September 6, 2014
Bottom Line: Modern Tailor Brown Stripe

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 got in contact with one of the most well-known online MTM companies, Modern Tailor; who offered to send us two shirts. One would be from their $19.99 trial collection, and the other would be of a fabric of our choosing.

Up first for review is the 100% Brown Striped Cotton fabric with the Wide Spread Collar.

The Fabric:Right out of the packaging, the shirt has a smooth, almost silky hand. One reason this may be is that the longer staple cotton fibers were used in the production of the fabric. The shirt is on the lighter side, however, it does not feel cheap.  There is a bit of luster from the fabric which really causes the brown stripes to pop in a visually pleasing manner.

The Details: It should come as no surprise that this shirt has the traditional 7 button placket with mother of pearl buttons. The buttons are of a medium thickness; they feel good in the hand and fit through the button holes with ease.  The shirt features a straight hemline which drapes well. The wide spread collar is of a good width, and holds a knot nicely. 

One detail that truly makes this shirt stand out is the Portofino, or cocktail cuffs.

The origin of this unique cuff is debatable, with some saying they were intended as a substitute for French cuff shirts in evening wear ensembles, and others saying they were commissioned specifically for Sean Connery in Dr.No. Regardless of where they come from the cuff is unique, and is a welcome detail.

The Problems: In all honesty, we can find no faults with this particular shirt. Seams were clean and even, special instructions were followed regarding interlining and monogramming, and the measurements were exactly what was submitted.

Bottom Line: Modern Tailor offers many fabrics and man ways to customize your shirt. They have plenty of positive feedback and their customer service was quick and courteous. So far, this has been the first review where we could find no faults with the product received. I think its safe to say that if you are in the market for new MTM dress shirts, give Modern Tailor a chance.

*Images are the Property of WhenToWear

September 6, 2014
​A preview of the shirt that will be up for review tomorrow afternoon! Don’t miss it!

​A preview of the shirt that will be up for review tomorrow afternoon! Don’t miss it!

August 7, 2014
Bottom Line: Gagliardi Accesories

We were recently contacted via Twitter and email by Gagliardi. They reached out to WhenToWear to see if we would be interested in receiving four separate articles of clothing; that together create one full outfit. In return WhenToWear would publish an honest and impartial review of their accessories.

 

Gagliardi was kind enough to send us two accessories from their latest collection to review.  We choose the Navy and Sky Geometric Tie and the Pearl White and Navy Pocket Square. Both items are made from 100% silk.

The Tie:  

Out of the Box: The first thing one notices is the texture and color. The fabric is lustrous, and depending on where the light hits the fabric, the color seems to shift, from light blue, to a deep indigo. This is due to the weave that was used to create the fabric. The tie has a nice weight, and is soft to the touch.

Tying The Knot:  As soon as you get the tie around your neck you start to feel giddy about how the knot will look. Will it be flat and shapeless like other inexpensive ties? Or will it create a knot that is full of life? Thankfully, it was the latter. When using the four in hand, the tie creates a knot that has personality and pizazz. The tie doesn’t feel limp and stiff either. The tie is hefty, but it is able to be manipulated quite easily.

The Pocket Square:

Reviewing pocket squares can be difficult. On the surface it is just a rather large square piece of fabric that is used as an after thought to spruce up an outfit. Deeper than that, it is an accessory that many men cant leave the house without.

The fabric is soft, silky and reflects a lot of light. The navy border is enough to break up the plain white fabric.  The pocket squares are inexpensive, so don’t expect to see hand rolled edges, but for the price it is beyond what you will find retailing in stores at a similar price point.

Bottom Line:

We were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the tie. We saw no problems with the stitching used or any flaws in the fabric. The tie retails for ~$39, and is quite comparable to ties that retail for $70. Gagliardi ties and pocket squares offer another option to guys who buy most of their accessories on sites like the tie bar. We recommend that if you’re in the market for a new tie to just go ahead and give Gagliardi a try. At $39, you don’t have much to lose.

 *Thank You Gagliardi

*The Images used are the property of WhenToWear

August 4, 2014

Earlier, news broke that Coach would be offering a full line of men’s shoes for the 2014 fall season. The prices will supposedly range from $175-$495. The line will include 15 different styles of shoes, and will be composed of everything from Monkstraps to Long Wing Boots.

Coach’s bread and butter are their leather goods, specifically those target to women. Their men’s offerings have been hit or miss and often leave many feeling dejected. However, these shoes are comparable in appearance to what you might find at Allen Edmonds or Alden; which has many male shoppers salivating.

Coach has suffered in recent years due to the exponential growth of the global luxury market. These shoes could be just the thing Coach needs to regain their foothold as a viable, luxury product.

*Images via GQ and Fashionista

August 4, 2014

We have a great new review coming up later this week. Stay tuned!

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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