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Thread: Spier and Mackay Shirts Review

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    Spier and Mackay Shirts Review

    A couple of months ago a dappered member posted a question about Spier and Mackay. There was limited information online about them but a few posts on SF forum were positive about their experiences. I made a purchase during a promotion in March and decided to write up a review since they have such little presence in online blogs and forums. I've included a referral link at the end of the write-up, but feel free to ignore it.



    Numbers
    Me: 6’2, 185-190, lean/muscular build, 8 inch drop (42R, 34 x33.5).
    Shirts: 15.5 Slim Fit, Blue Troyes Gingham, Navy Rainford Check, and Lavender Alyth Solid. All with semi-spread collars. The OTR shirts are based on collar size and fit fit (classic, contemporary, and slim) and do NOT have sleeve length options.
    Retail: 48 CAD, promotional 3 for 119 (about 110 USD) with free shipping over 100
    Measurements in inches: The number in the parentheses reflects shrinkage after two cold water wash and hang dry cycles

    Pit to Pit: 21.75 (-.5)
    Sleeve length: 34.4 (0)
    Body length: 30.5 (-.125)
    Collar point length: 3.125 (0)
    Collar spread: 5.625 (0)

    Of the three shirts I chose, I decided to return the Lavender because the sleeve length was too short at 34 inches. My sleeve length is 35 inches and I expected it to be 1/2 inch short at 34.5, so 34 was just too short.





    Construction and Fabric:
    As described on their website, shirts have singe needle stitch work, split yoke with pattern matching, and all the fabric is 2 ply, 100% cotton with a range of 80’s to 140’s. Collars are hand turned and they’ve reinforced several areas to help with longevity of the shirt (i.e. gussets at the side seam/hem and triple stitching at the armholes). Buttons are substantial. They're natural river shell and quite tall at 3mm.

    Overall, I was impressed with the construction and fabric. I've worn the shirts 4 times each and they've been washed (cold water, hang dry) twice. The shirt fabric stayed crisp throughout the day, has a soft hand, and was easy to iron after laundering. There were several standard features of the shirt that aren't offered at this price range. The stitching is straight and even, though there were several loose strands on the buttonholes on the gingham shirt. Pattern matching was decent, though to be fair it's hard to do perfectly with a split yoke and gingham pattern. Time will tell how they stand up to multiple wears and washes. The buttons are hefty. I prefer buttons at 2 mm, but have to admit they do enhance the quality of the shirt.
    Last edited by Lchow1; May 11th, 2014 at 11:28 AM.

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    Fit:
    Typically, with Brooks Brothers and Charles Tyrwhitt shirts, (15.5/35 Extra Slim Fit and Tailored Fit, respectivey) the body and width of the sleeves are too big and I have to take them in to my tailor. The slim fit from Spier and Mackay addresses the former issue perfectly, though the forearms are about 1/8 inch more snug than I’d prefer. If you’re a carpenter or professional arm wrestler, the sleeves will likely to be too tight in the forearms but should be fine otherwise. The armhole placements are high, providing a good range of motion without pulling on the body. The length of the shirt along with the high armholes, are perfect for staying tucked throughout the day. The collar point length and spread are also slightly longer and wider than my semi-spread shirts from BB and CT. This helps collar points stay under the lapels, where they belong. The collars, which have removable plastic stays, have a beautiful roll and look great with and without a tie.

    Customer service
    Prior to purchasing the shirts, I wrote the company for additional information about shirt measurements. I got a response that day by Rick, who has been exceptionally quick and responsive in follow up communication. After I shared with him concerns about the length of the lavender shirt, he encouraged me to return it since the length difference was greater than the quality control standard of 1/4 inch. Of note,
    the return shipping is out of pocket for the customer. To mitigate the cost the company will then credit the customer with $15 for future purchases.

    Due to the limitations of the shirt sizing for OTR offerings, I asked about options for changing sleeve lengths. Rick got in touch with the factory in India and is working out a way to make adjustments at a slight increase in price. In the interim, they have a special for custom shirts which come at 79 or 99 depending on the quality of the fabric and are offering $10 off 2 or $20 off 3 or more. So for as low as 163 USD, I could get 3 MTM shirts shipped while this current deal lasts. The fabrics offered at the 79 range are great for spring and summer, but I’d like to see a few more offerings (e.g. blue pencil stripes, chambray).

    TLDR:
    I was pleasantly surprised by the shirts from Spier and Mackay. If my arms were a little bit shorter in length, the OTR slim fits would be a no brainer in this price range. The quality of the fabric and construction were all average to well above average and the customer service has been outstanding. If you have a slim or lean/athletic build, I'd highly recommend giving them a try.

    Referral link:
    They currently have a referral program to help build their customer base. No need to use my link as you can sign up directly through their website. In full disclosure, I get $5 credit for signups, no purchase necessary, and if you decide to purchase something you will get $10 off your first purchase. Any referral credits I receive will go to a custom shirt order, and I’ll follow up with another write-up. Hope this has been helpful and let me know if you have any questions.

    http://www.spierandmackay.com/refprg.php?code=4311
    Last edited by Lchow1; May 11th, 2014 at 03:48 PM.

  3. #3
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    Sounds and looks like these are pretty decent shirts of the dress shirt kind. Thank you, @Lchow1.

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    @Duvel: Thanks! I've been wanting to contribute more for a while, just a lack of time. I was thinking about writing up a review of trousers I've ordered from Luxire, Epaulet, and Howard Yount, but I'll wait to see if there's a need and if I have the time.

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    Nice writeup @Lchow1. How do you find the cuff width? It seems in the 16.5 neck the sleeves are 36", which will work for me so long as the cuff is tight enough to keep it from slipping over my hand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TKNumber3 View Post
    Nice writeup @Lchow1. How do you find the cuff width? It seems in the 16.5 neck the sleeves are 36", which will work for me so long as the cuff is tight enough to keep it from slipping over my hand.
    @TKNumber3: The cuffs are a lot slimmer than options from BB and CT. My left wrist is 6.75 inches and my right is close to 7 inches and it fits perfect with a slimmer dress watch. Unfortunately, one of my watches has a fatter profile and it is almost too snug. If the ratio's are consistent within the slim fit line, my guess is that you won't have a problem with the 16.5. If you're still unsure, you can email them through the website and Rick will let you know if he has the measurements available.

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    Nice review. But here's the million dollar question--how much do they wrinkle after wear?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lax101 View Post
    Nice review. But here's the million dollar question--how much do they wrinkle after wear?
    @lax101: Fair question. I made a one sentence remark of it above in Chapter 5, verse 4. It stayed fairly crisp after a full day of wear. The photo of the navy check shirt had accumulated 1 day of wear in NYC, folded in a garment bag, and then hung up in my closet for about a week without ironing when I took the picture. Granted you can't see most of the shirt under the sport coat, but the fabric has remained impressively resistant to wrinkles without chemical application (at least none that were listed). The blue gingham was worn for about an hour that day on a weekend morning before the picture was taken and is more wrinkle prone than the navy check shirt.

    Natural wrinkle resistance is the product of a number of things including the weight and coarseness of the fabric. So it's going to vary based on the shirt you purchase since fabric is sourced from different mills and have different characteristics. In other words, no guarantees from me. For what it's worth, the website does state that all fabric are 100% cotton and 2 ply with fineness of the yarn ranging from 80's to 140's.

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    Construction of the shirt is not bad but sizing needs to be adjusted and the thread sticking out by the button hole. As long as they provide you with the specs of the fabric you requested and they let you know ahead of time if their is any shrinkage with wrinkle free or non iron shirts.

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    Hello Gentlemen,

    I represent SPIER & MACKAY and a forum member was kind enough to advise us of this thread.

    To be brief, we aim to excel at three main goals with all our products. Fit. Quality. Value. We take each pillar incredibly seriously and are always looking to improve upon each. We welcome any feedback to help us achieve this. We honestly feel that our quality/value ratio is unrivaled and we are constantly working hard to further create amazing value for our customers. How we achieve a great fit OTR is something unique to us as we leverage our experience making custom shirts and translate that data to our OTR program. To learn a bit more we have some infographics to help illustrate our points that can be found HERE. If there are any questions or assistance required, please do not hesitate to reach out on here or via email at info@spierandmackay.com

    First thank you to @Lchow1 for the kind review. Very glad you are pleased with the shirts!
    @TKNumber3: Cuffs on the 16.5 measure 10" from end to end, and 9" from button to button hole. They work pretty well for most and are proportionate for a 16.5 average wrist, so should not slide down your hand. A simple button placement adjustment 1/4" can also aid in this respect without disrupting the how the placket sits.
    @lax101: ATM we do not use "NON-IRON" fabrics as they are either poly blended or chemically treated (most commonly formaldehyde or ammonia) which counters the purpose of a comfortable, breathable cotton shirt. That said, we only work with reputable mills that use certified long staple Egyptian cotton. The long staple has natural properties that reduce wrinkling. Different weaves/weights/yarn counts will also vary in terms of wrinkling. Poplin being the most prone as are higher yarn counts (120's +). All in all, most of our shirts survive through the day without looking tired. A light iron or steam pops them back into wearable shape quite efficiently. We are experimenting with a technique that uses a high temperature setting in the finishing to achieve the effect but this is more "Wrinkle Resistant" than Non-iron (This is the type of wrinkle free that ETON uses at $250+/shirt)

    Cheers,
    Rick

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