Made to Measure—or MTM clothing has been raging for quite some time. And it makes sense—men and women alike have been dealing with ill-fitting clothes since, well, clothes became a thing.
While the trend has been around for a little while, the uptick in shops like Blank Label signal that we want out clothes to fit better. Why spend money on something you need to either feel weird about wearing or —we all want better fit—just at a reasonable price point.
Often men, even those with a solid streetwear game, aren’t quite sure how to find a suit that fits correctly— or how their trousers are supposed to fall—but ultimately, want to dress better.
With competitors like Alton Lane and Bookatailor, it’s clear that Silicon Valley is starting to take menswear more seriously. And, there’s evidence that millennials are getting fed up with the likes of H&M, Zara, and other fast fashion mainstays.
What Blank Label Does Best
As we mentioned, Blank Label allows you to customize your heart out. But, where they stand out is their shirt selection. Shoppers have the option of selecting from best-selling designs or starting the process from scratch. Start with the fabric, select buttons, and your favorite cuffs and collars--build a shirt that looks and fits just the way you want.
You’ll have the option of measuring yourself at home, sending Blank Label a piece of clothing that’s the ideal fit, or going into a retail store and getting measured on the spot.
Blank Label isn’t the cheapest option out there, but you’re paying for the type of item you’ll wear for a long time, provided your size doesn’t change. We like this brand, as it gives men the opportunity to customize all parts of the piece—not just the hemline. So, you’re able to find the perfect pair of jeans, a cashmere winter coat that fits like a glove, and a range of dress shirts you’ll wear to death.
What’s the In-Store Experience Like?
Pricing is similar to Brooks Brothers and the like, but the actually shopping experience feels more like a service, not just a hem job in the back of the store. Like Alton Lane, shoppers get a one-on-one experience that elevates the brick and mortar above the standard online shopping experience.
The Boston-based tailor staffs a team of tailors who will guide you through the process—helping you select fabrics and styles, and do a comprehensive measuring. From there, they’ll clue you in on topics from venting and canvassing to pick stitching and wool weaves.
That said, patience is a virtue in the world of MTM fashion. After you’ve gone in for your fitting, the tailors send your specifications off to Blank Label’s Shanghai partners. There, they’ll cut and stitch your new pieces and send them out within three weeks.
What Else Should You Buy Here?
Blank Label is a brand geared mostly toward the man who looking to build a foundational wardrobe. The online store offers things like the dress shirts mentioned above, as well as chinos, suits, and even denim.
Aside from the solid shirt selection, Blank Label is definitely a suiting destination. Shoppers have the option of buying suiting separates or creating the full suit. Trousers start at $190, while jackets start at $560. The bulk of the suiting separates are classic neutrals, black, navy, and pinstripes. But, seasonal sport coats add a bit of variety into the mix. Final pricing depends on customization—do you want monogramming, canvassing?
Not Fast Fashion
As with anything custom, patience is a virtue. But, more virtue lies within the whole made to order business model. It’s often more expensive, but you’re going to get the thing you want. We can’t speak for how you’ll feel about a flashy fabric down the road, but knowing the fit is right is an excellent first step.
So what is it about MTM that makes for an eco-friendly fashion experience? It’s not woven help materials in shades like oatmeal and natural—though, hey, it could be. It’s more about not using more than is needed. The traditional retail model, even at the higher end cuts a bunch of shirts and hopes they sell later on.
Blank Label is a brand designed with a level of separation from the fast fashion default, and we think that, in addition to the deep roster of customizable shirts, makes this brand worth a try.