Pre-2010 Borrelli shirts - Page 2
Don't know how accurate this is, but only ones I have (older) came with the vertical booklet. One of them (a linen Luxury Vintage) has the most handwork of any shirt I own but also came with thin MoP buttons, so button thickness isn't a sure way to tell old from new.
Sorry to bump this, but I've bought several shirts mentioned here recently and I'd like to give my impressions.
First up, a Borrelli shirt I got recently - advertised as 2013, so I believe a current offering - and I think the belief of its demise is greatly exaggerated. I will post pics shortly, but there is handwork everywhere (if that matters to you, and not saying it should). More importantly, it appears very durable and well-made, with a lot of hand-sewn reinforcements in places most shirts don't have them. The buttons are nice (not "cakes" but still beautiful disks of MOP), the collar is fantastic (spread but not extreme spread, and falls very nice). My only complaint is that the sleeves, while OK on me, arguably should err a bit longer for those with longer arms. I happen to have very long arms, generally 35-36 on 15.5, and these come down to my wrist but not to the base of the thumb. But that's quibbling. I bought a Borrelli Royal Collection from a SF seller recently, which is supposedly the gold standard, so I will compare them when it arrives.
Next up, Kiton ($110 on SF). I don't know when this shirt was produced but it appears recent. The shirt indeed seems the highest quality in terms of handwork and sleeveheads; although the sleeveheads are almost blousy and extend out quite a bit. Fabric is nice but I don't find it qualitatively better than the others - perhaps a bit softer, no stronger. The brown buttons don't bother me - I think they give character. But I like the collar better on my new Borrelli. The fit is not slim - at all - and actually is what I would call traditional American cut. As someone pointed out, their ideal client is more of a corpulent CEO than a young Euro skinny guy, like Barba. Actually, of all of the shirts, the Kiton's cut is least flattering.
Next up, a 2013 Sartoria Partenopea shirt. I had high hopes given the love for SP on SF, but this shirt is actually the weakest of those I've mentioned (still in the top 5% of all shirts on the market, obviously... but we're comparing within that 5%). The fabric is about like Borrelli, but a bit thinner. Even though Partenopea puts a lot of handwork into their suits, I see little evidence of handwork on their shirts; but I will readily admit I am not expert enough to say for sure. The cut is similar to Borrelli, but a touch slimmer. Like Borrelli, a rather constricted chest, but should be good for those looking for a slimmer cut. The collar is nice for ties - less spread than Borrelli - but my biggest complaint is no removable collar stays. This can't be good for the shirt as it is washed, and it worries me.
I have yet to try Finamore, Charvet, Barba (except for a washed beige Dandylife which I love), or the others people praise. Maybe after trying these I would see what a true shirt is and just burn the others, as some imply ;)
So that's my rundown of these shirts, as of 2013 - certainly has dispelled myths in my own mind. If I could only keep one of these three - it would be the 2013 Borrelli.
Edited by dovsr18 - 5/14/13 at 7:38am
I have a couple of the "post-2010" shirts and the only difference that I have noticed is the buttons - whilst they are still MoP, they are quite a bit thinner than the older buttons. I haven't noticed any dimunition in the amount of handwork between the pre-2010 and the 2010-11 shirts - the collars and sleeves are still attached by hand and the buttonholes look the same to my eyes.
This is my exact perception as well - the lower quality must have been for the U.S. market. I have bought a couple of shirts during 2011-12 and there is nothing to complain about. The buttons are, like you say, slightly thinner, but still thicker than on a Kiton.
The whole thing shows how difficult it is to build a brand and how easy it is to destroy it; a couple of batches sold in the U.S. three years ago were of poor quality and it´s still all over the internet that Borrelli shirts are crap. I have yet to see one of those sub standard shirts.