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proper cloth review
proper cloth review

Should You Give Proper Cloth A Chance?

September 26th, 2017

A review of the online custom dress shirt maker

Unless you’re a male model or Tom Ford, the chances you can fit into off-the-rack apparel without needing alterations is slim to none.

Thankfully, we’re in a world where a new online MTM clothier seems to pop up weekly. The online MTM marketplace is as saturated as the Mall of America, but thankfully with increased competition comes the need to lower prices and improve quality.

No longer is it more expensive to purchase a custom shirt than it is a ready-to-wear product. And the benefit of made-to-measure is that you’ll likely require little to no alterations keeping the cost of the shirt even lower.

So, if you buy your shirts off a rack at the store, stop now and go custom. Try Proper Cloth.

When I received my custom shirt from Proper Cloth, I was unsure of what to expect. I’ve heard good and bad reviews and the menswear writers I am proud to call colleagues typically haven’t been super fans. With that said, they’re still fairly well rated.

Although I know my measurements like the back of my hand, I opted to use Proper Cloth’s Smart Size system which relies on a series of questions about your body type and shirt preferences. In the end, it offers a complete sizing without having to use a tape measure.

The sizes that came back for me weren’t spot on. Close, but not precise. Regardless, I was curious to see how well it would fit. Considering almost all of my shirts are MTM or bespoke, I often find that as my body weight changes, so do my preferences for fit. I opted to go with a very casual shirt partly to compliment my wardrobe, but more so because my wife always complains I’m too formally dressed.

I selected an Albini mini foulard print in navy with a semi-spread collar, a two-button mitered cuff and a contrasting collar and cuff using a Nijima blue chambray floral print to give it a pop. Otherwise, I stuck with the classics. A split yoke, a soft front placket, but I opted for extra tall mother of pearl buttons to add a touch of sprezzatura.

When the shirt arrived, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Okay, the fit was a little snug in the shoulders and chest, and the sleeves were too short, yet somehow just long enough that it works really nicely for a casual shirt. It’s a little more fitted than I would like since I’m only 5’6” and have a belly big enough that my six-year-old rubbed it and asked if I was having a baby last week.

The fabric is actually quite comfortable. It’s not nearly as soft as most of the bespoke shirts I own, but frankly, it’s also a few hundred dollars less in cost. For the price, I was relatively impressed. It still had a bit of a starched feel, but over time has gotten softer in the wash.

Proper Cloth isn’t the best shirtmaker I’ve seen. But for the sub-$200 category of online MTM shirt maker, they’re doing a bang-up job. All things considered, I would recommend them to anyone looking to transition from the RTW racks at Brooks Brothers, J. Crew, and Men’s Wearhouse, to the better fitting opportunities that custom clothiers can offer. Just be sure to use a measuring tape. Their Smart Size guessing system could use some work.

HSS Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

J.A. Shapira
He Spoke Style

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J.A. Shapira

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