The Solosso Custom Made Shirt Giveaway

It’s always a challenge to find great fitting, well made clothing at affordable prices. With shirts, that challenge is even higher. You wouldn’t think it possible with all the “custom made clothing” services that emerged on the Internet in recent years. Reality is that usually only a glimpse over the images of the clothing offered at these services is enough to make you look for the close button in your web browser.

We were, therefore, pleasantly surprised when we learned of Solosso – a company that indeed provides high quality custom tailored shirts. Admittedly we haven’t had the opportunity to inspect their shirts by hand, but you can tell from the information and images on the website that they have all the marks of high quality shirts: fine fabrics, mother-of-pearl buttons, pattern matching, single needle stitching, removable collar stays, split yokes, and gussets.

solosso-material

Another feature that separates Solosso from the bunch is that their manufacturing practices maintain socially responsible and environmentally sound methods. Solosso uses recycled packaging, buttons are made from pearls which were grown on farms, not harvested and they contribute to the Carbonfund.org to offset CO2 footprint from the shipping.

solosso-shirt

The process of ordering a shirt is fairly simple: customer creates his shirt from the start, choosing the fabrics and fit along with optional custom design elements like a monogram or an alternative fabric on an inner cuff or collar. With easy measurement guidelines and perfect fit guarantee there’s minimal chance of something going wrong.

Solosso approached us with the idea to give out one custom tailored shirt 100% free to one lucky reader of MensFlair.com which we happily accepted. With Father’s Day approaching they also decided to give 20 USD off the purchase to anyone using the code: FATHERSUNITED2011, until the end of June.

For a chance to win the shirt do one of the following:
1) Follow or retweet on Twitter, 2) Like or share on Facebook, or 3) Subscribe our mailing list at the top right corner. Then simply comment to this article telling us you did it. The winner will be picked via Random.org.

This is our first giveaway and there are no freebie hunters around so you’ll have a high chance of winning the shirt. The giveaway ends 10th June at 12:00 PM (EDT). Enter today!

Made To Measure Suiting at Stephan Shirts: Part 3

mtm-db-suit

As of this moment, I am a very happy man.

Why? You might ask (even if you didn’t ask I’m going to tell you).

On Saturday I visited Erlend Norby at Stephen Shirts to try on my new made-to-measure suit. You might remember we had Part 1 and Part 2 over 5 weeks ago now. Well, the suit was made up and Erlend wanted me to come in and try it on.

As I stated before, made-to-measure gets a bad rap, deservedly so in most cases. But, and it’s a big but, it does have one advantage over bespoke, namely price. Of course you’re only getting a good deal if what you’re paying for is worth the money. At a starting price of £495, the service Erlend provides is most definitely value for money. The suit is not quite finished, but this is where Erlend’s credentials as a trained Savile Row cutter and tailor once again come into their own.

mtm-scan-db

If you remember we deliberately chose a difficult design for this commission, a Kent style 4×2 Double Breasted. The difficulty comes not only in the button placement but getting a soft roll to the lapel, something normally only available with bespoke, because of the need for handwork to stitch in a floating canvas. However, Erlend uses one of the few manufacturers with machines capable of replicating this handwork, and is thereby able to provide a full floating canvas. We added additional complications by making it soft shouldered and cutting two different styles of trouser.

The reason Erlend wanted me in was to get the button placement exactly right so he could then cut the buttonholes. This is all part of the normal care he takes with any commission and while he doesn’t have second fittings as such he is able to make any alterations. Indeed, as he put it to me, “I could completely take the suit apart and rebuild it if necessary. There’s really nothing we can’t alter or fix”. Now, you don’t get that with most made-to-measure providers.

mtm-db-side

Well we did make a few additional alterations. You can possibly make out the tailors chalk where Erlend is going to take a little more cloth out of the chest and improve the armhole further. There was also a little more cloth across the back than he thought there should be, and the same with the jacket skirt where it meets the jacket flap. But these are minor adjustments which take excellent to perfect.

So far everything has exceeded my highest hopes. The softly tailored shoulders are perfect, the first time I’ve ever owned a jacket that was. Despite putting on a bit of weight these last few years, he managed to provide some waist suppression. The sleeves are wonderfully narrow, which makes a bigger difference to the illusion of being svelte than you’d imagine. Both pairs of trousers are exactly what I wanted particularly the Italian styled flat front pair with narrower legs. Flat front trousers are the ruination of bigger built men, so the fact these looked so good is a testament to Erlend’s skill.

I pick up the finished product on Friday.

The Sartorialist’s Summer Dream, Pt 2: The Alternative Summer Season

In my last posting I highlighted some of the opportunities open to you for a little summer time glamour.

In an increasingly informal world, where men are commonly seen going out to dinner in jeans and t-shirts, it’s nice to know there are places where classic standards of dress still pertain, and that some people are prepared to make the effort.

In England we are spoilt for choice. While my last post highlighted those for the formal season, if you like your entertainment a little less stuffy, and a little cheaper, you might want to consider the unofficial season.

The Blitz Party, 4th June 2011

blitz-party

As the name suggests, the Blitz Party is a celebration of the style and music of Britain’s War years (1939-45). We’re talking uniforms Swing bands, sand bags and glad rags. Glamour and danger often go hand in hand and people largely overlook what a stylish era this was. Not only were two thirds of the country in uniform but even in this time of great danger people still dressed in black tie for dinner. And don’t get me started on the women. Fantastic. Think Ruby red lipstick and silk stockings with black seams up the back.  Hats were still in vogue as were three piece suits and rakishly cut double breasted’s. As you can see from the website people really make the effort, and while many men take the opportunity to dress up like RAF Spitfire pilots I think I’ll be going black tie.

Prohibition 1920s, 11th June 2011

prohibition-summer

In the same vein as The Blitz Party and organised by the same people, the Prohibition 1920s is an opportunity to connect with your inner Wooster. Black or White Tie seems the most appropriate option for true gentlemen.

The Chap Olympiad, 16th July 2011

the-chap-olympiad-summer

Organised by those fine fellows at The Chap Magazine and the folks behind The Blitz Party, the Chap Olympiad is an annual event held in London’s Bedford Square  – no expensive stadium and Olympic Village for these folks.  A perfect occasion for strutting your tweed and doffing your hat to a fine filly or two, the Olympiad is a celebration of English eccentricity. Attendees are invited to picnic and partake in such events as tossing the plate of cucumber sandwiches, the pipe smokers relay and the three legged trouser race. Alternatively you can relax and enjoy live music, side shows, sporting ineptitude and fine facial hair.

Strictly a ticket only affair, they’re currently on sale at Ticketweb for a reasonable £15. Revellers are expected to get into the spirit of the event by dressing the part, which all adds to the gayety.

Goodwood Revival, 16th-18th September 2011

goodwood-revival-summer

Rather less tongue in cheek and a bit more formal, The Goodwood Revival is the largest historic race meet in the World. This spectacle is made all the more real by the dress code. Most go in period dress as do all the drivers, mechanics and race officials. Tweed tends to be the order of the day here, although the last time I went I sported a classic blazer and trilby. Being a motorsport and classic car enthusiast this is one my favourite summer events. The racing is real, as is the glamour. This is one of those rare occasions when you’d feel silly for not making an effort.

You may think all these things sound and seem a little silly. So what, I say. It’s a rare pleasure to be in the company of people who want to look good and who actually enjoy themselves doing it.