In Review: The Tie Bar’s Trim Fit Dress Shirts
Every guy’s favorite inexpensive tie company, The Tie Bar, started offering shirts a while back. It’s time for a full, in-depth review of these shirts so we can figure out if they are worth your money.
Style & Design
Since they launched their shirt line not too long ago, they have definitely added quite a few more options to their lineup. Still, they don’t have that many options. Scrolling through their shirt page (especially filtered by their Trim Fit) you’ll see that they don’t offer all that many fabrics. Nothing exotic, nothing our of the ordinary, nothing unique. Rather, they seem to be focused on offering the basics, the classics. And, there is nothing wrong with that! So long as they do it well. They also have a bunch of other options as well: They offer three kinds of cuff — convertible, french cuff, button cuff — and three kinds of collars as well — semi-spread, point, and button down. It’s a nice amount of options, and is sure to be enough to have at least something for everyone’s tastes and needs.
For this review, we went with a mini gingham in navy, with button cuffs and a semi-spread collar. Right off the bat, despite calling it a semi-spread collar, it is much more of a spread collar. (They likely consider a cutaway collar a spread collar, and so they call their spread collar a semi-spread, but that’s not so accurate. To me, this is a full spread collar.) And that is a really good thing! It’s not skimpy, but rather substantial at 3.00”, well made, holds its shape, and even stays standing up beautifully when unbuttoned without a tie. It’s really a very, very nice collar.
The pattern is nice, and a classic navy gingham. Not much more to say here. A staple of any guy’s wardrobe, and this is as good a place as any to get one from.
Quality & Construction
This shirt is somewhat confusing. From a company that makes $15 ties that certainly serve their purpose, look decent, and wear nicely, but are also by no means super nice or luxurious, this shirt is surprisingly well-made. On the other hand, I’m not sure it’s $55 nice. That’s not very competitive pricing when you can get Charles Tyrwhitt shirts for about $30 — and the quality is just about the same. Not to mention the fact that, say, Nordstroms sells their house brand shirts at right around $60 as well. Nevertheless, being judged on its own, this shirt is very nice. The fabric is smooth and silky, while not being too heavy. It claims to be non-iron (though still shows mini wrinkles after a wash), but isn’t overly stiff or rough despite being chemically treated.
We also tried the white herringbone shirt, and that fabric is super soft — like a cozy blanket (The Tie Bar even jokes on their site that you could sleep in their shirts they are so soft, and while the gingham shirt is not quite so soft, I certainly hear why they say that when it comes to their herringbone fabric). It’s almost too soft, and will shrink in the wash, but it’s super, super comfortable, and mind-blowingly soft for a non-iron shirt. I don’t know how they do it, but they do a great job.
The collar is sturdy and looks great, as discussed above. The buttons are decent, as you would expect for this kind of a shirt — nothing amazing, nothing crappy. Stitching is all pretty neat, though I have noticed some slight pilling on the white herringbone fabric after a bunch of wash cycles. No such issues with the gingham.
Overall, it’s a well-made, nice shirt, but nothing that is going to surprise you. It’s exactly what you would expect.
(I am 6’1” and 165 lbs., and usually wear a size S or 15” shirt in the slimmest fit available.)
These shirts fit really well. They call themselves a “Trim Fit,” and they are indeed quite slim. That being said, I actually ordered two sizes for the purposes of this review — the 15/32-33 and the 14.5/32-33 — and, believe it or not, the 14.5 actually fit me better. It more closely matched the usual measurements for my dress shirts, as you can see in the chart below. That being the case, I would recommend ordering two sizes when you first are figuring out your size with The Tie Bar. In the end, I could have gotten away with my usual 15”, but the 14.5” actually had that slimmer look that I prefer, and fit me pretty close to perfectly.
Enough about me, though. My general advice here would be to try more than one size, and expect one of them to really nail the fit. They really have some great measurements here, and they seem to have spent a while honing their fit. They boast of a great fit on their site, and I really think they did their due diligence here. It might take some trial and error, but, in the end, these shirts are cut very well.
On that note, my usual complaint: The cuffs are not slim enough. If a company is making an otherwise very slim shirt, it is beyond me why they would not also slim down the cuffs.
Price, Value, & Conclusion
These shirts will run you $55 for one, or $140 for three. Their ties usually run about $15, and for that price, you get a well made, 100% silk or cotton tie that is decently made, looks great, have some really nice fabrics, and will hold up pretty solidly over time. They are not amazing ties, but they are solid and there is little to complain about. And, at the price, they are borderline a steal. Why do I mention all this? Because you could say just about all the exact same things about their shirts. Except for one thing. The price. At $55, these shirts are less of a steal. They might still be worth it, especially if they fit you as well as they fit me, but they are also not a no-brainer. With a few dollar return label fee if they don’t work out for you, it’s hard to recommend these without some reservation. There is nothing wrong with the shirts themselves. They are well-made for the price, I like their details and fabrics, and there is not much negative to say about them. For a few dollars less, I would recommend them no question. Indeed, it’s actually harder than you would think to find a crisp dress shirt that fits well with a great, substantial spread collar. And if you know that they will fit you better than other brands, go for it. Otherwise, unless you are looking to buy three of them to get them for about $45 per, just know you might be ever-so-slightly overpaying.