Buying Shirts: Why You Should Never Go Off-the-Rack Again

Hey all,
So it’s been awhile since I added anything of substance, and I figured that having a discussion about this topic might be useful. Backstory: I ordered a made-to-measure (MTM) shirt a couple years ago. I wore it sparingly, thinking it too nice to be wrong regularly. Recently, as I was trying to apply for jobs, I wore said shirt to a couple interviews. Each time I put the shirt on, I couldn’t help but give a little “wow” to how well it fit, how good it looked, and how comfortable it was.

Thinking on that, I went back to the website where I ordered the shirt from. Currently, you can purchase a MTM shirt for $60-$140 there. Other MTM websites had shirts as low as $34; none that I found were more expensive than $140. Most of these websites have a very forgiving return policy as well (i.e., if it doesn’t fit, we’ll fix it if you send it back). Compare those prices to most retailers–more expensive, sure, but not by much. Brooks Brothers’ shirts sit between $30-$80, depending on if they are on sale. Express is $30-$60.

Almost always, you will never fit correctly in an OTR shirt. With these MTM websites, you control all aspects of the design–collar type, buttons, pockets, cuffs, placket, fabric type, etc. I would almost think at this point, that if you want a new shirt, you’d be foolish to not get it MTM. The only exceptions that I can think of would be if you’re on an extremely tight budget–even then, I would say that three MTM shirts would beat six OTR shirts in terms of overall quality.

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