Custom shirting outposts are everywhere these days, but European-headquartered Hockerty (formerly Tailor4Less) has been around since 2008. And while many focus on high-end fabrics and finishes with prices to match, Hockerty targets the basics at an affordable price point. How does their basic sub-$60 dress shirt stack up?
Update: In 2017, Tailor4Less changed its name to Hockerty. This post has been updated to note the name change. Hockerty continues to offer a $59 shirt.
Getting to know Tailor4Less
In the summer of 2008, Tailor4Less’ CEO, Andreu Fernández, was traveling in Shanghai, where he found good quality menswear at a very reasonable price. Once back in Europe, he looked for a way to continue to buy those clothes directly. Two months and a couple of trips to China later, Tailor4Less was launched in Barcelona.
Today, the company provides custom suiting and shirting for men worldwide to more than 50 countries via operations in Barcelona, Zurich and Shanghai, with prices that start at $59 for dress shirts and $269 for wool suits.
Last year, Tailor4Les introduced a female line via www.sumissura.com, which they expect to grow as a percentage of overall sales over the coming year.
The online experience is no-frills. Customers jump right in on the website, selecting shirt options before choosing a shirting fabric.
Options are limited — Customers can choose from seven shirt collars (though two of them are the Mandarin and wingtip collars, which leaves only 5 traditional options), back pleats (none, center of side), and a standard, French or hidden placket, and can opt for a two-button collar popular in Europe.
The website doesn’t offer much in the way of handholding and some of the options could use further explanation. Not everybody knows what a Kent or a rounded collar is, and even if they do, specific collar lengths can vary depending on the manufacturer.
Consumers can also add a couple of customizations – such as embroidery, customizing neck and cuff options, adding elbow patches, or adding colored button holes and threads or chest pleats.
Perhaps the most glaring omission in the shirt designer is the ability to choose removable collar stays over their standard sewn-in variety. Tailor4Less confirmed that removable collar stays is not an option, which is maddening.
The self-measuring process, which follows the shirt designer, was easy to navigate. Customers can either have Tailor4Less estimate their measurements for them by providing a couple of basic details (height, weight, age), or enter in their own measurements in 8 steps, following detailed and helpful instructions.
Tailor4Less provided a basic white dress shirt at no cost to Modern Fellows for the purpose of a review.
Like the tie? It’s from House of Ties.
Importantly, Tailor4Less managed to get the shirt mostly right the first time out of the box, which some of the higher-end outfits aren’t always able to do.
For $59, the shirt is decent quality and a good value. The stitching is clean and the shirt has held up to repeated laundering, though some puckering has appeared around the buttons. The fabric isn’t Thomas Mason, but at that price point one shouldn’t expect it to be.
The shirting is designed by Tailor4Less’ marketing and product teams in Barcelona and hand-made by their tailors in Shanghai, China out of private label fabrics sourced from Australia, Italy and China.
The real promise of the company is the extent of the selections under $100, including basics at $59. Tailor4Less’ catalog stretches to over 130 shirting fabrics. (One tip: Click on the magnifying glass that accompanies each fabric. It provides additional details on the fabrics, including texture, finish and weight in grams.)
Customer service & alterations policy
Tailor4Less promises (and delivered) an impressive 15 day-turnaround time after ordering to your door.
Their alterations policy states –
If your garment does not fit, Tailor4Less will cover your product alterations up to 45€ per product. If your local tailors cannot fix it, we will produce another garment from scratch with your new measurements. Our agents will be happy to help you get your proper measurements and find the best solutions as soon as possible.
The company followed up by email with a survey about the experience, which was a nice touch.
If you can live with a limited number of customization options and sewn-in collar stays, the basic $59 Tailor4Less dress shirt is a step above off-the-rack at an attractive price point. Modern Fellows can’t speak to the suiting.
Custom dress shirts from $59 and suits from $269.
How to order
About JakeJake is passionate about exploring entrepreneurs' global journeys. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs behind the innovative brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine, and has provided analysis on international business for BBC Radio, NBC News, CNN and Time Magazine.
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