Simon Crompton for Permanent Style

This is the final shirt from Neapolitan maker D’Avino. It is, as I expected, absolutely beautifully made, and a very good fit for the first order.

Neapolitan shirtmakers vary both by their price and their priorities. The shirtmaker I have used most often, Satriano Cinque, is towards the cheaper end of that scale. Shirts start at €180, with no minimum order. For that you get a bespoke shirt made to an individual paper pattern, including a meticulously designed collar. The handwork is all the functional things – hand-attached collar and sleeve – plus hand-sewn buttonholes.

Simon Crompton for Permanent Style

D’Avino is at the other end of the scale. The shirt is almost entirely handmade: shoulder seams, bottom edges and side seams alongside the functional points listed above. As mentioned in my previous post, D’Avino also goes beyond other top makers such as Kiton. The placket on the sleeve, for example, is attached by hand. The work is so fine you can barely see the stitches. For more detailed shots of the making, see my first post on the fitting.

Depending on your preferences and budget, you can pick where you want to be along this scale of handwork. But both Satriano and D’Avino are clearly separated from a lot of other Neapolitan shirtmakers – mostly producing ready-to-wear – who only do aesthetic things by hand, usually buttons and buttonholes. In this way, the makers vary both by price and priorities.

Simon Crompton for Permanent Style

I deliberately photographed the D’Avino shirt after a few hours’ wear, to demonstrate how Fiorenzo (Auricchio, the cutter) took into account the propensity of the denim-like cotton to wrinkle. This shortens the sleeve and it must be cut a little longer to compensate.

Elsewhere there are one or two things I would change on the fit – such as a slightly taller collar – but this is inevitable on a first iteration.

Simon Crompton for Permanent Style

I have always liked denim shirts as a casual twist on tailoring, but they gain hugely from being bespoke. Most casual RTW shirts, including denim, are cut shorter and wider to allow them to be worn tucked in or out. Such a compromised fit simply doesn’t work, and the shirt will inevitably billow out at the waist.

I highly recommend D’Avino shirts for those looking for the highest levels of craftsmanship.

Simon Crompton for Permanent Style

Photography: Jack Lawson

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the fit on your shoulders is perfect…. what trousers are those? the colour complements the blue so well


Discussions of bespoke shirts always seem to end up talking about the amount of handwork (stitching) at some point. I’m sorry if this is a dumb question but what are the tell-tale signs that hand stitching is involved? Can you post any close up shots, maybe of the same seam on one of your more hand-made bespoke shirts vs an older T&A bespoke (or whatever more suitable machine-stitched comparison you think best) in order to give some of us less experienced readers some clues as to what to look for in judging this aspect of a shirt? Thanks.

– Julian


One thing that always strikes me with regards custom made shirts is that they can often ‘reveal more then they conceal’.
For example , I find that because they are cut close to the body they can easily reveal a slight ‘pot belly’ on most men and make the torso look very ‘square’.
I assume the general idea is that a custom shirt if done well ,as above, create a slight V and accentuate the male form.
Your thoughts , please.

Matt Spaiser

That’s especially true when wearing the shirt untucked. When tucked, my fitted shirts are more slimming.


Hello Simon,

I really like the length of the cuffs and the fact that they seem to be quite snug. I once had half a dozen shirts made with 4.5 inch cuffs with two-button closure, but I think that length was taking it to an extreme (not that I regret it). I’m curious to know if these cuffs have one or two buttons. Also, in general, do you find 3-button cuffs, such as the ones by T&A, to be a fine option? Or a bit overdone? Thanks in advance for your advice.



Wow! That looks great. What is the price range of D’Avino shirts? Thanks.


Hello Simon,

The shoulders on this shirt are gorgeous.

Do you plan on trying any other Neapolitan shirtmakers in the future?


Dear Simon
Apparently a denim shirt (i believe it has another which is used by The Armoury for which i cannot recall) is a staple of anyones wardrobe and maybe it is time i looked in to one.
Having said that, a bespoke shirt is simply out of range for me. Can you please advise if you know of any off the shelf brands that are worth considering and, what is the best cotton count as many denim shirts i have seen are simply far too thick to look more formal.
Images on The Armoury website show it worn with a tie which is very nice indeed.
As an aside and out of curiosity – can i ask why it is that many of your photographs are taken in St Paul’s Churchyard?


Where did the denim come from? Do you have any suggestions for shirt fabric suppliers for more casual shirting materials such as denim, needlecord or flannel?

– Julian


Thomas Mason fabrics are great, they belong to Albini group. Probably the best mill for shirts.
Canclini, Monti, Testa and Carlo Riva are also excellent.
For non-italian mills you have Getzner and Eugster. They are also great.
This is pretty much it for high-end fabrics.


Dear Simon,

would you be so kind and give me the reference number and the name of the fabric used for your shirt?
I will be more than grateful for that.
Sincerely yours,



Dear Simon,
Your bespoke shirts certainly look lovely! However, will the high end work stand up to commercial laundry?
Even though laundering and ironing yourself is probably more gentle on the shirts, that is time I’d rather spend with the kids…


Ben Johnson

Great shirt! Are there adjustments you’d make to the fit and cut for a shirt that’s designed to be worn without a jacket?


Hi Simon. What part of a bespoke shirt, when done by hand is functional and what is purely aesthetic ?


Simon, I have a question about collar lengh in a button down shirt. I know it depends on your individual physique, but what would you recommend as a minimum for a man of your size with a neck that is neither especially long nor short?


I see the buttons are sewn on with all the threads pointing towards the lowest hole, is there a reason for this? I’ve never seen it before and it looks quite interesting


Hi Simon,

are you having the length of your shirt cuffs made longer than normal to cope with your ‘longer’ arms? Is it a detail you would say somebody should avoid if he is on the opposite with ‘shorter’ arms?

How long are you making your cuffs? I am making mine 8 cm and i am more on the ‘shorter’ arm side.


If the denim was a lot darker, what thread colour would you choose for button holes and other seams if you wanted the seams to be as invisible as possible throughout the shirt’s lifetime (even as the fabric fades to light blue)?


Hi Simon,

How does the denim you used for this shirt compare to the Everyday Denim? I believe it’s the same thread count in the warp and weft, so does it have a similar softness and richness?



What is your opinion on lightweight denim shirt like this? Is it as casual as a heavy weight denim?

Currently I would not able to exceed on my budget but does it look cheap by any chance?


How do you tell the quality of a denim shirt ? For ex how would I know that it is a good quality denim or not?

Whether If this is good quality or not?

Could you please advice on this shirt and tell me whether it would be a good buy or not for casual wear or whether it is looking cheap at first glance?

Would it look out of place in summer because the the material though feels light to wear can seem pretty heavy to the onlooker?