July 15, 2014
Bottom Line: Taj Tailors

There are a plethora of online MTM clothiers who claim to offer the best fit, the best construction and the best fabrics. However, only a select few stand out, over the next few weeks we will try and determine who is leading the pack.

We recently got into contact with Taj Tailors, who offered to send us a MTM shirt to review on our site. We gladly accepted, because regardless of how many good reviews are out there for MTM companies, there are just as many poor reviews. When submitting your measurements you can either measure an existing shirt that fits well, or measure your body. We measured an existing shirt, which was the easiest and best option for us.

The shirt we chose is a 100% cotton oxford with the English cutaway collar and two buttoned mitered cuff.

The Fabric- Out of the packaging, one would expect to feel the unmistakable weight of a good oxford cloth. Not on this shirt, the fabric is lightweight and thin. On closer inspection you realize that this is in fact a pinpoint woven shirt. While a pinpoint fabric uses the same weave technique, the yarns are usually lighter and thinner than those used in a traditional oxford cloth. While some might like the weight, others will miss the heft that comes from a quality oxford cloth.

The Details- A seven button placket makes up the front of the shirt. The shirt has a rather large curved hemline, which causes both the front and back of the shirt to flare outwards when not tucked in. The buttons are plastic, but they do not feel, or look cheap. The English cutaway is large and features removable collar stays. The two button mitered cuffs are nice and sharp. However, the interlining on both the collar and fabric is stiff and slightly uncomfortable.

There is no seam allowance on the side seams, but the seams themselves are clean and even.

The Problems- Besides the stiff interlining in the collar and cuffs, the large curved hem makes the shirt unwearable when not tucked in; as it causes the wearer to look as if he is wearing a tent.

Another issue is the placket itself. The buttonholes seem to be placed back on the placket, which causes the front of it to lift and curl when buttoned. While this may be solvable with a good ironing or starching, it is still a nuisance.

Bottom Line- On a scale of 1-10 we give this product a 7.5. Overall the shirt is nice, but there are just a few things that could be improved. If we were to order again from Taj Tailors we would have to specify to use a softer interlining on the cuff and collar and to move our button holes slightly forward on the placket to avoid the curling.  We recommend Taj Tailors if you have experience ordering from online MTM retailers as you should already have your preferences down and will know how to effectively communicate them to customer service.

 *The Images used are the property of WhenToWear

July 12, 2014
Pay For Play: ALLIANCE: The Mechanical Watch of Stylish Elegance

Shopping for watches is hard. There are countless factors one can consider when looking to pick up a new timepiece. The watch strap, the watch face, the watch hands, the movement, all these features determine the quality of the piece.

The Alliance, a new watch from Victorinox, hopes to help ease the burden, and stress that comes from watch shopping. The Alliance features a polished 40 mm diameter stainless steel case, a scratch resistant sapphire top, triple antireflection treatment and is water resistant to 10 ATM (100 meters / 330 feet).

The dial is available in either eggshell or dark grey; which will work nicely with a variety of colors from navy blue to lilac, a date window, the ever favorite red second hand, and luminescent hour and minute hands; to help you see in low light.

The band is available in either black leather, or steel. Both band choices come equipped with a clasp closure.

The watch features an ETA 2824 self-winding mechanical movement, which Victorinox claim is “…among the most robust and reliable in Swiss watchmaking.” (Victorinox Press Release, April 2014)

The Alliance is available this summer, and is a piece experienced watch collectors, and novices, would love to have in their collection.

Pay For Play is a section on WhenToWear that functions as advertising. Companies offer compensation in exchange for a post on a product or service. Pay To Play allows WhenToWear to bring in some income, without bombarding readers with advertisements.



Compensation was received upon posting, however the opinions expressed within are solely those of WhenToWear* 

July 10, 2014
Getting To Know: Brock McGoff

In a world of tailored clothing, one size does not ever fit all. Men have different body shapes just like women, and that makes it hard for some guys to find clothes that work. Enter Brock McGoff of The Modest Man. Brock helps short guys find clothes that complement their body type, rather than swallowing them whole.

Name and Occupation

Brock McGoff, Digital Marketing

WTW: Favorite Book

MM: Shantaram (fiction), 4 Hour Work Week (non-fiction)

WTW: Favorite Warm Weather Activity

MM: Just chilling. Spending a whole day in the backyard – preferably one with a pool – grilling, talking with friends, making drinks, listening to music, playing Bocce ball and smoking cigars.

WTW: Was there one moment that pushed you to start the blog; a moment where you decided that you needed to share what you knew, and what you were learning about clothes with other short guys?

MM: Yeah, I had switched jobs and started working in a more formal environment than I was used to. I needed new clothes and couldn’t find anything that fit my 5’6” frame. You can find advice about almost anything on the internet, but there was barely anything on clothing and style for shorter men. Just the same old “wear vertical stripes” nonsense from the GQ’s and AskMen’s of the world.

I figured there were probably millions of other men just like me, so I started The Modest Man. Its growing popularity validates the fact that men under 5’8” have really been ignored. Short shifted, if you will (I got “short” puns for days).

WTW: What is the most costly alteration needed for guys who are on the shorter side?

MM: If we’re talking single alterations, probably shortening the sleeves on jackets with functioning buttons. But what really gets pricey is when one item needs several fixes. Like if trousers need to be hemmed, tapered and taken in at the waist – it adds up quickly.

WTW: Can you share a DIY tailor hack that guys, regardless of their height can use to get a better fit?

MM: I use this one easy trick pretty regularly, especially for chinos. If you don’t want to get a pair of pants hemmed, or maybe you prefer to roll them up, get some no-sew glue or fusion tape to hold the cuff/roll in place. That way, you can get a nice tight roll that stays put, and you don’t have to mess with it every time you put the pants on. Plus you leave yourself the option to get them hemmed later on.

WTW: Favorite brands to shop where you need little, to no alterations?

MM: There are a couple of brands who focus exclusively on short men, which is awesome. My favorite is Peter Manning NYC. I have a couple of shirts from them that fit better than any other off-the-rack button ups I’ve worn. For dress shirts and suits, I pretty much only buy custom or made-to-measure these days. It ends up being about the same price after you factor in the “tailor tax”.

I shop at all of the normal places – J. Crew, Banana Republic, Club Monaco, Express, Zara – but it takes some work to figure out which items fit from each brand. I usually can’t buy shirts and pants from the same store. Plus, you have to wait for sales since everything needs at one basic alteration (pants hemmed, for example).

But there are so many cool menswear start ups that look really promising for those of us who don’t fit in standard sizes. This company Threadmason just sent me a t-shirt that fits perfectly. They have a proprietary sizing system for t-shirts. How cool is that? After all, even casual clothes should fit properly.

WTW: You wrote an ebook, or e-guide, that helps men achieve a better fit, how was that experience? Is it something you’ll ever do again?

MM: Writing the guide was a great experience. It’s like the blog, in that it’s all about understanding how clothes should fit, but it’s more thorough and organized. I still get excited when I get an email from PayPal saying someone bought the book. Even better is when customer reach out to say how much it has helped them. I definitely plan on writing more ebooks and even Kindle books in the future. Blogging is great, but I think many people prefer the structure and depth of a book.

Image via The Modest Man

July 4, 2014
Getting to Know: Vintage|Artisan

 

Name and Occupation

Carlos Roberto Juarez. Men’s Fashion Designer with a hint of a Modern day inventor.

WTW: When designing your collections, what do you look to for inspiration?

VA: I like to look at what men are wearing. Scoping out the scene helps me determine what’s missing or what can be better. I stay away from magazines or any other outlets that will alter my creativity. The reason being, that if I dive into, for example a Saks Catalog, my design idea doesn’t feel as pure. Also, because what I’ll find is something that I’ll probably idolize and my thoughts will transition and revolve around what a house hold brand has already created and as a designer my job is to create and introduce something special and innovative, not a knock off.

WTW: The tag line on your site in “All American|European Fit|Japanese Edge; What  do those words mean to you? What do you want those words to mean to your customers? 

VA: I created my patterns to feel like the All American style but altered them to have a European fit.  It is more fitted in certain areas with a Japanese grade in construction and at times in fabric selection. It’s a feel that is way better understood after you try it. Its a new fit  along with an enduring interest of quality and functional use by understanding craftsmanship.

WTW: What inspired you to design two of the most popular items you offer, “The  Box” and “The Huarache 8A”?   

VA:  The Box was created because I felt like a lot of carrier bags out on the market today are very expensive and lack flexible functionality—very boring! I wanted to make something fun and versatile that can truly cater to a hand full of things. Laptop, beers, books, and groceries and yet remain durable while still keeping a cool aesthetic.

The Huaraches just felt right… I had to get them produced after sitting in my sketch pad for over 4 years.

WTW:  If you were not running Vintage Artisan, what would you be doing with your life? 

VA: It’s really hard to imagine, but regardless I would still be an entrepreneur. There are two things I always saw myself doing ever since I can remember the first being, getting out of school as soon as possible and the second; seeing how far I can go with pure determination and creativity.

Images via Carlos Juarez

July 2, 2014
Ever lane just added images that show the true cost of their product. It shows materials, labor and even transportation. This image reinforces everything we talked about in our Combat Gent reviews. Items are marked up between 200%-250% at wholesale, than an additional 225%-300% at full retail. More transparency is needed from other small, companies who conduct business via the internet.

Ever lane just added images that show the true cost of their product. It shows materials, labor and even transportation. This image reinforces everything we talked about in our Combat Gent reviews. Items are marked up between 200%-250% at wholesale, than an additional 225%-300% at full retail. More transparency is needed from other small, companies who conduct business via the internet.

4:08pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z2eZDp1KNGEca
  
Filed under: everlane combatgent 
June 30, 2014
Bottom Line: Tailor4Less MTM Shirt

There are a plethora of online MTM clothiers who claim to offer the best fit, the best construction and the best fabrics. However, only a select few stand out, over the next few weeks we will try and determine who is leading the pack.

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We recently got into contact withTailor4Less, who offered to send us a MTM shirt to review on our site. We gladly accepted, because regardless of how many good reviews are out there for MTM companies, there are just as many poor reviews.   When submitting your measurements you can either measure an existing shirt that fits well, or measure your body. We measured an existing shirt, which was the easiest and best option for us.

The shirt we chose is a 100% Linen fabric with the rounded, or club collar, and two buttoned mitered cuffs.

The Fabric: For many people, the hand of linen is too rough, and causes them skin irritation; this isn’t the case with this fabric. This 100% linen fabric is smooth to the touch, is rather soft and drapes extremely well. The fabric has an appealing slub appearance due to the white weft yarns against the pale blue-grey warp. The weave is nice and open, allowing air to easily pass through.

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The Details: The shirt features a seven button placket, with the collar and bottom buttonhole placed sideways which helps to reduce strain. A straight hem allows the shirt to easily be worn untucked, and allows it to be tucked in. The buttons are a nice and thick mother of pearl, which have a nice weight to them. The club collar features a soft interlining making it lightweight. The two buttoned mitered cuff is a personal preference, the interlining is just as soft as the collar, and the angled cut is nice and sharp.

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There is almost no seam allowance on the double stitched Lapped seam, so it is imperative that you make sure the measurements you submit are as accurate as possible.

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The Problems: We only ran into one problem with this shirt. The shirt shrank slightly, even after following the care instructions sent. Our suggestion to you if ordering a linen shirt from Tailor4Less would be to hand wash and lay flat to dry.

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Bottom Line: We are extremely happy with the results. This was the first time ordering from Tailor4Less and we had no problems with their customer service or with the end product. What makes Tailor4Less stand out among the competition is the 3D model on the site that updates in real time to give you an idea of what your finished shirt will look like. You can see what the fabric, the collar and the tiny details, like monogramming will look like. We cannot stress enough the importance of accurate measuring. Get a friend, coworker or significant other to help you, or go to a tailor in your city and ask them to measure you. This way, if the end product doesn’t fit you, the error is not on your part, but on the manufacturer. We thoroughly recommend them if ordering your first or your fortieth shirt, as the vast amount of fabric available is sure to make your head spin.

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Pictures of the shirt being worn:

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*The Images used are the property of WhenToWear

*Thank You Tailor4Less

June 23, 2014
Getting To Know: D.Jones Clothiers

Our popular Getting To Know series is back. This week we feature Dallas based D. Jones Clothiers. D. Jones offers Dallas’ elite bench made suits and sport coats. Dallas is an ever growing hub for fashion and home furnishings, and D. Jones is in the heart of it.

WhenToWear: What is it like offering men custom clothes in Dallas TX?

D. Jones: We love being based in Dallas because it is one of the most stylish cities in the nation. There is a reason why Karl Lagerfeld picks shopping and fashion shows in Dallas over NYC and LA. It’s not just the style and love for shopping here but the diversity as well. Being that Dallas is the fastest growing city and state for businesses in America, we are lucky to be inheriting all of the different high-powered transplants coming to live and work here.

WTW: You cater to big name clients in sports, and business; but what does the average D. Jones customer look like, and how do you help him pick out his perfect suit or sport coat?

DJ: Our clients are predominantly high-powered business owners and executives. We don’t just pick out one suit or outfit for our clients, we help them build their entire wardrobe. It takes a certain gift to truly understand all of their different styles and it’s an art to bring them to life. We never use the same outfit or suggestions twice. If our clients wanted to look like someone else, they would probably shop off-the-rack in Highland Park.

WTW: You are very careful to use the term “Bench Made” in lieu of “Bespoke”, can you explain to our readers why that is?

DJ: We love the fact that Custom Clothing is a growing industry, however these days, it doesn’t take much to start your own business and use third party manufacturers. Unfortunately these other “custom clothiers” use factory machinery to produce custom suits. We did that when we were young but now we have learned from this and matured into knowing the correct and orthodox way of suit making. This is why we have tailors that work directly for us. They use a sewing machine and hand-finish all of our garments.

WTW: Dallas is a fast growing center for Fashion; with its design and garment districts and the large Dallas Market Center. How do you think that will play into the growth of D. Jones Clothiers over the next 5 years?

DJ: There is no doubt that both Dallas and the Custom Clothing industry will continue to grow. We just have to be ahead of the competition, as we are now, by continuing to construct the best suits using the best fabrics and the best measuring system to get the best fit. We do this better than anyone. Now that we have this part perfected, we are exploring our options to open a showroom that will be “invite only, disclosed to certain clients.” Many businesses offer public showrooms now as their main service, but it’s always going to be a priority to us as well to provide the most thorough wardrobe service, which can only be done inside our clients’ closets.

June 14, 2014
We have a lot of interesting content that will go up on the site in the next few weeks. We know that that you are going to love it.

We have a lot of interesting content that will go up on the site in the next few weeks. We know that that you are going to love it.

June 14, 2014
A pocket square can make, or break an outfit. If there happen to be  too many colors, textures and prints, the pocket square will be the straw the broke the camel’s back. 

On the other hand, if your outfit seems dull and uninteresting a pocket square is a small and effective way to draw the right kind of attention to yourself. 
This information is nothing new to you, but this linen pocket square in “Deep Purple” from the tie bar has enough texture and depth of color to bring a little “oomph” to your summer outfits. 

Image via the tie bar

A pocket square can make, or break an outfit. If there happen to be too many colors, textures and prints, the pocket square will be the straw the broke the camel’s back.

On the other hand, if your outfit seems dull and uninteresting a pocket square is a small and effective way to draw the right kind of attention to yourself.

This information is nothing new to you, but this linen pocket square in “Deep Purple” from the tie bar has enough texture and depth of color to bring a little “oomph” to your summer outfits.

Image via the tie bar

May 30, 2014
Spotlight on: Quixotic

With the #YesAllWomen movement going on currently, we couldn’t help but shine the spotlight on Dallas based Quixotic. Quixotic sells simple, beautiful pocket squares for all five days of the work week. They also donate 10% of their sales to organizations that fight to end domestic violence. They currently only give to organizations in the Dallas area, but as the company grows, that will hopefully change.

Images via Quixotic