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WW Chan Online Shirt Ordering

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yesterday I received the shirt I ordered from WW Chan's online shirt ordering service. I tried to take pictures, but the pictures were very misleading because my flash accentuates the shadows on any folds, etc. I therefore didn't think pictures would be that useful. Anyways, here is my review: (1) Fabric Selection -- B There are 560 or so choices on the Chan website, all from either Acorn or Thomas Mason. All are 2x2 100 cloths, I believe. The fact that 100s quality cotton is the highest grade on the site is a wee bit annoying, but the 2x2 ply cloth is nicely finished and easily softer than the 100s cloth that Polo uses in its Blue Label shirts. The test of course is to see how the cloth holds up in terms of softness and sheen after washing. But I'm pretty confident that the cloth will stay soft and smooth. Chan's patterns aren't going to knock you out. Though there are 560 fabrics to choose from, there are a lot of fabrics that really closely resemble each other -- would anyone ever order both the medium blue fine pinstripe & the dark blue pinstripe? It's virtually the same fabric. That said, if you are looking for conservative patterns, Chan is the place for you. I can go through 200 Jantzen fabrics and not see anything appropriate for courtroom decor. On Chan, aside from some of the check patterns, virtually everything passes the courtroom test; however, very little (if anything) passes the "hip bar" test. (2) Order form -- B+ The order form is very simple, using drop down options for measurements. I found this reassuring because it showed that they measure to a quarter inch. Also, because your measurements are stored in your file, it is easy to make incremental changes to subsequent orders. One part I didn't like was that you couldn't specify things like wrist circumfrence, collar height, or point length. However, I particularly cared about cuff circumfrence and so put that in the "comments" section. In the comments section, I also specificied no monogram, that I wanted a high armhole, and that I wanted thick MOPs. Each request was met spot on. (3) Style selection -- B+ You get half dozen cuff and a dozen collar choices. The collar choices in particular aren't nearly as good as Jantzen, which has about six different iterations of the spread collar. I went for the Wide Spread, but in the future the "Little Wide Spread" will be better for me, I think. (4) Fit -- A+ I'm good at taking my own measurements at this point, even though some think it's impossible to take your own measurements. So, that's a caveat. That said, I chose the snug fit and it fits almost perfect in my mind. For those who like a form fitting business shirt (i.e. snug enough not to be blousy, but not so tight that you'd feel like it was a shirt best left to the club), Chan's snug fit is perfect if you give accurate measurements and specify a higher armhole. It's sort of like Jantzen's "form fit," but the shallower yoke, higher armole, and closer fitting sleeves make the fit more consistent. I may end up adding 3/4" to my chest measurement to accomodate for some potential shrinking. But other than that it is great. The armhole and yoke are far superior to Jantzen, as is the fit over the shoulders and upper back. This is easily the best fitting shirt in my closet -- by a long ways really. One other caveat -- put for you neck measurement .5" less than you want you collar to measure. I wanted my collar to measure 15.5" and put as my neck measurement 14.75". My collar came back at about 15.4", which will probably shrink to 15.25". (5) Customer Service -- A+ I received my shirt three weeks after ordering. Also, the fabric I originally ordered sold out and I was informed of this within 24 hours of placing my order. So I emailed them back picking another fabric and received confirmation that it was in stock. Personally, I'm willing to pay a premium over Jantzen simply for the speedy service. (6) Quality -- B+ The fabric is very good quality for a 2x2 100s, like I said. The stitching is superb -- better than Jantzen in my opinion, which makes for a slightly more comfortable shirt. The buttonholes in particular are very good, and the buttons are all shanked on. The interlinings are not quite as good as Jantzen -- they just aren't as substantial. That said, they aren't bad by any means and are certainly as good as anything you'll find in the sub $250 range in RTW. Indeed, I forgot to wear collar stays today and the collar has held its shape well without being stiff at all. But buttons are much better than Jantzen. WHile the thick MOPs don't have the bright white luster that a Lorenzini button does, they have a decent rainbow effect and don't have any ugly browning on the back. (7) Price/Value -- A+ Total for my shirt was $79. That's for the best fitting shirt in my closet, in a nice albeit unspectacular fabric, with first-class stitching and nice finishings. It took 3 weeks to get it. After shipping Jantzen runs me about $54. I think those extra $25 to $30 are well spent.
post #2 of 13
Nice to know. Some other men on the forum have not been nearly so satisfied with their Chan shirts. I decided to test the waters and ordered one shirt from Mr. Chu on his visit here last month. I figured at $78 I didn't have much to lose. If I am anywhere nearly as satisfied as you seem to be, I shall have to order a few more along with a new sport coat when Chan comes around again in July. Thanks for the info.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm wondering where the dissatisfaction comes from.  I wasn't expecting Lorenzini buttons and a Borrelli collar.  What I wanted was a shirt that rivaled the quality of the higher end Polo Blue Label stuff (retail from $125 - $200), only with a superior fit.  That is precisely what I got. Let me reiterate though that I did the online ordering. In terms of desired fit and getting all the details right, so long as you know what you are doing, it might actually be better to do it online.
post #4 of 13
I'm glad you liked your shirt so much. I have three Chan shirts so far and I'm pretty happy with them. I also don't like their wide spread (it kind of looks too small and yet too spread at the same time) and I think I'm going to go with the little wide spread next time. It never occured to me to ask for extra thick MOP buttons and a higher armhole, but I think I'll try that for my next shirt. As for fit, I'm also very satisfied with the fit of my Chan shirts. The first one came out with sleeves that were a little short and shoulders that were a little too big, but I fixed that with the next one. However, what really turns me off about Chan is their lack of fabric selection. I can go to Chan for a basic white shirt and blue shirt, but that's about it. Jantzen and Hemrajani both have a much better fabric selection in terms of both different types of fabrics and different patterns. I really liked striped shirts and Chan is lacking in this area. I would rate their service an A+, most of my shirts arrive within 1 week.
post #5 of 13
As I've stated before, I much prefer my Ascot Chang shirts to my WW Chan ones. But my Ascot Chang shirts cost about twice as much as the WW Chan "specials" shirts. The major differences in my view are in the materials, not the craftsmanship: Ascot Chang offers some fabrics that are significantly nicer than any of WW Chan's, and I much prefer the Ascot Chang interlinings.
post #6 of 13
My first Chan shirt of a multiple order needed some adjustments, and they took it back to make the adjustments and to make the rest of the order. To repeat what has already been said, it is their customer service that sets them apart.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
I agree with the sentiments about the fabric selection. Personally, I'm not willing to pay $160 for an Ascot Chang versus $80 for a Chan at this point. $160 is a lot for a shirt for me. I agree with the sentiment about the staidness of Chan's online fabric selection. But everyone who works in a business formal environment needs seven or eight good conservative shirts. I love the fabrics that Louis Boston offers in their Italian shirts, but they just aren't as practical sometimes. If someone can convince me that an Ascot Chang fabric drastically outperforms the Chan fabrics, I'm all ears.
post #8 of 13
Johnny, Value is, of course, relative. A $160 shirt is beyond what most people would pay, and beyond what I'd personally select for an everyday shirt. Then I know people who wear $250 custom shirts on a regular basis, which is way beyond reason for me. A good example of the differences in fabric choice between WW Chan and Ascot Chang is just looking at the lines they offer from the same company. WW Chan offers many Thomas Mason shirtings, but Ascot Chang offers Thomas Mason Silverline and Goldline cloths that are smoother, more lustrous, and just plain better looking than the baseline Thomas Mason cloths. Will they last longer? Shrug. They sure look and feel nicer, though. I use the same styling for shirts from both companies and when they are hanging in the closet I can still tell the difference between them--even two white shirts hanging side by side. But I doubt I'll get twice as much wear from a single Ascot Chang shirt than I will from two WW Chan shirts. BTW, did you get that suit after all?
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Which suit?
post #10 of 13
The one from BB.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Are you referring to the narrow pinstripe one? After the Euro started rising (but the pound staying pretty constant), I opted for an H. Lesser fabric in a hard finished navy blue glen plaid with a faint light blue overpane. The fabric should be arriving in the states next week.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Oh -- I'm going to post about it right now (so the answer is yes).
post #13 of 13
I decided to test the waters and ordered one shirt from Mr. Chu on his visit here last month. I figured at $78 I didn't have much to lose. If I am anywhere nearly as satisfied as you seem to be, I shall have to order a few more along with a new sport coat when Chan comes around again in July. Thanks for the info.
I did the same on Chan's most recent visit to the states, because Patrick offered a shirt gratis as recompense for my having to make the trek to Austin to address the significantly too long sleeves on my first suit. I'd have to agree with the assessment that it's customer service that sets Chan apart.
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