Norton of Morton

Read a new instalment of Norton of Morton every Saturday at 4 o'clock

Saturday 16 April 2016

Review: Santamaria Shirt Makers

In which G.M. Norton gets the measure of dress shirts.

Today is the 34th year since I first made my grand arrival into the world and the doctor uttered the infamous words, "What a fine young specimen!" 

Now, how does one mark such an age? Of course, when I turn 40 the obvious answer will be to purchase a motorcycle. I feel that this year, however, calls for a made-to-measure shirt.

As luck would have it, Santamaria Shirt Makers kindly made such a shirt for me. And here it is.

I've been tempted by a made-to-measure shirt for some time. I must confess, the majority of my shirts over the last three or four years have come from beneficiary boutiques so it felt like an enormous treat to be able to create one from scratch.

Santamaria Shirt Makers have just relaunched their website, now offering a 3D dress shirt building app. It's frightfully clever! 

I ordered my shirt using their previous online shirt builder so was able to offer a few suggestions for their new technological offering.

Not one to hide in the background, I wanted a shirt that made a statement. In the end, I plumped for a bold lilac and white striped poplin fabric with a contrasting white collar and round French cuffs. The collar was described upon ordering as a 'semi-Italian'. 

I absolutely loved making decisions about whether or not I would have a pocket (I decided against one). I even got to choose the colour of thread!

After making all the design decisions, the time came to give the all important measurements. For this part, I called upon the services of my beloved armed with a tape measure. If you don't have a beloved, or anybody that can take a few measurements, you can always use a favourite old shirt as a guide. 

Measurements included the obvious neck and chest, but also included yoke width (the top of your shoulder blade, across to the highest point of your shoulders), and left and right wrist girth. 
After entering the measurements, the order was dispatched to their London office. Then using technology, it winged its way to Spain where the shirts are made. Four weeks later, the shirt arrived!

On the whole, I absolutely love it. The fabric is as bold as I hoped for and is lovely and soft. The fit is super, it really does feel like it was made just for me. I'm also extremely thankful to the tailor who had the good sense to query the length of my arms (in my excitement, I'd mistakenly entered a much shorter length!). The one disappointment was that I'd requested a monogram on the shirt and this was overlooked. 

If I was to order another shirt (and I am sorely tempted), then I would increase the length of the shirt arms by another inch. I was a little too keen trying to avoid orangutan arms. Cleverly, the computer boffins at Santamaria save your shirt measurements so you can use them again next time. That's assuming that one doesn't over-indulge on the cheese and port and need to alter the numbers slightly. Ahem. 

Made-to-measure shirts start from £65. My shirt came to £93 plus postage. If you quite fancy your own made-to-measure shirt, then I have a Santamaria 10% discount code for you - READER10. 

G.M. Norton

Protagonist of 'Norton of Morton'

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  1. How smart! you must feel very swish in that.

    1. Many thanks! It certainly puts an extra spring in my step when cavorting around town.

  2. ooo I think anything made to measure is such a luxury these days, I hope that the shirt helps you celebrate your birthday suitably! (try not to spill port down it...) x

    1. Fear not, I would never waste a good bottle of port! I must admit, this made-to-measure lark has given me a taste for more. Which can only mean that my bank balance will suffer greatly...


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