Thomas Dean & Co has been one of those brands that I’ve seen around for a while in upscale retailers like Nordstrom, but I’ve never really been adventurous enough to venture into the collection. They recently reached out and sent over a couple shirts, which I gave a test run. Here’s how it went:
The first shirt (shown above) is the navy plaid point collar shirt. Technically, it has a much longer name, but you get the point. What’s interesting about this shirt is that they have a “tall” option. I used their sizing chart, and loosely fit into the large tall size. As you can see above, despite the shirt’s description, the shirt isn’t very tailored–it is pretty boxy. The length is great for us 6’6” folks, though. The sizing is not ideal (I wish there was a medium tall option), but what bothered me most about this shirt is the details.
First of all, there are these really weird flaps over the chest pockets. You can’t see it entirely on the Thomas Dean website, but it looks like shoulder epaulets that go under two loops and button to close. That’s way too much effort to use the pocket, and if you never use your chest pocket, why would you need such an elaborate system to keep the pocket closed?
Secondly, the top four front buttons are visible, and from there down you will need to button the shirt behind a flap. It’s kind of like a tuxedo shirt, but winds up feeling like a bib. I’m really not a fan. The buttons are also enormously thick–but I don’t mind that very much. I’m sure there are some people out there who might like these touches, but in my opinion it’s a bit much.
So the above shirt is considered “tailored fit,” so what’s a Thomas Dean shirt look like that isn’t a tailored fit?
Yeeeeeeikes! Keep in mind, y’all, this is a large tall–same size as above. I was swimming in this shirt. If I sized down to a medium, the sleeves would be 4 inches too short. If I size up to a large tall, this happens. If I go with a large, the neck is too large. This is the plight of tall, lanky dudes. Even the “tailored fit” is not tailored at all if you have a body type that isn’t quite off-the-rack. I won’t go into the many reasons this shirt’s size doesn’t work.
In the above photo, I had about 6 inches of room in this shirt. Thomas Dean: your “large tall” size needs some work. Regardless of my personal problems with not fitting into any of the available sizes, the shirt’s quality is fantastic. The fabric is thick, the details on this particular shirt are much less annoying than the above shirt, and the pattern is very modern. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the quality of the shirt, but if you’re a tall and thin guy, good luck finding a size that will fit you.
Overall, a Thomas Dean & Co. shirt will cost you upwards of $100. The quality of the shirt is on par with that price point, but there are plenty of other retailers out there who can make an actually tailored shirt (where you input your specific measurements) for a similar price. If you’re a guy who is lucky enough to fit into the 15.5/34 boxy standard shirt, then Thomas Dean is a nice option for a quality shirt. If you’re like me, and are perpetually in-between sizes, you should tread carefully or find a custom shirtmaker.
That said, not everyone wants to drop a Benjamin to test out a shirt’s sizing. As a result, we’re going to do a giveaway for one shirt from the Thomas Dean tailored fit collection or the standard collection–winner’s choice. To enter, fill out the form below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Thomas Dean.” The contest ends on August 3, 2014–so you have one week to enter. One entry per person. If you’re the lucky winner, I’ll contact you for size, style, and mailing information. Good luck!