Hands On: Alexander West

— Thu, 6th May 2010 —

Mr. Alexander West is on a crusade to single-handedly rid the world of ready-to-wear dress shirts. This affable young banker-cum-custom shirt-maker spends his days doing one-on-one consultations with clients who’ve had it with billowing fabrics, unflattering collars, and inferior construction. Customers can also order online, or send in their favorite shirts, which West will gladly recreate ad infinitum. (West even created a video tutorial showing how to correctly take your own measurements.) Depending on fabric choice — which number into the thousands — shirts range from $100 to $150. A deal, sure, but — if West has his way — a revolution to boot.

Fits like a glove out of the box and unpressed — Instant confidence

We’ve got nothin’ against West’s 2.7 mm-thick mother-of-pearl buttons (standard), but we love our dogs

Spread collar to compliment a long, narrow face

Double stitching — 18 stitches per inch — around the armholes for maximum strength

Happy camper

Photography by Mr. Chris Ribeiro

  1. Maybe its just me…but the sleeves appear too long and the arm holes should be slightly higher.

    tommy tuffnuts

  2. I agree with tommy – the sleeves are too long, and coupled with the low armholes it’s causing some pretty bad bunching around the elbows. I’m guessing by the end of the day the sleeves would be wrinkled quite badly.

  3. I’ve ordered quite a few custom shirts. From my experience, the best results are really from a custom tailor. Even then, you need to work out the kinks on the first shirt, and see how it fits after a few washes at the cleaners. My best experience has been with Leung’s Tailor on Lex near 91st. The shirts are $100 with their stock shirting (typically English, sometimes Italian); more for high end clothes.

    I agree with the other posters regarding the fit of the shirt pictured here.


  4. One more note: The HK tailors are fine, but I have had better experience with a local shop (in my case Leung’s) and the price has been comparable.


  5. To Chris and Tommy,

    Thank you for your comments!

    Sleeves should end at the thumb knuckle when the cuff is undone. This will prevent the shirt sleeve riding up above the wrist when a person raises his arm. I cut the shirt sleeve a little long for shrinkage allowance also. I have a feeling that this shirt was not washed before the picture was taken. It takes 3 to 5 washes for the interfacing and fabric to take its natural size.

    As for the armhole, I think it is fine since this is a business shirt. Business professionals prefer regular armholes for comfort while sitting at their desks. Higher armholes tend to be a little restrictive under the armpits. If this was a going-out shirt, I would agree with you guys.

    Depending on the client, all shirts should be cut differently. Also, fitting adjustments are the norm in a custom shirt process. Please feel free to comment with any other comments.

    Alexander West

    Alexander West

  6. You heard the man!

    Thanks for chiming in, Alex. Hope you’re well. I should have noted that the shirt was right out of the box, unpressed, ‘and’ unwashed. Shirt feels great to me, but I might come in for an adjustment simply for the experience.

    All the best,


  7. looks quite good! I agree that the sleeves appear a bit too long though. There is so many mtm shirt makers out there already, I discover a new one almost every week…

  8. I do not think that the shirts looks that good.It would be hard to tell that it was not a ready made verses custom or MTM..I do agree that you are best off with the shirt made in USA and with a professional clothier rather than an actual tailor.Find most tailors have very little idea about style which is what clothing is all about…This is only my professional opinion…

    horace greely

  9. Looks like they did a really poor job on that shirt. Definitely not bespoke quality. I’d go elsewhere for better.

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