Ratio Clothing is a unique player in the online men’s shirt market. Using the finest materials and made the USA, they’re a company to watch.
This article will give you an overview of the company, their story, their unique technology, and take you on a test drive of their product.
The Story of Ratio Clothing
In the mid 2000s, Eric Powell was a consultant for a major international brand. As part of frequent overseas travel, he had the opportunity to experience custom clothing at great prices.
As a tall, lean gent, he had a hard time finding that kind of fit back home in the States. So, he got the idea to build it himself.
A technologist with both an interest in style and software, e-commerce was the perfect medium for Eric. Dozens of books on shirting and consultation with clothiers later, Ratio Clothing began taking orders in 2011.
How does it work?
Getting sizing correct is difficult for many of us, and getting sizing correct online is even more challenging.
The fact is, many of us just aren’t good at measuring ourselves, knowing our own measurements, or (perhaps even worse) having a friend or spouse do it.
Ratio’s developed an easy-to-use, “60-seconds-to perfect” system to make that process pretty painless.
First, they ask you a series of basic questions: height, weight, age, what off-the-rack shirt usually fits you best.
Second, they allow you to dial it in with fit by asking questions on body type (thin, lean, muscular, full), fit preference (very slim, tailored, traditional), whether you like your shirts tucked in or not
Third, you dial neck size and sleeve length down to a quarter of an inch, and enter your ideal jacket size and length. Finally, there’s a series of if/then statement on typical “fit questions you tend to encounter. For example, if something fits your chest and shoulders, it’s too full in the waist.
Once that’s done, the software from Ratio Clothing checks your measurements and fit preferences against over 20,000 other profiles and generates your fit “blueprint.” It look something like this:
However, there are something a computer or an equation can’t solve 100% of the time. That’s why Ratio also employs a number of trained tailors to review each body measurement and make even more specific adjustments.
Ratio Clothing Style Breakdown
So, what does a shirt from Ratio, with their combination of technology and artistry, look like? This is Ratio Clothing’s “Campus Oxford” in their medium blue colorway.
The shade is a bright, but not overly pastel-y.
It’s 40’s two-ply yarn, which makes it perfect for all-season wear.
Notice, as well, the unique collar. Ratio offers 12 different collar styles, but can do pretty much anything you ask.
This is in their “Fitzgerald” button down collar, which is an “Ask Andy” favorite. The points extend 3.5 inches, and the buttons are perfectly positioned on the placket to allow for the coveted, S-shaped collar roll.
The collar is soft and unfused, which creates even more roll and greater comfort.
Despite the lack the of structure, it holds up beautifully.
Notice, as well, the Mother-of-Pearl buttons. They’re cool to the touch and substantial in weight, but not so chunky they’re hard to unbutton.
Made in the USA
The fact is, the vast majority the clothes we wear, even USA-made items, are made in the fewest sizes possible for the lowest wages possible.
This isn’t the company Eric wanted to run. That’s why Ratio manufactures in North Carolina and pays a living wage. That is why he’s working with the factory to integrate Ratio’s technology into their process.
This doesn’t make them the cheapest custom shirtmaker, but it makes them one of the most fair.
That’s a brand we can get behind.