1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to hang out in the new place. There are more new features that we’ll announce in the near future, but for now we hope you’ll enjoy the new site.

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

Current opinions on Dege/Whittaker bespoke shirts

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by voxsartoria, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    41,568
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    In Hiding
    Huh? Are you saying Paris is overpriced, or that the English are?
    I guess I think they both are, but Paris brings the lulz.
     
  2. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    20,793
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    I guess I think they both are, but Paris brings the lulz.

    I hope you're wrong. I just recommended Paris to someone. They seemed to be on top of their game. No hand-stitching, but that's par for the course around these parts.
     
  3. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    25,756
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Vox, your explanation makes a lot of sense. Fwiw, I had assumed that you visited NYC from time to time for business, perhaps more often than a touring shirtmaker visits your city.

    I used to visit NYC quite often during the week, but in the past year, almost never. When I'm there, I do not have time for teh trivial pursuits.

    1) English shirts are rather tentish. I don't like a tight fit myself, but I like a trimmer shirt than the English make. Charvet is about my ideal for body fit, and Geneva gets very close to that.

    2) They seem to me not to try very hard. One sample shirt, some "corrections," and that's it. I almost think that "bespoke" is too generous a term for what they do. I don't see the evidence of pattern manipulation at very many points to individualize fit.


    I'm trying to wrap my mind around this...are you saying that if I ask someone like Whittaker for a closer body fit, he will not do it? I'm not doubting you, just reconfirming since as you note, that doesn't sound very individualized (small "i.")

    3) Construction is OK, but you certainly would get neater machine sewing from Paris (the city, not the firm) or Geneva (the firm).

    My old RTW Charvets that I got at the mother ship had astonishingly good sewing. Built like tanks. So, that I buy, and that is why they are at the top of my list. But then, you stretch my credulity a little bit when you put Geneva on one side, and Paris and the English bespoke makers on the other. I know that you had bad customer service at Paris, but if you're point is that they are in about the same league as few remaining English bespoke makers (what is it now...Whittaker, O'Flynn, Budd and H&H, right, for those that do not farm out their bespoke shirts?), then I'm going to say that I'm not going to worry about the construction of English shirts.

    If you want bespoke but don't want to come to NY, doesn't Charvet have a storefront in Boston somewhere, or a boutique within a store?

    Nope.

    And don't you go to Paris for dinner like 20 times a year?

    Back in the day, and very recently, yes. But, I always end a trip not believing that I will go back anytime soon. I'm pleased when events prove me wrong, but it is hard for me mentally to set off on a path where I'm not sure that I can follow through on things...in this case, making all of the visits for the full shebang at Charvet.

    Huh? Are you saying Paris is overpriced, or that the English are?

    There's this old thread when the pound was up. Now, it is down and the English shirts seem pretty reasonable.

    I honestly have no idea--haven't bought a shirt in a year. I seem to remember something like 600 or 700 euros.

    Kabazzy.


    - B
     
  4. A Y

    A Y Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,592
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    Seems like everyone's prices are up these days. Paris wants $395 for Thomas Mason Silverline and $600 for SIC Tess 120s!

    [​IMG]

    I am not sure, though, if I can think of a shirtmaker accessible to Americans against whom some degree of Internet complaint has not been registered.

    If you had easy access to LA, we have two good shirtmakers no one's complained about.

    Good luck with finding a shirtmaker.

    --Andre
     
  5. kngrimm

    kngrimm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    237
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Vox, you'll be fine. You usually know exactly what you want, and if it's different, I'm confident you'll be able to communicate it to Dege.

    Post a picture and I'm sure everyone will let you know... it should be a quick process.

    As a side note - I find it amusing that mafoofan tries (tried?) to slam Kabbaz for his price, but 'his' shirtmaker is now [virtually] the same price. If anything, I'd bet Kabbaz provides about 10x more service. Hell, I purchased 20 buttons from the guy and he made it a pleasant experience.
     
  6. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    41,568
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    In Hiding
    I hope you're wrong. I just recommended Paris to someone. They seemed to be on top of their game. No hand-stitching, but that's par for the course around these parts.

    You should have talked to me first. Ah, well.

    Buffy will be along and explain why my bad experiece A) was all my fault and B) never happened. He will also insist that the fairy tale he peddles is not about me, because never posts about me.

    FWIW, several of the things that happened to me have happened to other members. They have posted about them.
     
  7. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    25,756
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    I don't recall reading anything bad about Hamilton. Not only are they accessible to Americans, they ARE American!

    True, but they don't visit Boston, and I have never been in Houston.


    If you had easy access to LA, we have two good shirtmakers no one's complained about.

    Good luck with finding a shirtmaker.

    --Andre


    Thank you, Andre.

    The most likely thing that will happen is that I'll order a batch from Whittaker in October, and then a batch from Geneva or Paris in November or December.

    Then I can decide which works better for me.


    - B
     
  8. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    41,568
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    In Hiding
    You can ask Whittaker for a trim shirt. Maybe he will deliver one. My guess is he will deliver a full bodied shirt that he believes to be trim, or at least will claim is trim. There is an eye of the beholder issue here. My general experience with English makers of everything is also that they are far more prone to do what they want to do rather than what they are asked to do. Whether this is out of stubborness, laziness of forgetfullness is an open question. Probably all three are working in various combinations.

    I also don't like English collars.

    Charvet is the best machine sewn shirt their is, next to Kabbaz. Paris (business, not city) and Geneva (ditto) shirts are about the same quality, a notch below Charvet, but better than England. However, Paris fits looser and they have an English attitude toward customer requests and individualization. Ask for whatever you want. You will get what they deliver.

    Geneva really does tweak your pattern at every point they (or you) deem necessary and you can see and feel the result. It is absolutely a superior fitting shirt, in my opinion.
     
  9. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    20,793
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    As a side note - I find it amusing that mafoofan tries (tried?) to slam Kabbaz for his price, but 'his' shirtmaker is now [virtually] the same price. If anything, I'd bet Kabbaz provides about 10x more service. Hell, I purchased 20 buttons from the guy and he made it a pleasant experience.

    I never criticized Kabbaz for his price. I criticized him for refusing to explain what he offers for that price that other shirtmakers don't (apparently, his shirts are 'incomparable' and any potential client of his wouldn't talk about 'value').

    Why would you bet Kabbaz provides 10x more service? Unless you've dealt with my shirtmaker, I don't see how you could possibly judge that.

    Also, part of the context you are leaving out is that Matuozzo's shirts are nearly completely hand-stitched while Kabbaz shirts are completely done by machine, except for the buttonholes. We all know that good hand-stitching is rare and takes a lot of time and labor.

    You should have talked to me first. Ah, well.

    Buffy will be along and explain why my bad experiece A) was all my fault and B) never happened. He will also insist that the fairy tale he peddles is not about me, because never posts about me.

    FWIW, several of the things that happened to me have happened to other members. They have posted about them.


    Hmm. I'll take a look. Atam seemed like a very nice, competent guy.
     
  10. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    25,756
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    You can ask Whittaker for a trim shirt. Maybe he will deliver one. My guess is he will deliver a full bodied shirt that he believes to be trim, or at least will claim is trim. There is an eye of the beholder issue here. My general experience with English makers of everything is also that they are far more prone to do what they want to do rather than what they are asked to do. Whether this is out of stubborness, laziness of forgetfullness is an open question. Probably all three are working in various combinations.

    I also don't like English collars.

    Charvet is the best machine sewn shirt their is, next to Kabbaz. Paris (business, not city) and Geneva (ditto) shirts are about the same quality, a notch below Charvet, but better than England. However, Paris fits looser and they have an English attitude toward customer requests and individualization. Ask for whatever you want. You will get what they deliver.

    Geneva really does tweak your pattern at every point they (or you) deem necessary and you can see and feel the result. It is absolutely a superior fitting shirt, in my opinion.


    Is it only the unit cost that stopped you from continuing on with Kabbaz? I've seen no one doubt his responsiveness to work on fit preferences, and the construction of his shirts seems meticulous.

    Of course, he is an Internet lightening rod, and that would be exhausting to anyone whose feet are muddied in it like people who post on forvms.


    - B
     
  11. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,144
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco
    I used to visit NYC quite often during the week, but in the past year, almost never. When I'm there, I do not have time for teh trivial pursuits.


    It's your life but I don't understand this. I order shirts about four times a year and if I see my shirtmaker once during that time, that's plenty. He sends swatches and I respond by email. With the exception of Emma Willis who doesn't travel, Paris or New York are probably better options than London at this time IMO.
     
  12. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    41,568
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    In Hiding
    When I started with K he was merely somewhat more expensive than the alternatives. Then it became 2x, then 3x, and is now more like 4x. That all happened very, very quickly. His price doubled in less than three years.
     
  13. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    20,793
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Charvet is the best machine sewn shirt their is, next to Kabbaz.

    What about Battistoni? They do more hand-stitching than either.
     
  14. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    41,568
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    In Hiding
    What about Battistoni? They do more hand-stitching than either.

    As you note, B belongs in a different category. I was all set to try them once, but they said they didn't have enough time. Seemed like a good value for what you get.
     
  15. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    25,756
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    It's your life but I don't understand this. I order shirts about four times a year and if I see my shirtmaker once during that time, that's plenty. He sends swatches and I respond by email. With the exception of Emma Willis who doesn't travel, Paris or New York are probably better options than London at this time IMO.

    It was mostly indecision, which is not like me.

    I should have started with the shirts, then worked my way outward.


    - B
     
  16. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    20,793
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    As you note, B belongs in a different category. I was all set to try them once, but they said they didn't have enough time. Seemed like a good value for what you get.

    Yeah, I was very tempted, but Matuozzo lured me away. It came down to the fact that Matt had a great personal experience with Matuozzo, and I knew of no one who had used Battistoni.

    For what it's worth, the workmanship looked impeccable. They have different options for hand-stitching, but it's mostly of the non-structural variety and they will outright tell you it's unnecessary. The shoulders and buttonholes are handsewn by default.
     
  17. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    25,756
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    What about Battistoni? They do more hand-stitching than either.

    As you note, B belongs in a different category. I was all set to try them once, but they said they didn't have enough time. Seemed like a good value for what you get.

    I'm sure that there a many Continental options if live there or travel there often enough.

    - B
     
  18. mafoofan

    mafoofan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    20,793
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    I'm sure that there a many Continental options if live there or travel there often enough.

    Like Will points out: why does it matter so long as you can make the initial trip? Every now and then I get fabric swatches in the mail and they send me stuff whenever I ask for it.

    With local options skyrocketing in price, Paris and Italy seem incredibly attractive these days.
     
  19. Wes Bourne

    Wes Bourne Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,865
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    The most likely thing that will happen is that I'll order a batch from Whittaker in October, and then a batch from Geneva or Paris in November or December.

    Then I can decide which works better for me.


    - B


    You should add a single MTM shirt order from say Hemrajani to the mix. I'd be curious about a 'blind' shirt fit critique between the 3. If anyone would do this, it's you old boy! [​IMG]
     
  20. A Y

    A Y Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,592
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    Like Will points out: why does it matter so long as you can make the initial trip? Every now and then I get fabric swatches in the mail and they send me stuff whenever I ask for it.

    I guess it depends on personal preferences and what you want from your shirtmaker. For me, the first few fittings were important to set up the pattern, and having a somewhat local maker is good for that.

    Shirtmakers also seem more open to unusual requests (perhaps because shirts are a bit cheaper than suits, and it's not too scary to experiment), and I sometimes take advantage of that. Having them close helps a lot with the feedback loop to get what you want. But if all you want are the same dress shirts, then a remote swatch service would seem to work well.

    --Andre
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by