Luxire: Online Made to Measure (or Bespoke??) Shirting and More..
In the vast sea of online made to measure (MTM) shirting companies it takes a lot to distinguish oneself from the crowd. Many companies make a great product, and there are reviews aplenty (some of them even written by me) that can be found with only a cursory google search. But I recently had the pleasure of sampling a shirt from one company that does, in my opinion, offer some options that help it stand out from the crowded marketplace of online MTM shirting. That company is Luxire.
First, don’t be thrown off by the lowish-tech looking website, that probably just means that Ashish, the company’s owner, is spending more money refining the production process than he is on having a flashy looking site, which is a good thing. The user interface on the Luxire website is pretty standard for online MTM: choose a fabric, details (like collar, cuff, and placket design), and enter your measurements using a variety of methods—including sending in a shirt that fits you perfectly that you would just like reproduced. Wait a week or two (Luxire actually has the fastest turnaround time I’ve seen in online MTM), and voila!, you’ve got a new shirt that hopefully fits you like it was custom made, because it was…mostly.
And that’s the tricky part. The inability to exceed the detail options available on most company’s website limits the possibility that your online MTM shirt will be a sartorial specimen that reflects your exact tastes and desires. The shirt is custom, in so far as it has been crafted according to the limited measurements you have provided of your own body, but you are still constrained by the options that the company offers with regard to collar, cuff, yoke, etc. Presumably, you’ve got to pay a premium to dial in that kind of specificity. Only by going full bespoke can a client have that kind attention to detail rendered faithfully…Not so with Luxire, and that’s why I think it can really stand out among its competitors, especially for the increasingly obsessive and detail-oriented customer that menswear on the internet is spawning (Luxire already has a devoted following on StyleForum). You know, the one who thinks in terms of 1/8” on a collar leaf, or obsesses over the type and amount of fusing in a collar or cuff. This is the customer for whom Luxire will be a great choice.
There is a section in the final page of the ordering process where you can input notes, and provide links to photos of how you want your shirt to look. This is the internet-bred menswear enthusiast’s dream. Did you like the way the collar flipped up at the edges on some infinitely reblogged tumblr picture of an Italian dude at Pitti? Send that picture along with your order and say that that’s how you want your collar to look and Luxire will accommodate that request. How they manage to do so remains a mystery to me, but do it they have. Just check out the Luxire affiliate thread on StyleForum for pictures and stories of the varied customer requests that Luxire has been able to meet. When I ordered my shirt, I included a picture of an older Japanese guy wearing a shirt that had a collar I wanted imitated, and the shirt I received is a pretty faithful reproduction of the look I was going for. Though I won’t bore you with stitches-per-inch type details, suffice it to say that the quality of workmanship and materials on the shirt I received from Luxire is at least on par with, and often exceeding, other online MTM shirting companies I’ve had the pleasure of trying. Mother of pearl buttons made from Australian shell are standard, the thread comes from Germany, the interlinings are from Switzerland, and the cotton fabrics Luxire uses are from some of the most storied mills throughout Europe.
I recently had an email exchange with Ashish where he told me his ultimate goal is to offer bespoke services without any face-to-face interaction, and he tossed around some very exciting sounding possibilities for how this might be carried out. To be sure, for many, the personal and interactive dimension of the bespoke process is at least as important as the garment that emerges from the collaboration. But there are, I think, many more people for whom the prospect of being able to order truly customized clothing remotely and at affordable prices will be a huge boon. Luxire has already launched an online custom pants program, and from what I can tell, the reaction has been extremely positive. I believe suiting and sport coats are in the works as well. Stay tuned and definitely check-in on Luxire’s website or its affiliate thread on StyleForum often to see how the program unfolds. In the meantime, you can order a truly custom shirt at Luxire with details you can’t get from other online MTM companies, and starting at under $60. That’s a pretty good deal, even by my standards.