So far, our custom clothing play-offs have centred on discovering clear-headed, sober looking business garments; blue shirts and grey suits are all very well, but what about finding something with a little more ‘punch’ for the weekend?
J.J. Threads provides custom dress shirts with a difference. Forget your ‘run of the mill’ workday designs; here you’ll find a wealth of funky fabrics, textiles and designs for your informal wardrobe. So, if you fancy trading in plain for paisley, you may just find J.J.Threads is what you’ve been after to brighten up your casual closet.
J.J. Threads has an innovative ‘Buy, Make, Play’ philosophy. Essentially, you can select a pre-rendered design created by other users, create your own garment or alternatively have some randomly generated for you by the website itself.
The ‘Buy’ area allows you to pick designs created by others. If someone purchases one of these designs, the creator will be rewarded with $5 in J.J. cash towards their next purchase. It’s a cunning idea, and certainly entices you to spend a bit of time creating your own masterpiece in the ‘Make’ area. That said, I’d use a little caution when being seduced by these shirts – remember that popularity and good taste are two separate entities entirely.
The ‘Play’ mechanic is where things get more lighthearted. It’s an idea that works surprisingly well; by hitting the ‘Get Inspired!’ button you can produce a whole host of intriguing designs. Okay, not every single one of them is a winner – after all, each shirt is generated by a computer algorithm and not the human eye – but it still helps to kickstart your creativity when plunging into the ‘Make’ category.
‘Make’ is where the meat of the operation lies. Here you’ll be picking and choosing your own patterns, textures, colours and threads. There are a whole host of funky fabrics floating around here: abstract paisley, digital camo, honeycomb and arrows – the list of wild choices is sizable enough to make a truly unique shirt in seconds.
Everything can be customized, as you’d expect from an e-tailor. Stitching, cuffs, plackets and buttons can all be chosen from a healthy collection of styles and options. In fact, the only thing holding you back is your own imagination…
…Which may just be the key issue here. Too much of a good thing can lead to style disasters, and there are more than a number of possibilities in this regard. Caution is your friend, so always err on the side of simplicity when designing your signature collection.
The storefront is suitably featured and easy to use. The instantly updating previews are extremely useful for crafting your selections in the ‘Make’ category. The ‘lightbox’ help pop-outs contain genuinely useful information and help advise you of your choices.
Although not cluttered, the fanciful scheme can be a little busy at times, especially with all the sharing, saving, tick boxes and so forth. Still, that’s not to suggest the site is anything but simple and easy to use.
On a personal note, I felt the high resolution previews were particularly useful, giving you a far better idea of your likely result than the typical low-resolution fare offered by most e-tailoring sites.
Postage & Packing
Your shirts will be sent via a courier (in my case FedEx). J.J. Threads offers free shipping and will dispatch to twenty-five countries. Typically, your order should be processed in around 48 hours and shipped within 7-10 working days, though it may take a little longer when you consider public holidays.
My shirt took less than two weeks to reach me from the time I hit the checkout, which was very good considering the order was placed during the Christmas period.
Upon arrival, the J.J. Threads box featured a rather tasteful metallic embossed logo on the front, with a restrained level of packing material inside. One nice touch are the metal pin clips, each branded with the company logo on the front and rear; in terms of presentation it’s great to see such attention to detail. If purchasing as a gift, the overall packaging would definitely be suitably sumptuous for a recipient in my opinion.
My choice of shirt was centred around a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ motif. On the outside you have Tavarua – a simple, light, understated shade of lavender. This is contrasted with Hamlet – a dark skull and crossbones design with a punk-rock zest – for the trim. I wanted something that’d be great for a date, but also give you the opportunity to show off a little danger with the upturned cuffs.
In terms of fit and comfort, the shirt was a little snug but perfectly viable. If ordering again, I’d probably choose a different style of fit to combat this. The colour was a little more vibrant than expected, but again, not a huge disappointment.
The fabric quality was very good, and the custom elements were just as expected including the beautiful silver on the buttons.
If you want to branch out from the formal side of e-tailoring and into the casual market, then J.J. Threads is a great starting point. Whether you’re looking for something to satisfy your ‘first date’ needs or a ‘stag party’ weekend, you can start crafting your ultimate play-shirt today.