Sartoria Milano Cotton Shirt (-2)

I generally only part with money for beer. But when I do buy men’s fashion I make damn sure it’s decent quality. Welcome to my review of ethical menswear available online. The good, the dishonest, and…


Sartoria Milano Cotton Shirt

I spent a retail therapy morning recently with an good friend (who remembers this guy from way back in the day??) searching for a pair of trousers. Of course I didn’t actually buy anything because I’m a snob about fashion, but…


Christiaan purchased this salmon shirt from Sartoria Milano, and I have more than a few things to say about the product, as one may expect.


To kick off their website gives a pretty generic statement about quality tailoring that I don’t feel matches with the brand: ‘known for…bespoke tailoring, making each garment unique’ but it’s a retail brand; nothing about ready-to-wear is bespoke. Also, why do we have a Italian web domain when the only outlets are in South Africa?


There’s also not all that much (no) information about the production of their garments. When brands talk of ‘the best of European Fabrics Blended in Italy’ but the label says ‘Made in Turkey’ one has to wonder what’s really going on.

Also ‘the tailoring includes handset shoulders, hand stitching at the seams with an overall contemporary aesthetic and fit’ I feel is somewhat (extremely) misleading. Not only was there not a single detail done by hand on this shirt, but the fit is one of my main gripes with the garment.

But let’s get into the details shall we:


I Love these Two Things

#1 You can never go wrong with 100% cotton. It remains to be seen how the fabric will actually hold up, but anything shying away from the scourge of polyester is going in the right direction for me.

#2 This colour is a good balance between pink and washed out salmon. The fabric has a nice weave, and I think it would have been an excellent shirt choice were it slightly better made.


I Hate these Four things

#1 I was unimpressed by the customer service in store. Although the staff were friendly (they complimented by Japanese shoes to death…although everyone does that) I got little information out of them besides ‘that’s a good shirt/pants/tie/whatever I happened to be holding.’


When we asked to fit the shirt before buying we were simply told ‘Don’t worry it’ll fit you well’. When Christiaan did try the shirt ‘in his size’ it was indeed too small, and we purchased a larger size. It seems such basic business etiquette to encourage someone to fit before buying, but then again this is retail so.

#2 Other than the vague ‘Made in Turkey’ on the label there’s no solid information about the brand’s production. At a cursory glance I’d wager manufactured happened between at least two factories since:

#3 The branding is all over the place, which is one of my pet peeves. I mean, the entire concept of a brand is to make it simpler for consumers to identify your products. But we start off with some stylized waves featured on the packaging (though only the exterior packaging), their website and ads.


Then move to a maple leaf stitched into the cuff during construction


And then swiftly to a monogram, in black, likely added post manufacture.


I mean…get your sh*t together people!!


#4 I’m lumping a number of construction issues into one subtraction point, because to be honest this shirt is better made than many I’ve seen retailing lately.

The cuffs are skew, and the hem is rolled, aside from the usual abundance of loose threads:


Final Score -2, not a good purchase if you ask me


Although at a price point of R800 you can’t expect all that much (it was on sale though, usually retailing around R1500), I’m really most annoyed at the service I received in store. I mean, your entire job is selling clothes, how the f*ck do you tell a customer that he doesn’t need to fit a shirt before buying it?!?


If you’ve purchased any of this brand’s clothing before, let me know what you think of them. I’ve altered a few of their garments brought in by clients, but this was the first time I really took a look at the brand and actually experienced their customer (non) service.

The Studio is at 625 Levinia Street, Garsfontein, and open every Thursday for Alterations from 8am to 8pm, or By Appointment for Bespoke. You can also subscribe to this blog by hitting the follow button, and join the monthly newsletter here for fashion scandal and awesome designs.



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