I've been using Sean O'Flynn for my shirts but, after he made 3 blatant errors on my last two shirts due to not reading the specification correctly plus one misunderstanding for which we should probably share the blame, I'm thinking that it might be time to look elsewhere. I want to stick with a London-based maker for convenience. By casual shirts I mean ones that will never be worn with a tie; lido collars such as this one that F.Corbera posted would be a possible commission - http://www.styleforum.net/t/36514/folded-up-shirt-p0rn/3150#post_5030148. I will also be straying away from regular business shirt fabrics with more linens, much heavier cottons, and maybe various mixes too (e.g. cotton/wool). I might also look at supplying some of my own material, e.g. from the London Lounge cloth club who are producing some linen shirting fabrics.
I've done research on posts here and on other forums and here is my take on the possible options:
Sean O'Flynn (listed for completeness) - He seems to have a very solid reputation but he's been making lots of mistakes on my orders and my last shirt took almost 5 months so he's off the list although if I really can't find a suitable alternative then I might persevere because, when he gets it right, his cut is good.
Budd - I visited them a while back and they seemed totally focussed on business shirting. We spent some time going through their fabric books for fabrics suitable for more casual wear and got nowhere. This is one of the reasons that I went with Sean O'Flynn because he came up with loads of fabric options within a few minutes whereas Budd really seemed to be totally out of their comfort zone.
T&A - I've heard that standards slipped with T&A a while back but might have improved again after some changes. I worry a bit though that they will be like Budd and too focussed on business shirting. Shirts made in their own factory somewhere outside London I believe.
Stephen Lachter from Kent, Haste & Lachter - Seemed to have a very good reputation a few years ago but I've seen a few reports that quality and customer service have taken a slide. I do get the impression that he is versatile enough to not be out of his comfort zone with casual shirts. I'm not sure where his shirts are actually made.
Emma Willis - I've read a few reports of people who've been put off by her manner but she does seem a definite possibility. I get the impression that she's probably the most expensive of my possible options which isn't a show-stopper but is a slight negative. Shirts made in her own factory in Gloucestershire.
Robert Whittaker from Dege & Skinner - Like Stephen Lachter this is another one where I've seen good reports from a few years ago but have picked up some talk of quality and customer service having slipped in recent years. I also worry that, being a fairly traditional Savile Row house, they might be too focussed on business shirting but maybe that's my totally unjustified prejudice because I did read one second hand report of Robert Whittaker having done a lido collar for someone although I've no idea how it turned out. Shirts made on site I believe.
That's where I am in my thinking so far. If I had to pick a top 3 right now it would be the last 3 above, namely Stephen Lachter, Emma Willis and possibly Robert Whittaker if my reservation regarding business shirt focus turn out to be unfounded.
Can anyone give me any recent experiences of having casual (non business) shirts made up by any of the above and/or offer any other options that I should consider? I really don't want to travel outside London and I'm willing to pay for bespoke rather than MTM in order to get the best possible fabric choice and fit.