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Burgos of Madrid: Bespoke shirt review

19 February 2013


This bespoke shirt was made for me at the end of last year by Burgos in Madrid. Burgos is one of the oldest and most famous shirtmakers in Spain, and one of very few still making by hand and using old-fashioned techniques. For more background on Burgos, see my piece on my visit to the shop.

Burgos does not normally do fittings or trial shirts, unlike most other bespoke makers. Italian makers, certainly those in Naples, tend to make a shirt with one arm and a temporary collar for a fitting. English makers usually create a trial shirt, with its cost made up for by a minimum order of 3-6 shirts.

After having my measurements taken in Madrid, therefore, I received the finished shirt four weeks later in London. The fit, particularly the balance between the front and rear of the shirt, was good. Often shirtmakers cut the front of the shirt too large. Making it smaller can create a slimmer silhouette, with the bulk of the shirt in the back still allowing plenty of movement.


Still, I would have preferred it slightly neater in the waist, and the collar wasn’t what I had asked for. We were going to experiment with a pointed collar that had a button underneath the point – sometimes known as a ‘button under’. What arrived was a simple point collar without the button.

Carmen at Burgos was happy, indeed eager, to make the shirt perfect and she took it back, changing the collar (to the spread shown above) and narrowing the waist. It’s worth mentioning that Carmen is from the Burgos family but only recently joined the company, giving up a career in software. I’m sure this is a reason she is more professional than many other shirtmakers.


The second shirt I received was pretty much perfect. All the details were right, the fit was great and the hand work was exquisite. There are a few things I would change slightly, such as the height of the collar at the front, the thickness of the interlining and the material itself, but these are all easy to do. Of the three makers I will review this week, Burgos is the one with the most flexibility. They do fused and floating, in different weights, and with any level of hand work.

The following things were sewn by hand on my shirt: the sleevehead, the bottom edge, the buttonholes, the buttons and the collar. The most of the three shirts reviewed this week. The machine stitching was a tiny bit bigger though. 




Other interesting differences included the shape of the bottom edges of the front and back of the shirt, with the latter having a square shape but the former rounded (see picture above). The collar buttonhole was also surprisingly high on the collar, and small, and there was no gap for the tie between the two sides of the collar. 


Also, you can see from the photo below that the collar stand is cut straight but tapers towards the front – more than either of the other makers, which would explain why I felt the collar could be higher at the front. 


Finally, I requested a slightly unusual placing of my initials, vertically on the front of the shirt, and I think it’s fair to say that could have been straighter.


Overall, an extremely well-made and well-cut shirt with a few niggling details that could be sorted out on a repeat order.

Ratings
Cut: 9 (on first shirt, 8)
Make: 9
Style: 7
Finishing: 8

Carmen will be visiting London on 15-16 March and New York on 11-13 of April, both with Lopez Herbon, tailor to the Spanish king. Contact camiseriaburgos@gmail.com.

Shirts start at €255.

See the introductory piece with links to other shirt reviews here.