Review: SuitSupply’s Wrinkle-Resistant Traveller Dress Shirt + Custom/MTM Comparison
Modern technology has had quite an impact on clothing and the way that gentlemen dress. Indeed, we have explored various ways that technology has made its way into garments in the past. When we have taken a look at tech-wear, though, it has been clothing that has been designed to be stretchy, more comfortable, lighter, and moisture-wicking. This time, though, it is something else entirely. This time we are taking a closer look at a shirt that is designed to be less prone to wrinkling.
Now, you might be thinking that this is quite a common thing to find. After all, just about every major retailer on the planet today offers wrinkle-free dress shirts. So, what is so special about this one? Well, here is the thing. These wrinkle-free dress shirts are actually treated with a harsh chemical that prevents them from wrinkling. Now, putting aside the fact that this chemical will eventually wear off and the shirts will wrinkle more and more with each wash over a long lifetime of the shirt, there are more fundamental problems with such treated shirts. The first is that they are much less comfortable and do not breath as well. Many men find them scratchy, stiff, and that they cause you to sweat a lot more as the chemicals prevent air from easily passing through the garment fabric. The second issue is a health concern, in that the chemical actually rubs off onto your skin and can cause irritation, or much worse.
This Traveller Shirt from SuitSupply ($79) claims to have a solution to all those problems, while still providing a shirt that will not wrinkle. They weave the shirt out of a special two-ply cotton, and they weave it in such a way that the fabric is actually less prone to wrinkling. So, it’s a combination of both the cotton that is used, and their unique weaving process that results in a final fabric makeup that is wrinkle-resistant. And that is the key. It claims to be wrinkle resistant, not wrinkle free like chemically treated shirts. So, that’s the background. Now, let’s get into the heart of this review.
Packaging & Experience
When you order from SuitSupply you really get a premium overall experience. The website is one of the best and cleanest around. Shipping takes just 1 or 2 business days, and your item arrives in a nicely sized cardboard box containing another very nice, white SuitSupply box inside (so, you get that premium unboxing experience, all without your neighbors knowing you have an expensive SuitSupply box sitting on your porch). The return label is also in the box, making returns effortless — and they are free as well, both things we always look for. Can’t ask for anything more in this department! A+
Style & Design
We are suckers for SuitSupply’s shirt designs. They are boldly styled with their signature curved cutaway collar. If you like this look, which we absolutely do, then nobody is really doing it readily available better than SuitSupply. It is formal and classy, and makes any tie with any tie knot look absolutely killer. It frames your face nicely, and can even be worn sans-tie with on or two buttons opened for a refined, yet tailored casual look.
Beyond that, this is a white shirt classically styled. No breast pocket, and a single cuff. It also features a French placket. The fabric itself is pretty much textureless, as, indeed, this shirt is sold as a “plain” weave. Aside from the substantial and unique collar, if you were to look up “white dress shirt” in the dictionary, this is what you would see. Plain, simple, classy. A+
Quality & Construction
Let’s begin this section by stating that we were blown away by how well this shirt held up to its claims of being wrinkle resistant. We threw this in the wash, hung it to dry, and found that it was pretty much wrinkle-free, and barely in need of ironing. We wore for two days after that, threw it in the wash again, and this time dried it in a full cycle. It came out looking as if it was just pressed. They claim this shirt is wrinkle resistant, but, in our tests, it was pretty damn close to wrinkle free. That’s not to say everyone will experience the same lack of wrinkles with their shirt from SuitSupply, but it certainly more than lives up to the claim of reducing your need to iron your shirt
As to the overall quality of the shirt, it is very well made and a great value at this price. Indeed, this shirt is the least expensive line that SuitSupply offers, but, in our experience, it is just as well made in every way. The only thing that seems to be different, and the only likely reason for the difference in cost, is the fabric being a basic cotton, and not from a fancier, higher-end mill. For a wrinkle-resistant shirt like this, though, that is more than just fine. The fabric is soft and smooth, and feels no less comfortable than any other regular dress shirt we own. In fact, it’s likely even softer and smoother than many others. All the stitching is neat, everything is finished cleanly, and the buttons, collar, and cuffs feels sturdy and well made. We experienced little-to-no shrinking even after a full dry cycle, though each time you dry a shirt, it will shrink just a tiny bit. Overall, we expect this shirt to last a very long time. At this price, it is an excellent value as far as construction goes. A+
(Note: I am 6’1” and 165 lbs. and usually wear a 15.5” shirt in a slim or extra slim fit.)
This shirt is sold as an Extra Slim Fit, and I ordered my usual size 15.5” in it. They also do have options in their less slim “Slim Fit.” For a higher-end company, it is surprising and upsetting that SuitSupply does not offer sleeve-length options, and only sells shirts based on their neck sizes. This resulted in both a sleeve and body length that is, as you can see in the pictures, just a bit too long. The overall fit of the shirt is indeed quite trim through the chest and waist, as well as most of the arms. Still, the shirt could have benefited from higher armholes, as they are quite wide and tug at your tucked in shirt when you raise your hands. In short, it’s a pretty good fit, but not impeccable. If you’re looking for a nice, slim fitting shirt, this is definitely one of the slimmer options out there, and pays attention to details like slimming the cuff measurements and so on, but I still think it could use a bit of work and refining to truly dial in the fit for slimmer customers like myself. If you are not truly slim, you would be better off with their Slim Fit. B
Value & Conclusion
Traveller Shirt from SuitSupply — $79: Whenever we review a shirt like this we always face the question: Why buy from SuitSupply over a custom shirt place? At a price of $79 you can get a solid custom shirt, and for a few bucks more, a truly high end custom shirt. So, why buy SuitSupply? Well, we racked dour brains and could only come up with the following reasons… (1) You need a shirt very quickly. SuitSupply shipping is 1-2 days. Custom shirts takes 2-3 weeks, and that is after the initial round of perfecting your fit with the company of your choice. (2) You like SuitSupply styling or details that cannot be had elsewhere. Consider their collars or the very wrinkle-resistant fabric we spoke about in this review. Most custom places do not offer these details. (3) You don’t want to deal with designing your own shirts, and like the idea of ordering from a company like SuitSupply. We don’t fully understand this reason, but, at some level, we hear it. (4) You want the higher quality for the price. This is perhaps the most compelling reason. For $79, you’re getting slightly higher quality fabric than custom shirts would give you, since the cost for SuitSupply can go fully into the fabric while the cost for custom needs to go into, well, the custom aspect of it. Still, the construction quality at many custom shirt places is just as good as SuitSupply, and for a few bucks more, as we said, you can get a shirt that is made out of just as nice a fabric as well. So, it might cost you $20 or so more than SuitSupply, but you can end up with a shirt that is just as well made, is just as nice a fabric, and fits you perfectly.
Still, the SuitSupply shirt does indeed deliver. If wrinkle-resistance without chemicals is what you are after, this is the best option we have gotten our hands on. It’s well-made, ships and returns free and fast, will likely last a long time, feels and looks great, and is a decent value (if you do not consider custom shirts in the equation). So, while we question if, in the long run, SuitSupply is making the right play with off-the-rack fits, this shirt does everything it claims to do, and then some, at a reasonable, but not cheap, price for what you are getting. Final Grade: A-