Deo Veritas Custom Dress Shirt Review (Part 2): Super High-End Fabrics, Cashmere, Final Fitting, & More
Disclaimer: This shirt was sent to TPL for free for the purposes of this review.
Before we start, I just want to call your attention to the fact that this is the second in a two part series. If you’d like to know more about the ordering and fitting process with Deo Veritas custom dress shirts, check out part 1. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s move on to the good stuff.
I ordered two shirts in the end, and I went as high end as I could to truly see how luxurious Deo Veritas could go! I went with a solid white twill 140s fabric to use for a dress shirt, and a navy houndstooth cashmere blend to use for a casual shirt. And yes, you read that correctly both times. That is a 140s fabric, and yes, that is cashmere in a button-down shirt! Needless to say, I was super excited to get these things and try them on — especially after being confident that they would fit well. There really is nothing like ordering custom clothing… So, let’s break it down just like we always do and give you the full review.
Style & Design
As always, the most fun part of ordering custom is that you can design the shirts to be exactly how you want them. And that is exactly what I did…
White Dress Shirt: For this shirt I styled things very dressy, with Deo Veritas’ Full Italian Cutaway collar. I was a huge fan of it in the shirt I ordered for the first fitting, and spoke more about Deo Veritas’ excellent collar selection there. Other than that, I went with Mother of Pearl buttons, and a sewn collar (which makes it “flow” a bit more naturally than if the collar was fused). I also went with a double-button notched cuff, which is what I usually order for my shirts. The white fabric seems more poplin than a twill, as there is little-to-no texture whatsoever. While, in an ideal world, I prefer some more texture to my white dress shirts, this white fabric is perhaps the quintessential white shirt fabric. It’s a straight, plain white shirt, with no frills whatsoever. Thus, that is both its strength and weakness.
Navy Houndstooth Casual Shirt: Considering this was going to be worn casually, and usually untucked, I obviously tweaked a number of elements from the dress shirt. For one, I created a separate fit profile and shortened the hem length of the shirt so it would look better untucked. It’s recommended you shorten it by at least an inch or so, maybe more depending on how long you like your dress shirts and how short you like your casual shirts. I also went with a button-down collar as opposed to a spread collar, and absolutely love it. It still manages to be luxurious, and has a fantastic roll to it. I think Deo Veritas does collars really, really well. Even with their button-down collar the collar points are longer, and thus make for a much more substantial look. Finally, I went with the same Mother of Pearl buttons and cuff styling as with the white dress shirt. The fabric looks absolutely awesome. From afar, it almost looks like a typical gingham shirt. When you get up closer though, you see how much more there is going on, and how unique it truly is. Subtle style things like this are really my favorite. It’s a great way to clearly be a cut above, while not being flashy about it.
Conclusion: I love how the look of both of these shirts came out. The navy houndstooth fabric works perfectly as a casual shirt fabric, and the wonderful button-down collar is the perfect finishing detail to it. The white dress shirt works equally well as a dress shirt. The fabric is a bit plain, but that also makes for a very classy white shirt. The spread collar is fantastic, and the sort of thing I wish all custom dress shirt companies offered.
Quality & Construction
I mentioned in the last review that I found the shirt fabric to be quite thin and light. While some guys like shirts like this — especially for the summer months — I found it to feel a little bit cheaper than what these shirts cost. In truth, I have to say that I still feel somewhat the same way with these two shirts, though, I think I have a much better idea as to why, exactly, this is. A fabric’s quality has a lot more going on than just thickness, weight, or how (not) see-through it is. The simple fact of the matter is that higher end, more premium and luxurious shirts, are often much lighter and airy. Higher thread counts often result in more delicate and airy shirts (in sort of the same way that, say, a Super 140s suit is much more delicate than a Super 100s suit is).
The white shirt fabric I chose actually is spun from Giza54, less than <0.5% of Egypt’s annual cotton yield. It is incredibly thin, but also silky smooth. And this I can absolutely attest to firsthand. This fabric is absurdly comfortable. It almost feels like you are not wearing a shirt at all! And this, undoubtedly, takes some getting used to. It is a wispy, airy, breathable fabric that is sure to last a lifetime — but if you were expecting a rich, thick, heavy twill with a fabric pattern you can feel with your fingers and see with your eyes for your $200+, you are going to be disappointed. This is just something else. It’s a different type of shirt. Indeed, the navy houndstooth shirt is also quite lightweight, airy, and breathable. With the cashmere blended in, it is one of the most comfortable shirts I own! It is also far lighter in weight than any other shirt I own as well. Again, this is not a bad thing — it’s just unique, and not something I am used to.
In the end, I do still think I prefer some slightly thicker fabrics — and there certainly are luxurious, high-end thicker white fabrics available, and Deo Veritas offers them too! Still, if you can, every guy should have a shirt like this in his closet. I don’t know that I would want all my shirts to made of this kind of fabric, but to not have at least one is to be missing out on a whole world of shirting that is unlike anything you can ever get your hands on at a typical big-box retailer.
As far as construction of these shirts go, I stand by everything I said in the previous part of this review. These shirts are very well made, and there is almost nothing to complain about with them. While last time I pointed out I wished the Mother of Pearl buttons were a bit larger and more premium-feeling, Deo Veritas explained to me that they “actually made a pro-active decision some time back and switched to thinner resin and Mother of Pearl buttons at the request of many of our customers. Thinner buttons are much easier to fasten, a common complaint we heard when we featured thicker buttons. Upon request, we’re always able to accommodate thicker buttons if requested.“ Interesting and good to know.
Other than that, I don’t think there is much else to say about the quality of these shirts! They are insanely comfortable, well made, and unlike just about every other shirt in my closet in more ways than one.
After adjusting a number of things from the first shirt, the fit is much closer to perfect now. I think that — as with any custom dress shirt company — it takes until your second shirt to get something that is really great, but then takes a third or fourth until you have truly hit perfection. You can adjust and make minor tweaks as you go. Certainly, without question, these two shirts fit me really well, and better than most all off-the-rack shirts, though there are still some tiny tweaks I would make.
The white shirt I think could come in a bit at the waist — though the arms (which is often one of the most difficult parts on a shirt to get right) are now perfect. I would also make the cuffs the slightest bit slimmer, and the collar the slightest bit larger. Like I said — super minor tweaks, and things that likely even vary a tiny bit by fabric. The navy houndstooth casual shirt is even closer to perfect — see?, things can very by fabric — and other than the slight cuff and collar tweaks, I am not sure I would change much here. (Maybe make it just a touch shorter in length.)
Basically, Deo Veritas got the fit pretty damn well!
Price, Value, and Final Conclusion
Look, the two fabrics I chose were a bit over-the-top at $205 each, plus MOP buttons and sewn collars which brought the total cost to about $230 for each shirt. That is unquestionably a lot of money to spend on a shirt. Still, if you can, like I explained above, these sorts of shirts are pretty damn awesome to have in your collection. If these fabrics are just not in the cards for you right now (and, honestly, they probably shouldn’t be until you have a nice shirt collection already) Deo Veritas offers some fantastic fabric options starting at $85 — which is pretty par for the course when it comes to great custom shirting. For their customer service, great fit engine, stellar and unique collar and other customization options (they recently announced the Million Dollar Collar option on all their shirts), and extensive fabric collection, Deo Veritas is certainly a custom shirtmaker worth ordering from.