Made-to-Measurement FAQ

If you have a question we haven’t covered, drop us a line... we’d love to hear from you.

WHAT IS MADE-TO-MEASUREMENT (MTM)?

In essence, it’s the way we like our shirts to fit, customized for your body… our way to give each individual a personalized fit. With made-to-measurement, (at least the way we do it,) we adapt our base shirt block to your individual body measurements to create a unique pattern – and ultimately, a shirt – just for you. And if you like it, we can make more.

WAIT, WHY DO YOU CALL IT MADE-TO-MEASUREMENT AND NOT MADE-TO-MEASURE?

Our Master Tailor Dau created our base pattern by hand, and our tailors are an integral part of what we do. Most of them speak English as a third or fourth language, and for years, they’ve called it ‘made-to-measurement’ among themselves – which, when you think about it, isn’t any more or less correct than the common noun ‘made-to-measure.’ So in a sort of homage to them, we named our program Made-to-Measurement.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

On our website or in our shops, you can select your own fabric, features (collar, front, back, pocket, cuff), and fit preference (Slim, Standard, or Supra). Then comes the body measurement – you can do it yourself with our how-to video, we can guide you through it on Skype or FaceTime, we can do it for you in one of our shops, or you can select a stock size that already fits you well. We use those measurements to create a custom pattern – and then, a shirt – just for you within 3-4 weeks.

HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM CUSTOM OR BESPOKE OR MADE-TO-ORDER?

Our MTM program is more in-depth than made-to-order shirting, in which you can customize some of the details (fabric, pockets) without modifying the pattern. And it’s less involved than bespoke, in which a pattern is drawn – from scratch and by hand – specifically for your measurements, preferences, and physical nuances, over the course of multiple fittings. A lot of guys don’t have time for that. “Custom” can be a confusing term, and sometimes not as useful — it can be applied to anything that isn’t readily available: made-to-order, made-to-measure, or full bespoke.

HOW DO I GET FITTED?

We offer four ways of getting the right fit:
  1. 1. Using one of ours – if one of our stock sizes (dress or sport) fits you well already, you can select that.
  2. 2. By self-measurement – we’ve put together simple instructions and a video for you to take your nine body measurements on your own.
  3. 3. By appointment – schedule an in-store, a Skype, or Facetime appointment with one of our associates.
  4. 4. Using what we’ve got – we’ll keep your pattern on file, so returning Made-to-Measurement customers can use their existing measurements for simple reorders.

WHAT'S THE LEAD TIME? HOW LONG WILL A SHIRT TAKE?

You can expect your shirt within 4 weeks of your order date.

HOW DO YOUR SHIRTS SHIP?

We ship for free within the US via UPS Ground. Expedited shipping is also available for an additional charge.

DO YOU OFFER APPOINTMENTS? IS AN APPOINTMENT REQUIRED?

Yes, absolutely – we offer both in-person appointments in our shops (Atlanta, Houston, Washington DC, Dallas, and Los Angeles) as well as over Skype or FaceTime from anywhere with an Internet connection. An appointment isn’t required, though – if you prefer to do it solo, you can take your own measurements and place the order yourself, or simply select one of our stock sizes that already fits you well.

HOW LONG WILL A MEASURING APPOINTMENT TAKE?

Appointments generally take around thirty minutes, pleasantries and measurements and all. That said, we can adjust the pace to your schedule. Self-measurement is a bit more to-the-point, and takes about ten minutes.

ARE THERE ANY MINIMUMS?

No – in fact, we recommend starting with just one shirt. After we nail the fit of the first one, we can scale from there.

CAN I SEND A SHIRT AS A GIFT?

Yes — though keep in mind that the recipient will have to get measured in order for the shirt to fit correctly. We offer an excellent “gift kit”: a pre-packaged gift card and tape measure enclosed in a tailored muslin bag with a custom note so that the recipient can make his selections online or in one of our shops.

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A TAPE MEASURE?

We’d be happy to send you one (for free!) It’s a useful thing to keep around. You can request one online.

WHERE ARE YOUR SHIRTS MANUFACTURED?

While we design and pattern at our headquarters in Atlanta, our shirts are created on our own line in an incredible factory in Honduras. It's a family-owned business that's been running for almost a century – they actually call it a co-operative, not a factory. The workmanship is better than we’ve found anywhere else short of Italy, the relationship we have is great, and we’re super-proud to work with them as partners and collaborators.

WHAT MEASUREMENTS DO YOU BASE MY PATTERN ON?

We measure for height, neck, cross-shoulder, chest, waist, hip, sleeve, wrist – and with online orders, we use height, weight, and t-shirt size as an additional filter.

ARE ANY OF YOUR FABRICS WRINKLE-RESISTANT OR NON-IRON?

None of our fabrics are treated with any chemicals to make them qualify as “wrinkle-resistant” or “non-iron”. We prefer our shirts without the wrinkle-resistant and non-iron finishes – the sensation isn’t great, they don’t feel as good against the skin, they can cause skin reactions, and they just don’t last as long.

That said, some of our fabrics are naturally less prone to wrinkling. Our oxfords and roxfords are heavier, and resist wrinkles more easily… that’s why we especially love them for travel. On the other hand, a lighter-weight poplin, an end-on-end, or anything with linen in it will feel a little more rumpled at the end of the day, and while we care deeply about looking polished, it’s not something to worry about. A perfectly crisp shirt looks amazing at 7am, but will pick up a few creases at the elbows or waist by sundown. It means you’re working hard, and we like it that way.

HOW MUCH WILL YOUR SHIRTS SHRINK?

Not very much. We build shrinkage into our pattern, and you should notice only the slightest difference in the way your shirt fits after laundering, whether you’re dry-cleaning or washing at home.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BUTTON TYPES?

Trick question, we know… we only offer the one. Our 3.5mm Trocas shell button is noticeably thicker than industry standard, because we believe that the things you touch every day should be beautiful and high-quality and substantial… that’s why it’s the only kind of button we offer. When you put on your shirt in the morning – and when you take it off at night – each of the 8-plus buttons you pull through the holes should feel good in your hands. Tactile qualities aside, we also love the way they look. Mother-of-pearl buttons can appear fluorescent white, with an almost rainbow cast to them – we prefer the warmer, more neutral white of Trocas shell.

DO YOU INCLUDE SPARE BUTTONS? CAN I BUY REPLACEMENTS?

Every shirt comes with a spare button on the underside of the placket. We’d be happy to send you more buttons for no charge if you need them – or better yet, sew them back on for you. Just reach out to us.

WHAT'S UP WITH COLLAR STAYS? CAN I BUY REPLACEMENTS?

All of our shirts (with the exception of button downs & band collars) come with collar stays. If you lose track of them, we’d be happy to send you more… just reach out to us.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FUSED AND NONFUSED COLLAR?

This refers to the interlining inside of the collar – the material sandwiched between the two layers of fabric that helps a shirt collar keep its shape. The fused collar – best described as crisp and clean – has a dressier feel to it. The interlining is very lightweight, and actually fused to the fabric for a more structured look. A nonfused collar – best described as soft and relaxed – feels a little easier and sportier. Here, the interlining is also very lightweight, but floats freely inside the collar.

You can choose between the two with a spread, a cutaway, or a point spead collar. For us, a band collar shirt is always nonfused, and it’s so casual that it’s always classified as a sport shirt. We also don’t offer fusing on button-down collars – part of their beauty is what we call the “bloom,” or the way the collar rolls, which requires the softness of a nonfused interlining. We’ll match the interlining of your cuffs to the collar for a cohesive look.

WHICH FEATURES CAN BE CUSTOMIZED?

We offer 50+ fabrics, 5 collars, 3 front styles, 3 back styles, 5 pocket styles, 5 cuff styles, and 3 fit preferences. And then of course, the fit is made just for you.

DO YOU OFFER MONOGRAMMING?

We are happy to monogram your shirt — just place your order normally, and then shoot us an email. Keep in mind that monogramming will add about a week to your order delivery time.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SLIM, STANDARD, AND SUPRA? HOW WILL I KNOW WHICH FIT PREFERENCE IS BEST FOR ME?

We designed our Standard fit preference to suit every man. It’s the original, the one Dau built for Sid, and the one we practically opened our doors with. It’s a slimmish-not-skinny shape that’s designed for a comfortable fit and great mobility. We think it’s the best, most versatile cut for every man.We also offer a Slim fit preference. Compared with our standard cut, this one has a trimmer body and sleeve, and a slightly higher armhole. It’s a good choice for guys with narrower shoulders and those who prefer a slimmer shape that’s closer to the body. On the other end of the spectrum is our Supra fit preference. Compared with our standard cut, this one has a fuller body and sleeve, and a more generous armhole. It’s a good choice for guys who prefer a slightly larger shape with more ease over the body.

WHAT MAKES YOUR SHIRTS DIFFERENT FROM ANYONE ELSE'S?

-   Some of the finest fabrics in the world from the best-of-the-best fabric mills
-   German interlinings in the collars and cuffs
-   3.5mm-thick New Zealand Trocas shell buttons.
-   22 stitches/inch (compared with an industry standard of 17) and single-needle stitching mean that the shirt takes more time to construct… think of it like a “slow food” approach.

So while we really like the ingredients, the most distinct thing about our shirt is the starting point: our pattern. It’s our own, and one we’ve developed from years and years and years of experience in the industry. After 60 years of tailoring, our Master Tailor Dau drew it by hand for Sid (who himself has spent the last 35 years designing,) and has spent the last few years refining it to be able to adapt to every man – not just Sid. It’s got a higher armhole, a longer shirttail, a perfect collar height and length… in short, we love the way it fits.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SPORT SHIRT AND A DRESS SHIRT?

This is a tough one. Generally, stock sport shirts are sized S to XXL, and stock dress shirts are sized by more exact neck and sleeve measurements (e.g. 15.5/35). On a dress shirt, neck measurements are more important because you’re typically wearing a tie, which means the top button is fastened. If the collar is too big, the collar will gap away from your neck, which can look unfinished. On the other hand, if it’s too tight, you’ll look (and feel) uncomfortable. The undone top button on a sport shirt gives a bit more leeway.
Sleeve length, too, is more important with a dress shirt – we like to show about ½” of cuff underneath a jacket sleeve. When you’re not wearing a jacket, though, as with a sport shirt, the sleeve length doesn’t need to be quite as precise.

With Made-to-Measurement, the sizing convention is no longer a useful differentiator, since the size is made especially for you. To put it simply: a dress shirt is one worn for more formal occasions, and a sport shirt is one worn in more relaxed settings. The line is blurry, though – we think a sport shirt can look great with a tie, and we love a very worn-in dress shirt retired to sport status. Put simply – every dress shirt can be a sport shirt, but not every sport shirt can be a dress shirt. While collar fusing weighs into the equation (see above,) we let the fabric lead on the dress vs. sport designation. A more formal fabric usually lends itself to a dress shirt, while more a casual printed fabric feels sportier.

WHAT DO ALL THE NUMBERS AND SPECS MEAN ON EACH FABRIC?

We use a few different specs to describe and give context to our fabrics.
The weight refers to how heavy or light a particular fabric is – we measure this in grams per square meter, or gsm. Ours range from the 70s (very fine and lightweight, like a poplin) to the 170s (very rugged and substantial, like an oxford).

The yarn count refers to the size and fineness of the threads used to make the fabric, as well as the way those threads are constructed. The first number is the yarn size – the higher the number, the finer it is. A super-thick yarn, such as one used in an oxford, can be as low as 24, while a very fine, compact yarn can measure 140. The number after the slash (/1 or /2) is the ply, or how many strands of this yarn are twisted to create a single thread. The warp, or the thread going vertically, is given first, while the weft, or the threads going horizontally, is given last. For example, a 120/2 x 80/1 poplin has 2 strands of fine 120s yarn twisted together in the warp – and then 1 strand of 80s yarn in the weft.

Of course, more than just a few strands of yarn go into each fabric. Now that we know how to measure the threads themselves, we’ll look at the construction, or how densely those threads are woven together. That same poplin we mentioned above has a construction of 53 x 48 (cm,) which means there are 53 warp threads and 48 weft threads per square centimeter of fabric.

If the numbers are overwhelming, we also use the following types to categorize our fabrics:

CELLULARE A light, complex-yet-airy weave that looks like honeycomb, latticework, or cellular structure up close, depending on your line of work… or proximity to a microscope. Casual and great for warm weather.
COTOLINO A lightweight, plainweave blend of cotton (for structure) and linen (for texture).
END-ON-END A smooth, lightweight fabric with alternating white and colored threads – kind of a multidimensional, look-more-closely take on a solid.
MADRAS An open-weave, lightweight, slubby plaid that hails from rural India … practically made for humidity.
OXFORD A slightly heavier fabric with a more visibly textured basketweave – it’s soft, substantial, and doesn’t need a crisp press to look good.
POPLIN A smooth plainweave that’s lightweight and crisp and yet not at all stiff… probably what comes to mind when you think “dress shirt.” (It’s also known as broadcloth, but that’s another story.)
ROXFORD Don't you guys mean "royal oxford"? We've long used an around-the-office portmanteau for this fabric, since its lighter and dressier than -- and totally different from -- a classic oxford cloth, with a bit of a glow to the surface. It also holds a press beautifully.

WHAT MILLS & FABRICS DO YOU USE?

We work with some of the best mills all over the world – Italy, Portugal, England, India –along with some that may not be the best overall but happen to make a fabric or two or three that we’ve grown to love. That said, we prefer to keep our sources proprietary. The name of the mill doesn’t tell the whole story, anyway. It’s more about the fibers they purchase, the yarn they spin, the dyes they use, the way they weave and finish, and of course, their years of experience, technical know-how, and love of the craft. And fabric is just one of several ingredients that go into a high-quality shirt – the buttons, the stitching, the interlining, the finishing, even the pattern-matching. We spend a lot of time thinking about all of these elements. You can have the most beautiful fabric in the world, and still have a not-great shirt.

WHAT IF IT DOESN'T FIT?

We will take care of it until you are satisfied. In other words, we will alter or remake the shirt as needed, and make blue-pencil updates to your pattern based on those changes. We’ll cover the return shipping and deliver your modified shirt back to you in about two weeks. As with all of our products, we want you to love what you have, and we’ll do what it takes to make it happen.

HOW WILL I KNOW IF IT FITS?

Call us – FaceTime us – email us photos of you wearing it. In all seriousness, we are committed to nailing the right fit, and we’d love to schedule a follow-up appointment to check in and make sure everything is great. You can schedule an in-store or Skype/FaceTime appointment on our website.

HOW SHOULD I WASH & CARE FOR MY SHIRT?

We’re big proponents of washing at home. We recommend machine washing with cold water, hanging to dry, and ironing by hand. If you prefer to professionally clean, we recommend developing a relationship with your dry cleaner. If you must use starch, we suggest asking for as little as possible – it can degrade the fabric over time. Also, while it can be expensive, requesting hand-pressing is often worth the extra cost.

HOW LONG WILL MY SHIRT LAST?

Our shirts tend to last at least 50-75 washings, and many of us wear a shirt two or three times before washing it. There is some variation depending on how hard you wear your clothes – for example, do you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk and talking on the phone? You might notice that the elbows of your shirts wear out more quickly. Do you like to yank off your tie with a lot of force at the end of the day? The collar might fray a little sooner (and your ties might not fare so well, either.) We also find that dry cleaning with starch can shorten the life span of a shirt, so you’ll get the most longevity from machine-washing and ironing at home.

WHAT ABOUT REORDERS? WILL YOU KEEP MY MEASUREMENTS ON FILE?

Yes. That’s the beauty of having your very own pattern – we’ll keep it on file, so no need to get re-measured unless you have a significant change in weight or physique. All you have to do is tell us what you want.

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU GUYS HELP ME WITH?

A tie to wear with it… a great jacket, some shoes, a pair of trousers. A restaurant recommendation. A ride home. Whatever you need. Reach out to us… we’re here to help.