Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Custom (MTM) Shirt; Part 2

s soon as I had picked out my fabrics, it was time to be measured. Having been used to choosing shirts based on collar and sleeve length alone, I was quite unprepared for the intense measuring process.  Shoulders, forearms, both wrists, three chest measurements, individual arm length, neck, etc...  When it came to wrist measurements, I was asked if the watch I was wearing would be worn with these shirts.  Upon my affirmative answer, the wrist with the watch was measured separately as if the watch was an additional part of my wrist.  Arm measurements were staggering - my left arm was nearly an inch longer than my right.  I was asked if I wore my shirts tucked, if I preferred a slim fit, and more.  Mr. Chang takes his shirts seriously.

After working out measurement details, a few drawers were opened and out came a myriad of collar styles, followed by countless cuff styles.  As I made my choices, all information was carefully recorded in Chinese for the makers.  One small attribute that I found necessary to customize was the buttonhole on the forearm.  Typically, it's cut in the same direction of the forearm.  This is easier for the shirtmaker as the button placement does not have to line up as neatly - if it's off a hair here or there the length of the buttonhole compensates for misplacement.  Since I knew of the quality of Ascot Chang, I had them cut the buttonhole perpendicular to the forearm which I prefer and appreciate.  Monogram?  No thank you.  Forearm buttonhole for the one French cuff shirt?  Pass.  Each answer appeared to please Mr. Chang, and whether it really did or did not, it was very reassuring.

At this point, it was well past closing time, although none of the sales staff even hinted of this.  I could have taken all the time in the world and I felt they would have been glad to accommodate me.   Mr. Chang thanked me for my order and explained he would be in touch with me in two weeks when the test shirt was completed.

Without fail, my test shirt arrived from Hong Kong within the promised two week period.  It was ironed and prepared for my visit.  Upon trying it on, all seemed well, but Mr. Chang asked that I bring it home, wear it, wash it, and wear it again.  Collar and cuff sizes were to shrink up to a half inch, and I was advised to test their fit before the other shirts were made.  I did this, and after washing the right sleeve did indeed feel a bit short.  Another visit with Mr. Chang corrected this, and subsequently the other shirts were made and shipped.  They were perfect.

With my measurements on file, I can order more shirts at any time by stopping in and choosing new fabrics, or by calling in an order for the fabrics I had already chosen (keep your receipt!).  On the next visit, I hope to look into customizing other features such as button hole stitch colors an the like.  One thing is for certain - Ascot Chang's care and consideration for my small shirt order will make me a loyal customer for a long time to come.

--A

1 comment:

  1. I always prefer custom shirts or custom suits, It look good and feel great to me.

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