M&S shirt beats Savile Row made to measureM&S tops Which? made-to-measure online test

19 November 2008

Being measured by a professional

It's best to ask someone else to take your measurements

A Marks & Spencer (M&S) made-to-measure shirt costing £30 has topped a Which? quest to find a well-fitting shirt. 

In our assessment of three online made-to-measure shirt services, we found the M&S offering beat a Savile Row online made-to-measure tailored shirt costing £135 more.

For these online services, the customer takes their own measurements and enters them into a form online, then chooses the cut and fabric.

Made to measure

Which? compared the fit of three online made-to-measure tailored shirts from 40 Savile Row, M&S and the Tailor Store  against an off-the-peg M&S shirt, bought according to neck size. Our researcher ordered the simplest online made-to-measure shirt available according to measuring guidelines given on the respective shirt stores' websites. 

The model for the test was Pete Tynan, the product manager of Which? local service recommendation site, Which? Local. At 5ft 6in tall - well below average height - and with a 17in neck size, Pete has trouble finding shirts to fit him. 

The M&S online shirt tailoring service asks for collar size, age, height and weight and uses 'biometric technology to work out the correct size and fit' for its made-to-measure shirts. The Tailor Store and 40 Savile Row ask for several more measurements.

Shirt results

Following the blind test of how well each shirt fitted, model Pete and an expert tailor from Redwood and Feller ruled out the M&S off-the-peg shirt as 'too big everywhere', and felt the 40 Savile Row shirt lacked shape and had sleeves that were too long.

The Tailor Store's shirt was highly rated for fit but, in the expert tailor's opinion, was cut a little too snugly to allow for shirt shrinkage in the wash; this meant M&S's made-to-measure shirt was the best fitting in our test. 

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