Originally Posted by DShareef
I know I asked this already but I didn't see a response so I will ask again. How would you compare Lewin and Jantzen in terms of quality?
This is a very tricky question. Jantzen makes an excellent shirt, in terms of construction, but the product overall can be very inconsistent. Lewin is going to be much more predictable, both in terms of quality and service. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
Let's start with Jantzen. Not long ago, someone posted closeups of a Jantzen and an Oxxford shirt and asked if the posters here could tell which was which. Most identified the Jantzen because it had better pattern matching. These small details matter highly to me, and I still find it amazing to find such nice work on a $40 MTM-by-mail shirt.
That said, some Jantzen fabrics are much nicer than others; some are excellent, but we've had reports of others that are simply poor. (You're better off paying the small premium for their most expensive fabrics, I hear.)
Combine the unpredictable fabric with the possibility for mistakes to happen and the difficulties of self-measurement and you get disappointed folks like Mumbojumbo. Others of us have been luckier. I've yet to have a bad experience, and am among those who have persuaded themselves that Jantzen's work, when hitting on all cylinders, can rival $200 shirts. But it's a gamble. Is it worth $40 to take the chance? That's up to you.
Lewin, on the other hand, is going to be much more consistent. Lewin is Lewin. You'll get a good OTR shirt in a good fabric. They have an excellent satisfaction guarantee. If you don't like what you get, simply send it back. You can't do that with Jantzen. With Jantzen, you probably won't even get responses to e-mails. You'll have to pick up the phone and call Hong Kong if you have a concern or question.
That said, OTR shirts fit me like a tent. Lewin's cuffs would look oversized on my small wrists, and the body would hang on me like a sail. I'd have to have all the shirts tapered, adding to my costs. Suddenly my price has increased $15-$18 per shirt, and the fit is still going to be signicantly inferior to my Jantzens. But if Lewin's fit works well for you, or if Jantzen sounds like too much hassle, then Lewin is an excellent value.
Honestly, if you need a shirt in short order, if you're uncertain how you want your shirts to fit, if you put a premium on customer service, or if you own no shirts at all, I would avoid Jantzen. I see it as a great resource for those who have time, patience and the willingness to take a gamble. It's a great way to enhance a wardrobe inexpensively, but I wouldn't depend on it for the very basics if I were starting out.
Finally, I'd say this: I was pleased with Jantzen because I went into it expecting little. I expected to receive a $40 shirt and was pleased when I received much more. If your expectations differ, so might your ultimate satisfaction.