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Cheap shirt comparison

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Thought I'd do a test.

I have a wide neck for my height, so it's difficult for me to find RTW shirts that fit. Only found one place that fits well (although in fairness, it's TM Lewin, so it's not like I can't get them). So being a cheapskate, and looking to the future, I tried an experiment to get the cheapest shirts in London.

I'll add photos when I get batteries in the camera.

Shirt 1:
TM Lewin 16.5 collar 33 sleeve slim fit. Blue Gingham. Single two-button cuff.
Ordered on net for £20 with 10% sale discount. Delivered to local store (thereby avoiding shipping charges)
Waiting Time: 3 days
Total Cost: £18

Verdict: This is the baseline shirt. It fits ok. Collar is stiff, and I had to wash it three times before I stopped getting light-headed wearing it. Available everywhere.


Shirt 2:
Emma Willis
16.5 35 regular fit. Pink. Double cuff converted to single cuff.
Bought on Ebay, taken to pattern cutter I know for major surgery.
Waiting time: 16 days total
Total cost: £25 + £14 box of chocolates

Verdict: The shirt was far too big to start with, and the level of alteration required just wasn't worth it. If I didn't know the pattern cutter, the cost would have been through the roof to essentially build a shirt from scratch that only retains the collar. More or less everything else changed. Now fits ok, but it's basically a bespoke shirt made by my friend using an EW shirt for cloth.


Shirt 3:
iTailor
MTM. White. Single two-button cuff, "English" collar
Bought over iTailor site using their software and my own measurements.
Waiting Time: 6 weeks
Total Cost: £18 + £7 delivery

Verdict: Good, cloth is ok. Fit is good except on length where my measurements were off. The collar is tight by maybe 1/4". Got free contrast inside seams and collar. Collar I chose was "English", and was very cutaway - check this one if you don't like cutaway collars.


Shirt 4:
Stephan Haroutunian
MTM. Striped Oxford. Single two-button cuff, semi-cutaway collar.
Measured at Fulham Shop.
Waiting Time : 6 weeks
Total Cost: £89 + travelling costs

Verdict: Best fit. Fabric selection not amazing (no blue/white gingham when I ordered, although there is one now). Cuffs seem about 1/4" wider than I'm used to. Sleeves a trifle generous in terms of width, but I'm happy with it. Pattern matching was only so-so at the shoulders, although it has to be said that that's not a feature that concerns me personally. Fabric comes out much nicer on finished shirt than in the sample books, which look a bit sad to be honest. Finished article quite impressive.


Overall:

Best shirt is the Stephan Haroutunian one, by a long shot. I also have to declare a vested interest that Haroutunian (not Erland) is a close friend of my wife's family. Bear in mind that it cost more than 4x the cheapest competitor.

However, in terms of vfm.....I have to go with the accident of fate that the TML shirts just happen to fit very well for the low price. Given that the various circumstances of those TML purchases won't always be around, Lewins only win for this particular test. The EW conversion is something I won't try again, and the iTailor shirt doesn't fit appreciably better than the TML one given that it was more expensive and waited 6 weeks for it.

Next time - it depends how much money I want to spend, and the selection of fabric available at Haroutunian in the lower (£69) price bracket.
 

Gibonius

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Seems like that last one is a bit out of place, almost five times the cost? That throws you into a totally different league of shirt. I know you mentioned that but still...
 

landshark

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So your quest for a cheap shirt led you to a $140 shirt? Good work.
 

rossyl

Senior Member
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Hawes & Curtis, Charles Tyrwhitt? That would have been a more apt comparison than the lst one you put in there...it was all looking so promising. Thank you though.
 

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