02 December 2009

My First Custom Shirt

About a month ago, I received an email from a young lady working for a p.r. firm in Chicago. She was writing on behalf of online custom shirt company Deo Veritas. She found this blog, and offered me a free shirt, made to my specifications, to review on here. How exciting! Who knew that screwing around on the computer when you ought to be in bed could actually have perks? So I accepted her offer and, promo code in hand, headed to the Deo Veritas website.

The shirt arrived today...I've been itching to tell you all about it.

Blue and white gingham check, smooth pinpoint Italian cloth, with contrast collar and cuffs.

Contrast button down collar, that is. Unorthodox? Certainly. But, like a real rube, I decided that my first custom garment should spare no bells and/or whistles. I was inspired by a shirt that Brooks Brothers was offering last year, blue university stripe with white button down collar and French cuffs. Hell, Gitman Brothers was selling something similar at the infamous Pop Up Flea.


Contrast cuffs, three button with an angled cut at the corner.



The label reads "bespoke tailored". Really I'd call this excellent made to measure. To me, "bespoke" implies that I was fitted in person by the man who would make the garment. A semantic detail.


And just for good measure, a monogram. I'm really not into monograms on anything other than a canvas tote bag, but they offered it on the inside of the collar band. That's not bad.

As for fit and construction, I'm totally pleased. The fit is great, the shirt is unique. I may be a thrift store junkie, but it's nice to own something fresh once in a while...doubly so when its really been made just for you. I'm high on the feeling. I never knew it could be this way...


Take a look at the pattern alignment on the sleeve placket. Perfect, no?

And the front placket is nearly invisible...awesome.
Deo Veritas is an online company based in Chicago. The shirts are made in Hong Kong. I like things made in the U.S.A., but a Hong Kong tailor is nothing to shake a pin cushion at. They offer three different methods of measurement, each of them easy to use and intuitive, a wide range of fabrics, and a cool online preview of your shirt. There is no minimum number of shirts to buy, and shipping is always free.Their website states that their tailors each have at least ten years experience in making bespoke menswear. I'll vouch for that. Whoever stitched this one up clearly knew his craft.

This shirt, with all its bells and whistles, would have cost $84. Sure, I'm used to paying three or four bucks for shirts, but that's a fair price for a custom order. A more straightforward shirt in the same gingham cloth would have cost $78. Many of their offerings are as low as $65. Seriously, Polo Ralphie shirts retail for more than that new.


The whole process, from order to delivery, took about a month. A nice fellow named Vinnie, who I assume is one of the men in charge, emailed me to check up on whether I got my shirt yet. I was impressed by his customer service. Here I am getting a freebie, and he still goes out of his way to make sure all goes according to plan.


In all honesty, I'm a broke S.O.B. That's why I wound up scouring the thrift stores in the first place. But I'm thrilled about my Deo Veritas shirt. The company seems committed to putting the custom shirt more within reach of the less-than-rich man, and I applaud them for that. The quality is top notch and the turn around was quick. Frankly, I don't think $65-$85 is such a bad price for a thing like that. If you're considering custom shirts, give these guys a try. I dig 'em. I'm already considering blowing my Christmas bonus on a few more.


Tomorrow is my birthday, so the timing on the delivery was accidentally perfect. I plan to wear it out to dinner with Mrs. G. on Friday night, so you can see photos of it in action then.

p.s. while cleaning out the hundreds of emails in my inbox this evening, I realised I had promised Dennis over at Made to Meausre NYC I would put his link up here. That was bakc in May. Sorry, Dennis, I'm slow sometimes.







63 comments:

ScottyAlexander said...

Happy birthday G, and many, many more! It's been such a great inspiration to read your blog, from style to food to furniture. May your posts and thrift deals be plentiful in the time to come! Thanks again, and enjoy!

ps: The "revolutionary" Pop Up Flea... yeah, we've been having the real thing every year in WV for decades. Laughable.

The Tyrant said...

Eager to see fit pics.

Thad said...

Looks great! Since I am soon to move back to the USA and am trying to find a job, I am going to need a couple of nice new shirts ... thanks for giving me another made-to-measure option.

Jason said...

Well, this post is definitely worth making a first comment over.

Happy Birthday! and that shirt is amazing. love the gingham w/ contrasting collar/cuffs. It's beautiful.

A question for a stylish man in a cold climate, if you don't mind.
I'm in St. Paul, and, like you, my ears get cold in the wintertime. What is a good recommendation for a hat that isn't your basic knit, that still won't make one look like a tool?

Thanks!

Mike J. said...

I've never seen a contrast collar on a button down, let alone with a check pattern...and 3 button cuffs??? It sounds a bit overboard, but the shirt itself looks really clean and well made. Never heard of Deo Veritas...are they new?

Pigtown-Design said...

Beautiful shirt for a great man! Happy Birthday!

Paul said...

Happy Birthday! and my first impression of the shirt is the quality - ie. the alignment on the sleeve you mentioned - its perfecto!

fred said...

I really like your blog, I find your writing amusing even though I don't fully subscribe to your sartorial philosophy.

That being said...I'm a little taken aback by your enthusiasm for a cheaper tailor. Isn't this the same behaviour you rage against (offshoring of production by expensive faux designers like lauren)?
fred

JB said...

Happy birthday!

Actually, the difference between bespoke and made-to-measure is more than semantics. Bespoke traditionally implies that the tailor makes a unique pattern based on your measurements. Whereas made-to-measure, like this shirt, means that the tailor plugs in your measurements into an already existing pattern. Obviously, this makes more of a difference when making more complicated garments like suits. Either way, made-to-measure is a great option for us broke SOBs to get a custom piece that we could never afford otherwise, so I'm all for it.

The shirt looks great.

FIXED BAYONET METAL SOLDIERS said...

Nice one G but the Gingham with a button down City collar? No way Josè. But you being you this is what you'd choose so good luck to you.Ask this company if they wanna let me design a shirt and put it onmy blog THE WORLD (On Blogger). My one will eat your heartout G.

OCBD said...

1) Would you ever have bought such a thing if you'd seen it at a thrift shop?

I most certainly doubt it.

2) I have never ever seen a custom shirt maker get the buttondown collar right. The points are never the right length, the spread of the collar is either too wide or too narrow, the buttonholes and the buttons themselves are never quite proper, etc., etc.

The present shirt is certainly no exception.

Having said that,
might I add "Buon Compleanno"!!!

JKeohane said...

Looks nice. What's the fit like? Tailored vs. boxy?

Conor said...

Shirt looks good G. Certainly an eye catcher, can't wait to see how it looks in the context of an outfit.

Happy birthday by the way, mine's coming up too.

tintin said...

You can take the man out of the thrift shop but you can't take the thrift shop out of the man.

L.A.S said...

That is one loud shirt my man, but if you're only gonna go custom once (at least for the time being) you might as well go balls to the wall, no? Anyhow, it looks good thus far, but like Conor mentioned I need to see how it looks in fit. The only thing I would have def. left out is that third cuff button...I cannot get behind silly things like that. Anyhow...I'll be looking out for that dinner outfit post for my final assesment.

Happy birthday to one of the best in the "business".

Anonymous said...

This is another example of how G can take his own creative ideas and come up with something interesting and personal. That is style. We should all be doing this - whether you are commissioning a bespoke suit or just choosing a pair of socks in the morning.

The Tyrant said...

By my eye it's got sort of a freaked out Turnbull & Asser/Brooks Brothers collaboration-at-gunpoint thing going on.

Russell Sprouts said...

Horrible.

Will go nicely with the rest of your wardrobe.

Anonymous said...

LOL - I know clowns that won't wear that shirt. Stick to the thrift stores and off the rack, the sighted public will appreciate it.

Jordan S. said...

Fixed Bayonet - Sorry sir, but if this company wanted you to design a shirt and blog about it, don't you think they'd have asked you??

Having read most of your recent posts, I am hoping that you and Giuseppe are friends, else I can't explain the constant snark that you put forth.

It is customary and gentlemanly when offering criticism to do so constructively. I would urge you to remove the false braggadocio and perhaps realize that your opinion here isn't the one that matters.

Giuseppe said...

Russell,

your comments thrill me. Like they say, "you're nobody til somebody hates you."

Giuseppe said...

Tyrant,

You're dead on with your description. Can't you kind of see the Beatles wearing something like this in 1965?

Anonymous said...

GREAT blog.

Happy Birthday!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday! Don't let the ugly shirt prevent you from having a good time.

Fan Bi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Keller said...

Fan Bi (Blank Label) = SPAM

FIXED BAYONET METAL SOLDIERS said...

Jordan you are a typical Yank.By the very fact that I offer an honest opinion I'm offering Friendship. You are about as logical as invading Iraq,. And all I said was put this company in touch with me in a jokey way.I have shirts made to measure in Milan for 55 bucks that are monogramnmed and well brilliant! So I don't need a free shirt.
The crap you write is typical of any forum where theres Yanks unfortunately, they never understand that when one gives ones time a true friend is honesty.this shirt don't work.

Gregorius Mercator said...

Happy Birthday!!!

$65 is pretty impressive for Made-to-Measure. Perhaps if the income situation improves, I might invest in one of these in the not-too-distant future.

Although, I never could get the hang of contrast collars.

Striped shirts said...

I am really into striped shirts right now. This one is really nice. I like the white collar and white cuffs.

Gianni3000 said...

Wow. So speaking your mind brings on the haters even when you're speaking about style and men's clothing. Amazing and depressing at the same time.

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Judging by the comments, you have struck a nerve here. Just like art, love it or hate it, if you evoke a passionate response you have been successful. I say rage on against conformity (and happy b-day)!

Anonymous said...

Cool shirt. Can't wait to see what tie you pair with it.

Giuseppe said...

Keller,

Thanks for the tip. There's been a lot of spam in the comments lately. It's the only reason I keep the comment moderation on. I try to be diligent, but every now and then something slips through the cracks.

Gianni 3000 & others,

I don't like to think of the folks who may disagree with me as "haters". I don't write this blog as a way of fishing for compliments, I write it as a means of beginning a discussion. The opinions of others, especially dissenting ones, makes that possible. Really, what's the point of discussion if we all agree? I'll leave ACL and the Sartorialist to run bloigs that only allow comments that stroke the authors ego.

Though it would be nice if folks could be a bit better about keeping the swearing and sarcasm out of it. I mean really, guys, this is a family place I'm trying to run here.

Anonymous said...

Perfect uniform for an unemployed architect.

Giuseppe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ScottyAlexander said...

In Bostonian terms - why not swing for the Green Monster on this one? It's not often one of modest means gets an opportunity like this, so I see nothing wrong with pushing boundaries of a standard button-down. I think Giuseppe deserves more credit for his choice and his ability to pull off whatever outfit this shirt might be paired with! There's a difference between critique and criticism. Be gentlemen.

Giuseppe said...

Thanks, Scotty.

That's exactly what I wa sthinking when I put this shirt together. I'm well aware that it's over the top....that was kind of the point.

Sophie said...

Happy birthday G. Have fun wearing the shirt!

Anonymous said...

The contrast collar and cuffs look is terrible for two reasons: 1. They imply/harken back to a day when collars and cuffs were sold seperately and were removable (and people rode horses to work and never showered). In this instance, in 2009, they are neither. Kind of like hubcaps that are made to look like alloy rims, they are a phoney impersonation and hence, tacky. 2. It's ugly.

Throw this shirt away. Now.

Vinnie - Deo Veritas said...

Giuseppe - Nothing wrong with going all out. I'd say about a 1/3 of our users get a bit crazy their first time designing / ordering.

As the owner of Deo Veritas, I have to say even I'm guilty of doing it, i.e. the outlandish black herringbone with white contrasting (english spread) collar / cuffs, and of course, everything had to be monogrammed! I've since settled down...a bit.

trip said...

I'm down with the button-down contrast collar. Also, I like the monogram--good choice.

Mrs. G said...

The shirt looked great hun. & you know I'm your toughest critic.

<3

Young Fogey said...

If I saw this shirt in a store, I would not buy it.

If I had shirts custom made (and this company's shirts, while nice, are NOT bespoke), I would not order a similar shirt.

Yet I like it. It does have that early-ish Beatles vibe (post-success, pre-hippiedom). I think it's great, and I hope that G wears it in good health for years to come.

FIXED BAYONET METAL SOLDIERS said...

Young Fogey got his finger down on this shirt=yeah!!! On a Beatles sixties thing it works.But you need a Kid Mohair mod suit to go with it. Check out the UK site Mod Culture, theres this terrific bloke who sells sixties cloth nearly for nuthin!!!! If you got a tailr go for it.Tie for this in a sixties way.Well Black coitton preferably with one white stripe.Yeah this way the shirt could work.See my blog THE WORLD G as thre is a photo of Brian Jones somewhere with this tie

FIXED BAYONET METAL SOLDIERS said...

Gianni you're just a mug looking for a argument=full stop
If all the world was like you the last day on earth would be millions of Seventh day adentists and Pizza makers doing the "Lambeth Walk" in central Park.

FIXED BAYONET METAL SOLDIERS said...

Critique is French so there is a prob a regards difference

FIXED BAYONET METAL SOLDIERS said...

If you go on Marks and Spencer site they do this semi made to measure thing for 29 pounds.Check it out.

P.S One thing the suits are good but don't buy their shoes.
Shirts are good as regards off the peg, in fact excellent but the ties suck.Its a good shopping experience but somethings suck.Good things are the Mini Cooper cufflinks

FIXED BAYONET METAL SOLDIERS said...

A hat that won't make you look like a tool? Nor4mally the easiest option is a Beanie or what G was thinking f but both look crap on anything elegant. Get a short brimmed trilby=check out HATS.COm
or MILLERS HATS in the USA . Marks and Spencer have a short brimmed trilby thats nice for 19 pounds =they post to bigmacville.
If you wear anything that covers your ears then don't try nd look elegant these days unless you are giving it Sherlock Holmes .Real tools are people dressed in Walmart crap so be yourself. You could let your hair grow over your ears and wear a trilby, a kinda of Regeny Fop look.

Giuseppe said...

I like my new shirt.

Jovan said...

Nice shirt, though not one I'd personally get. Great pattern matching there! Thanks for the review, Giuseppe.

"The label reads "bespoke tailored". Really I'd call this excellent made to measure. To me, "bespoke" implies that I was fitted in person by the man who would make the garment. A semantic detail."

I agree. I also received a shirt for review on my blog. There's a few fit pictures if anyone's interested in the "athletic" fit.

John said...

When I was younger I owned a solid blue shirt with white button down contrasting collar and white barrel cuffs with one button. Yes the button down collar was unconventional, but the shirt as a whole was simple and tasteful - especially when impeccably pressed.

I took pride in that shirt. It was the first shirt I ever had made for me. It was ever so slightly different than the ubiquitous white or blue buttondown shirt. It attracted a second look from passers-by without being gaudy or over the top.

I think this shirt is ok in concept (my opinion) but it is a little busy with all the buttons on the cuff. Good job wearing it with a blazer.

Happy Birthday.

John

FIXED BAYONET METAL SOLDIERS said...

Marks and Spencer do this for 40 bucks (29 pounds). Remember this shirt is not made to measure .Its not Bespoke either.
Now you need the right jacket G , a 60's one.

Giuseppe said...

I know it's not bespoke, but how is it not made to measure? I gave them a very detailed set of measurements, and they produced a shirt for me that fits extremely well. Isn't that what made to measure means?

Vinnie - Deo Veritas said...

Hey Guys,
The reason our labels say "Bespoke Tailored" is that before we went online, our folks would personally size each client (which we can still do if you're in Chicago). We're in the process of ordering new appropriate labels as we speak.

Good feedback on this matter, forces me to fix this issue pronto!

tintin said...

It's my understanding the only bespoke shirt maker in Chicago is Riddle McIntyre. I'm not sure bespoke has as much to do with personal measuring but rather the making of the shirt from scratch with the cutomers custom pattern. I guess that's why MTM can never match patterns sleeve to yoke.

It's a major difference that's reflected in the quality of the shirt as well as the cost.

FIXED BAYONET METAL SOLDIERS said...

Bespoke is actually following the contours of a physique and then making the shirt accordingly. for instance A Bespoke suit will make allowances if you are extremely well endowed or otherwise.it will make the hunch back you have look normal.it will make your puny shoulders look like Burt Lancaster in his prime as regards jacket and trouser making.shirts are the same but obviously less can be achieved

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

i surely enjoy your writing taste, very charming.
don't quit and also keep posting because it just simply good worth to follow it,
excited to view far more of your own well written articles, have a good one :)

Anthony Anderson said...

I was intrigued by the prospect of a custom fit at a price I’d pay for similar quality at one of the finer clothing chains. You also offered a particular pattern that was very hard to find.

Anthony Anderson

Gentleman's Gazette said...

Your shirt looks certainly great. We just wrote a review about Deo Veritas as well and some here might be interested in it.

balanicustom said...

That is one loud shirt my man, but if you're only gonna go custom once (at least for the time being) you might as well go balls to the wall, no? Anyhow, it looks good thus far, but like Conor mentioned I need to see how it looks in fit. The only thing I would have def. left out is that third cuff button...I cannot get behind silly things like that. ...and more info...coments work---custom shirts chicago

Anonymous said...

I recently ordered my first shirt from Deo Veritas. Wha ta train wreck! The sleeves were of different lengths, and neither one was correct! Total junk. Avoid!

Anonymous said...

So a short while thereafter I emailed my situation about the sleeve issue to Deo Veritas and learned that the error was actually mine :( Here's where I eat a bit of crow... Deo Veritas offered to fix them at no cost with no questions asked. Pretty awesome. Within 2 weeks I had my repaired shirt back which now fits perfectly. I've ordered two more shirts since. Great shirts but more importantly great customer service.