Burgos shirts, Madrid
8 October 2012
Last week I was in Madrid to speak at a style forum organised by El Aristocrata and visited several of the tailors and shirt makers, including the wonderful Burgos.
Carmen from Burgos is actually in New York this week, travelling with the tailor Larrainzar – a classic Spanish tailor who is best known for dressing the Spanish king, and whose father dressed Franco. If anything, Burgos’s client list is even more impressive, including royalty and stars such as Ava Gardner, Orson Welles and Cary Grant.
They are at the Hotel W on the 11th and 12th, mostly booked up but with a few free slots. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyway, Burgos make beautiful shirts starting at around $280 in the US. They approach the best of Neapolitan shirt makers in terms of handwork, with collars and sleeves attached by hand (the important things) and buttons and buttonholes sewn by hand as well as the bottom edge of the shirt (lovely but aesthetic details).
The shirts are all cut on the premises by José (pictured above) and made by a series of women from their homes. Carmen, the latest generation of the family to run the company (having given up a career in software), does all the travelling but José the measuring in Madrid. They don’t normally do a trial shirt or a minimum order – though the latter does apply on foreign visits.
I am having a shirt made, so we can analyse the fit when that’s ready. In the meantime, I include some photos of interesting creations, including a frilled dress shirt with superb hand detailing, and a linen safari shirt that Burgos used to make a lot of and has become more popular recently. Apparently a version with French cuffs is worn in Mexico as a jacket suitable for even official ceremonies.
The leather folders containing shirt fabrics date from the opening of Burgos, 100 years ago. Nice patina to them.
The dress shirts have a side vent to make it possible to fasten those studs behind a heavily starched front. And Santa, as described on ASW, is the ironer extraordinaire, using old-fashioned irons on those starched fronts.