Detailed, unbiased review of a made-to-measure dress shirt from Lewis & Taylor
Here at The Modest Man, I advocate for custom clothing all the time. I think custom clothes, especially dress shirts, are a great option for men who have trouble finding the right fit off the rack.
Of course, buying custom (made-to-measure) clothing online isn't a perfect solution. It can be expensive, and it's often difficult to figure out your own measurements.
That said, there is an increasing number of online-only custom clothiers, and some are better than others. One of the most important aspects of any MTM company is their customer service.
Lewis & Taylor, a relatively new custom shirt maker, aims to provide top-notch customer service. They also strive to make high quality shirts (premium fabrics, single needle stitching, quality buttons, etc.).
When L&T reached out and offered me a free shirt for review, I gladly accepted. I went with the Sienna Narrow fabric and used their measurement system for sizing. The shirt arrived in 32 days – slightly longer than average. I could tell it was a high quality dress shirt, but it didn't fit very well:
I got in touch with L&T and discussed the fit. They asked me to send the shirt back and said they'd reimburse for shipping (which is nice, because they're shirts are shipped from Hong Kong). A couple of weeks later, the new and improved shirt arrived. Here's how it looks:
As you can see, the fit is much improved. The biceps and forearms are nice and slim, and the shoulders are perfect. There's still a little extra material around the stomach, so I'd probably adjust that measurement slightly for my next Lewis & Taylor shirt.
The collar point length – a detail that shorter men (especially those with small and/or thin faces) need to pay attention to – is just right. This collar style is called “english wide”.
The fabric quality (Thomas Mason) and craftsmanship are excellent. The mother of pearl buttons are sturdy, and the pattern (thin red stripes) goes great with grey or charcoal pants. From a quality standpoint, this is one of the nicest shirts I own.
Room for Improvement
Unlike other custom shirt makers that I've reviewed, Lewis & Taylor shirts arrive in non-branded shipping box. There's nothing inherently wrong with this, but when you spend a lot of money on a custom dress shirt, it's nice when it arrives in a thoughtful, branded container.
The L&T website leaves something to be desired. The functionality is there – you can customize your shirt in many different ways – but it's not polished and sometimes seems a bit off. For example, I was randomly logged out a couple of times. I think there's room for improvement here because most people prefer working with a slick, modern interface (like Indochino or Ratio)
The “About” page is generic and somewhat impersonal. This is too bad because, especially when working with a new company, it's nice to know who is behind the product. I suggested to the owners that they include their photos and bios on the About page.
Finally, their measurement guide leaves something to be desired. You might say it doesn't measure up to the competition (sorry, too easy). I'd like to see some higher quality photos or, better yet, videos on how to get your own measurements.
That said, none of these things should stop you from giving Lewis & Taylor a try. The final product is way more important that a slick website or cool brand.
Lewis & Taylor makes great shirts. They're a young company, and while they don't have the most polished operation, they will work with you to make sure you are happy.
They are absolutely dedicated to a high quality product. In my experience with made-to-measure clothing, the only company that rivals L&T in terms of quality is Ratio Clothing. When it comes to fit, Lewis & Taylor has a slight edge.
I would definitely buy from L&T again. Just remember, whenever you are ordering custom clothing, be extremely specific about your body type and discuss any fit problems you've had in the past. Include pictures of yourself in dress shirts you already own along with comments about what you like/dislike about them.
Always feel free to drop me a line and send me photos as well. Don't settle for subpar fit.
What do you think about this shirt? Leave a comment below!