In my mission to find the perfect dress shirt, I set out looking for two main things: a really great fit, and a unique style. After looking at a couple different options online I landed on trying out Proper Cloth for my first custom dress shirt. In this review I’ll be going over how the ordering process, fit, fabric quality, and more were to give you a better idea of whether Proper Cloth is the right “fit” for you. (See what I did there?)
Overview for Proper Cloth
Fabric Quality: 3/5
Ease of Ordering: 5/5
Customer Service: 5/5
Proper Cloth PROS
- Lots of customization options
- Able to get options rarely found in stores
- Quality construction
- Easy to use site
Proper Cloth CONS
- Fabric was good, but not great
- Fit was WAY off on the first shirt
I went for a more modern shirt designed, partially inspired by some of the Gucci dress shirts that have come out recently. The picture to the right is meant to be a preview of the shirt, but mine has a rounded collar which gives it a more modern feel. The fabric has some small pin-dot detailing and I chose a coordinating blue color for the buttons.
Proper Cloth’s fabric quality
So I had a few small issues with the fabric quality, but overall I want to give Proper Cloth the benefit of the doubt. I’ll detail what I experienced, but I’ll likely order different fabrics in the future and update this article as I get a better feel for what you can expect. For me, the main fabric almost had some polyester-like qualities to it. It got hot quickly, didn’t breath, and had a bit of a sheen. I checked the tag and then double checked with Proper Cloth’s customer service team, and it is indeed 100% Cotton, I think it was just how the fabric was woven/treated.
Outside of the “feel” of the fabric, I would say that it’s very high quality. It looked sharp, the construction was great, and I really liked the contrasting fabric I chose for my collar and cuffs.
Proper Cloth’s fabric choice
Proper Cloth has well over 500 fabrics to choose from, but oddly, I found the overall variety to be a bit lacking. They have a lot of great options in the solid, stripes, and plaid categories, so if that’s your jam, you’re in luck! I was looking for more fun, quirky, and eclectic fabrics and prints, and would love to see more of these from Proper Cloth in the future.
That being said, I want to give them mad props for providing details around the weight, opacity, weave, and composition of each fabric, which can be very helpful when deciding which fabric is right for the occasion.
Proper Cloth’s ordering process
Proper Cloth has a great user interface. It’s clean, easy to use, and quick. I do recommend the desktop version, because it allows you to see your shirt in real time as you’re making changes, and their mobile experience is just a bit clunky.
Finding the right fit
Whenever I have the option, as I did with Proper Cloth, I like to test out the “custom fit creator” option that many of these custom clothing companies offer. The idea is simple, answer a few quick questions about your height, weight, preferred fit, etc and they’ll be able to divine the correct size and fit for you without any tape measures or awkward fitting sessions.
Unfortunately, when my Proper Cloth custom shirt arrived, the fit was pretty far from perfect. It was what I’d call “blousey” in all areas. The arms, the chest, and the midsection were all too large by several inches, which caused the shirt to resemble a blouse from the Golden Girls, and although Blanche is a personal role model, that’s not exactly what I was going for this time around.
I’ve since requested an alteration and the representative I worked with at Proper Cloth was awesome. He reviewed several photos, laid out the recommended changes he’d make (reduce the chest by 2 inches, the cuff by .25 inches, etc.) and confirmed those changes with me before saving this as a new size to my account and processing the return for me.
If you’re ok with going through this process, it definitely isn’t difficult, but if you have a friend and a measuring tape handy, it might be worth it to take a few measurements and go that route instead.
The ability to customize is where Proper Cloth REALLY shines. You’re able to choose from quite a few different styles of collar, cuff, placket, yoke, buttons, and more. For me, this is what these online tailors are all about. You get the ability to quickly craft your perfect shirt without chatting with a tailor for an hour to figure everything out.
Proper Cloth’s delivery timeline
I ordered my custom shirt from Proper Cloth on September 21st, and received it October 4th, which means I received it in just under 2 weeks. I think this is pretty impressive personally, and although it wouldn’t work for a last minute party or event, it’s definitely not a long time to wait for a custom dress shirt.
Proper Cloth’s guarantee/returns
Overall, Proper Cloth has an awesome fit guarantee and alteration policy. You’re able to get professional fit advice, and get an alteration started and quickly turned around if needs be.
As mentioned above, I uploaded several photos and a representative made exact recommendations on how many inches to take off of each area. I decided to trust his professional opinion entirely to see how that went, and I’m pleased to report the new shirt is a MUCH better fit. I might make a few small tweaks to additional shirts in the future based on this new “size” but overall the fit is great.
A few things to note; 1. They start working on a new shirt as soon as you request the alteration, which means you’ll get your new shirt faster, but it does seem a bit wasteful. 2. They do ask that you return your original shirt but don’t provide a return shipping label. This isn’t a huge deal, but several of the other online tailors I’ve worked with have actually just advised me to keep or donate the original item.
Final thoughts on Proper Cloth
Based on my experience, I would definitely recommend Proper Cloth, especially if you’re not in a time crunch. Once you get your shirt size dialed, it’s easy to order additional colors and styles. It’s a great way to build out an office appropriate wardrobe of high quality, customize-able, and well constructed shirts. If you want to order a Proper Cloth shirt, click through my link and we’ll both get $20 off our next shirt.
Have you ordered from Proper Cloth? If so I’d love to hear your thoughts/review below in the comments.