Not to sound snooty, but I was trained in a true haberdashery. That background makes me skeptical of a company offering true made-to-measure shirts created without ever seeing their client, yet that is precisely the experience that A Tailored Suit provides. Does the customer not want that personal experience of having a tailor (or someone trained) actually measure them? Do we really want to do custom clothing over the Internet?
I needed to know. And I thought you needed to know. So I found out.
Before I could pull on my custom creation from A Tailored Suit, I had to hit up their site, which gives a great first impression. It is well-organized and offers a general primer on made-to-measure clothing. After perusing their remarkable encyclopedia of style (put together by the company’s President and Owner, Antonio) and in spite of my lingering skepticism, I decided to order a shirt for myself. I chose the fabric (after looking through seemingly hundreds of offerings), the collar, and the general style of the shirt. I was well on my way.
Hit the jump for my full evaluation of the ATS experience and their handiwork.
What comes next is what really makes A Tailored Suit unique. I was asked a few questions about my overall expectations of the shirt. Then, with detailed directions (and a little help from my wife), I recorded my measurements that are specific to the actual tailoring of the shirt. Obviously, there is a need for a tape measure (and not the 35′ Stanley that lives in your toolbox). If you don’t happen to have one lying around, the company is happy to send one to you. Thanks in part to the detailed explanation of each measurement needed, it took me only 10 minutes to obtain and record all of my pertinent measurements. I remember what my dad taught me as a kid (though he was talking about carpentry), so I made sure to measure twice.
The next step is where I really challenged the company and its extent of made-to-measure. After listing my measurements, there is a box on the website to insert comments or list anything out of the ordinary that you would like for your shirt. Not given the options that I prefer in any of the drop down menus, I listed specifics like high collar, a stiffer collar and cuff, two button tab closure on collar, monogram on the chest but without a pocket, etc. This is the part that I was somewhat skeptical about. I thought that the company would see those comments and try to accommodate them, but that they would certainly not be able to do so fully over the web. I crossed my fingers and proceeded to the checkout, having ordered my custom shirt in under 30 minutes.
Shortly after checkout, I received an email from the company’s President, thanking me for the business and giving a time line of the making of my shirt and when to expect delivery. Actually, a couple of days later, I got an email from the company clarifying my order. I ordered a check pattern cloth but with a formal style and the company just wanted to confirm that’s what I wanted. I thought that to be a great personal touch for an Internet based company. Later, is asked Antonio how he finds the time to check in on individual customers like me. He told me that, “we pay attention to the designs our clients submit and make sure they not only mesh but that the style selected actually compliments the man’s body type.” That’s just what any good tailor would do, flesh and blood or otherwise.
Still, I hadn’t seen the shirt yet. When arrived on my front porch, I opened the box to find a shirt that I was immediately impressed with. The quality of the cloth and finish were impeccable and met my expectations. I’m very discerning, mind you, and everything on the shirt is exactly the way I asked. The high, stiff collar, the stiff cuffs, form fitting body, and double button tab closure. I even had my monogram on the chest with no pocket (I hate pockets).
I was certainly impressed with my ATS experience; it changed my view of “internet custom couture”. If A Tailored Suit can make a shirt to my persnickety specifications, then I’m convinced of two things: the company is well-organized and knows what it’s doing and, if they can make me happy with a shirt, then they can make anyone happy with a shirt.
Here’s a suggestion, though, to anyone wanting to give it a try. Start off with one shirt, making sure you have the shirt like you want it, and then order a larger quantity. A Tailored Suit will keep all of your measurements on file, which means you’re left with only having to pick the cloth the next time you need new shirts. And oh yeah, as the name suggests, the company makes a wider range of clothing as well. Give their services a try and you might find yourself bragging about your new tailor and their impressive work.
Cost: Shirts from $99-$299