Review: Lewis & Taylor Online MTM Shirting
Several months ago I was contacted by Lewis & Taylor, a Hong Kong-based online MTM shirting company, and asked if I’d like to review one of their shirts. I happily agreed to do it, and am now, after several washings, getting around to writing up my thoughts on what has become my favorite shirt.
When I went to place my order for the review shirt, I was a bit dismayed by the fact that Lewis & Taylor didn’t offer the option that many other online MTM companies do of inputing measurements based off an existing shirt. After getting over my initial hesitation at the possible outcome of the notoriously imprecise science of internet MTM self-measurement, I asked my wife to grab our tape measure and we proceeded to input my dimensions into the online order form.
The detailed measurement directions on Lewis & Taylor’s website were easy enough to follow, and I sent off my order with some trepidation unsure as I was about what would arrive in the mail in a month’s time. Though I was admittedly wary about how Lewis & Taylor’s tailors might translate my self-measurement numbers into a shirt that actually fit me, I was impressed by the wide variety of fabrics available from renowned producers like Thomas Mason, Tessitura Monti, and Liberty of London. I chose a blue Tessitura Monti end-on-end which is quite nice, as you can see in the pictures above. I also chose a monogram option that I quite like, and that I haven’t seen from other online custom shirtmakers—a diamond shaped monogram that can be discreetly embroidered on either the right or left sleeve gauntlet.
Not long after I placed my order, Lewis & Taylor contacted me to let me know that they’d run out of the Monti end-on-end I’d chosen, but would have more in stock soon. In the meantime, they’d send along one of their $27 “Tasty” shirts for me to assess the fit and respond with any tweaks I might want for the actual shirt. I appreciated the gesture, though I’m not sure if I was being given special treatment or not.
In any case, the “Tasty” shirt arrived and the fit was spot on. In fact, it was better than all of my other MTM shirts that were made based on measurements I’d taken of existing shirts. I can only speak to my experience with nailing a perfect fit though, as I’ve heard and believe many horror stories about the results of online self-measurement. I’m glad they sent along the “Tasty” shirt first however, because there were several things that I’d not been given the choice about when ordering the shirt online, but was able to have changed in a quick email exchange with Lewis & Taylor. Their shirts come standard with sewn in collar stays, which I opted to not have in the final shirt, and I also asked that the final shirt have an unfused collar, which they were happy to accommodate.
The final shirt arrived several weeks later and it has quickly become my favorite shirt. The fabric is great, and the construction is solid throughout. The mother of pearl buttons have a nice iridescence to them and are not too thick (which I’m not a fan of). But it’s the fit that has me reaching for it every time it comes out of the wash. Both shirts they sent came with some very visible tailor’s markings under the collar when they were new, which was worrisome, but they came out after a couple of washings.
Overall, I’d say I’m more than happy with the shirting from Lewis & Taylor. In fact, since I know they’ve got my measurements dialed in I’m probably going to go with them if I buy a custom shirt (I’ve got my eye on a nice purplish Thomas Mason end-on-end) in the near future. Prices run (excluding the “Tasty” shirt) from about $60-$160.
As with any online MTM clothing retailer that makes garments based on measurements that the customer takes him or herself, I remain hesitant to claim that they’d nail a fit as well as they did for me for everyone based off of a self-measurement process that is inherently highly prone to mistakes. But one thing Lewis & Taylor really has going for it is the option to test their services out for a relatively cheap price with the $27 “Tasty” shirt, which is a very nice Chinese-made 100% white cotton poplin fabric. If you want to give Lewis & Taylor a try I’d act fast though, as the supplies of the white poplin are, to my understanding, limited.