Sid Mashburn's Made-To-Measure Shirts Reviewed!
Sid Mashburn is a much-loved menswear company as of late. They are producing some incredible clothes that are quite unique and stylish. In a way, they seem to be the new J. Crew — for lack of a better way to explain how they fit into the world of men’s style. They are, in all honesty, super expensive, but their designs and quality have been known to be excellent, and so they have been attracting a slow and steady customer base that cannot say enough good things about them.
Personally, I have found their fit not to work very well for me. Their dress shirts were much too large. Fortunately, they offer a MTM program starting at a somewhat reasonable, though by no means inexpensive, $140. Here are our thoughts, and how it fit into the larger world of online MTM…
Style & Design
Sid Mashburn offers a whole host of fabric options, as well as customizations. There are the basics, as well as more funky options. Still, the collection is rather tight and small, and so there is no overwhelm. I think they could certainly add some more options and build out their range, but it’s enough that most people will be able to find what they are looking for. For our review, we went with a green candy stripe Oxford cloth fabric. We really liked the way it looked in person once it arrived, and we think it’s a great option for every day wear, both casual and dressier.
The site is quite unique as far as the customization process, but it’s also super intuitive and easy to use. There is little to complain about here. They advise you with their recommendations, but allow you to select what you would like. They have just about every option one might want, and so you will end up with a shirt that is designed to your liking. Shipping, while free, took quite a while to arrive — 4-6 weeks as opposed to the more typical online MTM shipping time of 2-3 weeks. In all, we find shipping time to be the least important factor when picking an online MTM company, but nevertheless, it is more than worth noting.
Quite nicely, you can measure for the shirt in any number of ways. You can use a stock, standard size; you can measure your body; you can go in to one of their shops if you happen to live nearby them. What you cannot do, sadly, is measure an existing shirt, which is what we always find works the best. This hurt the final fit of the shirt, with a few major errors that never would have happened had we been able to input measurements for the shirt itself, as opposed to body measurements.
In a word, we were disappointed. The shirt was super long, which made it impossible to wear untucked, despite planning on doing so. The rest of the shirt fit okay, especially when tucked, but there were a few oddities that we very much did not like. For one, the midsection could have used a bit of cleaning up, though was not the end of the world. The biggest issue was the armhole — an area we often find to cause the most problems. The armhole dug uncomfortably into me, and while it produced a slim bicep, the lower segment of the sleeve, for whatever reason, was not quite as slim, and a bit too long. Worst of all, though, it caused terrible and unusual bunching in and around the armpit. Note especially that odd bunching just next to the pocket and on the opposite side, under the armhole. You can see this especially here. It’s unclear to me exactly why this is happening, but it is do to some issue in the interaction between the armhole opening size, the chest measurements, and the waist measurement. Needless to say, it looks quite bad.
We emailed them with these concerns, and while at first they seemed to think the shirt actually fit perfectly, they did then admit these areas could use improving. They provided a prepaid label to ship the shirt back to them, and they would tailor it for free, or remake it if absolutely necessary. In the end, it was determined that these issues could not be adequately resolved without going fully “bespoke” and creating a custom pattern just for me, for an additional cost of ~$70. This was not at all something I was interested in, and so they offered me a full refund.
This is a decent return/remake policy. While they did not immediately offer a remake, they did stick to their promise of making sure I was 100% happy, or else offering a full refund if it came to it. In the end, that is just fine, and will give anyone enough confidence to order.
Quality & Construction
This is the area we feel the best about. The quality down to the smallest details are super well done. All the finishing work is excellent and clean, and the fabric feels like the sort that would only get softer and more comfortable as it breaks in with each wash. It was, for the short time it was there, one of the nicer feeling shirts in my closet. The quality and construction here is, no question, excellent. It is just limited by the limitations of their MTM pattern making.
Value & Conclusion
Sid Mashburn MTM Dress Shirts ($140+): There is no question that Sid Mashburn shirts are high quality. The fabric to the fit-and-finish is all excellent. Customer service is super solid, and they have a great selection and array of options. That being said, their high price is hard to justify when compared to Proper Cloth or even Spier & Mackay — both online MTM options that start at about half the price. The construction is better, but not that much better. Nor is the fit or ability of the MTM program (in fact, Spier & Mackay takes the cake there). Certainly, Mashburn MTM shirts are not twice as good as either of the aforementioned competition. In all, if you like Sid Mashburn and trust their brand — and there is excellent reason to — then these are for you. If you’re looking to get into MTM shirting online, though, you’ll likely do better to start elsewhere and perhaps revisit Sid Mashburn at some point in the future.