Spier & Mackay Slim Fit Dress Shirt Review
There are lots of men's shirt companies out there, but if you are looking for a well-made, quality dress shirt in a nice slim fit, and some nice, substantial collar options (not the tiny skimpy ones that seem so trendy nowadays), there are fewer options than you might think — especially if you don’t want to break the bank. Enter Spier & Mackay, a relatively new company based out of Canada offering all sorts of fantastic looking menswear options, from suits, to outerwear (review coming soon!), to, of course, the exact kind of shirts I just mentioned.
Style & Design
I chose a very cool, diamond weave textured white shirt with a spread collar. I figured that, as I have not really seen a fabric like this before, it was a very cool way to get some personality and uniqueness into an otherwise plain white dress shirt (a staple of my dressy wardrobe). I absolutely love the fabric. The texture is noticeable up close, though from afar, you can’t tell exactly what the texture is — which is a very good thing. It’s also not too over-the-top or loud in any way, and really adds something to what could otherwise be just a boring outfit of a white shirt with a navy suit. I am a big fan of this fabric, and kudos to Spier & Mackay for offering more interesting white fabrics like this, in addition to the usual twills and poplins.
I am also absolutely in love with the collar on this shirt. It is one of the best collars on any shirt I have ever worn, period. And that is saying something. It is the perfect spread — not too much, not too little — and looks amazing with any tie knot. The collar point is also over 3.25”, and so it stays very nicely underneath your jacket lapels, both with and without a tie. Worn without a jacket at all, the collar points are stiff enough to retain a nice shape (even without a collar stay sometimes), but not too stiff so as to look rigid/weird/floating without a tie.
Everything else about the shirt is standard. Placket, barrel cuffs, and so on. In short, I love the way this shirt looks.
Quality & Construction
The shirt is 100% Egyptian cotton. The fabric does not show much undershirt beneath it (this is also likely due somewhat to the texture). It’s thick without being heavy. It has, in my opinion, the perfect amount of weight to it. Additionally, you do not feel the texture too much on the inside of the fabric, and so this shirt is as comfortable to wear as any. The fabric itself moves nicely, and is not treated to be non-iron and so it is fluid, not scratchy nor stiff. At the same time, it does have a nice shape to it, so to speak. It is the perfect balance.
The buttons are genuine shell buttons (so, not mother of pearl — though no surprises there), and are not too thick, nor too thin. However, they do feel a bit “airy,” and if there is one area these shirts can improve, I think a nicer, heavier button would add even more of a quality feel to these shirts. The buttons as is make the shirt feel a bit cheaper than it should. Then again, you need to cut costs somewhere, and it is very often the buttons.
Other than that, everything about this shirt is well made. It has a reverse fused collar, so nothing hand sewn there. The stitching is all fine, and so on. At the end of the day, this is a $55 shirt, so there is no high-end craftsmanship here, nor is that to be expected. For the money, the quality of the shirt is absolutely there.
(I am 6’1” and 165 lbs., and usually wear a size S or 15” shirt in the slimmest fit available.)
This shirt fits me really well. I think it could come in just a pinch in a few areas like the arms, waist, and wrist, but, overall, it certainly fits well enough. The tweaks I would make are minor, and not enough of a reason not to wear the shirt, by any means. They are the difference between an off-the-rack shirt and a custom shirt (something that Spier & Mackay also offers, with what looks to be some excellent options — perhaps a future review!). Spier & Mackay offers their shirts in both a “Contemporary Fit”, which is their regular fit, and the “Slim Fit”, which is what I ordered. For a “Slim Fit”, it definitely rivals many other companies’ “Extra Slim Fit,” which is a very, very good thing. Well done, Spier & Mackay. No trash-bag fit shirts here!
I should also say that the shirt does shrink down maybe a quarter inch in all measurements after a wash cycle (no dryer), though my few minor fit gripes listed above were after it shrank down a bit. However, if you first try on the shirt and think it’s a bit big, be aware it’ll come in just a bit after a wash (and certainly if you dry it).
For a much better idea of how the shirt fits, check out the measurement comparison table below:
Ordering & Shipping Process
The Spier & Mackay website is clean, simple, and easy to use. I have no complaints here at all. Shipping was fast enough — despite coming from Canada. I don’t think it took any longer than ordering from any other company. Indeed, CTshirts take even longer to come, coming all the way from the UK.
The one issue that needs to be mentioned, though, is their return policy. I think, without a doubt, the reason why Spier & Mackay is not more well-known is because they are having a hard time getting real traction with their limitations in return policy. Because they are based on Canada, any returns need to go through border patrol/customs, which, of course, complicates things. Return shipping, therefore, is fully on the customer. If your shirt does not work out, paying to ship it back is on you, fully. However, I will say that Spier & Mackay has already made great strides in this area. If it is your first suit purchase, they will actually cover the return shipping. Otherwise, they will at least generate the label for you, and tell you what you need to do to make sure it clears customs without issue (I returned an item from them, actually, and while customs had to call me to ask me a question, in the end, it all worked out). Still, there is no online return manager, and you need to email them and speak to someone over email to arrange for and setup a return.
Summary: If everything goes smoothly, and you love everything you ordered, then ordering from Spier & Mackay is like ordering from any other company. If you need to return things, though, things get a little dicey and annoying. Until they can offer simple and straightforward returns akin to a company like Charles Tyrwhitt, I think this return policy issue is a real inhibitor to their success.
Price, Value, & Conclusion
Most of their shirts are $55 (with a bundle price of $45). For many guys, Spier & Mackay should be highly considered when looking to purchase a new dress shirt. Other than their not-so-great (but somewhat understandable) return policy, they are everything you would want. They have a great fit, solid quality, and interesting fabrics in addition to some real options when it comes to that collar. (Not to mention all you could do with their custom shirt offerings!) Most of their shirts are right about $55. At that price, I genuinely think they are a steal. If you can figure out your size, they very well might become your new go-to (off the rack, or even custom) shirting company, bypassing other companies like Charles Tyrwhitt or even that new line of shirts from The Tie Bar that many guys seem to like (review coming soon!). Spier & Mackay certainly receives the TPL stamp of approval. You should really consider them for your next dress shirt purchase, no question.