Proper Cloth Vs. Ledbury Button-Downs Shirts: Key Differences

When it comes to elevating your shirt game, two brands often top the list: Proper Cloth and Ledbury. Both companies have made a name for themselves by offering high-quality, well-constructed button-downs for the modern professional.

But with customization options on one side and premium ready-to-wear on the other, you may be wondering—how exactly do Proper Cloth and Ledbury compare?

I’ve worn both Proper Cloth custom shirts and Ledbury’s readymade line extensively. Below I break down the key differences, pros and cons, and help you determine which is best for your needs and budget.

Let’s dive in!

At A Glance Comparison Table

MetricProper ClothLedbury
Base Price$145+$125+
CustomizationFully CustomizablePre-Made Only
ConstructionHandmadeFactory Made
Fabric Selection100s of OptionsCurated Selection
Slim Fit SpecialtyYesNo
Collar StaysRemovableSewn-In
Production Time3-4 WeeksReady to Ship

Customization and Sizing Options Comparison

The most obvious difference between Proper Cloth and Ledbury comes down to made-to-measure vs readymade.

Proper Cloth is entirely custom. Every measurement on their online form influences how your shirt gets cut and sewn. Choose from all of the following:

Proper Cloth Shirt
  • Collar (6 styles)
  • Cuffs (3 styles )
  • Pocket style
  • Back pleats
  • Shirt length
  • Sleeve length
  • Front/waist/hip/bicep/chest measurements
  • And more

You even select the thread colors for contrast stitching if desired. Complete personalization means achieving the perfect fit and style.

Ledbury takes the opposite approach with set sizing and zero customization. Most of their shirts come in just 2 fits:

  • Tailored fit (extra slim)
  • Classic fit

None of the dimensions can be altered. Instead Ledbury relies on curated, elevated fabrics and quality components (mother of pearl buttons, premium trims) to create covetable dress shirts.

If finding well-fitting off-the-rack shirts has been a struggle, Proper Cloth would be the way to go. Guys who need a true slim cut or have an uncommon body type do best with custom.

But if you have less fit issues, Ledbury will provide premium style and materials without the added effort of customization.

Quality and Construction Comparison

Ledbury  Button-Downs Shirts

Both brands use premium materials and deliver excellent construction. But there are some subtle differences:

Ledbury uses luxury fabrics from prestigious Italian and Portuguese mills. Their attention to detail is evident in the mother-of-pearl buttons, high-stitch density, and specialty linings. One downside is the lack of removable collar stays; they use sewn-in stays instead.

While not fully canvassed, they incorporate fusion material to maintain structure. Ledbury offers a balance of contemporary style and fine detailing at a more accessible price point. Most would agree they provide exceptional quality for ready-to-wear shirts.

Proper Cloth takes customization to the next level by cutting and sewing each shirt by hand. Unlike Ledbury, they can craft a truly tailored, fully-canvassed dress shirt. This results in impeccable drape and structure over time.

They incorporate premium Japanese buttons, lightweight Italian fabrics and offer various interlinings/fusing options. From fabric selection to packaging, everything is exceptionally high-end.

However, more craftsmanship means a higher starting price. Expect to invest $175+ for one of their custom shirts even in basic fabrics.

For those wanting a luxury level shirt made just for them, Proper Cloth is tough to beat. But Ledbury provides excellent (if less customizable) construction at a more approachable cost.

Fabric and Style Selection Comparison

One area where Ledbury and Proper Cloth drastically differ is the variety and quality of their fabric offerings.

Ledbury keeps their fabric selection purposefully small, focused exclusively on fine shirtings from prestigious Italian and Portuguese mills. They lean towards solids, stripes, and more understated patterns like graph check and micro check.

Overall the fabric selection skews modern and refined if not terribly adventurous. The benefit is excellent quality control; you know exactly what you’re getting from their thoughtfully curated materials.

Proper Cloth takes the completely opposite approach. They offer hundreds of fabrics from suppliers all over the world including Italy, Portugal, Japan, and the USA.

Proper Cloth Custom Clothing
Proper Cloth Custom Clothing

The selection includes solids, stripes, business stripes, graphs, plaids, chambrays, oxfords, voiles, linens, flannels, and just about any other dress shirting you can imagine.

Fabric quality and prices span the gamut from affordable basics to luxury fabrics exceeding $100 per yard.

If you lust after exquisite Japanese chambrays, lightweight Sea Island cotton, and other exotic fabric blends, Proper Cloth is fabrics heaven.

For the fabric obsessed, it simply doesn’t get better than this.

That said, the enormous selection also means you must carefully vet each material unless ordering from their “recommended” list. With Proper Cloth the fabric research is on you; with Ledbury you can rest easy knowing they already did the legwork.

Cost and Value Comparison

Let’s break down the costs in detail:

Ledbury shirts range from $125 on the low end for more basic styles up to $175 for premium fabrics. The average button-down runs $148. At regular prices you’re looking at an investment piece, albeit one crafted from exceptional materials.

Sales happen more frequently to help offset the cost. Expect to pay 20-40% less during seasonal events or outlet sales bringing the per shirt cost down into the low $100s. For the quality, Ledbury remains reasonably affordable at full price.

Proper Cloth starts at $145 for a custom-made shirt in one of their basic, no-frills fabrics. From there costs scale up quickly depending on your customization choices, collar/cuff upgrades, and fabric selection.

It’s easy to spec out a shirt costing $200 or more when selecting premium fabrics. Add monogramming, contrast stitching, exotic buttons and you might spend $250+ all said and done.

However, considering a bespoke shirt from an actual tailor runs $500+, Proper Cloth delivers relative value. The fabrics and construction quality often surpass dedicated custom tailoring shops charging twice as much. You pay a premium, but typically get what you pay for.

Both brands command above average prices compared to run-of-the-mill dress shirts found at department stores. Yet most customers agree the materials, construction techniques, and service justify the investments.

Neither Ledbury nor Proper Cloth represent a true bargain; rather they provide excellent bang-for-your-buck when evaluating cost against overall quality.

Shopping Experience Comparison

Ordering shirts from Proper Cloth and Ledbury differs quite drastically:

Ledbury Button-Downs Shirts
Ledbury Button-Downs Shirts

The Ledbury shopping experience works just like any other ecommerce store.

Browse their collection online, pick your size, order the shirt.

Expect delivery within 5-7 business days.

Returns and exchanges are no hassle as long as the shirt remains unworn/unwashed.

For ready-to-wear ordering, it doesn’t get much easier.

Proper Cloth sells exclusively online as well, but purchasing requires more effort on your end. You’ll need to enter 15+ body measurements – accurately – for optimal results. This extra work pays off in the end, but can deter shoppers seeking convenience.

Production takes 3-4 weeks once ordered. You must get the measurements and dimensions right the first time because returns/remakes are not free. While you see a rendering of your configured shirt, you won’t see the finished product until it shows up at your door.

For those unfamiliar with buying custom clothing, the ideation process brings a bit more risk. Thankfully Proper Cloth offers exceptional customer service and alteration credits in case anything needs tweaking.

Sourcing, Ethics and Sustainability

Being good corporate stewards goes beyond just profits. Here is how both brands approach ethics and sustainability:

Proper Cloth manufactures their custom shirts in various overseas factories they help operate. By controlling production end-to-end they can provide fair worker wages while preventing overproduction and material waste. Proper Cloth states their workers earn 2-3x above average factory wages.

While not operating fully transparent supply chains, they appear cleaner than most cut-and-sew operations. Some of their fabric mills follow sustainable harvesting and dye practices as well. Proper Cloth earns high marks for fair labor practices relative to the garment industry.

Ledbury sources their materials and production exclusively from Portugal and Italy. Both countries have stronger labour protections and environmental regulations compared to developing regions. Ledbury also makes a point of partnering with family-owned mills practicing sustainable initiatives like solar production and responsible waste-water management.

They state their focus on fine Portuguese and Italian fabrics not only ensures premium quality, but supports industries helping local economies abroad as well. By meticulously selecting each material and factory, Ledbury can deliver luxury fabrics via ethical means.

While Ledbury likely comes out ahead sustainability-wise due to their country selection, both brands make laudable efforts towards ethical production methods.

Customer Service

Expect white-glove service from either Proper Cloth or Ledbury. Both companies espouse the value of high-touch customer care.

Proper Cloth Shirts
Proper Cloth Shirts

Proper Cloth assigns a dedicated account rep to every first-time customer.

They guide you through the measurement and customization process start to finish.

Should anything go awry post purchase, the same rep continues assisting you with alterations, remakes and returns.

Phone, email and online chat support means prompt, thoughtful responses to any issues. For a fully custom process, this helpful approach makes all the difference.

Ledbury provides exceptional service via their Austin-based team and retail showrooms. Free shipping/returns coupled with fast fulfillment takes the risk out of online ordering. Their customer advisors patiently guide first-timers through all sizing and style considerations.

Phone, chat and email support means quick resolutions to any post-purchase issues. Ledbury’s friendly southern hospitality permeates every interaction.

For high-dollar clothing investments, robust support provides necessary peace of mind. Both Ledbury and Proper Cloth deliver an amazing customer experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are Proper Cloth shirts worth it?

Proper Cloth shirts require an investment starting at $145, but exclusivity, customization, fit precision and luxury fabrics make them worthwhile for many customers. Expect meticulous construction that outperforms normal dress shirts.

Who is Charles Tyrwhitt’s competitor?

Charles Tyrwhitt competes directly with the likes of Proper Cloth, Brooks Brothers and Ledbury by offering high-quality men’s dress shirts with contemporary sensibilities.

Is Ledbury worth it reddit?

Yes, most Reddit users agree that Ledbury shirts warrant their $125+ price tags. Comments praise Ledbury for their excellent fabrics, modern tailoring and attention to detail that delivers a magnificent shirt overall.

Where is Proper Cloth manufactured?

Proper Cloth operates its own factories overseas to produce their custom shirts. Exact locations vary but all aim to provide fair working conditions and wages exceeding local averages.

The Verdict

In the battle of Proper Cloth and Ledbury shirts, who comes out on top?

The answer depends entirely on your personal preferences and budget.

Customers wanting the perfect tailored fit or niche sizing accommodations find endless possibilities with Proper Cloth. The massive fabric selection provides style options no off-the-rack shirt can match.

However, be prepared to pay $175+ for their made-to-measure craftsmanship and exquisite fabrics. If cost is no concern and you lust after a high-end custom wardrobe, Proper Cloth delivers the pinnacle bespoke shirt experience.

For those who already own enough clothes, Ledbury makes an excellent choice as well. Their refined, contemporary styles crafted from luxurious fabrics bring sophistication to any outfit. Ledbury nails high-end materials and construction without the added cost of customization.

Unless you need precise tailoring, Ledbury provides exceptional versatility straight out-of-the-box for $125+. Enjoy premium Italian and Portuguese shirting at ready-to-wear prices through Ledbury’s expertly curated collection.

Either option lets gentlemen upgrade to heirloom wardrobe staples that last. Try them yourself and discover why discerning professionals everywhere rave about these top-tier shirtmakers.

Clayton S. Johnson

Well, I am Clayton who writes, manages, and does overall stuff for this website. I live somewhere in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and used to have a full-time job. But the pandemic taught me to do more do with my life. So, I quit my job and travel a lot! Since I have tons of time now, I write about all the stuff I have done, used, and have first-hand experiences.

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