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Novice Needs Help (Custom or MTM Shirts)

JRinDC

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As noted in the question I posed about custom suits, I'm new to this forum. I don't have the cash for some of the clothes discussed here, though I appreciate them very much. Even if I did, I'm cheap. But I still want to look my best, and I'm thinking about getting into the MTM or Custom market for a few items. I'm going to post questions in a couple of different threads to seperate the issues. FWIW, sizewize I'm pretty much a perfect 16 neck, 33 sleeve, 40R (maybe 38R in Hugo Boss), with a 6 inch drop.

Episode 2: Custom or MTM shirts.

So I have some Brooks Brothers shirts and I swim in them. I need a trim fit shirt and these are not. But for the $75 to $150 that their shirts cost, why not MTM?

So, where do you go for MTM or Custom shirts? I'm not going to spend hundreds of dollars per shirt, much as I'd like to. But what about the Custom Shop, Paul Frederick, Lands End, etc.? Are these any good? Are there smaller, better tailors out there that make good shirts under $100? For someone of a standard size like me, is it really worth it, or should I just look around for a ready made shirt from a designer that fits me better than Brooks Brothers does?

Any thoughts? Advice?
 

Manton

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You're in DC? Do you get to NY much?
 

Ambulance Chaser

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W.W. Chan. Shirts start around $100 depending upon material. I am very happy with the dress shirt they made me and would go back to them if I needed more. They will be visiting DC next week.

http://www.wwchan.com/us.php
 

JRinDC

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Manton, I'm from NY originally, but I do live in DC. I get to NY maybe once or twice a year. I could order from there if I knew where to go. Or I could have my tailor here do my measurements and send them up. If it would save money, I'm all for it.

Ambulence Chaser, Thanks for the tip on Chan. I will check them out. It would be interesting to know who else comes to DC. I'm completely oblivious to the visiting clothier market here.
 

Manton

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If you want to stay less than $100 per shirt, and don't travel much, Chan is probably your best bet.
 

JRinDC

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What about Jantzen? They seem to be popular here and they're only $40. Do they compare with Chan?
 

Dan-

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Originally Posted by JRinDC
FWIW, sizewize I'm pretty much a perfect 16 neck, 33 sleeve, 40R (maybe 38R in Hugo Boss), with a 6 inch drop.
I'm curious as to why you think you need MTM. With those measurements, you're very close to the "idealized" shape most OTR clothing is designed for. With OTR, it seems you could ostensibly get higher quality fabric and a fairly good fit compared to MTM priced in the same range. And you can get it altered to fit closer to perfectly.
 

JRinDC

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Dan -- that's a good question. I guess, I'm hoping for something different in quality, and maybe a better fit. Most of the OTR shirts are a little wide in the body, and trim fits are not always easy to find. For a while Brooks Brothers, for example, only did their staple shirts (white and blue) in trim fit. And at $75 to $150 a shirt OTR plus the possible need for more alteration, I thought, well, maybe I could get something better for that price in MTM? Maybe not! That's exactly why I'm asking. Could be I just need to find an OTR shirt that fits better than Brooks Brothers, but I haven't looked around enough.
 

Vintage Gent

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Originally Posted by Manton
If you want to stay less than $100 per shirt, and don't travel much, Chan is probably your best bet.

Since Chan isn't running a shirting special on this tour, I can only assume that the prices on the web site are accurate, and they run anywhere from $101 to $134, the majority of the fabrics falling in the $120 and up range.
 

Manton

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Originally Posted by Vintage Gent
Since Chan isn't running a shirting special on this tour, I can only assume that the prices on the web site are accurate, and they run anywhere from $101 to $134, the majority of the fabrics falling in the $120 and up range.
Still, not bad, for what I have seen. Geneva in NY is going to be more like $200. It's a fine shirt, and that's excellent deal for bespoke, but well out of his price range.
 

JRinDC

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Dan raises a good question, I'm still not sure of. For $100 or less, can I get a RTW or Jantzen shirt that compares in quality to the Chan? Just trying to figure out the "pecking order" of quality and what's the best bang for the buck. I have a lot to learn.
 

Manton

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I write this as an impartial observer who is a customer of neither, but has seen both products and read many, many Chan/Jantzen threads.

The Chan product strikes me as not only better, but worth the differential. With Janzten, you have long waits, inconsistent service, and you have to use them several times before they get your pattern down. In some cases, they early shirts are nearly unwearable. I don't mean to knock them; at that rock bottom price, one would be ungrateful to expect more. If you are really pinched for money, try them. But know well that it may take several shirts and many months before you are satisfied.

Chan is a more professional operation, all around. You pay for that, however.
 

whoopee

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Chan's shirtings are also less variable than Jantzen's. They don't carry anything superfine, but nothing bad either, and if you stick to ordering from their usual selection (Thomas Mason) you can be confident that the cloth is very good. For Jantzen, unless you flip through the swatches in HK, some fabrics will disappoint, even if you weed out the 1-ply, non-Italian, etc ones on their website.
 

chorse123

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Originally Posted by Manton
If you are really pinched for money, try [Jantzen]

If the buyer is really pinched for money, I would suggest Chan. With Jantzen, you could order six shirts before you get something good. It might be the second shirt, but it probably won't be, and it is really dependent on your ability to fit yourself.
 

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