Photograph by Andrew Bettles. Styling by Janine Trott for M.A.P.
For a lot of guys, the search for an off-the-rack dress shirt that fits perfectly can be a frustrating business. The 16/32 that pinches in one store may hang below your knees in another. And when you do find a brand that fits, they go and change the cut on you. Until now, made-to-measure seemed like a prohibitively expensive option, but a handful of new do-it-yourself online shirt shops are democratizing what was once a sartorial luxury. Here, three of the best. Courtney Colavita
Price Range: $49 to $169
Go There For: An almost overwhelming range of traditional options, from modestly priced weekend button-downs to classic boardroom dress shirts.
Be Prepared To: Make some decisions—and know your measurements. This old-school shop can work with three but encourages you to give many more. A representative will flag any inconsistencies and follow up with you by phone.
Price Range: $80 to $95
Go There For: Affordable quality—although fit and design choices are comparatively limited.
Be Prepared To: Answer a series of intuitive questions about your body shape and the sizes you currently wear. The site's proprietary technology then figures out the right shirt for you.
Price Range: $95 to $150
Go There For: Craftsmanship and an extensive selection of fabrics and patterns for both casual and business needs. An easy-to-use interface changes in real time with your choices to show you exactly how your finished shirt will look.
Be Prepared To: Fill out a thorough measurements form—here, too, if anything looks off, someone will contact you to review your order.
THE ONLINE CHEAT SHEET
With options as low as $49, you no longer have to compromise on the fabric, collar, cuff, pocket, or even placket you desire.
Measurements: Measuring yourself involves a mirror, patience, and the flexibility of an Olympic gymnast. Though most of the sites provide detailed instructions on how to map your coordinates, play it safe and ask a tailor for help.
Selection: The design process can seem like a daunting task, so go in with a game plan. Study your favorite shirt, and do some basic research. Be prepared to answer questions like "Barrel square cuffs or French round?" And know your point collar from your spread.
Fit: It may take some trial and error to get your shirt up to Savile Row specs, but returns and adjustments are easy, and once you get it right, you're off the hook. Your data is stored in a "digital closet," so the next time all you'll have to do is pick a color and click.