Review: Spier & Mackay Custom Shirts
|Shirt tucked in, worn with a knit tie -- a bit of a homage to Sir Sean Connery's 007.|
A while back, I reached out to Spier & Mackay and asked if they'd like to collaborate on something for my blog. Rick Khanna, Creative Director and President, responded and suggested that I try their custom shirt program first. He explained that they can create almost anything, given that they have a completely custom operation. "Rikky" only asked that I review one their newer fine shirtings. I ended up picking the Medium Blue Hairline Stripe by Tessitura Monti in Egyptian Cotton, 2 Ply 140's. This poplin fabric was only available through their Custom Shirts programme, but it seems to be out at the moment. The Navy Hairline Stripe is the only equivalent available now. 140's is the same standard as Sea Island cotton -- as used on the Dr No shirts I was attempting to replicate -- but far more affordable. I like the look of hairline, since it appears solid at a distance but reveals itself as made up of tiny stripes up close.
|Fresh out of the box. Note the curved collar points.|
The fit chosen was "Contemporary". I'd only loosen the sleeves a bit, though this is personal preference. One should consider getting "Classic" if they want something more semi-fitted. "Slim" will likely be very close to the body and not that comfortable for wearing all day at work. I'd only choose that if the shirting had stretch to it. Of course, there is also the option of submitting measurements from a shirt that fits well. As with their off the rack shirts, the sleeves are attached at a downward angle from the armhole. This is not as extreme as I've seen on some low priced, off the rack shirts though. According to Proper Cloth, this is to present a cleaner look when your arms are resting, but I cannot be certain if this is Spier & Mackay's reasoning as well. At a certain degree of position, I feel some brands are just doing it to save money on fabric! I would prefer the option to have classic cut sleeves and hope they'll someday offer that. The watch space option is nice to have and any online shirtmaker worth their salt should have it, though their instructions somewhat conflict with each other. The written instructions say to measure around the wristwatch that will be worn, whereas the YouTube video simply says to add half an inch. I went with the latter, as having my left cuff snug around it works out better -- sometimes I don't feel like wearing one. Of course, they add a bit of allowance for comfort either way. The only noticeable fit issue is that the shoulders tend to crinkle a bit in back. I'm not sure if this is a matter of my shoulder slope, which I did indicate in my measurement profile, or something else.
|The turnback cuff.|
|Forward curve to the collar points, barely noticeable head on.|
|Plenty of space for a metal banded wristwatch.|
Spier & Mackay is a great value for online made to measure shirts. Going with their defaults, if you have less picky tastes than me, will not disappoint either. If you're lucky enough to live near one of their showrooms in Toronto or Mississauga, you can get measured in person for a made to measure shirt or suit. As demonstrated here, they are capable of many more things than the website options suggest. The shirts are made in India, as seen on the care tags. I'd like to know more about the factory they use and if they are audited for quality assurance and fair working conditions.
|Shirt untucked, collar open.|
This shirt is pictured with a silk knitted tie from Polo Ralph Lauren, dress belt from J. Crew, and twill suit trousers from Hart Schaffner Marx.
Nouveau Vintage received material compensation for this review, but every effort has been made to remain objective and provide constructive feedback.