Monday, 15 April 2013

Tailor4Less Review: Part 3 of 3


To start off, I will mention that I received an email from the CEO of Tailor4Less.com regarding my earlier T4L reviews. He basically thanks me for testing them and writing a detailed review. He also assures me that T4L is working towards correcting some of the issues I had pointed out (he wasn't specific which ones) and said he looked forward to my review of their shirts.

In Part 1, I erroneously stated that T4L doesn't claim to sell top quality fabrics. I later found that the claim is made in large print on the "Our Fabrics" page (see below). As I described in Part 2, we know that their fabrics are far from being "premium".

A gross overstatement of the quality of T4L's fabrics.

I took all of my detailed measurements with the help of my fiancee (we watched all the videos, read the instructions, and took all the measurements two or three times just to be certain). The measuring took quite a bit longer than the website suggests, but there was nothing difficult about the process. 

I ordered two shirts, one in the "Manchester" fabric (light blue) and another in the "Mayfield" fabric (white). Both are 100% cotton. "Easy care" cotton is available, but costs a few dollars more. I own several cotton shirts that don't have these easy care features, so I didn't think it would be necessary. Of course, they have to be ironed after one or two wear-wash-dry cycles, but this is accomplished pretty quickly with my electric steam iron. 

T4L sent me an automated confirmation email right after ordering on 17 February 2013. A second email was sent when the shirts were shipped on 04 March, with an estimated delivery date of 09 March. I was pleasantly surprised to receive the shirts on 06 March. Shipping estimates are often too optimistic, particularly for international shipping, so it was nice to see that T4L at least gets your order to you quickly; in my case, just 17 days. 

The first thing I did was open the package to try on the shirts to see if they need tailoring. The fabrics felt a little thin, but not coarse, and overall seemed appropriate for a dress shirt. They had a bit of a strange smell, but I figured that there would be no issue after I laundered them. Unfortunately, the collar stays are sewn in, very thin, and rather flimsy. I didn't like that the top button and placket don't lie nice and flat when the collar's done up. However, this is partially hidden by a necktie, or is no issue at all if you go without the tie and leave the top button open. There are no garment care labels, but the package did come with garment care instructions (along with a coupon code for 10% off more stuff). Instructions are essentially to wash with like colours, dry with low heat, and iron with high heat. Basically, the identical instructions on all 100% cotton shirts that are not pre-shrunk and/or treated to be wrinkle-resistant. 

The fit was great, but not perfect. The shoulder seams aligned with my shoulders just right and the shirts were slim through the arms and torso. The collars were noticeably too large in the neck. This was partly my fault because I gave T4L a size about 6 mm (1/4") larger than it should've been just in case they screwed up and went too small, but also partly T4L's fault because they exceeded the measurement I gave them by about 6 mm (1/4"). The neck is not something that can be altered easily (and certainly not for the $15 USD credit T4L offers per shirt). The sleeves were a touch too long, but not enough to be concerned with altering them. On the other hand, the body length of the shirt was at least 25 mm (1") longer than is even reasonable for a dress shirt. The bottom of the shirt should not go past the crotch. Having more fabric to tuck in helps keep your shirt inside your pant waist, but it's hard to keep the shirt from bunching up around your seat and thighs if it is too long. I decided that the overall shirt length was something I could tolerate and the neck was partly my fault and couldn't be rectified anyway. It doesn't look too bad; there was just a bit more room around the neck than there should be. Pursuing the alteration credit seemed like it would be a hassle not worth my effort, so I decided to go ahead and wash the shirts.

I followed the washing directions exactly, but was very unhappy with the results. Remember that at this point, all I did was try on the shirts and then run them through a washer and dryer cycle. I noted threads coming loose at some seams, buttons, and buttonholes. A sure sign of very cheap construction is when your threads start coming loose after a single laundering. Next, I discovered that the damned things had shrunk despite being washed in cold water and dried at the low heat setting of the dryer. The sleeves were now perfect and the shoulders were a bit narrow. The overall length shrank, but still extends a little past my crotch. I couldn't measure any change in the collar size. Most disappointing of all was the complete lack of wrinkle-resistance. I own 100% cotton shirts that are NOT labeled wrinkle-resistant, but even if I go months without ironing one to let it get very badly wrinkled, I can probably iron it all out in 15 to 20 minutes. These shirts were very badly wrinkled after just a single wash and dry cycle. I spent 45 minutes ironing each of them! I even tried using more steam and increasing the temperature beyond the cotton setting into the range for ironing linen. After all that ironing, the shirts looked a lot better than when I first started, but they were still noticeably wrinkled.

Overall, the shirts were a terrible deal. They are undoubtedly going to wear out faster than anything else I own, even my $20 cotton dress shirt from Costco. They wrinkle far too easily and the time and effort needed to iron them is excessive. The time I waste ironing the shirts twice is worth more than I paid for them. 

It appears that T4L, in an effort to provide made-to-measure clothing at the most affordable prices, has resorted to shady practices bordering on fraud in order to make a significant profit while undercutting those competitors producing higher quality garments. They use to their advantage the fact that most consumers have little idea what makes a quality garment. T4L rightly focuses on fit, but then downplays the important roles of quality fabric and construction. To summarize my review, here's how T4L stacks up:

Pros
  • The information that T4L does give about their fabrics appears to be accurate
  • Measurements are easily obtained with the aid of T4L's videos
  • T4L has a perfect-fit guarantee
  • Shipping times are fast and the estimates appear to be accurate or perhaps even slightly conservative
  • Garments fit pretty well (this was my experience anyway, some folks on styleforum had issues)
Cons
  • No return policy
    • While they "guarantee" that the fit is perfect, it is the only thing they guarantee...you can be denied a refund if the garment's construction or material is substandard
  • Their perfect fit "guarantee" makes a mockery of the word
    • There is a very short window of opportunity to claim an issue with the fit
    • A remake can be done, but the customer is held responsible for the costs of all additional shipping, even if T4L made the errors to begin with.
  • Insufficient alteration credit. No tailor in the developed world will offer his or her services to make more than just very simple alterations on garments using T4L's maximum allowance
  • Garments do not have the proper garment tags which are a legal requirement in the developed world
  • Clothes shrink even when you follow T4L's instructions
  • T4L lies about the quality of their fabrics, claiming that they use "premium materials"
    • Their fabrics are cheap and thin, more typical of low-end clothing
  • In addition to outright lying, T4L is deceptive about their fabrics by withholding information. T4L gives only incomplete information about their fabrics
    • e.g. country of origin
  • Garments are poorly constructed
    • e.g. flimsy, sewn-in collar stays; threads coming loose after the first laundering; etc.
For more information about T4L (the stuff they don't want you to know), go to http://tailor4less-reviews.com.

7 comments:

  1. A friend who is about 6' 6" and about 470 lbs is considering tailer4less since he has tried numerous Big & Tall places on line and brick and mortar stores and none have suits to fit him. His suit as he tell me is wool, double-breasted and with an extra pair of pants and a double-breasted matching vest. The suit quote is about $500 US. His quote on shirts is about $90 each. Since he has been unsuccessful in finding a store to purchase a suit which fits him, would he choose well to purchase this suit which tailer4less says will fit him?

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    Replies
    1. The suit will probably fit, if not right out of the box then at least after they fix the problems on the flawless fit guarantee. However, it will not be a good quality suit.

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  2. Good morning from New Zealand,

    I just want to ask if you have reviewed Modern Tailor as well, because they are one of the top online suit stores that has competitive prices as well?

    Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, I haven't reviewed Modern Tailor.

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  3. The link to http://tailor4less-reviews.com/ does not appear to work. Any suggestions where to find similar reviews? My son is looking to buy a tailored suit, and I don't want him to spend his hard-earned money on something that's not going to fit

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    Replies
    1. Sorry that the link doesn't work, maybe the creator took down the site. I know that T4L was pressuring him to remove negative reviews. You can try http://tailor4less.pissedconsumer.com/

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  4. For any big and tall users. I ordered a suit prior to reading this review and will follow up. I'm a definitely big and tall guy and Modern Tailor has amazing fabrics and excellent construction at a reasonable price. But beware, if you buy cheap material there that is exactly what you'll get. the 20 dollar difference between a $79.00 2ply all cotton shirt and a $59 shirt is a world apart.

    Similarly I bought a few suits that were really inexpensive (on sale) and they were nice, hell I still wear them BUT the better fabrics are as nice as the custom tailor I formerly used.

    ReplyDelete