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What is most important in selecting an MTM shirtmaker?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am looking get some opinions what is most important things you look for when buying MTM shirts online? I have bought a number of shirts from MyTailor.com, which are generally good quality and fit me reasonably well, with one or two hiccups.

But IMHO the buying experience at MyTailor is pretty crappy. I find it difficult, if not impossible, to predict what my shirt is going to look like by looking at a bunch of 2 inch swatchs of fabric on a computer screen. Sorting though their collection of fabrics is also slow and tedious. I like to look good, but I am not generally willing to spend hours clicking through fabrics when I just need to order a couple of shirts. Most other online MTM shops (e.g. ModernTailor) seem to take the same sort of approach (when I found Jantzen based on a couple of comments on this board and I couldnt believe anyone would actually buy anthing from there). I also find myself wishing for a younger, more contemporary selection of fabric.

I ended up contacting a few shirtmakers in Hong Kong and - long story short - I am considering launching a new site for ordering MTM dress shirts. The target market is people like me - who ended up turning to MTM mainly to due to frustration with trying to find shirts that fit properly and realizing that standard "slim fit" shirts were not cutting it.

The concept at the moment would be to:

1. Give you the opportunity to be measured in person to ensure the perfect fit.
2. Provide an ironclad fit gurantee - if your have any problems with fit, send it back and we will remake it from scratch and give you 10% your next order (we also pay for return shipping)
3. Provide a smaller selection of fabrics (30-40) that is frequently updated with new styles.
4. Show pictures of actual completed shirts/models rather than tiny swatches.

In short ,the idea would to: a) Work with you to get the fit absolutely right upfront so you can order with confidence in the future; and b) provide a rotating selection of contemporary styled fabrics and c) let you see exactly what your new shirt will look like before you order.

The shirts would be made by experienced tailors in Hong Kong and we would try to provide a balance of price and quality (100% cotton 2-ply 80s and better with target prices from $59 to $119).

I am curious to know whether or not this sounds like a compelling offering? Would you encourage or discourage us from trying to launch this? (Btw, background is in e-commerce and I have access to startup capital if I can demonstrate that there is enough demand for it).

What is the most important thing you looking for in an online MTM shirtmaker? Fit? Selection? High end fabric? Number of customization options? If you could wave magic wand, what you would want to see that is not out there already?
post #2 of 12
MyTailor does have a measure in person program. I've used it a few times. The traveling tailors hit a lot of major and what I would consider minor cities too (being a power city snob). They carry fabric swatches from all of their lines of shirting material and suit material as well. I worked with M Kenny and he not only measured me, but talked to me about styles, fit concerns, and desires for my first shirt. It was nearly perfect, but he recommended some modifications for my second order and those three shirts were even better. I'm sure my next order will improve the fit even more. I don't think you intend to provide anything that isn't already out there, even from the company you are complaining about. I agree that their website isn't the greatest, but their in person service has always been very good for me. And, because I restrict myself to the Thomas Mason Silverline fabrics I'm not overwhelemed by selection choices either. It's narrowed to three or four books, all high quality and nice hand. I just don't think you're proposing anything that doesn't already exist.
post #3 of 12
A carefree attitude.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scurvyfreedman View Post
MyTailor does have a measure in person program. I've used it a few times. The traveling tailors hit a lot of major and what I would consider minor cities too (being a power city snob). They carry fabric swatches from all of their lines of shirting material and suit material as well. I worked with M Kenny and he not only measured me, but talked to me about styles, fit concerns, and desires for my first shirt. It was nearly perfect, but he recommended some modifications for my second order and those three shirts were even better. I'm sure my next order will improve the fit even more. I don't think you intend to provide anything that isn't already out there, even from the company you are complaining about. I agree that their website isn't the greatest, but their in person service has always been very good for me. And, because I restrict myself to the Thomas Mason Silverline fabrics I'm not overwhelemed by selection choices either. It's narrowed to three or four books, all high quality and nice hand. I just don't think you're proposing anything that doesn't already exist.
Thanks for your feedback. I actually originally went with MyTailor versus the other online shirtmakers specifically because they were one of the few that measured in person. I was measured by Alberto Khem. The fit of my first batch of shirts was very good although for some reason the fit on a couple of my most recently ordered ended up being rather blousy. If they do in fact guarantee the fit, they certainly do not advertise that fact. They also required a four shirt minimum order for the privilege of getting measured in person. However my primary complaint with MyTailor is ordering shirts from their website. I just cant look at tiny swatch like this http://www.mytailor.com/zoomwithalso...68181&ItemID=2 and have any idea what the shirt is going to look like when it arrives two weeks from now. I have tried to look through their site for more contemporary patterns like what I see at Banana Republic or Nordstrom, but they are either not there, or I just cannot tell from looking at the swatches. ProperCloth (http://propercloth.com/) provides more of what I would hope for in a buying experience (they provide photos of actual shirts for each of their fabric samples). What I would want as a customer is a website like this, with the confidence of of in-person measurement and some more modest pricing options. (ProperCloth starts at $99 for 50s-60s fabric and runs through $259 for 2-ply 120s). Do you think that over time you have developed enough of an eye to predict how the shirt is going to look in the end? Or do you just know that the Thomas Mason line will look good no matter what pattern your choose?
post #5 of 12
Mr. Smith,

Having just received an order from Modern Tailor, and fully intending to place a few more in the future, I find your idea intriguing. Here are some thoughts, in no particular order:
  • The idea of buying American appeals to me, providing it doesn't break the bank
  • High-quality fabric is a plus, although I don't think I need hand-spun cashmere. Something on the order of BB or Ralph Lauren quality is what I'd be looking for.
  • $100 is probably around my upper limit, maybe $125 if the service is particularly compelling. With any of the Asian services, I can get a test shirt for $50 and then dial in my measurements if need be and order a second one for ~ $100 total, so this is why I say $100 is about my maximum.
  • Many high-resolution pictures would certainly be a plus
  • Swatches would also be a plus
  • A massive fabric selection isn't so important to me as long as many of the "basics" are covered - solids, bengal stripe, pencil stripe, gingham, and tattersal check in most every color for instance. Not that I would order one of every color, I'm just saying this would be a nice selection. It seems like some of the MTM sites offer a few of the basics, and then skip right ahead to some wild Madras patters or exotic colors.
  • I like your talk of guarantees.

In short, consider me interested. Please keep me posted.
post #6 of 12
I buy from an in-person MTM tailor that visits San Francisco a couple of times per year, and even after looking at his swatches (which are about 8x4inches), I ordered a suit that looks completely ridiculous (for some reason I thought the stripes were subtle, but in reality they weren't) -- but that was my only mistake. I've ordered around 12 dress shirts and 3 suits, all which looks great. So my take away with MTM is that you're going to occassionally order something that isn't quite what you thought it would look like.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Smith View Post
They also required a four shirt minimum order for the privilege of getting measured in person.

Actually, they don't: I recently got measured and ordered just one shirt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobscrk777 View Post
he idea of buying American appeals to me, providing it doesn't break the bank

What's American about this proposition?
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonneker View Post
Actually, they don't: I recently got measured and ordered just one shirt.



What's American about this proposition?

Whoops, my mistake. I misread the OP. I must have followed his link to Proper Cloth, saw that it was made in America, and mixed that up with the OP.
post #9 of 12
On the subject of MTM shirts, does anyone have experience of Stephan Haroutounian in London?
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobscrk777 View Post
Mr. Smith,

Having just received an order from Modern Tailor, and fully intending to place a few more in the future, I find your idea intriguing. Here are some thoughts, in no particular order:
  • The idea of buying American appeals to me, providing it doesn't break the bank
  • High-quality fabric is a plus, although I don't think I need hand-spun cashmere. Something on the order of BB or Ralph Lauren quality is what I'd be looking for.
  • $100 is probably around my upper limit, maybe $125 if the service is particularly compelling. With any of the Asian services, I can get a test shirt for $50 and then dial in my measurements if need be and order a second one for ~ $100 total, so this is why I say $100 is about my maximum.
  • Many high-resolution pictures would certainly be a plus
  • Swatches would also be a plus
  • A massive fabric selection isn't so important to me as long as many of the "basics" are covered - solids, bengal stripe, pencil stripe, gingham, and tattersal check in most every color for instance. Not that I would order one of every color, I'm just saying this would be a nice selection. It seems like some of the MTM sites offer a few of the basics, and then skip right ahead to some wild Madras patters or exotic colors.
  • I like your talk of guarantees.

In short, consider me interested. Please keep me posted.

Thanks, this is awesome feedback. We are targeting a range of pricing from $59-75 for "no-name" two-ply 80s through $149 for higher end fabrics from notable mills, like Tessitura Monti, etc. Interesting feedback regarding fabric selection - your preference would be to have a single standing collection, rather than a rotating selection of "seasonal" lines? Was anything lacking with your experience with ModernTailor that makes you particularly interested in alternatives?

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
One bump. Thanks.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Smith View Post
Thanks, this is awesome feedback. We are targeting a range of pricing from $59-75 for "no-name" two-ply 80s through $149 for higher end fabrics from notable mills, like Tessitura Monti, etc. Interesting feedback regarding fabric selection - your preference would be to have a single standing collection, rather than a rotating selection of "seasonal" lines? Was anything lacking with your experience with ModernTailor that makes you particularly interested in alternatives?

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

I'm not completely opposed to a rotating selection of seasonal lines, but I'd rather spend money on quality basics rather than trendy seasonal shirts that wouldn't be very versatile. Maybe if I had 50 shirts, then I'd be more interested in a rotating line. As for what was lacking at MT, detailed fabric shots are the number one thing. They're getting better at providing photos of finished shirts, but not every fabric has detailed views. An affordable, easy-to-obtain swatch book would be nice, too.
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