Review: Are Woodies Custom Performance Dress Shirts Worth Your Money?

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Learn why I’m making room in my closet for Woodie’s custom-made smart casual performance button down shirts in this review.

Since I started Modern Fellows in 2012, online custom men’s clothing has been a key interest. For me, suits, button down shirts and pants don’t always fit right off the rack, and the promise of finding quality online custom tailors who can make ordering clothing made just for me with a couple of clicks is appealing. Let’s see if Woodies lives up to that promise.

About Woodies Clothing

Woodies Clothing occupies a unique niche in custom men clothing. While other online custom tailors like Proper Cloth, Indochino and Black Lapel focus on professional and business casual attire, Woodies focuses squarely on made-to-measure smart casual clothing.

“Think custom organic jeans, stretch washed chinos, super soft flannels, and fun patterns,” Woodies’ Founder Jacob Wood told me in an earlier interview.

Since the pandemic, Woodies has put a huge emphasis on made-to-order button down performance shirts and pants for guys. “Our assortment is much more casual than it used to be and we’ve leaned heavily into performance fabrics that our customer has really loved,” Jacob told me.

This focus on performance clothing addresses a key need for guys: A men’s style survey from Modern Fellows found that men love dressing up, but almost nobody wears a suit to work. Nearly 80% of guys are enthusiastic about workleisure clothing and custom suiting, but less than 4% are required to wear formal business attire to the office.

Photo credit: C. Colvin

Review: Woodies’ Performance Dress Shirt

I had the chance to review Woodies’ heathered chambray performance shirt. (I received the shirt at no cost from Woodies for the review, though I have separately purchased other garments from Woodies with my own money.)

Jacob said his top priority in designing performance dress shirt was to make them look like a traditional dress shirt — just “packed with an incredible amount of comfort, durability and breathability.”

Here’s what I found:

Ease of Ordering Custom Shirts from Woodies

Woodies aims to make it as easy as possible to find your custom fit and get on the road to making custom clothing as easy to order as a pair of socks.

First, you’ll create your custom size profile. Woodies asks you to enter your height, weight, average shirt size, neck circumference, sleeve length, waist, and inseam, and answer a couple of questions about your body shape, posture and preferred fit. The interview takes about 5 minutes if you have the information handy and — voilà! — you’re ready to order your first shirt.

I found that interview gave me an exceptional fit for my shirts right out of the box. If the interview doesn’t produce a perfect fit the first time, Woodies will make the adjustments to your first order, update your size profile and send you a remade garment.

Customizing My Performance Dress Shirt from Woodies

Once Woodies has nailed your fit, placing an online order for custom clothing from them takes about the same amount of time as buying from Nordstrom.

Woodies doesn’t overwhelm you with a million options, which makes ordering a straightforward experience though may frustrate someone looking for 13 collar options and to dive into the minutia of thread color. I chose a mini-button down collar to give the shirt a more casual feel (and because I hate high button down collars) and a single-button barrel cuff. (I declined the pocket and monogram.)

A couple of weeks later, I received my new performance shirt at home.

One of the promised benefits of performance shirting is that you can ball it up and it’ll still look good. I decided to put it on and take pictures right out of the box to test how it performed.

Photo credit: C. Colvin

The shirt fit perfectly out of the box, and the collar and cuffs were sturdy but not stiff. Overall, I thought it looked clean and uncreased, with the exception of one fold along the bottom (which you can see in some of the photos in this article). I went downstairs and got immediate compliments from my family about shirt (who will always tell me what they really think about an outfit).

One gripe I have from some of the performance shirts I’ve tried from other companies is that they are tight and clingy. Woodies’ chambray performance shirt did not suffer from that problem. It draped well and felt cool on a 90 degree day in Washington, DC.

“That’s where we really excel,” Jacob told me. “Most performance dress shirts are designed by athleisure companies, and look like a performance shirt. You wouldn’t think about wearing a tie or suit with those shirts…But we’re a tailored wear company, and you can absolutely dress our shirts up, and they look like dress shirts.”

Woodies’ performance shirt is made entirely from a pleasantly-soft “premium mechanical stretch polyester.” Another benefit — you don’t have to take it to the dry cleaner. You can wash in the cold cycle and hang to dry.

Photo credit: C. Colvin

How Much Do Woodies’ Custom Performance Shirts Cost?

Last I checked, Woodies’ Custom Performance Dress Shirts cost $115.

Are Woodies Custom Performance Shirts Worth Your Hard-Earned Money?

As long as you are willing to put the (minimal) effort in to perfect your custom fit, Woodies’ performance dress shirts are a worthy investment. With the feel of a traditional dress shirt, fewer wrinkles and more breathability, Woodies’ performance dress shirts may even turn skeptics of workleisure clothing into believers.

Next Up: Performance Pants

Jacob told me that Woodies is relaunching their performance bottoms collection with a performance chino, 5 pocket pant and jogger. The company has developed a new performance pant fabric they are really enthusiastic about. “We’ve been testing the product for 6 months now with a round of beta testers and the feedback has been resoundingly positive,” he said.

About Jake

Jake is an expert on men’s style and fashion based in Washington, DC. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs and innovative clothing and lifestyle brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. He has published hundreds of articles on style and apparel, and regularly interviews small business CEOs and startup founders about industry trends. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine.

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