The online custom-made shirt business has exploded in the past few years. Prices for made-to-measure clothing have dropped dramatically, and shirts that used to be a privilege for those earning six-figures and above are now affordable for everyone. Don’t get confused though, you’ll still be dropping a little bit of coin if you want to slide into a custom-made shirt. Ordering a custom-made shirt online can be a little daunting because you have to know your measurements and put some faith (and money) in a company when you can’t walk into their store. Spending a hundred bucks on a shirt is no joke for a lot of guys. We’re not talking about $15 dress shirts at T.J. Maxx here. Prices normally range from $90-$130 per shirt, but Ratio Clothing ran a $25 off sale for liking them on facebook a few months ago, so I had to take the plunge.
For those that don’t know, Ratio Clothing is a Made in the USA upstart specializing in custom shirts for men. Their website (www.ratioclothing.com) is slick and not intimidating for the menswear novice, but you do need to know a few measurements to complete your order. You need to know your neck, sleeve and basic suit measurements. After you pick your shirt, you also get to choose between some basic collar types, cuff options, placket, back-pleats, pocket, and add a monogram. I went with their white pinpoint shirt (here) because you can’t have too many white dress shirts, and they are a good way to gauge fabric quality. If you can’t get a basic white shirt right, nothing else is going to work.
As mentioned, the website interface is smooth, and you can order a shirt from start to finish in 5-10 minutes depending on how much hemming and hawing you do with your available options. I chose slim-fit and got it at a regular length. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email their customer service. They were extremely responsive and helpful during my ordering process. I even made a few changes after I placed my order that were accommodated with no flak. Since they are an upstart, Eric (the owner) is the guy that responds to your emails, which is really a plus because he cares about getting things right. I have a fairly athletic build, meaning my neck, chest, and shoulders are broad, and I am pretty trim at the waist. I emailed mentioning this, and Eric asked for my stomach measurement and said they would take an additional inch off the waist.
The website states that it takes 3-4 weeks to fill your order and mine took every bit of that. I actually emailed Eric after the 4 week mark and he was responsive, apologetic, and promised me my shirt was “in the mail” that day. Indeed it was, and I received my shirt 3 days later. The turnaround may be a downside for some. If you need a shirt for a big business presentation next week, this is not the place to get it.
The shirt arrived in an ample, sturdy box, and it was clipped (not pinned!) up in a plastic bag wrapped in tissue paper. I was so excited when the shirt arrived that I forgot to snap pictures. I
failed tried to recreate how it looks in the pictures below this post. Your shirt will look much cleaner than my pictures represent. It came with a cool personalized tag and another card with care instructions. All in all, it looked like a $90 shirt should look when it comes in the mail. The hand-written personalized card was a nice additional touch.
This is what you have been wanting to know isn’t it? Simply put, the shirt fit like, well, it was made for me. The pinpoint cotton fabric was soft and much less translucent then most white shirts. Eric was on-point with taking an extra inch off the stomach. The sleeves and chest were also a perfect fit. Ratio lets you customize sleeve length to the half inch which is really a plus for me because I usually fit right between 32 and 33. The armholes were higher than most and the forearms were form-fitting. If you have Popeye forearms, this could be problematic, but 90% of guys won’t have a problem with the fit. The shirt is easily the best fitting item in my closet and will get a ton of wear. The collar was slightly too large, but that was my fault for sizing up instead of choosing my true size. I was playing the better safe than sorry card. The only downside was that it wrinkles extremely easily and was one of the more difficult shirts that I have ironed. For the money and quality of the shirt, it’s going to the cleaners to get washed and pressed from now on.
The Final Verdict
If you’re in the market for a new shirt and can afford to spend $90-$120, you can’t do much better than Ratio. Nothing off the rack is going to come close to touching the fit of a Ratio custom-made shirt. To top it off, the customer service from Eric was impeccable. You’ll have to wait for it, but isn’t everything good worth waiting for?