Review: Deo Veritas Custom Dress Shirts

It's hard to find a dress shirt that fits well off the rack. Unless you're quite muscular or portly, a good deal of them are going to be very baggy on you, especially if you're a slender fellow like myself. For many, even the "slim fit" options aren't that slim. Even if you have no problem with fit, the fabrics and details can be quite limited for "RTW" (ready to wear). So then maybe you want to go the custom route. Fitted armholes for more movement. Long enough tails. Collar, cuff, pocket, and back pleat options. Great choice, but a lot of shirtmakers are going to set you back a couple hundred or more.

Enter online tailoring. Controversial with some of the sartorialists, it is rightfully so -- many of the inexpensive Asian tailors can be quite disappointing in quality and have trouble executing your special requests. Add to that, you are measuring yourself so there's a pretty small margin for error. I will start off by saying that while the company itself is based in Chicago, Illinois the shirts are made by tailors in Hong Kong. The website doesn't try to hide that fact, as it's right there in the FAQ section. The shirt is pretty well made. I'd compare it to a Luxury Brooks Brothers shirt (although the starting price costs less than their basic shirts). I chose a simple point collar double cuff with no back pleats or sleeve placket buttons. The "point collar" shown on the website is not too accurate. In person, it's actually more of a modest semi-spread with 2.75" points and 3.75" spread width. Suitable for wear with a tie or without.

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Some have complained about the lack of broadcloth or poplin in the fabric selection. I selected the "Castigilia - White" and while it is listed as a pinpoint weave, the fabric more closely resembles broadcloth in its feel and fineness. It is also a bit transparent, so you absolutely NEED an undershirt.

Four piece split yoke:

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Thick-but-not-too-thick mother of pearl buttons:

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I asked them to use sewn interlinings instead of fused, which is $9 extra. The collar and cuffs are good. The placket seems fused to me, however. The interlining itself is not overly stiff, but may not be soft enough for some tastes. I also had some trouble trying to remove the collar stays since there is barely anything to grab when they are fully inserted. Removable collar stays are $4 extra, though I'm not exactly sure why. Here's a look at the shirt on me. The fit chosen was "Athletic."

Untucked:

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The armholes are nice and snug, which allows for more movement and less untucking during the day.

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Side view:

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Back view:

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Some might criticise the slight blousing of fabric in back and suggest darting, taking it in more, etc. I think it is just fine. Shirts should fit, not look painted on or constrict breathing. What might be more controversial is the company's decision to stitch "bespoke tailored by Deo Veritas" on the inside of every shirt. There's been a lot of debate as to what makes proper bespoke on clothing forums. I would classify this more as a made-to-measure shirt, myself. All in all, it's really not a bad shirt for the price, especially considering shipping is included.

Website: www.deoveritas.com
Price: Starts at $72, $85 as shown

Comments

  1. Dominick CastellanoNovember 30, 2009 at 4:58 PM

    how does it compare with some of the other tailored shirts you own? i have a similar build and the pics you took seems to look like it fits well. how are the sleeves? i have super slim wrists and long arms, a big problem for me. I end up having to roll up most of my sleeves (too loose and too short).

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  2. I recently purchased a shirt from Deo Veritas, and could not find fault with it. In fact, its one of my favorite shirts. I found the ordering process easy, fast delivery and great customer service. Usually I wear Pink, and Gucci and Deo Veritas is on par construction and quality wise with pricier shirts.

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  3. I only have a couple of other custom shirts. One of them is too small now and the other was returned because the fusing was absolutely crappy and bubbled in the first wash, so I'm not sure I can make an adequate comparison. However, it seems to fit well.

    There seems to be about 4" of room in the chest. The owner himself has slim wrists and says if you just measure straight off the wrist without any allowances, they should fit right. I did so and it worked for me. The sleeves have just enough give. I don't like very snug sleeves as they feel constricting.

    I will give an update when it is washed and worn a few times.

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. Deo Veritas has now a very nice selection of Thomas Mason and Tessitura Monti fabrics. I just wrote an extensive review about Deo Veritas that might be of interest to you as well.

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  6. Just a quick warning for anyone considering Deo Veritas. I usually order from ProperCloth or my bespoke tailor in Hong Kong, both which I'm happy with, but decided to try this one after reading about unfused collars. To be honest, I'm not impressed at all.

    Firstly, the shirt arrived with some measurements .75 inches off what I specified.

    As for the standard of construction, the stitching is very rough at about 13 stitches per inch and in many places not straight and not aligned to the pattern of the fabric. Some reviewers claimed that they match the patterns of the fabric well, but on my shirts neither the cuffs nor the yoke match the pattern of the sleeves.

    In addition, they are extremely slow - 29 days from the date I placed my order to the date the order was despatched. This doesn't include the time it was in transit with the courier.

    For $140 you can have shirt made to a much higher standard by ProperCloth (http://propercloth.com) in Thomas Mason fabric. Alternatively, traditional bespoke tailors in Hong Kong such as Lord's (http://lords.hk) also charge around the same price. If you're looking for something cheaper, you can order from the standard fabric book at Lord's for $77. Those tailors also offer a better selection of fabrics, in my opinion.

    In short - this company doesn't provide quality or value for money. Look elsewhere.

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  7. Further to the above, an example of their stitch-work at 13 stitches per inch. For comparison, the darker material at the top is the cuff of a shirt by Lord's, stitched at around 18 SPI.

    http://img834.imageshack.us/img834/7176/45vr.jpg

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  8. Update: I was contacted by someone from Deo Veritas offering to fix the problems with my shirts and do the order again for free. They also explained that they are not a bespoke tailor, but that they spend a lot of time on each order to try to get the right fit for the customer and take into account any special requests. So on the customer service side, quite good in my opinion. If you don't have a prior relationship with a bespoke tailor or you haven't perfected your fit with other online shirt-makers, their offering may work well for you. The quality will be much better than off-the-rack shirts, in any case.

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  9. Be advised. The poster above left identical comments on every DV review and forum he could find. See moderator comments from blog author Brock at themodestman.com who deleted his posts (http://www.themodestman.com/deo-veritas-review-custom-tailored-dress-shirts/).

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  10. My job isn't to stifle discussion, so I'm not taking his comments down just because he posted them other places (which is his right). Someone else I've talked to has reported similar problems.

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