Finest cuts: Budd Shirtmakers and the beauty of bespoke

In this short film, Budd’s Darren Tiernan explains what makes handmade bespoke shirt quite so special

Ask anyone who knows about bespoke menswear, and they’ll tell you that Budd Shirtmakers is a sartorial gem. The shirtmaker has occupied the same quaint premises on London’s Piccadilly Arcade since 1910, and ranks among the most storied of all Jermyn Street’s shirtmaking establishments.

There are many reasons why it’s special; from its charming character, to the house’s expertise in dressing gentlemen for formal occasions. Budd, for the record, is also the only shirtmaker left in England with a cutting room above the shop – so the maestro cutting and fitting your shirt is only ever one short spiral staircase away.

Another of the house’s distinguishing features is the traditional process that each shirt goes through. A bespoke shirt is hand-cut, drawing on over a dozen measures for an impeccable fit. Collars and cuffs are shaped to be both comfortable and flattering. Those who are tall or short of frame can rest easy that Budd’s team will design a shirt that suits your figure. Then, every shirt is stitched together in the company’s workshop in Andover. It’s painstaking work, but only in the spirit that a job worth doing is worth doing well.

Here, one of Budd’s cutters, Darren Tiernan, gives you a sense of the craftsmanship that’s so central to what Budd does and offers a glimpse into the bespoke shirtmaking process.

Only an arm’s length away

The question then becomes – what do you want in a bespoke shirt? Of course, the possibilities are endless, which is why Budd’s team work with clients to develop a collection of shirts that is both practical and stylish, steering customers towards the most versatile choices for their wardrobe.

As a bit of a teaser, we’ve picked three shirts from the house’s ready-to-wear collection, which demonstrate the breadth of its offering. Whether you’re after a timeless classic, a polished business shirt or something cool and casual, Budd has it buttoned up.

If it’s good enough for Matt Smith, then it’s good enough for the rest of us. Our December cover star chose this as his go-to shirt in the guise of the BBC’s Doctor Who. It’s everything you could wish for in a classic shirt; the tailored fit is sleek, the collar is versatile and the double-cuffs are a timeless choice. Invest in a piece like this and you’ll come back to it again and again.

This shirt is cut in two-fold 100s cotton poplin, a particularly fine fabric that’s robust, but silky to the touch. The cloth is exclusive to Budd. It’s known as the ‘Edwardian stripe’ and was reproduced from a sample kept in Budd’s precious archive. In pink, it’s a crisp design that’s as appropriate in the boardroom as it is worn beneath a chunky knit on the weekends.

The safari shirt is a Budd speciality. The design is inspired both by the iconic safari shirts of yesteryear and a collaboration with sartorialist Simon Crompton. A chic layering piece that looks great over a rollneck or open-collared casual shirt, every Budd safari features a generous collar, box-pleated pockets and a covered placket. Budd cuts them in breezy linen for summer and this luxurious shirt-weight denim for winter.