Outfitting Matthew Tullis used to be a tall order.
At 6 foot 7 inches tall, he frequented the big and tall dress shirt departments of local retailers in West Jordan, Utah, just outside of Salt Lake City. But even when the size seemed right, the look was all wrong.
"I'd go to Nordstrom's or some other store and tell the clerk my neck size and sleeve length, 16 and a half neck and 37 sleeve, and I'd always have trouble with the shirt. I'm a thin person, and the shirts weren't made for people like me, so either the sleeves were too short or the neck was too big. And the shirt was always baggy in the body. I began to think that bad fit was just par for the course," shrugs Matthew. "It got to the point where I really didn't care. I wasn't very picky."
As a church leader and a father of three, though, Matthew felt an increasing need to ensure his appearance matched his growing responsibilities.
"I've never been very worried about what other people think, but in this case it came down to something bigger than me; my religion. When it had to do with my church calling, I felt it was important to look my best and to set a good example," explains Matthew.
Desperate for a better answer, he turned to the Internet. Somewhere out there, he reasoned, had to be well-priced, good looking shirts for big and tall men who were more tall than big. The option of custom-made clothing never occurred to him. It sounded too expensive and difficult.
When he stumbled upon Best Custom Shirt, the made-to-order option seemed so affordable it was almost too good to be true.
"I think the terms I put in the search engine were something like, 'cheapest, nicest dress shirt' or something similar. I don't remember how many links it returned, but one of them was Best Custom Shirt. When l looked it at the site, I thought the prices were really good. So I immediately compared them against five other online stores that had big and tall men's shirts," says Matthew.
Matthew shared the news with his wife, who did her own online comparison shopping. The result, says Matthew, was that she was happy, too.
"She enjoyed the fact that she didn't have to go buy them. And when she looked at the price, she thought I should go ahead and do it. Frankly, at that point I was sick and tired of spending so much time comparing everything. I figured I would just order the shirts and see what happened," recalls Matthew.
Matthew's first custom shirt arrived within days. He enjoyed the look and feel, but still wasn't totally satisfied with the fit. So he called a customer service expert and described the problem.
"I told him this was my first custom-made shirt and it seemed to pull across the back when I touched my elbows together in front. I didn't know how much more space it needed, but they put me in touch with Janine and she told me how she thought the shirt could be changed. She also talked to me about some of the other little things I might like," says Matthew.
New York Designer Janine Giorgenti, owner of Best Custom Shirt. Com, spent time helping Matthew define his own preferences, tastes he was previously unaware of. Working together, they pinned down the particular look Matthew sought for his shirt's collar and buttons.
Ten days after Matthew's initial Internet foray, he was the proud owner of four handsome, well-made, crisp white shirts ? precision-tailored to his proportions. These big-and-tall men's dress shirts were big on style, but, even better, these were the first shirts he worn that genuinely fit his frame. Suddenly, all the little discomforts he'd taken for granted with standard men's dress shirts vanished. No longer did he have to contend with a baggy chest, too- short sleeves or ugly collars that just didn't lay right.
"Now, if I raise my hands right above my head, the shirt doesn't pull, so I'm glad about that. And some of the other options, like a collar without any buttons, made me really happy," says Matthew.
He credits extraordinary customer service for his extraordinary results.
"The people I dealt with were very good, very nice, and very easy to work with," smiles Matthew.
He now feels the shirts help him to do his best work. When he presides over church group meetings, he looks and feels like the leader and role model he is. He never has to worry whether his polished appearance will disappear when he takes his jacket off.
Now that he's a made-to-order shirt fan, Matthew ready to take on another challenge: color.
"This time, I just wanted white shirts. Now that I have all the white shirts I need, I'd like to add some cool colors. I love blue and may even want to get a maroon shirt. And I'm thinking about custom-made slacks, too," remarks Matthew.
The ease of caring for his custom shirts makes them all the more appealing. Matthew finds the garments look just as good after machine washing as when they first arrived. His over-the-counter dress shirts never stood up as well.
As a newly-savvy shirt buyer, Matthew intends to approach garment purchases with a more exacting eye. He also plans to apply the same high standards to dress-up clothing for his three sons; six-year-old Landan, three-year-old Dalin, and Alex, who's just a year old. All, he laughs, are destined to inherit their father's hard-to-fit stature and build.
"They'll be big and tall like me," smiles Matthew. "I like to look good and I'm sure they'll want to look good, too?in shirts that really fit."
For more information on big and tall dress shirts please visit www.bestcustomshirt.com.
Short note about the author
For two decades, Janine Giorgenti has dedicated her life?s work to developing cutting edge techniques, for creating a professional image. She is a pioneering top clothing designer, image and wardrobe consultant as well as a dynamic speaker.
As a recognized expert in color psychology and a seasoned Seventh Avenue designer, Janine helps clients substantially improve their professional appearance. Her scientific approach to image enhancement applies the innovations of the world?s greatest clothing experts to each individual?s wardrobe.
Many clients credit her counsel with helping them win promotions, close deals, land new jobs, perform better in the business world and build general self-confidence. Her clients include sport figures, celebrities and Fortune 500 executives from American Express, Deloitte &Touch , Citicorp, MetLife, Marriott and Morgan Stanley, among others.
Janine Giorgenti reaches thousands through her ? Dress for Success? seminars, TV and Radio appearances, while her acclaimed ?Image Empowerment? audio series? empower countless more people. Her makeovers are featured on local and regional television programs, and her advice was recently the centerpiece of a McKinsey & Company women's website series on 'business casual'.
Janine is a fourth generation designer who trained at New York?s renowned Fashion Institute of Technology. She was a fashion consultant for Saks 5th Ave, Anne Taylor, Macy?s and Bloomingdale?s. Janine?s original creations have been featured in The New York Times Fashion of the Times centerfold, as well in Vogue magazine.
Janine is committed to giving back to the community, often providing custom clothing and organizing fashion shows as fundraising events for nonprofits that include The American Heart Association, A Cure for Breast Cancer, Arthritis foundation, The United Way, and the Special Olympics for Handicapped Kids.
Her advice is frequently sought by major national newspapers and magazines, and will soon be collected into a book, co-authored with award-winning television producer and journalist Sue Treiman.
Janine Giorgenti can be contacted at 1-800-99-IMAGE or [email protected]
Copyright clause: My articles can be copied, published and re-printed without my permission as long as I remain the author of the article.