I was recently contacted by Jan Klimo of Solosso, who asked if I was interested in trying out one of their shirts. As many of my readers know, I have tried several made-to-measure (MTM) shirting companies in the past, but the amount of companies that perform this service has grown wildly and they now are available at every pricepoint and with a myriad of customization options, making it almost impossible to see the differences in companies. I have stopped experimenting with these companies for the most part; not because there are no better options, but because I have found a company that works for me and don’t want to start the MTM process over. Although Solosso is fairly straightforward in many ways, one aspect that caught my attention was their dedication to eco-friendly and sustainable practices. As someone who studied “cradle-to-grave” lifecycle analyses of products in school (hooray engineering!), I find the amount of materials and energy that go into creating the products surrounding us staggering and somewhat frightening. Solosso’s efforts in creating a transparent and environmentally responsible company are definitely noteworthy. The only other clothing company I know of that has a similar dedication to sustainable practices is Glass House Shritmakers out of Chicago.
As for the MTM experience, the ordering process is similar to many others. I chose to measure an existing shirt to create my template, as I find that this is far and away the most reliable way to translate sizing information across the internet. Giving body measurements means that the company must translate your physical size into their “house” cut, which may or may not fit like you intended. When I order a MTM garment from a company for the first time I measure 3 or 4 garments and take average measurements, assuming that they all are of similar size and shape. This method worked well here, as the finished product fits exactly as I expected. It is very difficult to photograph the fit of a lone shirt, but I did my best here. The fit is comfortably full, but not billowy. Some might prefer a closer fit, but I like a bit of space in my dressier shirts that are to be worn under a jacket. All in all, I wanted to check the accuracy of their cutting, and it seems to be quite true. If you desire a different fit then I’m sure they could provide it, assuming that you start with accurate measurements.
In terms of customization options, Solosso’s are fairly standard. There are not an overwhelming amount of choices, but there is the advantage of a “notes” section that seems to be taken fairly seriously. I tested it out by requesting a unfused and lightly lined collar and cuffs, and sure enough, this request was accommodated. Compare this to, say, Proper Cloth; although they have more options to choose from, the same request for a collar alteration could not be made (I’ve tried).
One thing I would like to see improved is for a bit more information to be given regarding the fabric and customization options. The amount of information given regarding fabric and collar styles, for instance, is minimal, and I think that more detail in that regard would help guide decisions. For instance, I picked the “English Spread” collar, but upon receiving it found that it appeared much more like a semi-spread or point collar than the wide spread I was imagining. The collar is not bad at all, but had exact collar specifications been available I might have chosen another option. I have no doubt that this information could be obtained by contacting the company, but it would be nice to have it readily available.
Overall, the quality of the fabric and construction are on par with the nicest MTM shirts I own. The fabric is light, soft, and easy to wear. The stitching is clean and strong. The mother-of-pearl buttons, although thin, have held up well thus far (MOP buttons come standard, for the record). They are also attached with a knot under the shank and feel quite solidly attached.
Solosso’s prices start at $89, including international shipping. As far as I can tell, this is a very competitive price for what they are offering. They are also running a promotion that knocks 50% off your first shirt with the code “HELLOSOLOSSO”. At that price, I’d say that their shirts are a steal. Whether you need to try a new MTM shirt company (or need one at all) is something that only you will know, but Solosso is definitely worth looking into.