When I worked in corporate America, my office had a business-casual dress code. The company was very conservative, and employees were more concerned with fitting in than standing out.
Most of the guys wore the basic corporate uniform – pleated khakis and ill-fitting button-down shirts. However, one of my mentors stood out by wearing tailored suits and shirts every day.
He’d always tell me, “Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.” I took his advice and started to upgrade my wardrobe with better pieces.
My mentor referred me to his tailor, a dapper Southern gentleman who owned a small menswear shop and wore bow-ties and suspenders regularly.
Over the years, he outfitted me with trousers (he refused to say pants), suits, and custom-made shirts. These were the best-fitting clothes I ever owned. I even managed to impress my mentor with a few of my outfits.
Sadly, my tailor retired a few years ago and closed his shop. I was devastated. Losing a tailor is almost like losing a best friend. They know intimate details about your life. They’ve seen you at your best and your worst. They are willing to tell you the truth when others won’t.
As I searched for a new tailor, I stumbled across several online purveyors of custom-clothing. I must admit that I was leery of these sites. Buying clothing online can be a crapshoot because you can’t see, feel, or try on the products beforehand. Purchasing custom-clothing without the guidance of a skilled tailor didn’t feel right. However, I took a risk and placed an order with Knot Standard. I’m glad I did because I was rewarded with a stylish, perfectly fitting shirt.
Knot Standard offers a wide variety of shirt styles to choose from. You can customize the collars, cuffs, cut, and pockets. I selected the Classic Navy Check Shirt ($95 + tax and shipping) with a spread collar, notched single cuffs, and no pockets for a clean, uncluttered look. This shirt is made from 100% cotton and features mother of pearl buttons (nice buttons make a huge difference).
I also chose a slim fit because I hate excess fabric that makes shirts bunch-up around the waist. I was a little concerned about ordering the slim cut because many shirt-makers confuse slim with tight. Luckily, this wasn’t the case with Knot Standard.
After selecting my shirt style, I had to input my measurements. Knot Standard offers three ways to do this:
Use your computer’s webcam to automatically measure your body from the front and side. The system will walk you through each step, and calculate each measurement for you. I didn’t choose this option because I didn’t feel comfortable posing in front of my webcam.
Send them an article of clothing
Knot Standard can build a digital model from the best-fitting clothing that you already have. Using a pre-paid shipping label, you can send your item to their tailors, who take your measurements and return your item. I didn’t choose this option for two reasons: 1. It would have added extra time to my order 2. I prefer to use actual body measurements.
Knot Standard offers measuring instructions and videos to walk you through the process. My wife and I watched the videos and she took my measurements and uploaded them into the system in about 15 minutes (I had her take the measurements several times because I wanted to make sure they were accurate). I would advise against taking your own measurements. Seek a professional tailor if you need assistance. If you need help with your measurements, you can chat with a Bespoke Advisor online.
My shirt arrived in about three weeks in an elegant package. I tried it on and was pleased with the fit and feel of the fabric. It felt sturdy and well-made, but light enough to wear in the Houston heat. I was most impressed that I didn’t have to get any additional alterations done.
I’ve had the shirt for over six months and it remains in heavy rotation. I’ve worn it to business meetings, conferences, and on TV appearances, and cuffs and collars are still as crisp as the day I received them.
I’ve finally found a new tailor. He styles several of Houston’s local athletes and celebrities. I showed him my Knot Standard shirt and he was surprised that I could get such quality online. So was I.