Ordering Bespoke Shirts and Blouses

Ordering Bespoke Shirts and Blouses

by Alexander Kabbaz, Master Shirtmaker


When patronizing a true bespoke shirtmaker - in contrast to a reseller of mass-made factory "custom" shirts - your styling choices run well into the tens of thousands.

Yes, it can be quite a daunting task.

In our effort to simplify the process somewhat, we've put fewer choices online.

That said, in the realm of shirts and blouses, we pride ourselves in our ability to make - literally - any style. And that is why, if you don't see exactly what you are seeking, we urge you to contact us or telephone Alexander or Joelle at 631-267-7909.

Make - literally - anthing? We have something called "The Almost Complete List" ... to which we are always thrilled to add a new line.

Man of the Cloth

Easy Ordering

Ordering can be as easy or complicated as you want.

Easy: Select a Fabric, Collar Style, Cuff Style, and send a few basic measurements. We'll get right to work and have your first shirt or blouse on the way in short order.

Complex: Options can be endless. When ordering, there is a box titled "Anything Else You Want Us To Know". Just tell us! If we have questions you can be absolutely certain that we'll e-mail or telephone before cutting our expensive Swiss and Italian cloth.


On the measurement form you'll download, fill out, and e-mail to us, we ask for your usual nominal size.

Why isn't that sufficient to create a standard sized shirt? Makers of ready-made shirts use a wide variety of sizing parameters.

Knowing your actual Chest size permits us to ensure that we are using the correct pattern size for you and results in the best non-bespoke fit possible.

Measurement Form
Kabbaz has a penchant for Link Cuffs

And an important side note: Does submitting measurements mean that you will be getting a bespoke shirt? No.

While we may make a few basic improvements in the cutting, only joining our free Ready-Made to Bespoke program will result in improvements over time. See below for complete information on this no-cost option.

Your first shirt will be made in your ready-made size. As far as the cutting and sewing, it will be done in the same exact manner - and by the same craftspeople - as our fully bespoke creations.

Who? Alexander and Joelle make patterns, cut shirts, and make buttonholes.

Alexander, Joelle, Antonio and Anna sew and put on the finishing touches. And Dan is learning all of the above.

If it involves leather - as in our cashmere & lamb shirtjacket - master leathermaker Larry joins in.

That's who.

Ready-Made to Bespoke Program

Participating is free.

The only effort on your part is to send us a few pictures after you receive your shirt. Most of the work is done by us.

The advantages are great:

If we meet for measurements and fittings in the traditional manner, our minimum initial order is 6 shirts - about a $6,000 investment.

In contrast, the minimum order to particpate in our Ready Made to Bespoke program is one shirt per year.

How does it work?

Ready-Made vs. Bespoke Shirt Pattern

There are important differences between Ready-Made and Bespoke patterns. All of the yellow highlighted areas are features which are not incorporated into ready-to-wear tops. The curved top back. The high armhole. The properly designed shirt tails. All of those features would make a ready-made shirt fit fewer people and can only be had when accurate measurements are provided.

1] You download and complete our Measurement Form and e-mail it to us when you place your first order. Want an even better first shirt? Put on a fitted top like a t-shirt and include the four photos (as in the examples shown) with your measurement form. And don't forget. You can use our Collar Renderer to design your own collar if you would prefer that over any of the shown styles. See complete details on any of the shirt ordering pages.

2] Rather than cutting your first shirt from our stock size patterns, we draft an individual paper pattern just for you using all of the information you have supplied.

3] Using your individual pattern, we cut and make your first shirt. The more measurments you supply, the better the first shirt will be.

4] When you receive your first shirt, you send us four photos - Front, Back, Left Side and Right Side - as in the examples shown here.

This is best done after you have worn the shirt and had it laundered in your usual manner.

Additionally, we shall include a short questionnaire with the shirt, the answers to which will assist us in making improvements.

Four Photos for Ready Made to Bespoke program

Preferably standing in a doorway so that we have a way to judge angles, you take photos of the Front, Back, Right Side and Left Side.

Complete Individual Pattern

A complete Individual Pattern

Slope and Posture are critical to proper fitting

Knowing Shoulder Slope and Posture are critical to proper fit

Tweaking improvements over time

Note the tweaks at the top of the shoulder and the armhole

5] Using the photos and questionnaire responses, we improve your pattern. When you are ready, you order a second shirt which we then cut and make from your improved pattern.

6] We repeat this process each time you order until, usually by the third shirt, your pattern is extremely close to what could have been done by meeting in person.

Getting the shoulders right is critical

Properly fitting shoulders is the key to a well-fitting shirt

What do we do on our end? The most important component of properly fitting a shirt lies in achieving correct shoulders.

The criteria for attaining this include the slope of each shoulder, the degree of protrusion of your shoulder blades, your erect/normal/stooping posture, the front-to-back position of your neck atop your shoulders, the forward-backward curvature of your shoulders, and the highest possible depth of armhole.

The four photos provide us with all of this information and allow us to make the appropriate improvements to your individual pattern.

There are a myriad of other improvements - we call them "tweaks" - we make based on the four-photo array. Some of these include sleeve length, waist size, hip size, front-to-back balance, vertical placement & cup size of the bust, and vertical accuracy of the waist & hips.

So ... that's a smattering of our work. Your work? Fill out a measurement form. Take four photos. And order at least one shirt per year to offset our cost in maintaining your individual pattern.*

Bespoke Shirt with Contrast Collar & Cuffs Black Cotton Shirt with Silk Paisley Trim Blue 2x2 170s Twill with Multi-piece Front and Back
* To be absolutely clear, there is no financial committment to participate. The only caveat is that if you do not order one shirt annually, we shall no longer keep the individual pattern we created on file.
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