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Bespoke shirts vs. Made-to-Measure

September 23, 2016

Hallmarks of a Quality Bespoke Shirt

How to distinguish a Bespoke Shirt from a cheaply made shirt

“Wow! Can a custom men’s shirt really do all that?” one may ask. Well let’s see! It’s almost like a second skin only better!

It’s all about the feeling you experience. A bespoke shirt allows for more comfortable movement and confidence in your look … even when you’re without the jacket or a tie.

Custom-made shirts are fully personalized; every detail is up to you. Meaning you can choose your very own “style” by selecting fabrics, collar styles, thread stitching colors and style, cuff shapes, choices of buttons, and so many things more.

Bespoke tailoring means personal measurements. It provides ultimate comfort and ease. All of your worries will melt away whether you’re taller than average, or your left arm is a bit longer than your right, your shoulder sit differently, etc. A bespoke shirt can hide what you don’t want to be seen, and of course compliment your appearance the most … and includes special features, which increase quality and value.

These unique features are scarcely found individually on cheaply made shirts; but are likely all observed on bespoke:

  • French seam (single-needle stitching)

French Seam

French seams add value since the inside of the garment is clean finished, which means no loopy threads are showing. Threads won’t get caught or broken, and therefore seams are more durable and secure. French seams can also help those with sensitive skin by encasing threads that can be scratchy. Twin-needle stitching is commonly found on more relaxed or casual shirts and is easily recognized by two rows of stitches running along the side. Due to the different materials of thread and fabric, the area between the needle stitches will wrinkle heavily after a few washes, which is why every dress shirt should have single-needle stitching.

  • Hem gussets

Hem Gussets

Stress points like the lower side seams can have a gusset inserted to help ease the extra stress applied at those points which can prevent the bottom of side seams from splitting.

  • Misalignment under the armscye

Misalignment under the armscye should space between 1-2cm

This assembly technique is less and less common. It involves a slight imbalance in the sleeve symmetry and prevents gaping at the junction point of the underarm stitches. This type of constructions makes ironing much easier and significantly increases comfort.

  • Non-fused Collar

Non-fused collar

A non-fused collar allows your neck to move better and it breathes easier. Of more importance to many wearers, it is a clear indicator of a higher quality shirt. For those looking for better value, the absence of fusing (glue) makes the shirt last longer. Fused-collar and cuffs can create bubbling and start to separate the fabric itself from the glue inside, which will certainly show up very clearly when you wear it. So, even though you might spend a little less money in the beginning with the cheaper shirt, you ultimately save more money over time with a high-quality shirt that can be worn much longer.

  • Non-fused cuffs

Non-fused cuffs allows more comfortable movements when wearing, so as more durable

  • Consistency spacing stitching line of the collar vs the cuffs

You can see the edges where the stitching line shows the same spacing

  • Quality and stitching of buttons

"Crow foot" button-stitching style

Whereas lower quality shirts or factory shirts have plastic buttons, bespoke shirts have mother-of-pearl buttons or other natural buttons made of horn or seashells. Moreover, the way of the stitching display is also very important. High production shirts have buttons sewn on by machine, with stitching on the buttons usually appearing as two parallel rows. However, hand-sewn buttons on bespoke shirts can have a varied range from cross seam to “crow foot” (a method prized by the best Italian shirt makers

Mother of pearl button

  • Horizontal stitching on the last buttonhole

Horizontal stitching on the last buttonhole

The last buttonhole is sewn horizontally to avoid tensing the buttonhole seams inside the trousers.

Have all of the details above made you dizzy yet? Here are some more for you.

A bespoke shirt should also include these hallmarks:

1. Fabric pattern matching

Following by the areas of the shirt should be matched perfectly:

· Shoulder to sleeve

Notice the stripes on the shirt match all up together on the shoulder

· Pocket (if any)

Notice the pattern of the pocket vs the front body of the shirt line up together

· Split yoke

Look carefully in the little tiny stripes of the shirt you will see the split yoke, which is the up-side-down V created by the stripes of the shirt that line up together, so as the bottom back also line up.

· Sleeve to sleeve placket

Sleeve pattern also match-up

· Shirt front and front placket

Check pattern all match-up in the front of the shirt

· Side seams (since this part is not seen very often so this is optional)

Side seams match-up pattern usually count on check or plaid pattern shirt

Matching the pattern of all these areas perfectly can only be achieved by experienced professional tailors, who know how to assemble a shirt with utmost skill, care and attention.

2. Pattern development

It’s annoying when the fit of a shirt slightly different from one to another; especially once you already have a tailored shirt that fits you perfectly. Correspondingly, you expect the same fit and workmanship for all future shirts. However, even with experienced hands; it is very difficult to produce the exact same fit over and over again because high end shirt manufacturing requires so many manual steps and humans do things a little differently every time. The more steps in the shirt making process that are done by hand, the higher the chance a shirt will be inconsistent at the end. At the same time, handmade details provide a shirt with a unique feel and beauty that’s unmatched. Therefore, taking measurements is a very critical step. Not only does it need to be done precisely, it also requires the tailor to really be aware of the physique of the wearer from the back, front, and both sides. Once the customer’s unique properties are understood clearly, everything else should follow easily.

Now, talk about the fit. We have had some customers that were unhappy with the fit of their shirts since they ordered 3-6 shirts at the same time, and there was 1 or 2 of them that did not fit the same as others. With this experience, we also found out that different types of fabrics create variations to the fit (even when we lay them all out and measure them in front of the customers so they can see that it’s all made with the same measurements). And some of the fabrics shrink after washing. What we do is to let the fabric sit in water for a day before making the shirt. Additionally, some customers do not always notice small changes in their body’s shape, whether due to exercise, or through small weight losses or gains. So as a result, our chief tailor makes a note in the client’s file.

The fit can also be different accordingly to personal preference. By this I mean for one “a normal fitted shirt” is a “tight or body-shirt” to another wearer; or “a loose-fitted shirt” will be a “baggy.” The same thing happens with the length of the sleeves and the shirt itself. To avoid this matter, we always ask ahead for those details to make certain that customers get what they want.

3. Yoke

The yoke is the back part of the shirt that connects neck and shoulders and may assume a variety of shapes and patterns depending on the shirt model. Commonly, the yoke is made of one piece of fabric. However, on custom shirts, it makes sense to have a split yoke so the varying degree of your sloped shoulders can be accommodated correctly. Also, a split-back yoke can help to match the shirt pattern on the sleeve-head. A split yoke is also often used on higher-ends shirts, but since they are symmetrical, the impact is limited.

4. Natural cotton thread

Synthetic thread wears out easily and its coloring can bleed into the shirt; whereas natural cotton thread is extremely resistant and elastic lasts longer and is more durable. Natural cotton thread is also ideal for attaching all kinds of buttons and prevents them from falling off.

5. Button holes

Ideally button holes should be cut first and then sewn. Many lower-end shirt button holes are machine-sewn first and then cut. Although this is less expensive, it leaves ugly threads behind and wears out more easily. Traditionally, button holes were hand-sewn and there are great differences in terms of the stitch density and gimp thread used on custom shirts. Many Italian high-end shirts feature hand-sewn buttonholes as well, though they are more expensive to produce. This is not at all to say it’s better than machine-sewn as nowadays advanced-technology can also do the cutting first, then do the sewing later. This actually makes a better look due to the consistency and longevity. But, again, this very thing depends on the personal taste of different individuals. Some like the classic way; some prefer the modern way.

You can see the cutting edges is sewn up with a nice clean sharp look

Now, with all of the many details above, what makes Brijuni’s shirt different from others? With our shirt, we also include these extra personalized details, which of course are made according to the customers’ demands.

  • Monogram embroidered

  • Contrast linings on cuffs and inside collar with different fabric

  • Free choice of naturally-made buttons like horn, mother of pearl

  • Various choices of collar and cuff styles

  • After-purchase service (meaning that if after wearing the shirt you lose or gain weight, we can make adjustments for you. Or if you lose a button, we can replace it for you).

To separate our company from others in our sector, we constantly search to enhance our service and aim for higher product quality. We never stop learning to be better; never having so much egotism that we cannot learn some new or better technique. We believe that through this learning and “willingness to change” attitude, we offer the best for our customers.

Now that you know our working process and service commitment, it’s time to give it a try!

Please contact us via:

  • FB:

  • Website:

  • Phone number: Kenn Smith: +84.908.419.879 or Nhung Le +84.902.522.572

Contributor to this articles:

- Writer: Nhung Le

- Editor: Kenn Smith

- Photo by: Aarne Salmi

- And some other reliable online sources 

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© 2016 by House of Brijuni.

House of Brijuni

Kenn Smith


To book an appointment:

EMAIL   [email protected]

CALL / SMS   +84 0 283 822 6608

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