Company hopes to be better fit for men shopping online
Men want shirts that fit.
But what guys might not want is enduring the process of figuring the proper measurements and going through fittings for custom-made apparel.
So, Aliquippa native Kirk Keel and Matt Hornbuckle of Baltimore, came up with a way to give men what they want without all the extra fuss.
The business partners created a company called Stantt, which utilizes a patent-pending sizing system in which men give three measurements they most likely already know (chest, waist and arm length), and an algorithm matches them to one of 50 sizes, tailored to fit their build.
“The typical small, medium and large sizes you find in stores and online, only fit 15 percent of the guys and are inconsistent between brands,” says Keel, 33. “Our company takes the guesswork out of finding shirts that fit. Guys don't want to have to return clothes they buy online that don't fit right or spend a lot of time in the fitting room. But they still want to look good.”
Matt DeMarsico of Jersey City, N.J., tried a prototype shirt and then placed a future order on Kickstarter, a website that offers a way to fund creative projects. Keel says they've had interest from guys all over the world via Kickstarter and have raised $44,582 pledged against a goal of $60,000. The deadline is Sept. 22.
“It's a great shirt,” DeMarsico says. “It fits like it was made just for me. There isn't a lot of extra material around the back like in a lot of shirts, and the sleeves fit right, too, and it's not too long.”
Stantt (which is derived from ConSTANT improvemenT) started with casual button-down and polo shirts, with plans to quickly expand into other apparel categories. The polos are $68 and the casual button-down shirts cost $98 and can be ordered online.
Stantt apparel is made in the United States.
“I think there definitely is a market for this company because when you wear clothes that fit, you don't have to worry about it and you can concentrate on other things,” DeMarsico says. “They also offer a nice range of colors and patterns. I'm looking forward to seeing where they go from here in terms of offering other clothing.”
Keel, 33, who lives in Jersey City, and Hornbuckle, 29, of Hoboken bring a combined 18 years' experience in marketing, brand development and supply chain with several Fortune 500 companies, most recently with Johnson & Johnson.
“My business partner and I were frustrated over the way clothes fit,” Keel says. “An option would be going to a tailor, but that takes time and more money. We found there was an un-met need, so we went after it.”
They started the company two years ago. They used body scanners to measure 1,000 guys and took all those measurements and made a spreadsheet to help look at the data and they developed 50 sizes from what they found.
Keel says only three measurements are needed, because that's all the computer algorithm requires.
Custom clothing has been around, but doing custom casual shirts is a very interesting niche. It is good, especially for men who don't always want to go to the store. Keel says men should feel great in everything they wear.
“It is next to impossible to find clothes that fit,” Keel says. “Now, there's a better way. With data and technology, it can be easy to get clothes you look and feel great in. It's a new way to shop without any of the hassle.”
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7889.