Ordering made to measure shirts online? I test the Savile Row Company

Reading Time: 7 minutes

I seem to be on a bit of a roll these days when it comes to shirts that are made in London. Yesterday saw me mention Paladrin and their London-made workwear style and I have another couple of London-made shirts up my sleeve, so to speak, to be mentioned in due course.

Today though, I was invited to try a made to measure shirt by the Savile Row Company. Made to measure is a quite different world to what most of us normally operate in. Usually we’re trying to work out which size from small to large (or let’s be honest, from medium to extra large, right?) fits us the least worst. Mainly due to the fact that shirts are made to fit a more or less standard body (hang on, I wrote a rant about this a while back, here it is!). Unless you conform to a standard body of the region the shirt was designed, you’ll be cursed with something that fits poorly in most directions. Unless you’re lucky.

The point of made to measure though is obvious. You have it made to fit your oddball middle-aged measurements, so orangutang arms, sloping shoulders, protruding paunch, bulging biceps or neanderthal neck are supposedly no problem. Like a popular song once said, “There’s not a problem that I can’t fix ‘Cause I can do it in the mix”, or in the case of shirts, cut it right and make it proper.

So how does one go about this process? Last time I had a shirt made I was visited by two chaps with tape measures and that worked out fine. This time I’m doing it by way of the Interweb and my missus with a tape measure. And it was very much easier than you might think. First off though I had to select the base model shirt from a bewildering selection of 56 shirts. Trust me, this is a hurdle to behold. Trying to pick one of 56 is not easy, and I almost gave up here as this is where you select the fabric of the end result and it wasn’t easy to discern the finer points on my laptop screen. Still, I finally settled on “Cream herringbone” (because I like cream and I like herring?) and moved on to the next step. And there are a few steps underway.

The first fork in the road is whether you wish to personalise your shirt. This is where you run through a series of choices regarding body shape (fitted or classic), shirt front (no placket, placket or fly front), cuff style (8 options, counting single and double cuffs!), then on to 5 variations of pockets, three options for buttons, twelve options for collar trim (in white or blue), four options for cuff trim and finally button thread options. Oh, not quite finally, you also have the option of adding a monogram with placement and style according to your taste.

A bewildering array of options? I thought so too. I’d suggest being sober of mind when going through the details. Remember, we’re aiming for sophisticated gent, not Jack Sparrow (though actually I don’t think pirate cuffs were an option, but you get the picture). Being a little sensible though you do in fact have all the options necessary to make a standard shirt in the style you prefer. And the process underway is made easier by each option being presented as a series of photos.

 

Style is only part one though. Part two is where you have to step up and measure up. This requires a sober companion and will be a bit intimate, so enlist the help of someone with a little patience and sufficient eyesight and patience to reliably use the tape measure. Each measurement is really easy to understand, as there is a helpful video at each point of the way. This helps to remove any onerous discussions as to what is meant when you’re told to measure the cross section of the fibula to base of the upper torso midpoint (sorry, I made that one up, it’s really much easier than that).

Usually those of us that buy stuff online only look at one measurement, the P2P, or pit to pit. Multiplied by two this is the chest size of the shirt. If we’re being careful, we might consider the length of arms. In reality though there are a few more that are relevant: Neck size, waist size, hip (seat), height, yoke, sleeve length, back length, and naturally chest size. Oh, and whether you wear a watch and on which hand, and if it’s a chunky timepiece. Thankfully transforming this into a custom fitting shirt is the task of the tailor, eh?

Now, with all the measurements taken down, I’d suggest writing them into the notes-app on your phone for safekeeping. They’ll come in handy next time you’re eyeing up something online and need measurements to compare.

Now, I worked my way through all this in the course of a small hour or so and submitted my order. And a week later there was a box delivered to my door from London. I have to admit, I was impressed at this point. And even more so when I unwrapped the contents and tried it on. It fits superbly. And is properly made and it looks very nice indeed. I can even do up the top button, and that’s a rare occurrence!

Considering the price of 75 pounds, including free shipping, I think this is a very decent deal for what it is and where it’s made. I know I couldn’t go into town here and get anything off the shelf for less than twice the price, and considering the last dressy shirt I bought (which was closer to 200 pounds than 75) barely fit and didn’t last a single wash, it’s what the kids would call a no-brainer. And yes, I did exchange the poor quality shirt, the replacement fits no better and is almost translucent.

Oh, and I see they also do a 15% discount now if you sign up to their newsletter. More info at Savile Row Company.

Disclosure: I was invited to try the service and recieved my shirt without any cost to myself. My review and opinions is entirely my own work. 

Liked it? Take a second to support nick on Patreon!

4 Comments

  • Bart De Vuyst 16/08/2017 at 12:31

    Great article and very nice shirt!

    Do you know of a similar company that produces those thirties/forties/fiiites styled spear point collar dress shirts? I’ve got a hard time finding those.

    Thanks in advance. Love your site!

    PS – I adore your picture where there’s two of you in one pic! Lovely idea.

    Reply
    • nick 16/08/2017 at 12:33

      Thanks, Bart! You might try Simon James Cathart for vintage style shirts (sjc.com). Savild Row Co also do a large variety of collar styles, they may also be a possibility.

      Reply
  • Ian M 16/11/2017 at 11:45

    Made to order is not the same as made to measure. If you’re not being measured in person and you’re entering your own measurements into a website, its made to order.

    Companies calling that made to measure, is just like suit companies debasing the meaning of ‘bespoke’ when in fact is a made measure service.

    Reply
    • nick 16/11/2017 at 17:01

      I get your point with regards to “bespoke” and made to measure, but to my mind we’re talking semantics if made to measure depends on who actually measures you, a tailor or your significant other.

      Reply

Leave a Comment