The (21) shirtmakers I have known

Wednesday, October 9th 2019
||- Begin Content -||

Three years ago, I wrote a post called ‘The tailors I have known'. The idea was to provide a single reference point for anyone to get a run down on everyone I had tried - and links to more detail. 

A reader recently commented that it would be nice to do something on shirtmakers, so here it is. 

Although I have reviewed several of these shirtmakers, I now realise that many have not had full reviews. So that’s something I will endeavour to correct over the next few months. 

I have, however, included observations and experiences below, and please do ask in the comments if you have any specific questions in the meantime.

Each entry below has links to all relevant old posts.

Turnbull & Asser

Turnbull & Asser were the first bespoke shirtmaker I ever used. I saved my pennies back in 2009 and ordered the six shirts required for a first order. 

The experience was pretty good, if a little intimidating, and David Gale (since left) was a superb cutter. I would recommend them today if you want English shirts - but I tend not to today, as I prefer the style of Italians, both in terms of make (eg light fusing) and style (English makers are not great at casual styles).

I covered the experience in two posts, as well as visiting the factory and writing about that:

Emma Willis

Emma made me a cream-silk dress shirt in 2011, which was nicely made but would come with the same qualifications as for T&A above. 

At the margins, I’d also say the T&A was a little better in terms of fit, but it is a small difference. Emma also has more modern taste than most at T&A, and I prefer her aesthetic.

Sean O’Flynn

Sean was recommended to me by a reader, and the experience was very good. Again, I haven’t used him since and wouldn’t for the style I now like, but for a wing-collar dress shirt like he made me, he was very good. 


Budd is the English shirtmaker I have used most recently, and would perhaps be quickest to recommend. 

Both Darren and James are more progressive than most English makers - always working on their own ideas for one-piece collars, different button-down styles and so on. Darren was also keen for our experiment a few years ago in making a bespoke safari jacket. 

I have yet to fully cover the point-collar shirt they made for me recently, which I will try to correct as part of this coverage. 


Charvet is such a renowned shirtmaker that I felt I had to try them for completion. I love Jean-Claude too, and his knowledge of fabrics and eye for colour is unsurpassed. 

The fitting process was more involved than any other I’ve tried, with cuts, pins, drawing, and the carving away at a trial collar until the shape was perfect. It was (perhaps similarly to Maison Bonnet) the full bespoke experience - including picking an exclusive cloth from a whole floor of them. 

However, while the shirt fit very well, I’d still prefer the Italians on style (particularly shirts to wear both with and without a tie) and Charvet is slightly hard to justify for the price. Full coverage in links below (as with all these entries).


Fiorenzo Auricchio runs a small shirtmaking atelier in Somma Vesuviana, just outside Naples. He is unusual for employing almost everyone in-house (most in the area are freelance workers) and for doing a huge amount of handwork on every shirt. 

The shirts are beautiful, with hand-rolled hems and hand-sewn seams - truly works of art. Fiorenzo is let down slightly by his English skills, but I would still recommend him for anyone that wants that level of craft. 

Simone Abbarchi

Simone Abbarchi is based in Florence, but visits London and New York twice a year (less often than most other visitors) and has a large business in both cities. 

Simone’s key attractions are consistency and price. He makes bespoke and made to measure shirts for around €180 and €150 each, which is often what you would pay for a designer brand shirt that doesn’t fit. 

The shirts don’t have the handwork of other Italians, but with nice styles and him yet to make a mistake after years of working together, I would recommend Simone to anyone starting out. 

Luca Avitabile (previously Satriano Cinque)

Luca Avitabile has become my go-to shirtmaker over the years. He has had issues with consistency sometimes, and has become very popular recently, but he makes a great shirt and a collar style that is my favourite anywhere - hence the reason I also use him to make our shirts on the PS Shop. 

Luca is lovely, speaks good English, and comes to London frequently (roughly every six weeks). He also visits New York and Stockholm. The shirts have all the functional handwork, plus hand-sewn buttons and buttonholes, but no other frills. 

I should also say that, in my view, you want one shirtmaker to make most of your shirts. It creates consistency, and there is far less to tell between them in terms of style than with tailors. Today I tend to use Luca and then one or two others. 


Marol is a high-end Italian shirt factory that was bought a few years ago by Bo Yang. He has introduced new styles, moved factory, and generally improved the offering. They also now travel under the Marol name. 

Bo has made me a couple of shirts, but I have yet to do a full review. It took us a couple of attempts to get the collar right, but I was very pleased with the final result.

The level of finesse in the work is also extremely high - less in hand sewing, and more in the precision and detailing of the machine work. This is an interesting area that I’ll cover more at a later stage. 

100 Hands

100 Hands is headquartered in Amsterdam, but is run by a family that has its own shirtmaking factory in India. 

There are different levels of quality, but the top end is absolutely superb - on a par with D’Avino and any others doing things by hand. I’ve visited the factory, which is also very well run, and I can highly recommend Akshat, Varvara and the team. 

You might be more likely to see them as a ready-to-wear brand, but they also do MTM and bespoke through trunk shows. 


Burgos is a storied shirtmaker in Madrid, and well known in its home country. They sell ready-made shirts, bespoke, and other pieces like dressing gowns and traditional teba jackets. 

My experience with them back in 2013 was OK, but not the strongest on this list. They’re also fairly formal. They did, however, make me some wonderful pyjamas last year, which I saw when they appeared in our pop-up shop. 


Langa is a bespoke tailor in Madrid, which has just as strong a reputation for its shirts - made by cutter Mariano. 

The shirt Mariano cut for me was good, a solid make and a decent fit. But unless you’re a resident of Madrid and like the style, there isn’t enough of a difference to recommend seeking him out. 

Ascot Chang

Ascot Chang is the best-known shirtmaker in Hong Kong, and has outposts in China and the United States as well as stores in HK. Justin, the youngest generation of the family to run Ascot Chang, made me a shirt last year that I have yet to cover. 

But the fit was good - perhaps the only maker ever to get my sloping shoulders spot on (even a little too sloped) on the first try.

Ascot Chang also make good-value RTW shirts, in collaboration with The Armoury and Bryceland’s.

Made to measure


That’s it for bespoke shirtmakers, but I have used a small number of made-to-measure companies. Usually the difference is that smaller changes are possible - either by limit of process or time - than with bespoke. 

Luxire was one of these: a company that became popular online for its low prices and ability to copy others. I can’t recommend them that highly though (see link below).


Kiton made me shirts years ago (2011) and at the time I was impressed by the handwork, such as the hand-rolled hems and hand-sewn seams. Also the two-part collar which was part fusing, part floating lining. 

But since then I’ve seen higher quality work from the smaller makers, particularly D’Avino and 100 Hands for this top level of quality. And even though I love the guys, such as Seabstiano Borelli (above), it’s very hard to justify the high prices. 


I tried Drake’s made-to-measure shirts soon after they bought the Rayner & Sturges factory in 2013. The result wasn’t perfect but I would place no weight on that experience, as the process and product has changed substantially since then. 

It’s one more I should try and report on properly at some point.

Segun Adelaja

Segun is a designer with a small shop in the Princes Arcade in London. He’s a lovely guy, and has a strong business among the rich of his native Nigeria. 

The shirt he made for me was good, if expensive for made to measure. I’m not sure I’d shop there now, but that’s largely because my taste has changed, becoming rather quieter. 


There are are a few other shirtmakers which I have covered, but never had shirts made by.

If you’re interested in them, you might still want to read those articles for information on make, quality and style. 

They include Salvatore Piccolo from Naples (above), who of course also makes lots of ready-to-wear; the incredibly expensive Siniscalchi from Milan (below), who is just bespoke and has a great archive; and also Emmanuele Maffeis in the shirt heartland of Bergamo.

I’ve also used English shirtmaker Stephen Lachter - but to make a dressing gown, not a shirt. 

Articles on all of them at those hyperlinks. 

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Very good read Simon. It’s always great to have a central article which sums up a topic and links to more detailed review.
I think I remember you mentioning W&S shirts in a comment at some point, however I know they changed some of their shirt making process early this year, such as the fusing. Did you try them recently? I’d be interested on reading your review on their shirts, as their prices is very attractive too.


I have a number of shirts from W&S and have been very pleased with them from both a style and value for money perspective but can only compare them to other English bespoke options. They are my favourite of the English options I’ve tried and the finishing has been very consistent. I have preferred the collars on the more recent shirts, which I presume relates to the change to the shirt making process referred to above.

Of course, it also exceptionally convenient as I also visit W&S for tailoring and have limited amounts of time to spend on clothes. If I used a different tailor then I might be more inclined to experiment with other options for shirts (I have looked at 100 hands trunk shows a couple of times but thus far restrained myself).

Simon mentioned below that he had perhaps forgotten W&S because he thought of them primarily as a tailor. I share that sentiment (and I suspect W&S would be disappointed if I did not). I think their shirts are very good for both quality and value but I think their tailoring is superb quality and exceptional value.

Richard T

Those are really helpful comments, Michael. I’ve been a customer of W&S for some time and have been exceptionally pleased by the quality, value for money and customer service. I’ve tried a small number of other tailors, but have pretty much settled on using W&S. I’ve been using Simone Abbarchi for shirts + and will continue to do so – and have been similarly pleased. The only drawback is that he only visits twice a year. I’ve been considering trying W&S shirts for some time, but haven’t been able to find any comments on them, so it’s good to read your comments. I’ll give them a try.


Richard, my pleasure. I look forward to hearing about your experience with them in due course (and any comparisons you draw with Simone, whether from a stylistic or technical perspective)!

In my experience almost always you need 2 or 3 iterations (so 2-3 shirts) in order to nail the fit and style. Which makes the initial investment for trying a new shirt maker always relatively high (you pay 1 or 2 expensive shirts that you later don’t really like).
Also consistency is an imporant point. For example if your shirt sleeve length varies. It will vary also against your jackets which would sometime be negative – for example showing too much or too little cuff.
So for these reasons after trying 3 bespoke and 2 MTM shirtmakers I stuck with one of the MTM shirtmakers ever since and tend not to experiment anymore.


You’re from Munich, aren’t you? Who do you use?

Hristo (STEMESO socks)

Hi, Parker, yes, I am in Munich. I use Emanuel Berg MTM because I am really satisfied with the fit and style that we acchieved after several shirts and because of the lower price compared to bespoke.
The handwork on the bespoke shirts just made them cost me much more effort when ironing (for example the hand made buttonholes). I really liked the shirt that Anna Matuozzo made for me and she was the only bespoke maker that was a spot on from the first shirt, but the price is more than double the price of Emanuel Berg MTM.
At the end of the day a shirt is in my opinion a consumable item. White shirts loose their mojo after some time, edges fray (and not everybody is on the opinion that frayed edges are ok in a business environment with a formal suit), so that shirts definitively don’t have the same longevity as a jacket and a high financial investment is somehow more difficult to justify.
I am wearing just around 10 shirts in rotation, so that every shirt gets washed and ironed more than 25 times a year so that a shirt seldom survives longer that around 5 years of this abusive wear.


Probably one of my favourite series on PS.

Good Joh Simon


Agree. Well done.


Hi Simon,

I seem to recall reading somewhere on the blog that you had also tried W&S for a shirt. I might have just imagined it, it if not, would it be appropriate to include them here too?


Very nice to see this type of consolidated article .
Fit me it raises several questions .
Firstly if someone is using one shirt maker such as Simone Abbarchi what would be their next move if trying someone else ?

Secondly , you repeat that your personal preference has changed more for Italian shirt makers .
How does that effect your judgement and others reading this article ? A reader could easily dismiss some of the Spanish shirt makers in favour of Luca Aviatable.

I suppose what I’m asking is how best to use this article . It’s so easy with these kind of articles to dismiss certain products because of a perceived slight criticism.

P.S. hope I don’t sound too blunt i’m Just trying to get the point across as best I can .


Simon, since you say you prefer the Italian make because it’s more casual, could you do post where you highlight where those differences are, with comparison pictures please?


I share these comments, Simon. You’ve discussed jackets in great detail over the years and I think I have a pretty good handle on different jacket styles (English structured v. drape v. Neapolitan v. French). With trousers, it’s much weaker, but I still vaguely understand what you’ll get from a Neapolitan tailor v. an English tailor.

However, I’m largely at a loss for what differentiates an english shirt from an Italian shirt, etc.

I suggest an equivalent to “Which House Style Suits your Body Shape?” for shirts would go a long way to correcting this. Would also love to see something like that for trousers at some point, though that’s less needed.

Some of this might also be worthwhile incorporating or emphasizing in your upcoming shirtmaker reviews.

On a personal note, I’m looking forward to your review of Marol as the two shirtmaker to which I have access are T&A and Marol and I’m hoping to better understand their stylistic and value differences.


Thank for the recent post–I think you’ve now very effectively covered the technical details of this and some of the regional tradition around it. Not sure if there’s more to discuss, but if so I’d still be curious about more details on regional traditions (more on various geographic regions and perhaps other style points beyond collars and cuffs).

Also, any chance we could get a review of your Marol commissions some time?


Is the “roll” the right expression to describe the collar of a dress shirt Simon?


Sorry, second attempt re “roll”.

A dress shirt collar has no “roll”. The roll is the term used to describe how a collar bows outwards if it is correctly made/fitted as a button down.

Happy to help with this precision.


Have you tried Finamore? I’ve always found their handwork to be neater than Kiton and some other RTW brands who use hand stitching.
As a very well known Neapolitan shirtmaker, their absence from your list is conspicuous.


Interesting. It prompted me to click on the links and pick up on some of the back stories.

One in particular struck me, the debate about wing collars on O’Flynn’s page.

I don’t have strong views about wearing a wing collar with black tie (although personally I wouldn’t), but the key point here is that a shirt worn as part of white tie should not have double cuffs as here, and so this shirt can’t be worn in that context.

For white tie the shirt should have single barrel cuffs, with links. Further, these links should be faced with mother of pearl, as should the studs.

I hope this small precision helps your readers.


Finamore do, or have done, MTM.


Outside of Luca who do you find yourself reordering from and why?


Dear Simon

I submitted a short piece earlier about the correct format for the cuffs of a white tie shirt which I hoped would be of use to your readers, but it has not appeared.

Did you receive it?

Thank you.


Dear Simon

I will type it again.

I enjoyed this article and it prompted me to go to some of the links within it. The piece about wing collar dress shirts caught my eye.

I don’t worry too much about wing collars with black tie (although I wouldn’t wear it) but the point is that, a wing collar shirt for white tie is properly made with single barrel cuffs that take links. So really your shirt from O’Flynn should not be worn for white tie.

Ideally, the links should be faced with MOP and the studs matched to them.

I hope this is helpful.

I base this on 30+ years attending Corporation of London events. By the way you may be interested to know that the rules regarding black tie was relaxed earlier this year to allow lounge suits to be worn, but the white tie rule is still rigorously applied, even today



I like how you consolidated all your shirt experiences into one article. Nice to have everything in one place. Well done.

I only have experience with one bespoke shirt maker which is Anto in California. They have been making me shirts for a few years now and I have been very satisfied with their work and customer service. Your U.S. readers may find them to be of interest.

Interestingly, there are a couple of makers you mentioned that I have been curious about as well. However, as another gentlemen commented above, it seems that to really achieve what you are looking for requires a bit of experimentation and trial and error. This in turn of course requires additional expense and time which is why I have decided to just stay with the maker I have as we now have a solid business relationship.

That said, these craftsman are still a lot of fun to read about. Thank you for another fine piece.


The article, as an overview, works well if you have spent a lot of time reading PS and can understand the subtleties interwoven within the descriptions. I agree with Robin’s point ‘how to use the article’, as you tread an understandably neutral path throughout. Perhaps, in a follow up, a rating from best to worst though you might think this a little unfair. Though you might see little difference at the top end it is also worth remembering that fairly large sums of money can be spent on a collection of bespoke shirts – readers are therefore looking to get it right. This is furthered by the unfortunate practice of shirt makers demanding multiple orders from the first. As Hristo points out the first 1 – 2 orders may be lacking in exact precision. Multiplied across the order this can prove to be expensive and, perhaps, illuminates the reason as to why some prefer to use RTW, as the fit can be ajudged immediately. I therefore applaud the approach of some of the Italian makers who will make on single commissions. If success is met further orders are made. It is a lesson UK makers could do well to learn and for the wearer it would allow for a greater number of one-off commissions such as dress shirts.


I decided I need bespoke shirts because of my broad and especially high shoulders. With most rtw shirts there are tension lines from the highest closed button (except when buttoned completely) to the shoulders (you can see this problem surprisingly often even on advertising photos). The few shirts I find that fit are usually Italian and tend to have other disadvantages, like too small collars or a short length.
So I tried two of your recommendations, one twice the other five times, always coming back to the store to discuss the results and got exactly one shirt that had a clean breast, and that one strangely was a first. And while the service was great and everybody perfectly nice and attentive there were also consistency problems with both tailors, fit changes I requested ignored or things like arm length changed which had been good.
Sadly, I can still get a cleaner fit with rtw (e. g. S. Piccolo).


Thanks for the comprehensive and useful guide. One think that surprised me in the article is that you view D’Avino as a very consistent maker, while I have quite different experience. While the number of hand steps is high and the selection of fabrics is nice, after ordering some 20+ shirts from him in the course of two years I experienced some good share of those shirts that had not very straight stitching lines and some other less than perfect points. At the same time, I completely don’t see those issues in 100Hands bespoke or even Kiton MTO.


Given your a well known commentator do you believe you actually get the standard quality of output from these firms? I guess somewhat linking into your influencer piece or the whole food critic spotter… pop culture would suggest that a minimum a higher level of quality assurance would be applied to whatever you have made and so whilst you can comment on the peak of their ability you are probably less exposed to their standard level or variability?

Craig Rolle

It would be great to see you commission some bespoke shirts from Wil Whiting.




Reuven Lax

I’ve been through a few shirtmakers before finding the one I use now. I spent some time getting shirts from Luca, but had too many consistency issues with those shirts. I really liked Luca, and if I had lived in London where I could see him more often I probably would’ve stuck with him and tried to work out the issues. The past couple of years I’ve been wearing shirts by Wil Whiting. Beautiful make and style, and the fit is consistently spot on each time.

Consistency is something that is especially important to those who live a distance from the makers. It can often take months – or more! – to see the maker to address issues. This is an area of quality I don’t often see addressed on this site, and for many it’s more important than comparing buttonhole finishing. When I read a post that talks about the best “first fit” of any tailor/shoemaker/shirtmaker/etc., I’m never sure how to interpret that. Is this something consistently repeatable, or was it happenstance? Maybe the tailor’s last customer had a similar body shape to you, so he/she knew exactly what to do. Maybe it was simple sheer luck that the maker nailed that item, and the next one wouldn’t be as good.

Measuring consistency is understandably difficult to do in a format like this one. It can take several years to get an idea, and even then it’s hard to know if your experiences are matching others. However there are makers that you have used multiple times over the years: several jackets from Steven, several items from Sexton, A&S, Solito, etc. I think it would be extremely interested for you to talk in more detail about how consistent your garments have been from these makers. Consistency in make, in fit, and in finish. This would also provide a forum for readers to comment on their own experiences. I would find such content very useful and interesting.


Good point about bespoke tailors being pretty consistent. This is what first pushed me to using full bespoke tailors a number of years ago. I found that many “budget” bespoke and m2m outfits would sometimes produce great results, but consistency varied widely from garment to garment. One suit might be great, and the next one not so much. Maintaining consistency takes extra work and time, which raises cost, and budget operations don’t have the margins to cover that. Bespoke tailors have margins that are high enough to provide consistent results (which includes the ability to completely remake a garment occasionally).


Very helpful Simon. Perhaps it’s time to update the tailors you’ve used as there have been some additions.


What about Frank Foster? What are your thoughts Simon ? I’ve read his workmanship is unrivaled. Any thoughts of a visit/review?


Hi Simon,

You finally wrote this type of article and its a pleasure to read such great reviews.

Also, do you have any plan to try Wil Whiting?


Have you ever tried Camiceria artigiana Carmen bespoke in Turin?


No Simon. I live in Italy but I’ve never tried Camiceria Carmen. But I have some friends who have made shirts made of pure Merino wool that can be machine washed and are really beautiful, with wonderful handmade buttonholes. This is the reason why I asked you if you had heard of it. Thank you


How was the Lachter gown? LOVE KHL, and Stephen is a dear gentleman, as are John and Terry!

Lindsay McKee

I’m possibly considering La Bowtique for a Midnight Silk satin bow tie and maybe Stephen Lachter for a MTM or bespoke shirt to complement the bow tie.
I know that a minimum of four shirts is needed with bespoke which is a pain.
Do all bespoke makers require these minimums?

Lindsay McKee

Very informative indeed.
Many thanks.


Simon, one important thing that is unfortunately missing from this interesting review is an analysis of what the shirt from each house is like after multiple washes and long use. Most of my bespoke shirts have come from T & A, and I have to say that they get better with wash after wash. I’m also enjoying the Luca Avitabile denim shirt I bought from your site. A critical thing here is that a shirt takes a lot of daily battering, especially in a work setting, so needs to become like a dependable old friend, moulding more to the body shape, becoming softer and more lived in without looking tatty. I suppose I might be at risk in applying a particularly English criterion of what constitutes a good piece of clothing, whereas an Italian or Frenchman might prefer something that looks sharper and is disposed of more quickly, but in my view the prospect of enjoying long use of a garment and its dependability are what make the extra expense of bespoke worthwhile.


Simon, you should try shirtmaker John Garland who can produce great shirts with handwork similar to Italian shirt makers


Vicariously can I ask for thoughts (pending commissions?) on Anna Matuozza, Luigi Borelli and Battistoni (and Marol – pending). I’ve read that Lanvin bespoke in Paris is also very good, comparable, if not better than Charvet. Re. Frank Foster, I believe he has passed away (2016) but his wife (who used to make with Frank) and daughter carry the business on. As to commissions – for those who have bought from Frank, such as Matt Spaiser, his work was always regarded as the best.

Felix vL

Have you ever heard of / tried Santamaria Shirtmakers (based on Ossington St. in Notting Hill)? I got my first shirts made there (it was on my street).

Felix VL

Positive – although it’s the only time I had shirts tailored (except for readjusted Tyrrwhit / Curtis & Hawes, etc. standard) so I cannot compare.

The experience itself was great, the owner Ana really takes you by the hand, offers tea, coffee, maybe cava if you’re lucky. You’ll run through the different textiles and styles you want. She’ll do one fitting, send your measurements off to Spain, and then you come back in to try out how the first “draft” of the shirt fits and whether adjustments are needed.

So the experience was entirely positive. The fit definitely beat that of the “main street” brands. However, I cannot compare the quality against other fitted shirts.


Hi Simon, Interesting Article. I can imagine everyone have their favourites and one tailor could suit someone while another not. Do I understand your personal recommendations based on your article are Luca, 100Hands and D’Avino and perhaps Simone if someone wants to experience some nice bespoke/mtm shirts?


Appreciate the article, Simon. You mentioned them in your Parisian guide in the section about Charvet, but have you had any interest in checking out Lucca or Courtot? I’ve heard good things about their attention to detail and fit, especially with the former’s collar work, though the latter has a greater choice of fabric. Would be interested in a comparison between them and 100 Hands’s higher end offerings.


Lucca uses a trial paper collar, and is specific about second button positioning, with a supposedly welcoming atmosphere. Courtot I think offers more options for fabric, but I see them recommended less often. Both are around low-to-mid 200 Euro. Lanvin’s prices are Charvet-level, but they’re considered by some to be more impressive. Curious how much of that is fashion house branding, or actual bespoke work.


That you did not visit the late Frank Foster if you want a good shirt is an unfathomable mistake.

Jim Moreno

Is it correct to say in order of quality and craftsmanship: (1) Charvet . (2) Luca Avitabile . (3) Budd


Simon, Excellent summary. Seems then that 100 Hands and D’Avino are the two top in terms of finishing? Outside of finishing, which do you prefer and why? It appears to me that D’Avino is superior with executing both fit and collar.


Hey Simon! Given that Hong Kong is a former British colony, would you say that Ascot Chang is strongly influenced by (and still mostly adheres to) the British school of shirtmaking? I am keen to try them the next time I’m in HK.


I have tried Ascot Chang (3 shirts) and I am not impressed. Specifically the fit around the neck and shoulders and the collar. Noticed the problem after the first shirt was finished and they adjusted slightly for the two shirts after that but still pretty uncomfortable. The collar is also too stiff for my liking but that’s a matter of personal preference I guess. Finally, the whole ordering and fitting process was very unlike bespoke – more like a relatively impatient MTM maker. I can find a relatively impatient MTM maker who manages the same or better fit on every street corner in Hong Kong for 1/4 of the price. Not recommended

Claudia Fung

You should visit Harvie and Hudson. They have a great selection of Shirts!


This is really interesting and appreciate the run down. I dove head first into my first bespoke order with T&A and am glad I have them but also should have chosen a maker that can be more casual. Being in Los Angeles, there aren’t too many makers that do trunk shows here. Can anyone suggest shirtmakers I may have missed that would be more of the Italian/casual style? Thank you.


I believe Wil Whiting’s bespoke shirts start at £500 for machine stitched (guessing around £700 for bespoke) This is more than the 100 Hands Gold Line Bespoke, fully hand stitched. I’m sure they are incredible and as perfect as a shirt can be but it would be hard to justify repeat purchases at this price. Interesting though the level of attention to detail that’s now being applied by this relatively new maker

Don Gibson

I recently got a couple of shirts made from Luca.
I have to say, I’m not impressed – the fit isn’t great at all, and it took 5 months – a long time for only one fitting.
I wanted to share my experience. But also had a question. I have never previously had shirts made bespoke.. I am not quite sure how possible it is to ask for adjustments? Obviously I would on a jacket or pair of bespoke trousers, but is this something a shirt maker can do, and should he be obliged to after delivering the product?


Hey Don,
I recently had to get Luca make a few alterations and he honestly couldn’t have been more helpful. I’d lost about a stone since the first fitting, so this was my fault not his. But Luca was a total gent about it, and is turning it around very quickly despite the fact the shirts were already delivered. Just give him a message and I guarantee you he will do everything he can to make sure you’re satisfied. It sounds like you’ve done bespoke before, but honestly, the process can be tough sometimes – communicating exactly what you want, understanding books of fabrics.. it’s hard, and easy to make expensive mistakes .
That said, the process of working on a pattern with an artisan over several fittings and orders is special, and though I know Simon doesn’t see shirt makers as the first choice to get something made bespoke, if you’re anything like me and live in shirts, but can’t afford to be commissioning a suit, working with a shirt maker to get your perfect fit, style and cloth has been quite magical and I can not speak highly enough of Luca’s skill on fit, understanding of fabrics and the fact he’s just a really nice guy. I honestly can’t see myself ever having a shirt made elsewhere. My ten cents! Best of luck.


Simon – Having recently received my very first bespoke shirt order I wondered if you might be able to advise on a particular aspect which I had not expected. The shirts arrived with darting. This wasn’t something discussed during the ordering or fitting process so wondered if this is generally a common practice amongst bespoke shirt maker (mine is from Naples if that makes a difference). Additionally, I wondered if you might be able to advise on the advantages/disadvantages to darting. Form reading another of your articles I note that darting is often the “easiest” way for a maker to achieve a certain shape and fit to a shirt but I’d imagine easy isn’t necessarily what one would expect from a bespoke shirtmaker, however if it’s also the best approach, that’s something else entirely. Lastly, do shirtmakers use darting as a means to make future alterations more feasible, i.e. over time if the client begins to experience a bit of spread around the middle, would darting allow the shirtmaker to expand the middle of the shirt where a lack of darting would not?


To add to what Simon said – I believe that in years past, darts were considered a sign of a RTW shirt and bespoke makers avoided them. However those shirts were always intended to be worn under a jacket, so the fit down the back wasn’t considered as important. Many modern shirtmakers are cognizant that their shirts will often be worn with no jacket, and aim to make them look good on their own. This often means a slightly more fitted look (though of course you still don’t want it to be tight!). Fitting your back may or may not require darts – it depends on the shape of your lower back.


Simon – When it comes to having shirts made, what are your preferences in terms of fit and detail, i.e. Barrel Cuff, single button/two button, darts/no darts, box pleat/side pleat/no pleat?


Thanks Simon – I’d certainly welcome such an article. In the mean time – is there any practical benefit to no button on the cuff placket or is it purely personal aesthetic tastes?


Hi Simon, I think my T&A shirt collars ride a little too low on my longish neck.Your collars from Luca A. are much nicer.Could you tell me how high your collar is at the back and the length of the collar points.This will hopefully give me some idea for my next commission!


Thanks Simon.I’ ve just seen some photos of Gustaf’s collars as best dressed man 2019 on your site.I would like to achieve that look but not sure if my local shirtmaker is up to the job.


Hello Simon,

Given your general praise of Whitcomb and Shaftesbury, I wonder whether you have any experience with their bespoke shirts. They apparently start at £220 plus VAT, which seems to me a rather good price for bespoke. I imagine they have the shorts finished in India much like with their classic bespoke service.

If you have tried them, I would love to know what you think; if you haven’t, I suppose I would ask ‘why not?’

All best,



Ah, forgive me! I found some info in the comments!

Lindsay McKee

I have written to Suresh today and the procedure is this:-
After initial measurements and cloth selection, they make a shirt in sample cotton to see how it fits, and based on that, they will then modify the pattern before working on the actual cloth.
As you already said, the shirts are made in India. Handwork is extensive , hand curved collars, hand attached sleeves, hand stitched side seams, and hand rolled bottoms, aka pocket square type. Making a shirt a work of art. Pricing around £310 as of next year . Don’t think that includes VAT.
What’s your thoughts on this Simon …please?

Lindsay McKee

Many thanks


Hi Simon. Have you any experience with MCR shirts ? I’ve tried their RTW in Trunk Clothiers and liked them, but the fit wasn’t quite right. But I know they run a MTM program with Trunk which may solve this issue. Price wise they seem excellent.
Thanks as always for any advice.


Simon- do you get your shirts with fusing in the collar, cuffs and placket too? Or just the first two?


Hi Simon,
Do you know a shirtmaker for shirts with stiff detachable collars and detachable cuffs?

JOHN Scott-leith

I still have Coles of Sloane street Turnbull and asser and ascot chan still in good shape afyer 40 years my favourite Coles cream sea island cotton with semi cutaway collar long tail.


Hi Simon, another great read. I wanted to hear your opinion on how do you compare ready to wear shirts from Anglo-Italian and Emma Willis, besides the difference in style… And would you recommend one starts with say one, or both of those or another RTW label, or goes with Luca Avitabile.. Perhaps apples and oranges, who does Anglo RTW compare with Luca Avitabile shirts, where Luca is almost double the price of Anglo’s ( I believe also made in Naples).


Thank you Simon, good insight. Luca is starting to visit London again, so will have a look into that…

Sumit Aggarwal

Have you tried liverano and liverano shirts?

fentoids I

Luigi Borrelli ? (Sept. 2020)


I had a disappointing experience with Langa in Madrid. The workmanship was not bad (although I had to go there three times for measurements and fittings) but, after five months, they were still sitting on the VAT they charged me, and it will at this point probably never be reimbursed (I live outside of the EU and had the shirts mailed to me as an export package). I had a similar experience with another Madrid-based shirtmaker, De Grado.

Dash Riprock

My first bespoke shirts where from
Turnbull and Asser in 1969 three big spread cutaways. They cost £7 each. The Hayward collar was standard in those days at T&A. Also Fisher in the Burlington Arcade made some shirts for me. Good days!


Hi Simon. How do you find A.Kabbaz? Some style bloggers advertise him (rather aggressively, in my opinion) as the world best shirtmaker: best cuts, best finish, best fabrics, lots of handwork, etc.


Hi Simon, did you have any experience with Domenico Mazzarelli shirts, and if so how would you compare it to Luca Avitabile? Thanks


William Fields in Washington, DC may be worth a look if you explore makers in the US. I have used him for suits and shirts for years and have always been quite pleased.


Can you mention where Mr. Yang moved the Marol factory to?

Jasper Smit

Hello Simon,

I was wondering.. What is the most difficult thing to get right for a mtm or bespoke shirt, fit wise in your experience?

Thanks for sharing.

John Winstanley

Hi Simon.
I am in desperate need of some new shirts for business and casual.
Having reviewed your previous posts, Luca Avitabile seems like a good fit for me.
I would typically be looking at 3-5 business style shirts that can be worn with/without ties and it would be great if these could also transition into more business casual outfits, perhaps under a sweater or cardigan.
Would you agree that Luca could be an ideal fit?


for those currently interested, Luca now charges 260£ for bespoke shirt.

would you mind a couple questions since their communication is not the best?

I’ve booked appointment for next London trunk show. minimum order is 2 shirts, so in the ballpark of 560. (or a bit less + cloth for mtm or cut to measure).

what I understood, how it will happen, Luca will measure me, we discuss style, I pay half, and I pay another half before delivery..

but… that’s it? for a new customer? no fitting? and as far as I understood he will send both shirts together… what if they end up unwearable? I’m kind of concerned now.. if there is no fittings, wouldn’t it make more sense to send one shirt, I give feedback, and either book another trunk show if the outcome is not good, and than get on making another one?


thank you! I’ll clarify. but when I said wouldn’t it be better to get one shirt, give a feedback, and than get a second one, they just said “due to travel costs, minimum order is 2 shirts”.

to be honest their communication really is quite terrible. Im actually third time enquiring in about 3 years (first time actually booked a place), and previous times occasionally it took them couple weeks to answer an email… maybe I’m spoiled, but nowadays in time of smartphones and 4g, there is no excuse for not having 10 seconds to write a couple sentences in an answer.


Actually it was actually quite funny with the “minimum order’ and their communication. First time when I tried, it was minimum 2 shirts, but I didn’t book due to emails taking 2 weeks to be answered. Second time when I enquired about made to measure, cut to measure and bespoke, I was told I can order just one shirt.. Maybe they meant made to measure? But anyway, corona and furlough came and I decided to not book. Now it’s back to two shirts.

Now on Instagram response times seem to be massively improved to be honest. Maybe communication will improve on next shirt when I already am a paying customer. I guess I’m just spoiled! 🙂

But actually it is a good point. I didn’t know it’s just a couple people dealing with emails/messages. Also maybe I just don’t know the volume of messages they have to go trough..

Now just to decide on cloth. The plan was your blue Oxford and your denim, but denim is out of stock. I did love chambray, but I’m not sure how wearable it will be for me. I guess that leaves either striped Oxford or some linen for summer.


Clarified. Fitting will be in January. That actually calmed me down regards having to order 2 shirts at once. Thank you!


Ignore my last comment, confused this with Luca Faloni


I am also considering Luca’s MTM or bespoke shirts. Judging by their website it looks like it’s geared toward RTW. If it wasn’t for reading P.S. I wouldn’t have known he did trunk shows. I hope he’s not moving away from mtm/bespoke


Have you ever considered the shirtmaker Deema in Hannover Square?


No but I noticed that they were mentioned on a Steven Hitchcock Instagram video recently whilst he talked to a client.Both Steven and his guest were aware of this shirtmaker and not knowing Steven myself I get the impression that he has quite an interest in clothes,shirts etcI believe Deema cuts and makes the shirts on the premises herself.Interesting perhaps to find out more.Unfortunately,I don’t get to London much otherwise I would investigate further.

Hywel Jones

This article and thread got me started on my MTM shirt journey 12 months ago. I’ve ordered several shirts from Simone Abbarchi and the consistency is perfect. He gave good advice based on photos of a trial shirt. I like my fit a bit more relaxed and not overly slim as I tend to put on a bit of weight over winter each year. All are button down collar and the collar shape frames the face perfectly. Now restrictions are lifting I quite fancy a visit over to Florence for a bespoke fitting to see if that would yield further results.

Communication and delivery times are speedy and the range of fabrics are excellent. I’ve had two cotton flannel shirts made using Grandi and Rubinelli fabric which is nice and warm but not too thick. It’s softness is so comfortable. I’ve also just received a shirt using the PS striped blue Oxford fabric as well which is wonderful. It’s feels robust and the look is perfect in terms of treading a fine line with a fabric that can be worn with denim or with tailoring.


Why did you delete the Luxire review?


Hi Simon, I received PS oxford shirts in blue and striped yesterday, and they fit really well. Beautiful shirts with excellent cut and quality. I think they would work even better after the first wash. Would you recommend washing them before first wear, or should I wear them once or twice?
Also, do you have any plans to restock chambray and denim shirts in a medium soon?
Many thanks,


That is great. I will be looking forward to them!

Ali Abas

can you please introduce me some bespoke shirt makers who travel to Dubai for shirt making?


Hi Simon, I met Luca this week and ordered a white oxford shirt to wear with chinos, flannels and jeans. I chose royal oxford rather than the regular oxford, as I never tried it, and it looked neater to me. Do you think this was the right choice, or should I amend it to regular oxford as it might look too dressy?

Many thanks,


Okay, I thought most American oxford clothes are pretty casual. I was considering Alumo’s American oxford, but from reading that, I guess PS cloth would be a better choice.

Would you recommend not to make a chest pocket with the cloth?


Thanks, Simon. It was my first shirts bespoke experience. By observing tiny pieces of fabric, it was pretty challenging for me to imagine what the outcome would look like.

I ordered a shirt in chambray too, and I hope I got the right one for this.


There is a debate about whether or not to crease shirt sleeves when ironing. Have you noticed a theme among the shirt makers you know—who creases and who doesn’t? What’s your preference?


Hi Simon, could I ask approximately how long it took to get shirts made from Italian makers? I commissioned mine from Luca and Simone nearly four months ago, and I think they are taking way too long for a shirt.

Many thanks,


Yes, I did fittings around seven weeks ago. How long would you say is the average lead time?


Thanks, Simon. I will speak to them directly. I just wanted to find out a brief timeline for getting shirts made.


Hi Simon, I had an MTM shirt, and I have a slight issue which I would like to ask for your thoughts if you could. The shirt’s top part stays closed when I undo the top second button. My existing RTW shirts, such as PS shirts, were nicely opened when I undid them. I could only assume that the button and hole were made too high, but when I compared the buttons’ measurement with my PS shirts, they were precisely the same.
Many thanks,


Okay, thanks, Simon.
Do you think washing the shirt may help as the fabric (light dress denim) softens?
I have a thick neck compared to the other body parts. The shirt’s collar was cut much wider/bigger than the other parts. For instance, the collar measurement was around size 42, and the rest (shoulder/chest/waist) were in size 38/39.
You mentioned several times in your articles that MTM makers only deal with 2D while bespoke makers consider 3D aspects. Maybe is this what you were describing?


Hi Simon
Recently I tried one of the Italian bespoke shirt makers above. I was saddened to find that when the item was delivered it really didn’t fit well. What is the best etiquette in this situation? I want to maintain a good relationship with them and am conscious that they are a low volume artisan. Is it acceptable to ask them to alter the piece the next time, to try to get my pattern right? Or is this first order an expensive right-off?


what I did with Luca, after receiving shirts 2 sizes too big in body was, politely inquire about what the pattern says, as in, is this how you think shirt should fit (before sending them measurements) or you guys made a mistake. after sending them pictures, turns out they made mistake. spoke that better to wear and wash 3 times to see if it’ll shrink. it didn’t. booked next trunk show and Luca took shirts back to fix it. they said they will ship end of July. so let’s see how they turn out. if they are great, I will eventually get 3 more shirts just because they made no problems and took them back to fix. if they will still be wrong, I’ll write it off as expensive bespoke lesson and stick to my yeossal MTM.


Thank you Martins! I will also book in to the next trunk show and I can wear and show them to Luca in person. I don’t think this is how they are intended to fit, so am hopeful they will also take mine back to refit. I had a similar experience on a jacket with Solito, which was amended beautifully after a second trunk show visit


“I’ll ship before holidays” that did not happen.

left them a message right as I saw “we are going on holiday post”. did not get any response.

a week after they were back, another message was unanswered.

when I saw Instagram post about new York, left a comment, that maybe it’s better to sort out customers waiting from may to September before taking on new clients. comment was promptly deleted, but at least i got a response “I’m so sorry, I’ll ship your shirts next week as soon as I’m back from New York”… well, it’s Saturday and still no shipping notice.

question, if I may. Simon, do you consider it normal when dealing with Luca? and what am I supposed to do now?


I recall you had similar experience with one tailor (old version of your new harris tweed?) How do you approach unanswered messages and missed deadlines?

I think im right running out of politeness when i essentially dont have wearable shirts since…3rd of february? And after him admitting that first iteration is not good and taking shirts back to fix in middle of may even comunication is very below what id expect from whats essentially 250€ a shirt.


Well, after sending luca email with a recap of my experience, and mentioning that im asking for your advice, he very quickly send me a refund for making shirts and promised to send both clothes back. So once i get a shipping email for cloth, i will consider matter solved.

Than will be next problem, shall i make the cloth with yeossal or should i look for another shirtmaker.


Just received the cloth from luca. Funny enough, i cant recall thinking its thinner than my ralph lauren oxford, and somehow i thought white stripes were less white, but im probably overthinking (maybe its just unwashed). So now im in a position where i was before attempting to do business with luca.

Im sure 95% will get great shirts from him, but as the one that fell trough the cracks, “I” can not recommend him unless for you 260£ is not a big amount of money!

Now to figure out who can turn the cloth in a shirt….

Adrian T

I noticed that your link to the Luxire article links to an error page. Just pointing this out in case you/your website mods weren’t aware


Hi Simon,
Assume you’d have no hesitations at all in commissioning a more formal shirt (e.g. evening shirt for black tie) from an Italian maker like Simone or Luca?
Secondly, would you recommend starting out with having just 1-2 shirts made in order to make tweaks/further iterations later, rather than ordering, say, half a dozen in a first order? Thank you!


Thank you. It would be something rather plain so I may give it a go with Simone or Luca with that advice in mind.
Are any of the English makers at a similar price range of €200-300 for bespoke?

Andrew Heywood

What’s your favorite shirts brand?
I need formal one and casual(maybe oxford fabric) one. I’m very interested in formal shirts but now,I want some stylish oxford shirts:) please share your experience and recommend some gorgeous oxford shirts!!!


Hi Simon,

Do you have the price range for the bespoke shirts from Luca? I am hoping to replace the RTW oxford short from you with a few bespoke versions from Luca in February.



Hi Simon, would you like to share your views about online MTM Shirts, I know maybe you are not much interested about them. I believe it’s convenient to order and cheaper than in store purchase. Would you suggest anyone who makes good quality products such as fabric, stitching, and service. Preferably based in U.K. or Italy


Hello Simon
You mention that you had a shirt made by Ascot Chang. Although I don’t think you ended up doing a full review of it, are you able to link a picture of an outfit where you wear the shirt you had made by them?


Hi Simon,
As someone who has only commissioned some MTM shirts would you advise 100 Hands, Simone Abbarchi or perhaps Anglo-Italian for this? As I’m looking for a new shirtmaker.
Regarding bespoke, how much does a Luca Avitabile shirt cost? Plus how do you find the improvement of the fit of bespoke vs MTM shirts?
A bespoke shirt/s is something I aspire to have but I’d want to know whether the additional cost really makes a noticeable difference in fit and comfort.


Thank you Simon.
In that case if I stick to MTM, out of those mentioned above, which would you recommend from your experience?


I forgot to add, what are the benefits of bespoke that I would be missing out of with MTM?


Thank you Simon.
I’m sure I would enjoy having some bespoke shirts but I’m trying to save me from myself and keep a limit on my obsession of all things menswear!

Lindsay McKee

I had a look at the Luca AVITABILE webpage and I see that he offers a virtual 30 minute consultation for new and existing customers.
Budd does also.
Might be beneficial for erstwhile newcomers nervous about venturing into bespoke.


Yes, Luca does offer virtual consultations and I’m sure that could be helpful to anyone nervous about the process. That said, in-person measurements will still need to be taken but at least you get to know him a little before hand. He’s extremely relaxed and not at all intimidating. He’s not someone who’s going to look down on anyone for how they’re dressed or for lack of knowledge etc. I’d say an appointment with Luca is an excellent first step into such a world.

Lindsay McKee

Many thanks to DKP for this good advice.


What detergent do you use for your shirts?


Hi Simon. Like you I prefer the Italian style but have had a difficult time finding an Italian shirt maker who travels to New York and provides reliable delivery and consistent quality. Who do you recommend?


Hi Simon,
Although an old post I thought this would fit in the comments here:
I have a question on how to deal with a situation that has come up with my shirtmaker and would be very gratefull if you could give me your thoughts on it.
I live outside of the UK and a (very old and world renowned) shirtmaker from London whom I shall not name visits my town twice a year. I took advantage of the reduced minimum order during trunk shows and had a shirt made. Thats were the trouble started. The first shirt was very off and when I took it to an overseas location of the maker they took completly new measurements and made significant adjustments to the pattern. The second shirt was better but still not what I would expect from such an old shirtmaker and thus further corrections were made. Then the third shirt came and it was still off due to a large fold in the neck. I politely asked to have that corrected and a new trial shirt made before the final order. I was told that “three trial shirts is the limit” and they would try and reduce the material on my final shirts. This irritaded me slightly as the first shirt was so off it couldn’t possibly count, it was totaly unbalanced and from a customer experiance side I was irritated because I thought the whole concept of high level bespoke was to produce a shirt that would “fit right” and not just somewhat close to that. Of course I know the fitting process is not endless and there ist no such thing as a perfect shirt on the first try but the final shirts fit worse in the specific area than my rtw shirts with a very large and visible fold beeing present at the neck. Besides that the whole process was bumby with a few mishaps on the way like the adding of the wrong cuffs which then also had to be corrected again.
I now have two shirts that don’t live up to the standard regarding fit that I would expect from this class of bespoke. None the less I would like to give them another chance because it ist a renowned tailor and the only one who visits my town (I could try to go local but had really high hopes towards this maker).
I’ve contacted them and said that I would like to have another shirt made by them but only if the pattern would be corrected. Otherwise it would be a wasted of ressources due to the unsatisfactory fit. They answered that I should drop in on their next visit but that my pattern is generally considered to be complete.
I’m not sure on how to deal with this as I find it hard to justify the price of bespoke if I can’t have necessary adjustments made and I thought it to be a normal process to work on your pattern with the shirtmaker as it’s almost impossible to get it “perfect” on the first few shirts but now it seems there is no such process here.
Thanks in advance.


Hi Simon, I really like Drake’s RTW oxford shirts, especially for the range of solid and stripe colors. I fit them fine for casual wear but because of shrinkage the sleeves run a little short when I wear them with a suit and tie. They offer MTO remotely which I plan to try, but in your experience is there an Italian maker that would be option for bespoke oxford cloth button downs and have a nice range of colors? You mentions preferring Italian makers for versatility but I assume most bespoke cloths would be more crisp poplins and twills. Thomas Mason has a very nice oxford cloth book and Isaia has five or six solid colors. It’d be nice to have that high level of craft on a bundle of shirts I could wash and wear repeatedly. Thank you very much; love this site.