One of the areas I’m most vocal about when it comes to men’s fashion is the topic of tailoring. ‘Off the rack’ may equate to reasonable quality garments at sensible prices, yet they fail to give anything but a sub-par fit. Unless you happen to be a tailor’s dummy sporting perfect symmetry and a model-like physique, you’re never going to find the ultimate dress shirt and jacket without some kind of post-production alteration.
Tailor4less is one of a growing number of custom clothing retailers hoping to offer you something better than poorly designed ‘picked from the peg’ fare. Their service is designed to provide men and women with bespoke clothing on a budget; simply enter your measurements into the system, pick your fabric preferences and place your order. Then, two weeks later, your bespoke clothing will arrive tailored to your exact specifications, be it custom shirts, suits, jackets or coats.
As a guy with the world’s most misshapen body, it certainly didn’t take me long to realise the possibilities this holds. But does the service live up to the hype? Read on to find out more about what Tailor4less’ custom clothes service has to offer…
One area where Tailor4less excels is scope. With a huge selection of custom-built garments up for sale, your first obstacle is resisting the urge to order one of everything! From frock suits to overcoats, there’s something for all tastes and requirements.
What’s more, the range of fabrics is vast. Unlike some custom retailers, you have an enormous assortment of textiles to choose from. Thankfully for those overwhelmed by such selection criteria, you can easily alter and simplify your selection. With just a few mouse clicks you can isolate material based on season, texture, colour tone or special features.
If you want a wrinkle-free shirt with stripes that’s suitable for all year round usage, the system would highlight ‘Boulevard’ as its recommended fabric of choice; whereas, if you went for a more general option like grey pants in wool, you’d have roughly a dozen results including Sambach, Gurb, Massarosa and the limited edition Thitu.
Also up for customisation is stitching, lining and other miscellaneous options. If you want contrasting coloured buttonholes with electric pink thread it’s no problem; fancy red elbow patches on your dark camel coat? Just tick the relevant boxes.
While over-customisation can lead to the rapid accumulation of extra charges and disastrous style choices, having the ability to mix and match so freely is nothing short of absolute liberation and a real point of difference against the competition.
I’ll admit that browsing in the anaemic accessories department does feel slightly deflating after such extensive customisation options elsewhere (only six belts and six scarves at the time of writing), but this blip on an otherwise perfect selection can surely be forgiven.
The recently updated storefront is fresh and vibrant, and the ordering process is mercifully speedy considering the business at hand. Everything is laid out into simple, logical steps starting with basic criterion like fit, pleats, vents and so forth, before moving on to more specific choices regarding thread colour once the fabric has been chosen.
The only time-consuming element is the process of measuring, and even this can be expedited for those in a desperate hurry; personally I’d take the time to grab a good friend with a measuring tape and get the perfect dimensions for a definitive fit.
Most figures can be tweaked via sliders, and once you’ve entered your basic measurements – height, weight, body shape and age – the magical ‘guestimation’ algorithm returns eerily accurate suggestions on what the determined size should be.
In my experience, nearly every result came within half an inch of the actual sizing – only my ‘larger-than-average’ chest and ‘thinner-than-normal’ wrists meant tweaking was necessary.
For those clueless on how to hold, let alone use a tape measure, helpful videos have been provided to ensure perfectly gauged results every time. Each instructional vignette is short but clear and only takes a few seconds to load – perfect for impatient perfectionists such as myself.
Payment can be made through credit card or PayPal, and voucher codes can be entered before putting your details through the system; don’t forget to be on the lookout for discount codes on Tailor4less’ social media channels if you want to take advantage of some considerable reductions in price.
In all, the website presents a very pragmatic approach to custom tailoring that doesn’t shy away from handholding and offering assistance where you need it the most; great for men who want custom results without the hassle.
Postage, Packing & Delivery
Postage and packing is free for all orders over £100, with smaller orders requiring a minimal charge for shipping. Utilising a delivery courier service, you’ll undoubtedly need somebody available to sign for your order upon its arrival.
My order arrived two days after dispatch from Shanghai via DHL; I definitely wasn’t expecting such a swift response, and thankfully was available to accept delivery. Those of you unaccustomed to using tracking services will unquestionably need to keep a close eye on the status of your package.
The website quoted a lead-time of two weeks, but my order arrived on the doorstep in just twelve days; an incredibly swift service for any online custom clothing provider, and definitely a high bar for other e-tailors to match!
If there were a single grumble, it’d be the humble packaging; as a self-confessed packaging-obsessive, there’s nothing I like better than receiving a fancy looking box on the doorstep.
While sheathed in an eye-catching scarlet-coloured ribbon the unassuming, no-nonsense brown box felt somewhat pragmatic – a fancy embossed logo or seal wouldn’t have gone astray. Still, it pays to remember most savvy shoppers want to pay for fine fabrics and quality threads, not bubble wrap and packing tape; I’d hate to see Tailor4Less become Tailor4More due to unnecessary accoutrements.
The Final Product
My order consisted of a plain shirt in ‘Portush’ blue: no embellishments or coloured stitching – just a ‘run-of-the-mill’ practical shirt that wouldn’t crumble (or crumple) under the demands of a typical workday.
Although the colour turned out to be several shades darker than suggested given the website imagery, it was the sole issue I had with my order and something everyone should already be aware might happen. My request for ‘no pockets’ was duly supplied and the material’s high thread-count provided a sumptuously cosy texture.
In terms of construction, everything was spot on: a superb fit around my wrists, a flawless arm span, a generous chest and the perfect overall length: everything I was hoping for when entering my measurements. Whilst alterations can be arranged if necessary, I certainly won’t need any.
Tailor4less has definitely left a positive impression with me. Those gentlemen and women who suffer at the hands of ‘off-the-rack’ shopping – and let’s face it, who out there doesn’t have some sort of trouble spot?! – can discover excellent value for money and a great fit when shopping from Tailor4less. A great contender for your custom e-tailor of choice.