Solosso MTM Shirt Review
“Courtesy Of” is a series on This Fits in which I write about products that have been gifted to me for review. While I strive to be objective, I think it’s fairer to you, the readers, if I disclose when I’ve received merchandise for free.
Note: Be sure to check out the exclusive This Fits promo code at the end of this post.
I’ve developed a bit of a reputation for a boring shirt collection, especially after I shared a picture of my nearly-monotone closet here and on Facebook:
Light blue shirts are the perennial favorites of #menswear enthusiasts everywhere, as they’re almost universally flattering and serve as reliable grounds for many jacket-tie pairings. When I started learning to dress well a few years ago, solid and striped blue shirts quickly formed the foundation of my wardrobe, as they’re hard to screw up.
All that blue can get boring and a bit formal, though, especially if—like me—you work in a more relaxed office environment where a sport coat is the upper limit of formality. As my taste and sense of style congeal, I’m finding that my wardrobe may benefit from more variety in my shirts.
So when Jan Klimo of Solosso approached me about reviewing one of their made-to-measure shirts, I decided to take the opportunity to venture out of my comfort zone and experiment with both color and pattern.
A Swiss-Singaporean company, Solosso’s shirts are made in Thailand. With so many online MTM operations producing shirts in Asia, Solosso seeks to distinguish itself by emphasizing an ethos of corporate social responsibility. While that term is almost thoughtlessly bandied about in the corporate world these days, I get the sense that Solosso really means it—it guides the decisions they make about every aspect of their business, from where they source their raw materials, to how they compensate their workers, to how they ship their product. It’s an interesting angle, but I’m honestly not convinced that it’s compelling enough to sway very many men from one online MTM company to another. The deciding factor is typically value for money, as measured by how well Solosso stacks up against their competitors in making a high-quality shirt at an affordable price. I can’t really evaluate their sustainability practices, but I can say a thing or two about their shirts.
I opted for a brown and purple check in an 80s 2-ply Egyptian cotton. I almost never wear ties during the week, leaving my shirt collar open, so I selected an unfused button-down collar in the hopes that it would create a nice roll. When I ordered the shirt, an unfused collar was a special request, but Solosso has since introduced it as an option in the design stage.
After choosing fabric and collar, it’s on to selecting your shirt details. Although I’m not thin, I choose the slim cut and a darted back after consulting with Jan. I also went with a chest pocket since it’s a more casual shirt, and an “enhanced” tail since I intend to always tuck it in. I selected a split yoke back as a bit of a test for Solosso: when well-executed, it should allow the patterns to line up neatly at the shoulder seams. Some people also contend that a split yoke offers a better fit in the shoulders, but that seems to be an advantage only for bespoke, where a tailor can adjust the shirt by hand to the unique contours of a client’s body. For their part, Solosso discounts the fit benefits of a split yoke and emphasizes the pattern-matching.
I requested a monogram, appreciating that Solosso lets you put one in the lower left above the belt line, my preferred position. To avoid previous bad decisions in regards to monogram thread color, I elected to go with “Match fabric” as the thread and let the tailor decide. Finally, Solosso allows and encourages custom requests in a notes area—along with the above-mentioned unfused collar, I also asked for longer collar points, hoping that would help enhance the collar roll.
As with most other online MTM companies, Solosso offers three methods of providing measurements: submitting body measurements, submitting measurements of a shirt that fits well, or sending in a shirt to be copied. As with previous online MTM companies, I opted to submit my own measurements. As always, I recommend having someone else measure you, rather than attempting to do it yourself. The measurements stage in Solosso’s ordering process is quite good, offering well-written descriptions and clear photos that show exactly how the measurement should be taken. Measurements can be entered in either centimeters or inches. I chose metric since I figured they’re a bit more precise, and perhaps the tailors in Thailand would be more familiar with them, but I’m not certain it mattered all that much.
That’s pretty much the entire order process. I got a shipment notification from Jan about two and a half weeks after placing my order. Shipping is free, and Solosso follows through on their commitment to sustainability by offsetting the carbon footprint of shipment through a partner organization. Shipped by DHL, the package left Thailand, routed through Europe, and arrived at my front door in just over three weeks. Thus, the total time from placing my order to delivery was almost six weeks. That seems a bit long compared to other online MTM companies I’ve dealt with, but it’s not the sort of thing I get upset over.
The packaging is the nicest I’ve seen from an online MTM shirt company: the overall impression is luxurious, no small feat given that the box is made with recycled paper. The shirt is wrapped in crepe paper held closed with a wax seal, a detail I liked. My package included their standard stainless steel collar stays with the shirt, although I have no need for them with a button-down collar. They also gifted me a white linen pocket square, monogrammed and with plump hand-rolled edges. I’m not sure if this is standard for all first-time customers or special treatment for me as a blogger, but it certainly was a nice gesture.
The shirt itself certainly seems well-made: the fabric is crisp, the stitching very fine and straight, and there are the sort of little details you expect in a quality shirt, such as gusseted side seams. The mother-of-pearl buttons on my shirt are nice, but kind of thin. It’s funny, though—before I could even mentioned that to Jan, he contacted me and asked whether I thought they should use thicker mother-of-pearl buttons. Naturally I said yes, and a few weeks later, Solosso announced that they’re rolling out thicker mother-of-pearl buttons as standard for all shirts. Nice!
I tried on the shirt after a wash. The slim fit isn’t too slim, so there’s no puckering or pulling under the arms or at the buttons. The sleeves, which I’ve messed up in the past on MTM shirts, are pretty close to ideal—maybe a half centimeter too long. I also wish the wrists were a bit tighter. These are nitpicks, though: overall the shirt fit very well, and it’s held up through several subsequent washes. I’m quite pleased.
I like how the collar rolls when the shirt is worn tieless, and as to with a tie … like Foo, I honestly have no idea what “good collar roll” is supposed to look like, so I’ll let you be the judge of that.
As for my experiment with color and variety—while the shirt’s fabric is nice, I don’t think the pattern looks very good on me. The check is dense, resulting in a muted overall tone, especially from a few feet away. I’m probably more flattered by something with more of the white ground showing, such as a tattersall or graph check. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s a lovely shirt, though, and it’s found its way into my weekly rotation.
Solosso made-to-measure shirts start at $89. My shirt—made of 2-ply Egyptian cotton and with an optional monogram—would normally be $129. Given the quality and the fit of the shirt I received, I’d say that’s a fair price—and that’s to say nothing of the additional benefit one might place on working with a company that seems to sincerely emphasize social responsibility.
As it happens, Solosso is running a “Buy 2, Get 1 Free” special on their shirts through the end of this week, with promo code BUY2GET1FREE. That means you can get three made-to-measure shirts for as little as $59 each—a tremendous value, if you ask me.
If you don’t needthree shirts, Solosso is also offering a generous discount to all This Fits readers. Simply use promo code THISFITS for 25% off your order through the end of April.
To start designing your own custom shirt, visit www.solosso.com.