Originally Posted by Don Carlos
Quality has dipped a bit in recent years, IMO. I'd rank their work a bit below that of Harvie & Hudson, and well below that of Turnbull & Asser and others in that tier.
Originally Posted by Journeyman
If so, that is very disappointing.
Harvie and Hudson (H&H) make nice shirts for the price that they charge. I have a few and quite like them, although their "standard" fit shirts are generous to the point of bagginess.
However, comparing my H&H and H&K shirts from a few years back, H&K win hands down. Fabric is nicer, collars and cuffs are unfused (whereas H&H has light fusing in the collar) and the collars and cuffs have a soft but springy feel to them. Buttons are decent MoP, too, whereas H&H's buttons are smaller, lower-quality slivers.
Originally Posted by Don Carlos
For the record, H&H buttons are also MOP, though they are admittedly quite thin. That's always bugged me about their shirts, but it's a stylistic choice on their part and not a construction choice. I wouldn't describe their buttons as "lower quality." I'd just describe them as thinner.
Furthermore, a lot of the criteria you're laying out are highly subjective. Collar and cuff fusing? That's a personal preference, and not a tried-and-true indicator of quality one way or the other. Plenty of extremely nice shirts have collar and/or cuff fusing. Charvet, for example. And I don't think anyone in his right mind would claim Charvet doesn't make a top-quality shirt.
As for "the fabric feels nicer," well, again, we find ourselves in the realm of your subjective opinion. Who am I to say what does or does not feel nice to you?
At any rate, I wouldn't disagree that H&K circa 2005 or so is superior to H&H of the same timeframe. These days, I think H&H has surpassed H&K in construction quality. AFAIK, both source fabrics from the same mills, but admittedly, that's just conjecture on my part. Maybe someone out there knows for sure, one way or the other.
Perhaps my statement was open to misinterpretation, but I am well aware that H&H also uses MoP/troca but they use very thin buttons, hence my description of them as "slivers".
I have three H&H shirts from around 2005, and I have six H&K shirts bought over about ten years, the last being purchased three to four years ago.
I also have quite a few Charvet and Borrelli shirts, so I'm well aware that high-quality shirts can have fused collars. In my experience, however, the collars on my (unfused) H&K shirts and my (fused) Charvet and Borrelli shirts are lighter and "springier" (yes, a subjective judgement!) than the collars on my H&H shirts.
Ultimately, pretty much everything that we talk about on these fora is subjective, and personal opinion. One man's meat is another man's poison, de gustibus non est disputandem and all that. If we stopped talking about things because they are subjective, there wouldn't be very much discussion going on at all.
Anyway, if H&H have lifted their game, then that is great news and I applaud them for it.
If H&K have lowered their standards, then I am sad to hear it and that is very unfortunate. I'll have to check some of their recent shirts out when I'm in Tokyo in a couple of months' time.