If I Said That Woodies Changed My Life I’d Be Exaggerating. But Not Much.
Several years ago I started a new career that made it necessary for me to build a new wardrobe. The world of off-the-rack business/business casual men’s fashion quickly became frustrating. See, while my genetics have blessed me with a relatively athletic build, they have also cruelly endowed me with shorter-than-average arms and legs. My first several work outfits consisted of shirts with sleeves that I had to roll up because the cuffs came to the base of my thumbs, and pants with tattered hems because they dragged on the ground under my heels.
Things improved somewhat when I realized that I could buy shirts that weren’t just Size Large but that had specific sleeve lengths, and pants that were made with my inseam length. I was still discouraged, though, because even though these semi-tailored clothes fit my stubby arms and legs better, they were still mass produced to fit a range of body types, so they didn’t look especially good on me. I’d buy a shirt I liked with a 32/33” (always a full two-inch range) sleeve that fit me okay, but the shoulder seams would fall a quarter of the way down my biceps and look sloppy. More commonly I found that shirts with the right sleeve length were made with enough material to fit a guy with a much larger torso than mine, so they were terribly baggy. (I learned the trick of pleating shirts in the back to reduce girth and tighten the material against my stomach. I was dealing with so much material, though, that the shirttail would inevitably blouse out and I’d spend half the day stuffing it back into my pants.) If I found a pair of slacks with legs that didn’t drag on the ground, inevitably something else would fit wrong—the thighs would be too skinny, or the seat too tight, or the waist too loose.
Each time I order a new shirt I’m impressed by the number of options I have to choose from. The selection of prints, colors, and fabrics is impressive and changes often.
I had pretty much accepted as fact that this was just the way things were going to be for me—wearing work clothes that kind of fit, but not quite. I knew a few guys who had paid for custom-fitted clothing, but the money they had spent was way beyond my budget.
It was at this point that I met Woodies.
We were introduced on Kickstarter during their first campaign, and truth be told I was skeptical whether they could deliver what they promised. A shirt, made to precisely fit my body, for about what I’d pay for two ill-fitting department store shirts? It seemed unlikely. Despite my doubts, though, I was hopeful.
My hopes were realized when my first Woodies arrived. What they had promised was real—every part of the shirt fit me exactly. It was perfect.
I opted to create my size profile by taking my actual measurements, which was easier than I expected. With my size profile saved to my account, every time I order a new shirt I do it with certainty that it, too, will fit me precisely. Before finalizing an order I review a few customization options—collar spread, cuff type, whether I want a breast pocket, etc.—and within a couple weeks a new, perfect-fitting shirt arrives.
Each time I order a new shirt I’m impressed by the number of options I have to choose from. The selection of prints, colors, and fabrics is impressive and changes often. Each winter I add a new flannel shirt or two to my closet. The newest shirt I’m loving is the striped seersucker design.
If all I could order from Woodies was excellent-fitting shirts I would be happy enough. It doesn’t end there, though. Following the same formula that brought them success with shirts—high-quality, custom-fitting clothing and fantastic customer service—Woodies expanded their product line to include chinos, flannel-lined chinos, shorts, jeans, and denim jackets. So, over time, I have not only built a collection of made-for-me shirts, but my wardrobe now contains entire outfits—dozens of combinations of comfortable and good-looking tops and bottoms.
I feel good, too, about supporting a small business that I’ve seen grow instead of a huge corporation that cranks out low-quality, poor-fitting apparel for the masses.
In addition to their perfect fit, another thing I like about my Woodies clothes is the classy, subtle, signature features that come with each piece. On each shirt the bottom buttonhole is sewn horizontally, the gauntlet buttonholes on the sleeves are a contrasting color, and there is a distinctive Woodies label on the bottom of the placket. Pants all have reinforced seams at the corners of the pockets and other high-stress points, and they each have a hidden coin pocket. Every article is further personalized with my monogrammed initials on the inner label.
Woodies Clothing stands out in its customer service. I’ve never had to problem-solve on an order, but have experienced extra-mile service a couple of times. Once, as I was preparing to order a new pair of pants, I went to my size profile to make a couple of changes. I had upped my fitness routine and lost a few inches so I needed to adjust some of my profile measurements. Before I could make these changes, though, I got an email from Woodies saying essentially, “Hey, we want your clothes to fit you perfectly so what’s up with these new numbers?” I explained my situation and got a quick response, congratulating me on my weight loss and confirming my new profile measurements. Another time, when I was ordering my denim jacket, I emailed Woodies to ask about swapping the locations of the smartphone and zippered pockets. This isn’t a standard customization. Jacob, the company founder, replied that this wouldn’t be a problem, and my jacket arrived with the pockets just the way I wanted them.
I’m a Woodies customer for life.
Maybe Woodies hasn’t really changed my life. Wearing clothing that fits me this well boosts my confidence, though, and motivates me to maintain my physique. I feel good, too, about supporting a small business that I’ve seen grow instead of a huge corporation that cranks out low-quality, poor-fitting apparel for the masses. I’m a Woodies customer for life.