Online Shirt Experiment and Review [Part Four]

Back in August and September I wrote about my experience ordering dress shirts online from Cottonwork, My Tailor and Modern Tailor. I am writing this follow-up article now that I’ve had a chance to launder and wear the shirts a few times over the past two months.

Starting with Cottonwork, you may recall that I liked their website, was impressed with their customer service, and was satisfied with the fit of the shirt I ordered. However, I was unable to recommend Cottonwork because I felt the fabric was of poor quality. One reader suggested that I should return the shirt to test their customer service/return policy. As it turns out, this effort on my part was unnecessary. After my comments were published on Men’s Flair I received an email from a Cottonwork customer service representative offering me a replacement shirt free of charge. The representative explained that they typically only replace shirts due to workmanship deficiencies, and not simply due to choice of fabric, but that it was understandable that the actual fabric could vary from a customer’s expectation. I found that this unsolicited offer supported my impression that Cottonwork provides excellent customer service; however, I also recognize that being an online author on men’s style may give me an advantage that the average customer may not have. In other words, I am not certain that this replacement offer would be extended to the average customer. I did order a replacement shirt from the Luxury Collection (two ply, 180 thread Sea Island quality fabric), and was quite pleased with the final result. In sum, over the past few months I have found the Cottonwork customer service to be excellent. If anyone decides to order from Cottonwork, I would suggest sticking with fabrics from the Executive or Luxury Collections.

You may recall from my previous article that I had a mild complaint about the fit of the My Tailor shirts; the neck was cut much looser than I expected. The shirts were shipped with a poorly written note indicating that the shirts would require several launderings before shrinking to the correct size. After several launderings I have indeed discovered some shrinkage – in the sleeves. It seems now that the sleeves are slightly too short and the neck is still too big. This result is unfortunate because in my opinion My Tailor has the best selection of fabrics of these three companies.

Since Part Three of this series ran on September 8, I have placed two additional orders with Modern Tailor. Of the three companies reviewed, I have found Modern Tailor to have the fastest turn-around time, to provide the most reliable fit, and to be the most economical. I say most economical because I have discovered that one of the fabric filter options is “on-sale fabrics.” You can find some great deals if you watch those sale fabrics. One of the shirts I ordered was in two ply cotton (avoid the lower quality single ply and cotton/polyester blend fabrics) blue Royal Oxford for a base price of $19.95 (plus the obligatory $5.00 for thick MOP buttons). In addition, you can often find discount codes on some of the online men’s style forums that will further defray the cost of shirts from Modern Tailor. It’s hard to go wrong with a made-to-measure shirt that is cheaper than most off-the-rack dress shirts you will find in your local department store.


  1. Rick said:

    Thanks for the info! I am a former Bowring Arundel bespoke customer ( love their shirts but can’t pay the price anymore), and have been waiting for your insights prior to trying the online experiment myself. Modern Tailor here we go.

    November 24, 2010
  2. Ben said:

    Very recently, moderntailor’s prices seemed to have gone up a bit. They no longer have the 19.95 “trial shirt”, and their lowest sale price is 39.95. I managed to order my trial shirt (fits like a charm) and was planning to start buying from there regularly, but as a poor college kid, $40 (plus shipping) is just outside my price range.

    It’s still worth the cost, no doubt; I just cannot pay what it’s worth.

    November 24, 2010
  3. Tony, Sydney said:

    2 months ago I tried Moderntailor’s weekly sales. Got a total price of $49.95 including delivery to Australia. The first time, it took 20 days to make & deliver. I was really happy with the quality and the fit. I have ordered 9 shirts since. Just happy this service is available. Can’t find decent shirts in Sydney unless I pay $160. This is a great value for me.

    November 24, 2010
  4. Jizzy said:

    I haven’t read the blog in a few weeks, but I’m glad I checked in when I did. Great follow up post, and you’re right, why get department store shirt when you can get one that’s made-to-measure for the same price?

    Do you, or anyone else, have any experience with the suits from MT? Just as great as the shirts, or not so much?

    November 24, 2010
  5. Doug said:

    I checked the website on the day this article was posted, and asked a question about a particular issue I have (one shoulder smaller than the other) and whether they could accomodate it. I was promised an answer within 24 hours.

    I have yet to receive that answer.

    December 2, 2010
  6. Robert Batts said:

    Just received my first shirt from Modern Tailor ($19.95) and was displeased. The collar is to tight, the sleeves seem to short. I wasn’t expecting the fabric to be that great since it was an introductory shirt but they should have gotten the fit right. Not sure I want to give them another chance with a higher priced shirt.

    December 4, 2010

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