Online Shirt Experiment and Review [Part Four]

Words by: Andrew Hodges

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.