On one of my many internet travels I came upon an interesting brand by the name of Biased Cut. I was instantly intrigued by the various array of spring and summer ready colors available and decided to dig deeper. What I had stumbled upon was another fledgling company looking to make a name for itself in the quickly expanding world of online made to measure shirting. I contacted the NYC based clothier and began an enjoyable dialogue with Eric, one of Biased Cut's owners. He described the operation as such...
"We (Annie, Jonathan, and I) began tossing the idea of Biased Cut around back last spring, when Jonathan and I were going to local NY fabric suppliers to buy our own materials and have them sent to Hong Kong for some inexpensive custom shirts. There were (and still are) obviously hundreds of quality shirt designers and manufacturers out there, but it's difficult to find anyone with the right combo of style, quality and price - and even if we did, it almost never fit. Once some co-workers and friends wanted to get in on this with us, we realized the potential size of the market, and thus Biased Cut was born.
There are many online custom shirt makers in existence today, and we feel they've really helped bring awareness to the customization options of shirts. But what we do differently is we also focus on simplicity and style, at an affordable price. Rather than overwhelming guys with too many shirting options, we'll do most of the work for you. Because as much as us bloggers might wish otherwise, most people don't have the time to stay up to date on all the fashion coverage and read all the blogs out there.
For the customer working in the corporate world of everyday dress shirts, we want to give him an opportunity to tastefully differentiate himself from the crowd. No more making the bi-monthly trip to Brooks Brothers to stock up on shirts that half of the office will probably be wearing, and don't even come close to fitting properly. Once you've entered your measurements with us, you can log on and purchase from our regularly updated collections with only a few clicks of the mouse - and 3 weeks later, your custom fit shirt is at your door.
For more casual purposes, I'd almost say we're trying to make men's contemporary fashion trends and styles more accessible. We love designers like Steven Alan, Billy Reid, Patrik Ervell, etc, and we want to take this type of fashion and combine it with custom fits, while keeping it at a reasonable price. We like to think we're helping blur the sartorial line between work and play here.
So, while our biggest objective is to introduce men to the awesome benefits of made-to-measure dress shirts (we sincerely believe that once you wear one you'll never go back to off-the-rack), we want to do it in style, and not price out the average guy. We believe in quality (see here for more), high value goods - and that shouldn't always equate to expensive."
Impressed with Biased Cut's staff and vision I decided to take their product for a test drive I was able to get my hands on two of their custom shirts, one of which was their "Perfect White" medium weight poplin and the other a heavy weight pink (much more Nantucket Red in person) oxford cloth. After a turn around of about two and a half weeks my shirts arrived.
What I now have in my possession are two great fitting and quality sport shirts. Eric was nice enough to walk me through the measuring process via email and despite what may seem like a process best fit for a tailor we were able to create a cut very much in the same vein as the shirts from the brands mentioned above. My Biased Cut shirts are trim fitting with just enough fabric to be comfortable, are equipped with high arm holes and finished off with a length that begs for untucking.
The quality of both shirts is also very impressive regardless of the fact that they are produced overseas. The collars are the beefy-est of any shirt I have ever owned and the fabric feels comfortable to the touch. The oxford's heavy weight lives up to its advertisement and the poplin breathes just enough to make it an any season option. A strange detail I should mention is the presence of a full-length box pleat on the back of both shirts. It appeared awkward at first, but now I am starting to kind of like how it differentiates the shirts from the countless others I own. As far as other details are concerned, Eric convinced me to go against my usual tendencies and go with some monograms. Luckily I went with his recommendation because the monogramming turned out to be my favorite part most likely due to its less traditional placement at the top of the left sleeve placket. I think I may just live up to my blogging moniker yet...
As online custom shirting brands continue to pop up everyday it's important to separate the good from the bad and the bad from the downright terrible. Biased Cut, much like blogosphere favorite Taylor Stitch, take their craft seriously and really care about making you look better. That's a pretty swell mission as far as I am concerned and I see myself reaching out to Biased Cut again in the future.
The most interesting thing about what Biased Cut is doing is making the process as easy as possible on a certain type of end user/customer. If you see yourself as a sartorial beginner or novice these guys are perfect for you. There are no swatches (yet), but instead a handful of pre-made shirt styles to keep the tough decisions at a minimum. Not everyone out there is a fabric/shirting geek and those of you who fall into said category deserve just as good of a shirt as us self-proclaimed know-it-alls. Next time your are considering dropping some of your hard earned dough on some off the rack garbage be sure to check out Biased Cut first.
Special thanks to Eric and the Biased Cut crew for sending the shirts my way in a timely manner and taking the time to put a great fitting, quality shirt on my back.