Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Buying Guide: The best value in shirting

The following is part of's annual Christmas Buying Guide


It's difficult to buy a shirt.

Part of the reason is there's a heap of custom shirtmakers, who in as little as a week or two can make a made-to-measure shirt with the exact details that special someone wants.

That can make it difficult to settle for something off-the-rack, especially when custom — be it made-to-order, made-to-measure or bespoke — is theoretically made to fit perfectly.  

Still, it's difficult to gift custom shirting for Christmas, unless you don't mind blowing the surprise by asking for measurements.

So when it comes to giving a shirt on the big day next week, one needs to look at value. And while everyone sells off-the-peg shirts, most of the big brands are very overpriced.

The exception is Lands' End, which by far offers the best value.

Best of all, you'll get a fit that is pretty darn close to custom — some of this correspondent's best-fitting shirts are off-the-peg from Lands' End — because Wisconsin-based catalog retailer has virtually every neck-by-sleeve size imaginable in three distinct cuts: traditional, tailored and slim.

The only complaint this correspondent has with Lands' End is a limited selection of collar choices, as it would be nice to have a few proper spread collars. (Pretty much every shirt features a button-down collar.)

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