The Robe Shop is your source for everything you need to know about ordering Custom and Ready-to-Wear choir Robes, Judicial robes, clergy robes, cassocks. Get answers to your robe questions. Help with measuring, fabrics and more.
Robe Shop Logo: choir robes, Judicial robes, Clergy robes, Academic regalia

Beginning your search for ordering custom or ready-to wear robes?

On this page:
FAQ | Measuring Help | Robe Return Policy | Fabric Descriptions

Here are some answers to common robe questions


Note: We have a special FAQ page for information about ordering academic regalia

Q: What is the difference between ready-made (what you call "Qwick-ship") and custom?

A Compare it to buying clothing at a store vs. ordering the style in a personalized fabric and color. Our Qwick-ship line was created to provide tailored garments in a hurry. We have already made these styles according to pre-determined sizes and they are sitting in our warehouse ready to ship (like a clothing store). Custom garments, on the other hand, are not made until we have your specific measurements and all order details. It is not quite like having a "hands-on"seamstress in that we use our standard patterns in a large industrial plant and cannot take a tuck here and there or alter our patterns, but you do get a garment made to fit you as close as possible. We cut and sew the garment according to your style, fabric, color, monogram and trim choices. Yes, with custom garments you have to wait, but you get EXACTLY what you want. If you are a hard-to-fit size, custom may be your only option, and it is possible that you might wish to alter the finished garment if you have unique fitting issues our abundant patterns cannot address, but we won't know until we have your measurements.

Q: How long does it take for custom garments?

A Generally between 8-10 weeks, longer if outside the U.S.

Q: What if we can't wait that long?

A Choose from the styles available in the "Qwick-ship" line. Pulpit and judicial robes are well represented in Qwick-ship! Choir robes for adults and children are available in several styles and color combinations too. We make every effort to keep all styles and sizes in stock, but there may be a short time when a size is in production and not currently on the shelf.

Q: What about shipping time for these Qwick-Ship items?

A Within the U.S. we can provide very fast service, as long as your selection and size are in stock (some customers provide a second-choice style option when time restraints require that the order be in stock). We need a target date to know the shipping method which will meet your date at the most reasonable cost. Shipping methods are chosen to balance the need for speed or cost according to our assessment of your shipping requests. Please communicate your needs as specifically as you can so we can do the best job for you. In general, the faster you want it, the more it will cost to ship it.
Outside the U.S. we must use a 2-step shipping process for customs purposes, and due to the uncertainties of international shipping and customs we ask you to allow 3 months (except Canada). We cannot guarantee arrival dates to foreign addresses! Overseas orders can be very expensive to ship, especially if using private couriers like DSL or UPS. See more on foreign orders below.

Q: How do we contact you?

A We provide a "catalog" link next to every item. This is a quick way to request a catalog or more information about the item you found. You are welcome to phone or email as well. Here's the key contact info: 1-8-ONLY-ROBES (1-866-597-6237). Email info@robeshop.com

Q: How do we order?

A First choose the type of garment you need. Our navigation tool at the top left of the page provides links to all the different garment types. While browsing the items an "order" link is provided by every item for which we have an order form (custom choir robes and a few other custom items are handled differently). All the choices for ordering are spelled out in detail on the form. This is not an on-line order process, but provides web-based forms intended to be printed and either FAXed (credit card payment) or mailed (check/money order payment). You can also call with your order, once you have all the essential information requested on the form. Remember- almost all our garments require that you specify size and/or measurements. Check out the details found on the order form! We can't help you if you can't tell us your size.

Q: What about measurements?

A Your robe will fit beautifully if you provide ACCURATE measurements. Please don't "pad" them to make sure it is big enough. As one customer told us "When we measured, we thought it would be good to go to the next size not knowing the quality of the robe. Big mistake on my part- quality very good, sizes very true." We use standard patterns closest to your measurements.

The key measurements you need to supply for your CUSTOM robes are:

1) Chest at the fullest part (a man's suitcoat size). Take this measurement over the garments that will be worn under the item being ordered. Measure completely around the body at the fullest part of the chest/bust, keeping tape under the arms and around the back. The tape should be parallel to the floor and snug but not too tight. If a woman is extremely full busted, or has very narrow shoulders, also provide shoulder width across the back from tip to tip of shoulders. Do not provide bra size.

2) Total height with the shoes on you would wear in the gown. Place a clipboard (also useful for keeping your measurement sheet) on top of the head, parallel to the floor. Record this measurement in feet and inches. (To make your own wall chart for easier height measuring, see below. We can send a chart, but mailing takes time- this will do the trick)

3) Sleeve measurement (corresponds to a man's shirt sleeve size) Choir members do not need a sleeve measurement, unless their arms are out of proportion. This is the classic tailoring measurement which can be a little tricky if you are unfamiliar. Please see the diagram (left) as a reference. If you know your exact shirt sleeve length, you may use this size, however today many shirts are tailored to a 34"-35" length, which is not adequate for custom tailoring. To measure sleeve length, bend the arm at the elbow and hold arm out in front, parallel to the floor as if looking at a watch. Then, measure from the center back of the neck at the base of the neck, over the top of the shoulder, around the bent elbow, and down to the wristbone. Record this measurement, rounding up to the nearest full inch. Do not round down.

4) Floor clearance- how long the hem should be. Use a ruler, stand with the appropriate shoes and measure the number of inches from the floor to where you want the bottom of the hem. Anywhere from 4-12 inches is fine, it's strictly your preference. All robes for a single choir are made with the same floor clearance.

5) Neck- Robes or accessories with high necklines or standing collars require neck measurements for the best possible fit. Take this measurement over the garments that will be worn under the item being ordered. Wrap a tape measure around the base of the neck allowing enough room for comfortable singing, preaching, or normal head and neck movement. This measurement should correspond to a shirt collar size, (for example 15, or 16). Round this measurement up to the nearest full inch. Do not round down.

Additional measurements needed for cassocks and jackets-(**CUSTOM ORDERS ONLY)
6) **Shoulder width- Measure across the top of the shoulders at the back from the tip of your shoulder to the opposite tip.
7) Waist measurement- For cinctures: Wrap a tape measure around the fullest part of the stomach over the clothing & belt which will be worn under the cassock.
8) **Bicep/upper arm- the larger of the 2
9) **Wrist (the larger of the 2)
10) **Arm span- Measure from top of shoulder to wrist
11) Hip measurement at the largest point (Men, only for custom cassocks)

Q: How do I make a quick wall chart for easy height measuring?

A Take a piece a paper and cut in half the long way. Tape these to make a double long skinny paper. Starting at the bottom, mark every inch using a ruler or measuring tape. For adults, 5 feet will be the page bottom edge, for children it can be 3 or 4 feet depending on the age of the group. Number the marks going up the page, the first mark is 1, the 12th mark is 6 feet (or 4 or 5 feet for children), then start over with 1, 2, 3 up to 6'6" or the height of your tallest person. Tape this chart to the wall, carefully placing the bottom edge at the 5 foot mark from the floor (or 3-4 ft). Use a clipboard to keep your measurement list, and also place on the head of each person being measured in front of the chart. Keep it in place while they move away and record the height, adding an extra inch or 2 if they are wearing shoes shorter than the ones worn with the robe.

Q: Are the tailored robes machine washable?

A If there is no piping, velvet, unusual fabrics or other special care features, yes. Our web catalog points out the styles that must be dry-cleaned.

Q: Do we need bags and hangers?

A Good hangers will extend the life of your robe. Our extra durable nylon robe bags are recommended for sun, dust and all around protection while your robe is being stored. These are fabulous bags made especially for our robes and they will last far longer than ordinary vinyl bags. Bag & hanger info & photos are displayed near the bottom of any style catalog page on our website.

Q: How can we get started on our search for the perfect custom robe?

A Request a catalog for the type of robe you're searching for (Choir, Pulpit, Kids, Judicial, Academic, etc.) We will need a mailing address. Once you've seen the catalog, and have decided on some styles, we are happy to send fabric samples for your selection.

Q: If we decide to order, what are the financial arrangements?

A On a quantity custom choir robe order, 50% down is paid with your order UNLESS EACH CHOIR MEMBER IS BUYING THEIR OWN ROBE, for which we require 100%. The remainder is invoiced once the order has shipped, and this invoice must be paid promptly, in no more than 30 days. For government and school purchases that have rigid payment terms, we can make special arrangements on request, and we must speak with the person responsible for payment.
Qwick-ship and small custom orders must be fully paid at the time the order is placed, unless your church, school or organization has already established an account with us and is in good standing. Credit card orders can be called in or FAXed. Your invoice is prepared and any payment adjustments are charged/credited to your card AFTER shipment, once shipping charges are determined based on actual costs. Orders will not be processed until up-front payment is received.

Q: If we prefer to mail in a check with our Qwick-ship order, what are the shipping charges?

A Shipping charges are explained on the online order form appropriate to your chosen product. Just click on the ORDER link for complete order info, including shipping. Foreign accounts must pay by credit card ONLY, shipping charges based on actual costs determined at the time of shipping.

Q: I'm not in the United States. Can I purchase robes from The Robe Shop?

A Due to risks of theft, loss and other factors, we have limited our international service area to industrialized countries with dependable delivery options. To consider us as a supplier, you must be able to provide us with a delivery method that can be guaranteed. We have many robe customers in Canada, and are aware of the customs requirements there. For other countries, you will need to do your homework about your delivery options and particular customs and duty charges. Some governments have such high duty and tariff fees that it could be costly to attempt to import robes. Make sure you understand all the costs before committing funds to a robe order.

Q: What is your return policy for tailored robes?

(Note: souvenir garments are handled differently. Please see Grad Goods & More policy information for souvenir items)

A Custom-made robes are not returnable. Most choir robes and academic regalia are in the custom category. Friar Tuck clergy shirts and accessories cannot be returned or exchanged.

For a detailed customer service policy and more return/exchange information for anything in our Qwick-Ship Line, featuring finely tailored ready-made garments, please see our About Us page.

Q: Tell me about the fabrics you offer

A Our fabrics are top quality and even include exclusive fabrics that are not available from any other robe company. We provide finished garments only- we do not sell any of our fabrics by the yard. Here is a brief description:

Murphy Robes Fabric Descriptions

The following are suitable for all robes

Please note: while fabrics may be machine washable, some robe styles, particularly those with piping, lame' accent, lined sleeves or velvet panels or trim, must be dry cleaned.

Peachskin: A wonderfully soft and beautifully draping lightweight miicrofiber fabric. Picture the downy feel of a peach and you've got Peachskin. 10 COLORS: BLACK, WHITE, IVORY, CREAM, MIDNIGHT BLUE, SAPPHIRE, PURPLE, MAROON, DARK BURGUNDY, GARNET.

Contessa: Contessa is a satin-like fabric with a rich sheen and elegant drape. The smooth finish is reflective, contrasting well with textured fabrics. A beautifully luxurious looking fabric, yet fully machine washable! Available in GOLD, WHITE, BLACK and SILVER.

Millenova: This brocade-like fabric has a pattern designed specifically for church choir robes, and is so original it is patented. (See it here) It looks wonderful as a trim or accent fabric, and also looks spectacular as the main robe fabric. Brilliant colors, luxurious sheen yet fully machine washable, this new fabric is a winner! Colors- IVORY, EMERALD, VERMILLION (vivid red), MAROON, WHITE, PURPLE.

Tissue Faille: my personal favorite, Tissue Faille (pronounced "file") is a polyester silk. It is lightweight yet strong, has a marvelous sheen and drapes like - you guessed it - silk. Machine washable. Darker colors are recommended for the main robe fabric as lighter colors may show through slightly. 20 colors available: BLACK, WHITE, SILVER, IVORY, VANILLA, CREAM, BURNISHED GOLD, SPRUCE GREE, HUNTER, TEAL, COPEN BLUE, REGENT BLUE, NAVY, MIDNIGHT BLUE, EGGPLANT, PURPLE, BURGUNDY, MAROON, CLARET, SCARLET

Wonder Crepe is the most popular robe fabric, featuring a soil release finish and better snag resistance than standard crepes. A Wonder Crepe robe maintains color brightness and releases soil more fully when washed. Draping and wearing qualities are excellent, due to the two-way texturizing- both warp and fill yarns are crimped. This double texturizing is responsible for Wonder Crepe's remarkable wrinkle resistance, its elegant draping qualities and its smooth, soft appearance. Machine washable. Available in 23 colors: BLACK, GRAY, WHITE, CREAM, EGGSHELL, BEIGE, PARCHMENT, GOLD, INCA GOLD, JADE, FOREST GREEN, TEAL, CELESTIAL BLUE, BLUE SMOKE, AZURE BLUE, BLUEBERRY, SAPPHIRE BLUE, ADMIRAL BLUE, EGGPLANT, PURPLE, MAROON, GARNET, VERMILLION

Viva is a gabardine woven of 100% polyester Visa fibers by Milliken and is specially treated to release soil and stains during laundering. Viva is woven to be exceptionally durable. It is snag resistant, moderately wrinkle resistant, machine washable and requires little ironing, if at all. A flat-finish fabric similar to a cotton weave, Viva's weight and stiffer drape lends itself beautifully to garments requiring greater fabric body, such as Cassocks, Albs, Vests and Tunics. Colors- GRAPE, CRESTWOOD PURPLE, DEEP PURPLE, FOREST GREEN, LODEN GREEN, LIGHT APPLE RED, CHIANTI, GARNET, VERMILLION, RED, CREAM, IVORY, LINEN, BEIGE, WHITE, SUNBURST GOLD, HARBOR BLUE, RAINBOW BLUE, KING BLUE, SAPPHIRE, NAVY, MIDNIGHT BLUE, STERLING GRAY, DOVE GRAY, BLACK.

Fabrics suitable for Stoles, Vests or accent ONLY

Lame': trim or accent of sparkling metallic gold Lame' adds an exciting edge to new choir robe styles. Dry clean only.

Empress Satin: 100% polyester satin provides lustrous color, durability and body. Colors- RED, WHITE, MOSS GREEN, PURPLE, SOFT GOLD, OLD GOLD, GOLD, BURGUNDY, COLUMBIA BLUE, ROYAL BLUE, EGGSHELL, NAVY, KELLY GREEN, FOREST GREEN, SILVER, BLACK.

Imperial Satin: 100% polyester soft-sheen satin. Colors- SCARLET, WHITE, FOREST GREEN, PURPLE, BRIGHT GOLD, SILVER.

Kente': Hand woven in Africa, kente' is a wonderful statement of heritage for all ages. Patterns vary by batch. Also great for robe accent or stoles.

Additional fabrics suitable for Judicial and Clergy Apparel

Starlite
: Available ONLY in BLACK. A Murphy exclusive, Starlite is an ultra-light weight fabric that's ideal for warmer climates and summer wear. It will withstand years of use, is snag resistant and moderately wrinkle resistant, features a soil release finish and is machine washable.

Linette : Available ONLY in BLACK and WHITE. Linette has the look of linen but is 100% polyester for easy care. Ideal for jackets, cassocks, vestments and communion linens and is machine washable.

Damascene: (See it here) A very special patented brocade with dove and latin cross symbols tastefully woven into the fabric design. Damascene will wear better, wrinkle less, and last longer than the old fragile acetate brocades, and the weave is more tightly constructed. Quite simply the best of its class! Damascene was designed for pulpit robes, but it could be used for stunning Academic or Judicial robes as the design is tastefully understated. Dry clean only. Colors- SILVER, PURPLE, WHITE, BLACK

Thank you for your interest in robes from The Robe Shop! Please let us know how we can help you!

RSW/The Robe Shop Worldwide
PHONE: 425-605-0817 * TOLL-FREE: 1-8ONLY-ROBES (1-866-597-6237)
Business hours are 8-4 Pacific time M-F, but you can leave a voicemail message anytime, we check for urgent messages on the weekends.
FAX (425) 486-0768
Affiliated with Grad Goods & More
Email: info@robeshop.com

Website text, graphics and design Copyright 1996-present
Logo design by Rachel Macklin Studios