Online Shirt Experiment and Review [Part Three]

Words by: Andrew Hodges

I have received the shirts that in early August I ordered online from Cottonwork, Modern Tailor and My Tailor. The package from Modern Tailor arrived on August 12, a mere twelve days after my order. The Cottonwork package arrived on August 16, only thirteen days after my order. My Tailor was the slowest; that package arrived on September 2, about a month after I placed my order.

As long as the shirts arrive safely I suppose packaging is immaterial, but a nice presentation can add to the experience. The Cottonwork shirt arrived in the nicest package. The shirt was enclosed in a nifty fabric bag that was inside a cardboard box with a Velcro closure (I suppose to aid in customs inspections). The My Tailor shirts were in clear plastic shirt bags inside a plain cardboard box. My Tailor also included some complementary metal collar stays. The Modern Tailor shirt was stuffed into and shipped in an ugly bag made from thick gray plastic.

The fit of all the shirts (before laundering) was comparable and acceptable. That was somewhat to be expected since I supplied the same measurements to each company. All of the shirts certainly fit better than anything I could purchase off-the-rack. The only fit concern I have is with the My Tailor shirts. When I tried them on out of the package it appeared that the neck size was too big. A note in the My Tailor package said that “there is built in shrinkage in your shirts it will a take 2 to 3 launderings to settle to your correct size.” That is a direct quote, grammatical errors included. All of the shirts have now been laundered once, ironed, but not worn so the final fit remains to be seen. I’ll plan to comment on that later after I have had the chance to wear them a few times.

The fabric of the My Tailor and Modern Tailor shirts is beautiful and easy to iron. I am quite pleased with how each of those shirts turned out. I was disappointed with the fabric of the Cottonwork shirt (you may recall that I chose a lower-tier fabric from Cottonwork). The shirt wrinkles easily and is terrible to iron. But I also hate how it looks. After viewing the small swatch on my computer screen I was expecting a basic white shirt with a simple gray stripe. The white part of the fabric is not really white; it actually has a dingy yellow pit-stain hue (that looks terrible with the white contrast collar I had selected) and the shirt overall looks cheap and flashy. I don’t foresee that shirt making it into my regular rotation. This, I think, highlights the biggest danger in ordering a shirt online. Selecting a fabric from a picture on the Internet can really be hit or miss. Without holding a fabric swatch in your hand it’s really hard to be confident about what you are ordering.

I have no problem recommending either Modern Tailor or My Tailor. At least based upon my experience it appears that either company can, within a reasonable period of time, provide a decent-fitting shirt made from nice material. Cottonwork has a slick website and does a great job communicating, but based on the final product I received I can’t recommend them at this point. Another shirt in a different fabric might change my opinion, but I’m not willing to throw good money after bad.

I would be interested to read comments from any of you who have dealt with any of these three companies.