Spier & Mackay Custom MTM Dress Shirts Review
While Spier & Mackay has become super well known in the menswear space for their suits, shirts, and sport coats, offering superb values, high end fabrics, and great cuts at beyond reasonable prices, they also have a lesser known made-to-measure shirt program ($79+) that you can order from online. Naturally, it should come as no surprise to you that we had to try it out, continuing our coverage of all the online MTM companies we can get our hands on!
Now, we have heard rumblings that they will be revamping and updating their MTM program soon, but we have not timeline on this, and so, for the time being, we will review it as is. If and when things change, we can always reassess.
Style & Design
We ended up with a blue, herringbone-like pattern that almost borders on appearing like denim or chambray, but is most softer and lighter in both look and feel. We are big fans of this fabric, especially the way that the interior is finished differently than the exterior. This is a nice detail and looks nice when your sleeves are rolled up. The shirt would look great with jeans, but be just as nice with chinos, tucked in, or under a sweater during the cooler months. It would even work with a blazer. We went with a button-downed collar in the end, and we really like the size, proportion, and roll to it. It’s done very well.
Overall, Spier offers a ton of different fabric options, without being overwhelming. All the classics are there, as you would expect, as well as some more unusual and interesting options. While their navigation and sorting is not as nice as some other sites, as far as selection, it’s got everything you would want. A-
The site is clean, neat, and straightforward. We wish there were more sorting options, and a live preview of what is offered, but it’s a simple process that gives you confidence in what you are ordering, even if there is a whole lot of room for improvement. You select your fabric, and can then choose from all the typical options: collar, cuff, buttons, back pleat and finishing, pocket, and so on. There are not nearly as many options as somewhere like Proper Cloth, but all the major ones are there at least.
You can then measure your body, measure a shirt, or pick from standard sizing as far as the fit goes. Of these three options, measuring a shirt is always the most accurate. (Interestingly, they offer no predictive algorithms for guessing your size, but we find those almost always suck anyway.) We went with measuring a shirt, and wished that more MTM places offered this as an option. What’s especially nice is that Spier does not take the measurements you put it, and then translate them to the closest they can get with their pattern (looking at you Proper Cloth), but instead actually makes the shirt to your measurements. We always look as to whether a MTM place offers a separate armhole and bicep measurement, for instance, and Spier absolutely does. This means you can have a nice and slim sleeve without a restrictive armhole. Now, this is all within reason of course. To some extent, they’ll have to tweak measurements to make it in their style and factory, and not everything can be done exactly to your specifications, but they will sure get as close as they can.
Shipping is their weakest point in the process, and takes well over a month, but really closer to 6 weeks. For well-made custom garments this is certainly acceptable, but to be competitive, especially in the world of shirts, getting this wait down a bit would go a long way. A-
The First Fitting
The first shirt came out pretty well, but certainly needed to be remade. You can see it’s quite clearly too short in the sleeves, and too tight in the midsection. Other than that, though, it was pretty close to what I had requested be made. The discrepancy came more from Spier’s taper and specific way of measuring sleeves than it did from them not actually making them to my input measurements. This is typical of MTM, as each shirtmaker will interpret measurements differently, but, overall, this was pretty close to what I had ordered.
Now, I will say at this point that Spier actually screwed up the first time. They sent a shirt that was several inches too long. I was told this was simply an error, pure and simple, and they remade it at no cost to me. All I lost was about a month or so of not having the shirt. The one you see above, then, was technically their second attempt. To get them to remake it again, though, cost me 50% of the final cost. While they will remake once for free, no questions asked, the second time they charge 50%. I thought this was not so fair in my particular case due to the cause for the first remake, but I bit the bullet and went ahead with it anyway.
After discussing both over email with a representative and on the phone directly with the tailor, my remake was sent into production. A month+ later, it arrived. B+
The Final Fitting
The final result came out quite nicely. I think they went a bit too far adding to the midsection, and I also prefer an ever-so-slightly slimmer bicep. I also find the armhole a touch too tight. These are all things that can be nailed down further with a future order (I actually have one on the way!). As a first, final shirt, though, this is certainly in a pretty good place. (You can never truly judge a fit from a still picture, so bear that in mind. Please don’t put too much stock into how it looks in the picture. It’s just a rough idea.)
Also note we had to go with a different fabric for the final shirt as the previous one had sold out. While we were at it, we also switched to a button-down collar. (We made a mistake the first time and forgot to request it.)
I also appreciate the fact that inputting measurements is so easy with their system. On your Orders page you can see the exact measurements of your last order, allowing you to easily adjust them as you input them for a future order. This makes making slight adjustments super easy, and means each time you order, you can get closer and closer to perfect fit (even if such a thing never really exists).
I also appreciate that Spier is pretty responsive over email, and actually will put you on the phone with the tailor if need be to discuss certain things about how to make your shirt. Meaning, the service and communication is there. It’s not the best or fastest we’ve seen, but you do feel like you’re talking with the people that actually matter to the production of your shirt, and even with the 50% fee sometimes, Spier will stand behind their product. This all adds up to me feeling pretty confident in recommending them to end up with a shirt that actually fits and that you’ll be happy with in the end. A-
Quality & Construction
The quality here is as you would expect from Spier. It’s rock solid, very well made and well finished, and uses very nice fabrics. For the price, you’re getting more than what you’re paying for. This is a great value in custom shirting. If you are at all familiar with Spier’s offerings in the menswear space, you’ll know exactly how this shirt will look and feel. It’s a well made shirt at a super reasonable price. A
Value & Conclusion
Spier & Mackay MTM Shirts — $79: While their website and ordering process could certainly use some refining, overall, we like that Spier can match a shirt’s measurements, and match them pretty well at that. They’re quite dynamic with what they can offer you in terms of fit, and are not locked into specific patterns in the same way that Proper Cloth or Ratio is. It might take some time, but they’ll get your fit down. Plus, the quality and customer service is there, and the value is tremendous. Especially when on sale (which happens rarely, but does happen for their MTM). In short, while not at all perfect, Spier’s custom shirt offerings is one of our favorites that we tried so far. They’re consistent, well-made, and has a nice range of offerings. Definitely check them out. Final Grade: A-