Men's Custom Tailoring
November 23, 2004 6:36 PM   Subscribe

Looking at this thread about fitted shirts, I figured I'd ask about my men's dress shirt predicament. I'm 6'5", have a 14.5" neck, 36" arms and a 37" waist. If you've ever shopped, well, anywhere for men's shirts, you'll know that such a size doesn't exist. My neck seems to throw everything off.

I've tried the Lands' End and JC Penney online custom shirt services and the shirts have come out very wrong -- they don't seem to rely on real measurements, just generalities about one's build which don't take my quirks into account, and I get the feeling they're just sewing long arms onto a small-necked shirt (which doesn't fit well around my torso). I've gone in for a few custom tailoring quotes and, well, I really don't want to have to pay $500 for a small set of shirts that I won't wear every day. Anyone else solve this one?
posted by eschatfische to Shopping (3 answers total)
Unfortunately, I think you're stuck with custom fitted. (I'm in a similar predicament ... shirts look like tents on me because my shoulders are only two or three inches wider than my chest.)

However, I would suggest getting a local tailor to take a very accurate measurement of you, and then have someone take pictures of you wearing an undershirt from left, right, front, and back and find an overseas tailor that someone else reccomends. (Just find the best-dressed weird looking guy you can, I bet that he'll know of one) I've gotten some fairly high quality stuff out of korean tailors, but I can't seem to find the guy that made my shirts anymore. They just require your measurements and pictures of you to see how things are angled and they'll make the shirts for you... possibly cheaper than you'd be able to find store bought locally.

Oh, and one other thing: If you do go with a local tailor and have him custom-adapt things for you, just buy one or two every three months. You'll build up a good set that way, and you'll eventually rotate out the ones you don't need.
posted by SpecialK at 6:53 PM on November 23, 2004

You can also look at starting with an off-the-shelf shirt that fits OK, and get it altered to fit just like you would an off-the-rack sportcoat or suit.

As a guy with a big neck and shoulders, if I move to the 18"+ neck sizes in off-the-rack shirts, they tend to go straight out from the waist, like a tent. If I can find one that fits pretty well in the shoulders and neck, though, a decent tailor can take in the body of the shirt much closer to my actual measurements, and it's a lot cheaper than a custom shirt "from scratch".
posted by LairBob at 8:50 PM on November 23, 2004

Your profile doesn't state where you live, but if you're in or near a major city there's likely to be a branch of The Custom Shop close by. I'm hard to fit, and they did a beautiful job for me a few years back on a batch of custom dress shirts.
posted by enrevanche at 12:44 AM on November 24, 2004

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