Be it bespoke, made to measure or ready to wear, when it comes to the perfect shirt, there are no short cuts. Budd Shirtmakers, which has been cutting and making shirts by hand since 1910, wouldn’t have it any other way.
Budd is one of only a handful of truly authentic shirtmakers in the UK today and, sooner or later, anyone who cares about fit, cut, craftsmanship and quality makes a pilgrimage to its shop in the Piccadilly Arcade. Though the premises are tiny, they’re a veritable Pandora’s Box of shirts, ties, dresswear, nightwear and gentlemen’s haberdashery. If you can’t see what you’re looking for, it’s probably down in the stock room or hidden away in one of the many cupboards.
And there’s more: in the workroom above the shop are three of the best cutters in London, who not only cut and make the patterns for Budd’s bespoke shirts, but fit them as well, ensuring that customers’ measurements and special requests are recorded directly onto their pattern.
The cutter who makes your bespoke shirt this time will be the same cutter next time; head cutter John Butcher has worked here for more than 40 years. For customers not requiring the full bespoke experience, Budd offers made-to-measure shirts with a choice of eight collars – including the iconic Budd forward collar – and six cuffs. Alternatively, there is an extensive range of ready-to-wear shirts for all occasions.
Cut to Budd’s classic or tailored fit blocks, the majority come with the Budd collar and there’s an allowance in the shoulder and cuff tuck for lengthening or shortening, so even the ready-to-wear service offers a degree of personal attention that is rare these days. The same details worked into its bespoke shirts are transferred to ready to wear too. But it’s not just about the fit of a Budd shirt, the quality and craftsmanship of every garment are also paramount. Made-to-measure and ready-to-wear shirts are all sewn by hand in Budd’s workshop in Hampshire by seamtresses with unparalleled knowledge and experience.
Budd sources its shirtings from top European mills, such as Alumo and Monti, and produces its own exclusive house stripe in six colourways.
Though first and foremost a shirtmaker, Budd is also known for its dresswear accessories – in particular waistcoats for black and white-tie occasions, bows, bibbed shirts, gloves and studs, as well as haberdashery: everything from braces, pocket squares and sock suspenders to gloves, stiff collars and Birdseye socks. Nightwear in beautiful silk, Batiste cotton, linen and Cashmerello is another speciality, with the recent introduction of pyjamas for women. Being the best at what it does has ensured Budd’s success for more than a century, but there is another reason for its longevity. Many of its loyal and dedicated staff have been with the company for decades and know everything there is to know about sartorial matters. Even Stephen Murphy, who took over ownership in 2013, can often be found serving in the shop – just as founder Harold Budd did more than a century ago.
BUDD SHIRTMAKERS 3 PICCADILLY ARCADE, LONDON SW1Y 6NH +44 (0)20 7493 0139