Biased Cut Shirt Review

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Quite a while ago, in April, I wrote about online MTM shirt makers and a custom shirt review on Magnificent Bastard. Out of 7 shirt makers, Biased Cut landed on first place and impressed with the great fit and quality. There is also a review on Sartorially Inclined you might want to check out for additional information. As I was looking for a good source of affordable and well fitting shirts, I got in contact with one of their founders, Eric, and he was so kind to send me one of their Blue Gingham shirts (now out of stock!) to do my own Biased Cut review. I believe it was one of their first shipments outside the US, but everything went smooth and quick (International shipments are not officially available yet, but the guys from Biased Cut are very helpful and will be glad to arrange something for you!).

Biased Cut shirt unboxed
The website is simple yet stylish and the custom options are kept to a minimum compared to other MTM shirt makers. This is not without a good reason - I asked Eric from Biased Cut about what makes Biased Cut different from other MTM online vendors and here is his answer:
We view ourselves first and foremost as shirt designers, rather than simply a custom fitting shirt shop. The fit and other customizations are an extra benefit due to our made to order process, and they allow us to cater to a larger group of guys (and recently, girls). Rather than overwhelming customers with thousands of possible shirt combinations, we aim to keep it short and simple.  Of course, if customers want a customization that our website doesn't offer, we're able to accommodate them.  Additionally, we think we have a pretty good combination of quality, fit, and price - we want to keep the shirts as affordable as possible while making no sacrifice in quality.
Ordering is pretty straight forward, you input your measurements (body measurements, measure your favourite shirt or just select a traditional size), choose your design and options and order. I guess the part with the measurements will still be perceived a bit risky by many, but in my experience it turns out well in most cases, at least for shirts. Prices are very affordable and fair with 85$ and if you order these days, you will even get a 20$ discount. Shipping within the US amounts to 5$, international shipping rates are available on request. For these prices, I believe online MTM shirts might just replace OTR shirts completely for people who care about the fit - I certainly don't see any reason to shell out 120$ for a Boss slim fit shirt that is not long enough...

I asked Eric about return rates and customer satisfaction and he confirms that a vast majority of customers are happy with the shirts:
We are proud to say we haven't actually had any returned shirts.  While it's been rare, there have been times when the customer wasn't completely satisfied with the fit.  In this case, no matter the cause, we take care of customers on an individual basis until they are satisfied.  On the other end, we've seen a lot of repeat customers - we get a lot of good feedback and some guys are coming back for more and buying in bulk.  That's one of our biggest goals - nothing says that you're doing something right better than repeat business.
Back to the shirt, the one I received indeed looks very nice. The sewing is impeccable, there are no loose threads, the button holes are very nicely done, the buttons are sewn rock solid and the button material (mother of pearl) appears to be of a very high quality. The monogram is actually positioned very interestingly, at "the top end of the placket at the elbow/forearm area".

The Monogram

The only slightly negative aspect that I can observe is the shirt length. I have a very long upper body and rather short legs for my height, so I need my shirts to be quite long in order not to untuck. While the shirt is long enough, I would feel a bit more secure with an extra inch of length - but then again, I may should have made that more clear when I input my measurements. One more positive aspect is also the collar - it is really sturdy and keeps its shape nicely, without being too rough to your neck.

The (slim) fit
Compared to, for example the Indochino shirts, it has a more slim fit but leaves enough room for moving without restrictions. While the Gingham shirt I opted for might be too bold for a more conservative working environment, it does a great job as a shirt for "play". In the photos I just combined it with a pair of jeans, but it I wore it today with some khaki pants and brown shoes at work and I think it looked great too.

Overall, my experience with Biased Cut is very positive and I am looking forward to their upcoming releases and projects.  According to Eric, we can expect some cool things:
In the very near term, we're focusing on improving our website and measurement / order process - it should be as painless as possible. We've received a lot of helpful feedback over the last few months since our launch in December and we're excited to put some new ideas to work. Product wise, we have a few more designs coming out this month in time for the summer season, and we'll be updating with new shirts even more frequently throughout the year. In addition to the classic looks, we'll be building up our casual wear shirts as well.  We're really going to express the versatility of our products.
I am looking forward to the new designs, the shirt really impressed me and I am certainly going to purchase from them in the future.