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New Proper Cloth shirt, Comparison to Nialma (With Pics)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by furosemide, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. furosemide

    furosemide Senior member

    Messages:
    101
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    Apr 30, 2008
    Hey guys,

    So I've tried several different online MTM in the past (MyTailor, Tailorstore, Giorgenti). Up until now, I've found Nialma to be the best in terms of fit and consistency and I've been a very loyal Nialma user (I've ordered something like 16 of their shirts). However, I thought I'd give Proper Cloth a try. Below are the results.

    Here is my impression:
    1. Fit
    My impression is that for a first fitting, this is actually an excellent fit. I'm quite happy with it. Usually when I start with a new company, it takes a couple fits to get it right, and sometimes it's never right. Nialma has been the best fit and most consistent. But this Proper Cloth shirt actually is a very good fit. The waist could be a little tighter, but I'll wait for judgement after a few washings to take into account for shrinkage.

    2. Tailoring/shirt quality
    Quality of the tailoring seems very good to my untrained though experienced (after many similar MTM shirts) eye. Some of my Nialma shirts have had some buttons come off and some fraying of threads in the placket area. This may happen with the Proper Cloth after time, but it just seems that the sewing is quite good. And the buttons are nice and thick. Fabric is also very nice; soft, very low wrinkage factor, not see-through. This is also impressive given it's one of their lower level shirts ($100, Black and Red Tatterstall Check, "144/76 count, 50/1 construction cotton from Japan").

    3. Turnaround time
    They quoted me about a month, but it came about 3 weeks from order to doorstep. In this regard, Nialma wins because their turnaround time is an amazing 1 week. That being said, if the consistency and shirt quality turns out to be better with the Proper Cloth, I will happily wait the extra time.

    4. Pricing
    Pretty much on par, I think. Proper cloth has a lot of different price points, with the vast majority being under $150. Nialma has the buy 3, get one free deal. However, I have found that the only shirts that I really like are their Thomas Mason Black Label line, which runs $150. So I suppose if I got four of them at a time, it would be a better discount at Nialma. However, it seems that I like the pattern selection of the Proper Cloth better (this may be a reflection of me already having all the ones I like from Nialma). So I'm not sure I would be using the buy 3, get one free deal much anymore.

    5. Website
    Proper cloth wins HANDS DOWN! Very interactive. And most importantly, high-res pics to really get a taste of the texture. Very good site.

    Conclusion:
    In general, I am excited to have two options now, which allows for more online MTM selection. However, I am probably going to be going with Proper Cloth more in the near future as:
    1. It's an American made company
    2. I probably won't be buying enough shirts at one time to make the Nialma 4 for 3 deal worth it.
    3. I suspect the shirt quality will be better with Proper Cloth, though this will take time to test.

    By the by, for you cynics out there, this is not some blatant advertisement for Proper Cloth. I'm a regular SF'er who just wanted to give my opinion based on people's interest in the online MTM experience. I want people to know about Proper Cloth cause it's newer and to be able to compare with the older stalwarts. And after this experience, frankly I want them around longer so that I can get more shirts from them!

    [​IMG]
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    1 person likes this.
  2. sabvinnie

    sabvinnie Senior member

    Messages:
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    Nice - very thorough thread. I am pleased someone has taken some time to do a comparison. I have tried both nialma and propercloth (along with a few others a few years back).

    I think we have had pretty similar experiences. My only point of difference would be that my niaalma shirts have been pretty good in terms of quality. I think my first couple 18 months ago had an issue with a cuff button. But latest orders seem fine to me.

    Propercloth are definitely good to have out there as a new alternative.

    My fit at nialma has always been good but I did have a few made through mytailor years ago so I knew my profile pretty well and I assume after 16 shirts (!!!!) you would have submitted a pretty accurate profile for your first shirt from propercloth - hence the nice fit.

    I would also like a few more fabric options in Thomas Mason and Premium at nialma as well.

    Thanks again.
     
  3. Don Carlos

    Don Carlos Senior member

    Messages:
    7,527
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    This is an excellent thread, and thanks for posting it. Not only does the fit look really good for a first order, but the lengthy evaluation is highly appreciated.

    I'm definitely tempted to check out Proper Cloth now. I've been a MyTailor customer for quite some time now, and while I love their fabric selection, I've had intermittent issues with their fit (even some 26 shirts later). I'd been staying away from Nialma after hearing mixed reviews over the years, and I have yet to hear Modern Tailor recommended by anyone who has the perspective of experience with other MTM shops. So Proper Cloth seems like a natural point of exploration.

    The one issue I have with Proper Cloth is that their website doesn't seem to list where they source their fabrics from. Do you happen to know the mill/maker behind their shirtings? I have a hard time giving up what I know to be Thomas Mason goldline with MyTailor for a cloth of unknown origins with Proper Cloth.
     
  4. Kent Wang

    Kent Wang Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    "144/76 count, 50/1" is one-ply. You should really only get 2-ply fabrics.
     
  5. badsha

    badsha Senior member

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    Los Angeles
    Fit looks pretty good. Curious to see how it looks after a few washings. I like the collar as well.
     
  6. furosemide

    furosemide Senior member

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    Apr 30, 2008
    So I thought that for fairness' sake, I'd post pics of me with my most recent Nialma purchase, probably about one month old. Fit is good, it's Thomas Mason fabric. Basically very similar, just probably a little tighter in the torso.

    [​IMG]
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  7. furosemide

    furosemide Senior member

    Messages:
    101
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Nice - very thorough thread. I am pleased someone has taken some time to do a comparison. I have tried both nialma and propercloth (along with a few others a few years back).

    I think we have had pretty similar experiences. My only point of difference would be that my niaalma shirts have been pretty good in terms of quality. I think my first couple 18 months ago had an issue with a cuff button. But latest orders seem fine to me.

    Propercloth are definitely good to have out there as a new alternative.

    My fit at nialma has always been good but I did have a few made through mytailor years ago so I knew my profile pretty well and I assume after 16 shirts (!!!!) you would have submitted a pretty accurate profile for your first shirt from propercloth - hence the nice fit.

    I would also like a few more fabric options in Thomas Mason and Premium at nialma as well.

    Thanks again.


    Thanks sabvinnie. I wholeheartedly agree that my likely good fit on the first try is secondary to my experience with the right measurements. I put in shirt measurements of my best fitting Nialma shirt actually! [​IMG]

    I also agree with the quality thing. I bought a bunch of Nialma shirts about 1 year or more ago, and the ones I have gotten since then do seem to be of much better construction, buttons thicker, etc. However, since I haven't had them that long, I can't speak to how well they'll hold up so that's why I commented on the construction of the ones I had from a while back, which had the problems discussed earlier (i.e. fraying and loosing buttons).
     
  8. furosemide

    furosemide Senior member

    Messages:
    101
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    This is an excellent thread, and thanks for posting it. Not only does the fit look really good for a first order, but the lengthy evaluation is highly appreciated. I'm definitely tempted to check out Proper Cloth now. I've been a MyTailor customer for quite some time now, and while I love their fabric selection, I've had intermittent issues with their fit (even some 26 shirts later). I'd been staying away from Nialma after hearing mixed reviews over the years, and I have yet to hear Modern Tailor recommended by anyone who has the perspective of experience with other MTM shops. So Proper Cloth seems like a natural point of exploration. The one issue I have with Proper Cloth is that their website doesn't seem to list where they source their fabrics from. Do you happen to know the mill/maker behind their shirtings? I have a hard time giving up what I know to be Thomas Mason goldline with MyTailor for a cloth of unknown origins with Proper Cloth.
    Thanks AB. Some of the listings on the site do say where the cloth is from (i.e. Japan) but most do not list the mills. Here is a link to a discussion of this very issue. In particular, read Shirtmaven's comments: http://www.styleforum.net/showthread...t=proper+cloth
     
  9. furosemide

    furosemide Senior member

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    "144/76 count, 50/1" is one-ply. You should really only get 2-ply fabrics.

    Yeah, I realize this in my brain, but I gotta say, the fabric feels really good. Better than many of my 2-ply fabrics from other stores. So, can you educate me? If it feels soft and smooth, and isn't see-through, what's the disadvantage to 1-ply? Is it a matter of longevity of the shirt after multiple washings? Or is it something else?
     
  10. 599

    599 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Hampshire, England, UK
    So I thought that for fairness' sake, I'd post pics of me with my most recent Nialma purchase, probably about one month old. Fit is good, it's Thomas Mason fabric. Basically very similar, just probably a little tighter in the torso.
    [​IMG]


    Love this collar, which one is it? I was about to get another set of 4 Nialma shirts and wouldnt mind going for that collar on 2 of them.
     
  11. Kent Wang

    Kent Wang Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Longevity is the primary issue.

    How a fabric feels before one wash is not a good indication of quality. There are a lot of tricks with finishes and sprays to make it feel nice at first.
     
  12. sabvinnie

    sabvinnie Senior member

    Messages:
    116
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    Oct 23, 2007
    Thanks sabvinnie. I wholeheartedly agree that my likely good fit on the first try is secondary to my experience with the right measurements. I put in shirt measurements of my best fitting Nialma shirt actually! [​IMG]

    I also agree with the quality thing. I bought a bunch of Nialma shirts about 1 year or more ago, and the ones I have gotten since then do seem to be of much better construction, buttons thicker, etc. However, since I haven't had them that long, I can't speak to how well they'll hold up so that's why I commented on the construction of the ones I had from a while back, which had the problems discussed earlier (i.e. fraying and loosing buttons).

    Both shirts look like a nice fit - similar to my preferred cut. Thanks for the second lot of shots. My nialma Thomas masons feel great and the quality of it is tangibly obvious to touch. But I throw them into 4 for 3 orders to make it cost effective. Also like the collars on both shirts.
     
  13. Timeless Fashion

    Timeless Fashion Senior member

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    Apr 11, 2009
    Do both Nialma and Propercloth come with standard MOP buttons? My only Nialma order seems to have regular plastic buttons. Do you need to request MOP buttons? My Chan shirts came standard with MOP buttons.
     
  14. 599

    599 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Hampshire, England, UK
    The Thomas Mason shirts come with thick MOP buttons but my last middle-ranged shirt came with thick plastic.

    I'd Email them if you want shell on the 2 cheaper ranges
     
  15. furosemide

    furosemide Senior member

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    Do both Nialma and Propercloth come with standard MOP buttons? My only Nialma order seems to have regular plastic buttons. Do you need to request MOP buttons? My Chan shirts came standard with MOP buttons.

    It's also an upcharge for MOP in Proper Cloth
     
  16. furosemide

    furosemide Senior member

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    Love this collar, which one is it? I was about to get another set of 4 Nialma shirts and wouldnt mind going for that collar on 2 of them.

    This is the "widespread" collar
     
  17. S. Paul

    S. Paul Senior member

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    Nov 20, 2009
    This is the "widespread" collar

    Great post and pics!! Thanks for being so thorough in your evaluations. Which collar did you select from Proper Cloth? Excellent shirts!

    Thanks,
    Sean Paul
     
  18. furosemide

    furosemide Senior member

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    Great post and pics!! Thanks for being so thorough in your evaluations. Which collar did you select from Proper Cloth? Excellent shirts!

    Thanks,
    Sean Paul


    The collar is the "Londoner." I believe it's their widest spread collar.
     
  19. TheTukker

    TheTukker Senior member

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    Pretty impressive fit, particularly for a first order. Well done; I think I like the fit even a bit better than the fit on your Nialma shirt..
     
  20. Wes Bourne

    Wes Bourne Senior member

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    Good review, thanks for sharing. Great fit on the Nialma shirt. [​IMG]
     

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