quality, you want a dress shirt that is 100% cotton, or a blend that comes as close to 100% cotton as possible. Why cotton? Cotton is comfortable, breathable, absorbent and static-resistant. Sound construction is another important aspect of quality. When it comes to fit, the key characteristics are the neck width, sleeve length, and cut (classic, tailored, trim). I’ve typically paid $250/shirt or more to have them made locally. Not cheap.
A few weeks ago, It’s All Style To Me had a chance to review and give away a bespoke dress shirt by Barcelona-based webtailors Tailor4Less. This month, we’re going to review another webtailor called www.Modasuite.com, a Montréal-based company that also offers made-to-measure dress shirts and suits manufactured in China and sent to customers around the world.
I went ahead and set up an account with www.modasuite.com and also found their website extremely easy to navigate (see screen captures below). Modasuite separates their traditional business dress shirts from casual dress shirts on the website which is nice. An amazing feature, you can purchase by size (S,M,L,XL, XXL) at $60-$65/shirt or made-to-measure $90-$95/shirt. I like the sizing charts that provide chest and waist measurements for each size, but they really should include neck size too. Both companies offer a perfect fit guarantee where they credit (Tailor4Less up to $50, Modasuite up to $60) any alterations required up to 30 days after you have received your shirt.
While standard cuff and collar options are there, Modasuite does not currently offer more extravagant online customizations that Tailor4Less does. Pocket and placket options, shirt-cuff and collar lining, contrast button hole stitching, and embroidered monograms are all missing on Modasuite. The selection of fashionable fabrics however are 108 to Tailor4Less’ 78, with both websites offering an impressive selection that are not just replicas of each other.
The online process requires you to set up a profile as well, so find yourself a tailor’s measuring tape and a trustworthy friend to help take your measurements. Measure twice guys! Once I placed my order for the beautiful Etro-inspired Paisley Summer DIMITRICHRIS Casual Dress Shirt, it took about a good month to arrive. Double the time it took for my Tailor4Less dress shirt to get to me. The wait however, was definitely worth it.
Modasuite’s shirt landed in Montréal before being shipped to Toronto, so that meant I didn’t have to pay the extra $15 in duties that I did with Tailor4Less. The shirt arrived impeccably packaged as well, with Modasuite’s white gift box a lot sturdier than the flimsy brown paper-thin cardboard box the Tailor4Less shirt came in. Modasuite’s package also came with a thank you card, business card, coloured postcard, and information on their alteration policy. They also included a form that you can take to the tailor should you require any alterations. Modasuite and Tailor4Less both lack a catalogue or brochure inside their packaging. They need to have something inside the box that could help to up-sell customers on some of their other bespoke garments and accessories.
I examined the shirt inside and out and can tell you that the construction looked 100% identical to the $250 shirts that I have had made here in Toronto. The fit was also just as good. Modasuite’s fabric is slightly thicker than Tailor4Less’ one-ply 50 and I find I like this better. Modasuite’s buttons were also thicker and didn’t chip during my dry cleaner’s washing and pressing. They attach a tag with washing instructions and fabric information to the shirt, which is a big bonus. My Tailor4Less shirt did not. When shipping and zero duties were accounted for, the shirt was just over $100.
Ultimately, Tailor4Less and Modasuite are both great deals. They offer a variety of beautiful fabrics in colours and patterns that are as fashionable as anything you find in the designer retail stores today. Tailor4Less ships faster, offers more dress shirt customization options, offers bespoke clothes for women as well, and is cheaper. Modasuite takes a bit longer, but I don’t pay for duties, get a slightly thicker fabric, superior packaging, and sturdier buttons. They also carry accessories such as shoes and ties. Both have great, easy-to-navigate websites, excellent service, and perfect fit policies. My recommendation is that you definitely check them both out.
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Contest is open to men only 18+ and the deadline for entry is by Sunday, June 12th, 10:00PM EDT. The winner will be chosen randomly and must meet all of the requirements listed above. The winners will be announced on Twitter and Facebook on Monday, June 13th, 2011. Good luck guys!