In the words of the incomparable Childish Gambino, “I love clothes.” Sadly, ours is a complicated relationship. I am, like a lot of people, in-between sizes. Yes, internet, I am a SMedium.
Perhaps you too are a SMedium, or maybe a MLarge. It’s a common affliction, and one that seems to further complicate purchasing clothing online. Sure, if something is too big or too small I can always return it, but with the possible exception of Amazon Prime‘s effortless free return process that’s yet another headache.
The solution, then, is to properly understand your size. But for us in-betweeners it may be as simple as searching out more flexible merchants.
In recent weeks I’ve been in contact with Shuo Yang, cofounder of Brooklyn-based ASPECD Apparel. ASPECD – it’s pronounced “aspect” – caught my attention for a couple of reasons. First, they source their products from limited edition, vintage and dead stock fabrics which they handcraft into micro-runs of accessories like their unique ties and pocket squares. Second, their shirts, which come in both seasonal and evergreen styles, use similarly exotic materials and, more importantly, are available in nine separate sizes: XS, XS/S, S, S/M, M, M/L, L, L/XL and XL.
I found the availability of in-between sizes enticing enough on its own, but the way these pieces are presented (and supplemented) via ASPECD’s straightforward digital storefront further sweetened the deal.
I chose an item that looked interesting – specifically their Japanese gingham Polar Coordinate shirt. The photos and product description gave me a real feel for the design, and its details provided additional information on its construction, fit and even advised that the shirt was meant to be worn untucked.
A size chart was available that explained how each of the nine sizes translated to distinct neck, chest, waist and arm length measurements, but, for those not familiar with their exact measurement, ASPECD also provides an interactive Size Wizard. I put in my height and pant waist size as well as information regarding how I prefer my shirts to fit – tight, fitted or relaxed – and was also asked to describe my stomach – flat, small belly or the delicately phrased larger belly.
From there I was asked to choose a popular brand from a drop-down list, select the size I wear in that style shirt and describe how it fits through the chest. I was then presented with a size based on that input. ASPECD suggested the fabled S/M, and further suggested that, based on my height, I have the shirt shortened by .5″ via their free alteration service.
Pleased with the process so far, I also chose one of their sharp red Origin Oxfords in the same size and with the suggested alteration, as well as a coordinating slim “Stingray” print necktie. I completed my order, and then set about the seemingly insurmountable task of waiting for all my new stuff to arrive.
To my surprise even with the alterations (and using their free shipping option) my order arrived inside of a week. Safely tucked within the shipping box were my two shirts and tie, perfectly folded and bearing ASPECD’s trademark less-is-more branded packaging. The shirts looked gorgeous in person, with the oxford thick and durable and the gingham deliciously soft. The tie too was expertly crafted, reminding me instantly of a vintage piece – sans the usual decades of wear. All my items fit like a glove, and they instantly became staples of my fall wardrobe.
ASPECD Apparel represents to me the best of both worlds; there’s an old school dedication to craftsmanship and customer service, coupled with the modern sensibility displayed in their online storefront and a dedication to using materials like reclaimed fabrics and full-grain leather for their shirts and accessories. For clothes horses like me, they provide updated takes on classic looks, but the care with which ASPECD explains the design aesthetic of each product, even going so far as to suggest complimenting items you likely already have in your closet, makes them a perfect on-ramp for those looking to establish their own style.
ASPECD shirts retail for $69-$99 (with seasonal sale prices currently available on select items), and their accessories are priced from $20-$50. If you’re looking to save a little scratch, new customers can get 20% of their first order with the coupon code “NEWCUSTOMER,” or, if $25 off a purchase of $50 or more sounds more to your liking, you can use my refer-a-friend link. (It’s cool; we’re friends.)
With designs ranging from conservative to quirky and all points in-between – I’m looking at you, camouflage pocket square – ASPECD is sure to satisfy practically any taste, and I urge you to take a look for yourself.
Review materials provided by: ASPECD Apparel