A Review Of Woodies Custom Casual Dress Shirts
Here we are with yet another made-to-measure shirting company review! These are, as ever, exciting times to be into menswear, as custom clothing that is tailored just the way you like it is becoming more affordable than ever. As we always say around here, while some companies that offer custom clothing are certainly objectively better than others, overall, it really just comes down to the exact type of garment you are looking for. This is because each company has its own strengths and weaknesses, and is better at some things, and worse at other.
This is why, for the most part, we actually have started to recommend that people have not just a single MTM company that they nail down their measurements with, but perhaps two. One for each type of garment. What do I mean by this? Simple. Likely, you should have one custom shirting company for true dress shirts (we like Proper Cloth for this the best), and likely another for more casual shirts that you, say, plan to wear untucked or in more casual settings. This is because each company will be better in its respective category. Proper Cloth offers very nice fabrics, but most of them would work far better as true dress shirts than true casual shirts. Additionally, they cut their shirts to be dressier, with significantly longer tails that make it unruly to wear untucked.
Woodies, though, in our experience, is the ideal custom clothing company for casual shirting. Their fabrics perfectly lean towards a more casual setting and vibe, and, perhaps more importantly, so does the way they cut their shirts. There is a perfect curve to their bottom hem, and the tail is not much longer than the front of the shirt, making them look sleek and clean when worn untucked. Now, let’s get more into the heart of things. For this review, we went with a Light Blue Tonal Stripe Seersucker Shirt ($85) and we made it with short sleeves.
Style & Design
This, like most of Woodies fabric selection, is a perfect and ideal casual shirt. The color is light and neutral, and the texture is rich and, quite honestly, perfect. I love this seersucker, and it’s an excellent, yet subtle way, to stand out a little bit on a warm summer or crisp fall afternoon. Goes great with jeans, but just as well with chinos. In short, the end result was just what I wanted — a perfect short sleeved casual shirt that is neither boring nor over the top.
And, in truth, most of Woodies’ fabric selection follows this same trend. They have the classics, sure, and they have some more out there stuff as well. But, for the most part, their selection falls perfectly in that happy middle place between those two poles. Some of their fabrics I have seen at other MTM companies, but most I have never seen elsewhere. A-
Order Process & First Fitting
The Woodies website is fairly clean, straight forward, and easy to use and navigate. Unfortunately, though, they have one of the worst customizer “engines” I have seen, with only a picture or two of the shirt, and not a single live-updating render of your shirt at all. They also don’t have much by way of showing you what their various customization options look like. Want to know what, exactly, their cutaway collar will look like? Too bad. No real way to see that. They also have a difficult to find “Optional Customization” dropdown that offers further settings like back pleat selection and more.
As far as the customizations themselves, there is also not too much. They have only five collar options, three cuff options, pocket yes/no and a monogram for a $10 up-charge. Optional Customizations allow you to select your placket or back pleat. So, again, as far as this is all concerned, they have one of the weakest offerings out there, despite having a simple website and interface to make these selections.
But — and this is a big but — for casual shirts, this really matters a whole lot less. For casual shirts, you really are only going to be selecting one of two or three collars. It matters way less what cuff you have, and so on. I’d rather them offer fewer options here and keep the price down for my casual shirts than have more options that I don’t really need. So, while I would love to see at least some more options here — and a live updating preview — I don’t think this is the end of the world.
Once I did get my order placed, how did it come out? Well, for a first fitting, not bad, though — as is always the case — not at all perfect either. The sleeves were too long and much too roomy. Short sleeved shirts should hug the bicep. The overall shirt length as well as midsection needed some tweaking as well. So, not bad, but something like the short sleeve shirt length and width could have been a bit better for the first go-around. B-
The Final Fitting
I submitted the changes (as well as a request to switch fabrics as I didn’t love the first one that I chose that you can see in the picture), and the sent out another shirt to me. The second shirt went a bit too far, with a midsection that was too tight and bottom hem that was too short. I told them this, and, with a bit of arguing, was able to get them to remake it a third and final time. Unlike Proper Cloth — who will remake a shirt as many times as it takes, no questions asked — Woodies did take a bit more convincing. But they did end up doing it for me, which was nice, and, on the third try, they did indeed nail it. As you can see, the shirt fits pretty much perfectly throughout. The sleeves hit perfectly on the arms, and hug the biceps without being constricting. The length of the shirt is absolutely perfect, with a properly cut tail ideal for a casual shirt like this one.
For my next order with them, there are a few things I would tweak, though. One: Switch to a center box pleat from these side pleats. The side pleats now create odd rippling and creasing around the sleeve. Two: Reduce the bottom hem opening just a hair to cut down on the tiniest bit of flair there now. Finally, the midsection has some slight rippling depending on my position. This is difficult to fully remove ever, though, with an untucked shirt, and so there’s not much to do about this really.
Lastly, I notice that one of the sleeves sits just a touch looser than the other. This could be due either to a slight discrepancy in production of the shirt, or my actual biceps. I’m not sure… It’s minor though. I would have to see how a future short sleeved shirt would come out from them to know if it’s a manufacturing thing or a body measurement thing. A
Quality & Construction
These are neither the nicest nor least nice custom shirts I have tried. The fabric is very nice, and feels like something you would get from Banana Republic or J Crew. Which is to say, they’re solid and high quality, but not, say, the higher end of Proper Cloth-level. Still, at this price, it’s a good fabric. The buttons are solid, and sewn well. There are no loose threads, and all the stitching is clean and neat. Some will like the “Woodies” logo patch on the bottom of the shirt. I am indifferent, though lean towards not liking it. It should at least be a customization option; it is a custom shirt after all. Beyond that, I have nothing negative to say about the quality or makeup of these shirts/ For the price they are exactly what they should be. A-
Value & Conclusion
Light Blue Tonal Stripe Seersucker Shirt — $85: These shirts fit well, are well-made, and nail the casual, untucked shirt fit better than any other custom shirt company I have worked with. Their website could use some work, and I wish they had just a few more customization options. Their fabric selection is nice and well-curated. They also offer some more tech fabrics with stretch etc., which are intriguing and nice to see. While the details of their fitting process and lack of customization leads what to be desired, overall they are a solid choice for custom casual shirting. Final Grade: A-