30 June 2010

From Russia, With Love

Back in May, I received the gracious offer of yet another free shirt from a new online made-to-measure outfit called simply MTM Shirts. Based in Russia, they offer a wide variety of fabrics and styles for a pretty good price. Some of their choices are a bit zesty, shall we say, but there are plenty of things in my line of thinking to work with. My little number arrived last week:

A pink and white cousin to my first foray into the world of online mtm. This time, I was wise enough to opt for matching cuffs, but I still couldn't resist the double buttons.

As for the white button down collar, forgive me. I know it's weird, but I like the uniqueness of it. Besides, I can find all the white or blue shirts I need everywhere. If I'm going to order one up, might as well add a bit of gusto, no?

The quality of this shirt is good. Even with my bells and whistles, we're only looking at $59. Not bad. The trick is that shipping was $65. Pricey, but the shirt arrived at my house a scant eight days after leaving the factory, barely three weeks from the time I placed my order. That kind of turn around has got to count for something. The measurements, about a dozen, need to be entered in metric, a pain for us savage Americans. Before the shirt was constructed, I got an email from them expressing concern on the part of one of their tailors that some of my measurements didn't quite jibe. Turns out they were right, and I emailed them a few new numbers. Pretty good service for a freebie.

I bet the guys at J.Press who sold this blazer the first time out would be appalled to see it over a Russian made shirt ordered online, but the two garments play well together.

The fits good. Snug, but not tight,with plenty of room for movement in the arms. The sleeves may be a pinch too long, but I'll chalk that up to inaccuracy on my part. That's one of the drawbacks to this whole online shirt thing. It's always better to have your measurements taken by an experienced professional. When you do it yourself, the likelihood of mistakes increases exponentially.

The placement of the collar buttons leaves something to be desired. I'll probably take them off and place them again. Another minor inconvenience. Gotta love the pink gingham and the bright green silk knit, though.

Made in England for the Andover Shop. Nice. Or wait a minute...
was it made in Italy? This tie bears both of these tags. Don't know which is true, but either way it's a good one. Well worth the $2.99 I paid for it, especially since it still had an Andover Shop price tag for $85.

Pleated tan gabardine slacks with side tabs, made in Italy courtesy of Ralphie Purple. These pants are a bit of a departure for me from the usual guidelines of my style, but that seems to be a theme with this whole rig. Nothing wrong with the occasional pleated pants, so long as they're inverted. Sort of plays of the unusual collar and the bright tie, with the old reliable 3/
sack blazer nailing it all down.

Finish the whole thing sockless with brown suede bit loafers, possibly my new favorite shoes. There may be a lot of Euro going on here, but some of those guys know how to dress, too.

Anyway, I like my MTM Shirt. The shipping may be a bit of a killer, but it's well made, the fabric is nice and the service was pretty top shelf. Hell, for $59, you could order one of these or go to the mall for some size S/M/L junk from J.Crew. You decide.


Anonymous said...

While I'm only appraising the shirt in small pictures on a website, the collar looks a bit unconventional in the details and cut - like someone looked at a picture of a button down oxford but had never really worn one before. As you note though, moving the buttons out a bit should fix it.

It reminds me in a way of the Russian watch I wore for a while years ago. It looked like a Seiko from a fair distance (and still kept decent time), but the details stood out just a bit too much.

Good call on the pink check fabric though - perfect for summer.

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog. I guess it's a "tie" as to who made your tie.
Chris Cox's blog EasyandElegantLife--not always
affordable however same philosophy.
Best wishes,

Enzo AGC said...

I've found that most silk knit ties are made in Italy for some reason or another.

Michael said...

Is it just me, or does that collar go a bit funny with the tie? Just asking...

OCBD said...

1. I hope that moving the collar buttons will solve the problem: the button holes seem too highly-placed from the points and the shape of the collar itself seems off.

2. I can't believe that one can't find metric measuring tapes in the U.S.

Anonymous said...

If you haven't read The Vintage Caper by Peter Mayle, you might enjoy it....from p. 18 "It was Joseph, who had initiated Sam some years ago into the arcane delights of single-needle stitching and genuine mother-of-pearl buttons. Together, they took the small elevator up to the fabric room on the second floor, and there, among thousands of bolts of poplin, Sea Island cotton, linen, flannel, bastiste, and silk, Sam spent the rest of the afternoon. Each of the dozen shirts he eventually ordered would, like wine, be marked with its vintage, a tiny label sewn into the inner seam that identified the year in which it was made."

Anonymous said...

It is definitely a little tight, but overall it is an alright shirt, but a great outfit though.

Orthodox Trad said...

I would suggest that the silk knit fabric was made in Italy, while the necktie itself was made in England.

Rebecca said...

I'm the "anonymous" who posted about Peter Mayle's book. (I was using my husband's computer and didn't think about it not posting my identity.) I STILL think you might enjoy the book.

Young Fogey said...

Pink and green? Always a nice combo.

Spiffy shirt, even if the buttons need moving. I hope that MTM Shirts will learn from this experience.

I'm loving my Lands End pink gingham, even if they have supersized their sleeve lengths (I've been wearing 33" LE sleeves for years, but had to exchange my LE gingham shirt for a 32" sleeve. What with fewer and fewer options in smaller sizes in general, and Small in particular, at this rate, in a few years I won't be able to buy new clothes at all. Am I being forced into bespoke before I can afford it?).