Is It Better To Buy Off The Rack Or Custom Made-To-Measure Dress Shirts?

Men’s wear has come a long way. What used to be boxy is now slim fit and the way we wear them varies from user to user. What hasn’t changed very much is how men buy shirts online. There is a path-of-least-resistance mentality where clothes shopping for men is concerned, but that doesn’t mean you should settle for whatever the department stores are offering. The most important aspect of purchasing men’s dress shirts online comes long before you hit confirm. Research is the name of the game and you have two main options: go off the rack or buy made-to-measure.

Off the rack

The good:

Buying online is what 99% of men do currently. Likely because it is easy, fast, and generally cheaper than made-to-measure options. What’s more, brick and mortar stores allow the instant gratification of leaving with your purchase.

The bad:

Men’s dress shirts are not one size fits all, and if you’ve ever tried one on, you know that it’s rarely even one size fits most. The process of visiting a department store, combing through the racks, and finally finding a shirt you like only to have it fit too long in the sleeve or flare a bit wide at the waist can be soul crushing. You likely end up trying on dozens of dress shirts only to end up with one or two possibilities worth considering. But you go through it because you want to look good.

The ugly:

Style is important. Whether you’re a t-shirt and jeans kind of guy or prefer to approach life in a manner befitting Barney Stinson, your style speaks volumes. Putting together a wardrobe consisting solely of off the rack options can be a long, arduous, task. It takes time to find the right color, the perfect fit, and the best fabric for the season. Sure, you leave the store with the dress shirt immediately – or can expect to have it arrive at your door in 3 to 5 business days – but at what cost?

Made-to-measure

The good:

Made-to-measure shirts are exactly what they sound like: custom shirts made to suit your tastes. You control the style, the fit, and design everything from the fabric used to the pattern that works best for your wardrobe. This allows you to get exactly what you want without sacrificing your sanity to get it. Furthermore, the advent of online shopping means you can do all of this from the comfort of your own home. No need to browse page after page of men’s dress shirts just to find one that you like. Create your own, place the order, and let the factory bring your vision to life.

The bad:

You can’t wear your made-to-measure shirts right away, but good things come to those who wait.

The ugly:

Some made-to-measure retailers use subpar materials, fabrics, and patterns. Don’t fall prey to this tactic by doing your homework before going through with any order. Remember: when in doubt, check out what your peers have to say. They will likely praise the good, call out the bad, and leave a low rating on the ugly.