I Have Bespoken: Ratio Clothing
Company: Ratio Clothing is a Denver based custom shirt company that takes pride in its ‘made-in-America’ branding. They guarantee tighter quality control, less carbon emissions, and keeping the employment in the US family as well as the perfect shirt, or the remake is FREE!
Ratio came to us from our friends at TheModestMan.com who also did a review on their product. TAG and RC thought it would be fun to pit the shorts against the talls in the review process to see how their claim for quality and perfection stood up to each extreme.
Cost: $135 (range $98-$168+)
Process: Ratio’s process is much like any other online custom shirt company, though I must admit that I found this particular brand to be easier than most. One thing I do like about Ratio’s site is that you are not required to sign up until you scavenger through their 76 fabric options and complete all the steps. Only then are you asked for any information upon checking out. Low commitment is always good to start off from a consumer point of view, so one isn’t saddled with more junk mail than one already gets and without having purchased anything on the site.
TAG selected the Harrison Tattersall pattern ($125) for our Ratio test drive - A beautiful 100% cotton poplin/zephyr blue and peach pattern. Upon clicking your selected fabric you are taken to a very simplistic drop down menu, which pictures your fabric to the left of it. This menu details the options you have to customize your very own shirt, starting with the collar. Select from an English, Semi-Spread, or button down and the option to have a white fabric used for the collar (+$5) instead of your selected one.
Similarly to the collar, the cuffs of the shirt are optioned as a one button barrel, double button mitered, or French cuff. You are also afforded the option to contrast the cuffs in white fabric (+$5) to match the collar, if that is the design you so chose.
We move on to the placket detailing, which I generally find to be my favorite; finding a secondary fabric to line the placket that matches the inside fabric of the cuffs and collar. Unfortunately, Ratio does not offer this particular secondary fabric add on, however, they do give the selection of a standard placket, or a seamless placket. Unless you’re a priest, there is really no reason for a seamless placket – I say, always go standard with this detail.
Now, back-of-shirt-pleats are definitely a personal preference. I very much dislike shirts that have pleats on the back. If it is avoidable, I will always choose a flat back on a dress shirt. With that said, Ratio gives you the center box pleat, the double side pleat option, as well as the no pleat/flat back. I find that when a tall man wears a pleat-backed shirt it tends to billow more and adds the illusion of unnecessary weight. Of course, if that is aesthetically pleasing to you, knock yourself out!
Next is your breast pocket selection. Of course you can choose not having a pocket at all or placing one either right or left. I sit very mid-way in the pocket department. On some shirts it looks good, and is obviously functional, but on some shirts, it just doesn’t work. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a gamble, but if you feel the need to have a pocket on your shirt, there is no extra cost, so go for it!
I have said it before, and I will say it again because it is no different for this company that it is for any other custom company; if you are going to go the rout of bespoke clothing, just get the goddamn monogram. It’s usually $6+ more to have your initials stitched into the item thus branding it yours forever. Ratio charges $10 for this service, but in my opinion it is completely worth it.
Proceed to enter your measurements, click check-out, and you’re done! A+
Packaging: In previous articles we have discussed how a company’s packaging is the most important thing to have on-point as it is the first and only impression the consumer has before they are afforded the opportunity and moment to try what is inside. In the case of Ratio Clothing, these guys are nailing it! My shirt arrived carefully folded, pinned, wrapped in cellophane, wrapped in branded tissue paper with a branded sticker to hold it closed, and placed neatly in a box, again with the company logo prominently displayed. You could feel tell that this item was genuinely taken care of from fabric to finish. A+
Accuracy: Accuracy is always where a brand loses points. Building an article of clothing for someone you have never met, never touched, have never seen, but merely from measurements that have been submitted through your site has to rank up there with one of the toughest tasks to complete. I say this from the perspective of a very tactile person who has very little experience in the sewing and manufacturing aspect of the fashion industry.
Ratio clothing has come very close to building the perfect shirt. All of the typical trouble spots were no trouble at all; the sleeves were long enough, the torso was long enough; the neck wasn’t too bulky or too tight. My only gripe on this shirt was that it was a little, ever so slightly, billowy in the body of the shirt. I was forced to do the classic tuck-behind move when putting it on for the first time, but it wasn’t so horrendous that I felt the need to have it altered and taken in. It was still so close to being perfect that I completely let it slide. The monogram on the left sleeve brings a smile to my face every time I hail a cab, reach for a fork, or just flounce my hand around purposefully seeking acknowledgement of the customized detail. A+
Quality: Upon first glace of this shirt, fresh out of the box, I knew it was of the utmost best fabric. It wears well, it’s comfortable, and the fit is just that; fit. I would absolutely recommend this company and more specifically this fabric to any GIANT who needs or wants a shirt that looks good with near next to everything. A+ Over-All Grade: I really gotta hand it to the team at Ratio. Everthing I want in a custom shirt is here; a simple selection process, a not confusing website, a good selection of basic detailing options. From start to finish Ratio was very pleasing and I hope to continue to wear and work with them in the future. A+