I was recently contacted by Jan Klimo of Solosso, who asked if I was interested in trying out one of their shirts. As many of my readers know, I have tried several made-to-measure (MTM) shirting companies in the past, but the amount of companies that perform this service has grown wildly and they now are available at every pricepoint and with a myriad of customization options, making it almost impossible to see the differences in companies. I have stopped experimenting with these companies for the most part; not because there are no better options, but because I have found a company that works for me and don’t want to start the MTM process over. Although Solosso is fairly straightforward in many ways, one aspect that caught my attention was their dedication to eco-friendly and sustainable practices. As someone who studied “cradle-to-grave” lifecycle analyses of products in school (hooray engineering!), I find the amount of materials and energy that go into creating the products surrounding us staggering and somewhat frightening. Solosso’s efforts in creating a transparent and environmentally responsible company are definitely noteworthy. The only other clothing company I know of that has a similar dedication to sustainable practices is Glass House Shritmakers out of Chicago.
I’m not sure why, but I usually associate hunter green with Fall clothing, and maybe even Winter. Certainly not for when it’s hot out. But one thing I’ve noticed is that it’s actually a really great year round color (and I’m clearly not the only one).
Here I’ve put together a pretty casual summery look, anchored by some cut off white denim and Venetian loafers. A softly constructed light blue striped shirt that rumples in the heat of a summer day is a perfect complement for the half-lined 3 patch pocket jacket. A knit or grenadine tie would be perfect, but for those of us of lesser means The Tie Bar’s ‘grenafaux’ gets the job done at $15.
Jacket: Michael Bastian for Barneys New York, $200 @ Barneys Outlet
I’ve reviewed a number of online made-to-measure (MTM) shirting companies now, and their rapid proliferation in all corners of the menswearnet requires that newer not-yet-fully-established companies offer something that helps them stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Solosso does just that, and on two fronts no less. Solosso is the only green-oriented and eco-friendly MTM shirt manufacturer that I’ve come across. According to the website, Solosso is a “transparent, environmentally friendly, and socially responsible” company that produces its shirting in an environmentally sustainable way that also seeks to improve the life of all company stakeholders. If that means ensuring their workers are paid living wages, then I’m all for it.
Solosso is also, I was told, moving into the realm of offering bespoke type attention to detail on their custom shirts. Like many other online MTM shirting companies, Solosso runs you through a battery of customization options on their website. I was happy enough with the options available to me, but after I submitted my order I was contacted by Solosso and told that the slim fit cut I’d chosen came with back darts, and they were checking in to make sure that’d be ok with me. They also asked if I wanted to have the collar and cuffs unlined.
I did indeed want them unlined, but had not known that was an option. I also did not want back darts, so was glad they’d contacted me. I asked if this was special treatment I was being given since I’d been asked to review their shirt, and I was told that they’re moving towards a model of customization that will give customers the option to submit requests for detailing that aren’t listed on the website, and that it was not customer service that went above and beyond what a regular paying customer would receive. This is a big plus in my book, and enough I’d think to make you consider Solosso over some of the other online MTM companies out there. Especially so if there are details you like (like unlined collars and cuffs) that aren’t standard options from other retailers, and if sustainability is a concern of yours.
The quality of the shirt I received is on par with the best of the other MTM shirting companies I’ve tried. The stitching is straight, strong, and true. The cotton fabric soft and of high quality. The genuine mother of pearl buttons are a nice touch (though not a deal breaker in my book), and the metal collar stays that come with each shirt are a plus (though I can’t remember the last time I used collar stays…). The packaging was by far the finest of any MTM shirt I’ve ever received. The red wax seal with Solosso’s logo on it was a fine surprise, and the cardboard box the shirt came in was clearly made of recycled materials, but also very tasteful in its spartan design.
Solosso’s shirts start at $89, and that price includes worldwide shipping. They’re competitively priced with other online MTM shirting companies, and practice an ethics and offer some options that I think could make happy customers out of many.