Deo Veritas Custom Dress Shirt review
Disclaimer: Deo Veritas offered to make two shirts for me for the purpose of this review
Today I would like to share my experience with Deo Veritas – an online made to measure shirt maker. Sometime ago, the Owner and Founder of the brand – Vinnie Sikka – contacted me and offered two shirts in exchange for a review. As I am always keen to try new made to measure shirt makers this seemed like a fair offer.
You can read our review of previous custom dress shirt makers Testoria Shirts as well as Luxire. In our experience, the more options available, the better the service and final product will be. All of these custom shirt makers offer slightly different features, fabric options, as well as modifications that you can choose from to achieve the look and style that best suits you.
The brand was founded by Vinnie in 2007 in Chicago (United States). Deo Veritas, is a shortened Latin phrase which literally translates to ‘In God there is Truth’, however the brand itself does not have anything to do with religion — unless of course you regard made to measure clothes as religion ;).
While travelling to South East Asia, Vinnie noticed the abundance of skilled shirt makers produce high quality shirts for a very attractive price. This in turn prompted Vinnie to question why this service and product could not be brought back to the US via a website vs. a storefront… Thus, Deo Veritas was born.
Each Deo Veritas dress shirt is hand made within their production facility in Hong Kong. The actual tailors have between 10-15 years of experience in tailored menswear specifically
This is probably the most important aspect of a shirt. At the end, it’s the final product that matters no matter how sophisticated or ‘nice’ the website is — if the shirt doesn’t fit all else is irrelevant. I think it is also part of the reason why many new shirt makers invest first in a quality product and then in a better interface / website.
Some of the distinguishing characteristics of a Deo Veritas shirt are as follows:
- Two Piece Split Yoke
- Fused or Sewn in Interlinings (or unlined collar)
- Single Needle Stitching (minimum of 16 stitches per inch throughout)
- Cross-stitched Plastic Resin or Mother of Pearl Buttons
- Four Piece Collar Construction (top stitching 1/8” from the edge of each collar)
I provided measurements based on my other custom dress shirts and Deo Veritas followed them closely. When I try on a dress shirt on and feel comfortable and the fabric does not pull anywhere, I’m generally happy with the shirt. I know my size and fit and do not have to check each and every measurement to the closest millimetre. The moment I tried on the shirts from Deo Veritas, I knew the fit was spot on.
There was however one issue with the collar. I ordered a ‘bespoke’ collar based on specific measurements that I provided (i.e. collar height, spread, collar points, etc…). The shirt I received however arrived with a different collar than I originally specified. I contacted Vinnie and it turns out there was some misunderstanding between their workshop and my specifications. As you will see below, in order to design the shirt you have to choose a collar type from 1 of the 11 options provided. I had to describe my modified collar in the comments section prior to ordering. In turn, the comments provided may not have been interpreted correctly. Regardless, all was sorted by Vinnie and the new (corrected) shirts sent were fantastic. I am very happy with the way in which they reproduced the collar I described and it looks exactly as I wanted. There is sufficient roll to it because of the height of the collar band and length of the collar wings. To some the points might seem a bit long but this is not an issue once you put a jacket on. Collar wings sit on the body 100% of time and I couldn’t be more comfortable with how it looks. If any of you are interested in the collar details, please let me know as I can send you the specifications that were used. You may also refer to this review and ask Deo Veritas to replicate this collar for a future order should you wish.
Deo Veritas currently offers 235 fabrics from some of the best shirting mills in the world, i.e. Tessitura Monti, Ferno, and Thomas Mason. Selecting a fabric is the first step during the ordering process. You are also able to sort / browse through all fabrics via their extensive filtering system – which is a very useful tool. Fabrics can be browsed by price, pattern (i.e. check or plain), type of weave (i.e. oxford, twill or pinpoint) and two of my favorites — yarn size and thickness. Not many brands provide this level of detail regarding fabric. However on Deo Veritas’ website, you can (as an example) select from a very fine thread (140s 2 ply) should your search be limited to more elegant / formal fabric. I have found it very useful and something that other brands could certainly learn from. Otherwise it is very difficult to tell whether a cloth is suitable for high temperatures or would be good for all year round wear.
When you actually click on the fabric name, a new page will open and more information is thus displayed. Amongst others there will be the type of weave, thickness, and yarn size. See photo below for an example:
I decided on two Thomas Mason fabrics — both of which are quite similar, as I wanted a white fabric with blue stripes. The first was a Textured Baby Blue White Stripe pattern and the other was a Thick Baby Blue and White Stripe pattern. Both fabrics are woven in Italy by Ferno (100% cotton, 2 ply 140’s and 2 ply 100’s respectively). The fabric is amazingly soft, even after the wash and feel fantastic against the skin. As the fabric is very fine, ironing can be an issue (as you can see from photos). I haven’t figured out a way to solve this and may take them to the dry cleaners to see if they have a better solution. Naturally, 140s thread count is quite fine so problems with ironing should not come as a surprise.
The second fabric (Thick Baby Blue) is no longer available on Deo Veritas’ website but is also quite nice — not as soft but still very comfortable. My comfort zone though is very strict as I suffer from certain skin conditions. In my opinion, all respectable made to measure shirt makers should provide comfortable 100% cotton fabrics, so you do not have to worry about skin allergy issues or any comfort related issues.
Website and order
The general appearance of the website makes a very good impression. It is clear, neat and easily readable. To order a shirt you click on ‘Shirt Designer’ in the horizontal menu tab. This takes you to a first step which is the fabric choice. Once this is selected (after clicking ‘Next’) you see the following screen.
As you can see you start with the most obvious option – Collar. There are 11 different types of collar which you can choose from. What I like about each is that there is detailed information regarding specifics such as point length and spread — which helps you relate those dimensions to your existing shirts. One of the better features of the website is the 3D visualisation of the shirt you’ve designed. You can see the effect of each of the options selected in real time. It makes it very easy to design as a means of viewing a model of the final shirt. It will be especially helpful to those new users who have never designed a made to measure shirt before.
The next step would be to provide measurements. As a default, Deo Veritas needs only a few standard measurements for which they can create a pattern for the shirt.
These are as follows::
- Collar Size
- Sleeve Length
- Fit Preference (e.g. Traditional, Tailored, Slim)
- Shoulder Type (Normal, Sloping, Square)
Please note, if you provide only this information you will receive a shirt that fits according to Deo Veritas’ assumptions. When placing your order always ask to know how their tailors are taking your inputs (e.g. Shoulder Type, Fit Preference) to create your unique profile. Additionally, Deo Veritas has a new Questionnaire based sizing system that they call QSizing. This algorithm-based method allows you to create a unique measurement profile via a series of 8 questions (no measuring tape required).
There is however another option to provide your measurements – in my opinion the preferred one. Existing Shirt Measurements, where you provide measurements of a finished garment. In this way, you ensure that the ordered shirt will have the exact dimensions as your existing shirt. Assuming you already own a well fitting shirt this is a very convenient option, popular amongst other online MTM tailors. When specifying those measurements, remember that other brands might want you to give those measurements in a slightly different way. Deo Veritas’ website explains each of the shirt measurement instructions with both video and images – however you should always check the way specified on the website as this will prevent any confusion during the production of your shirt. Each of the measurement instructions provided by Deo Veritas was explained clearly so this stage of the process should be relatively easy to do even for a MTM shirt novice.
Two other areas worth mentioning: If you do not have a measuring tape, Deo Veritas can provide you with one by printing a pdf version that you simply tape together. The other feature I like is the option to save your ‘profile measurements’ and use it any time you want for future orders. Once finalized, there is no need to input them again. You can save several different profiles should you wish, e.g. one for casual shirts you wear untucked vs. one for a more formal shirt you would wear with suits.
At this stage, you can confirm your order details and checkout / pay for your order. Quickly thereafter you will receive a detailed confirmation by email with an order form that has details with all your shirt specifics / measurements. If at this stage, there was something you wish to modify, simply send an email to Deo Veritas’ Support (email@example.com) and explain the modification. For example, if you’d like them to modify a collar to match a photograph – simply provide them with an explanation and the photo.
I also asked for Mother of Pearl buttons (+10$ charge), which are of a very high quality. I like the fact that they are not too thick which makes them difficult to button. With each order you get plastic collar stays but I never use them. I am more of a ‘soft collar’ guy. A Sewn In (non fused) interlining for the collar and cuffs costs a additional $9 which I would strongly recommend. It is in my opinion; this option looks and feels more refined / comfortable than fused collars.
In terms of customization extras, you can choose from such options as contrasting collars or cuffs as well as monogramming. For the sake of this review I selected monogramming to be placed at the bottom of the placket in Navy coloured thread — not visible during every day wear. The monogramming itself is machine made.
You’ll also receive update emails from Deo Veritas after each stage of the tailoring process is complete. Once the order is ready to ship, you receive a tracking number with a URL link.
The delivery time for your shirt is around a month (advertised as 3-4 weeks). In my opinion, that is a good estimation as my shirts arrived within this time frame. I would not expect most MTM shirt makers to be ready any sooner than a month. Shipping cost is a flat cost — $15 US and $25 worldwide — for any size of order.
I can say that in general I am very happy with the experience and can recommend Deo Veritas as a custom dress shirt maker. Deo Veritas offers a wide range of fabrics all of which are of a high quality, weaved by renowned Italian mill makers. There is a good selection of attributes and modifications should you wish to craft a truly unique shirt. ‘Bespoke’ collars are available; just make sure to confirm your design with their Support team prior to ordering. The Deo Veritas website is very nice (better than many competitors) and the ordering process is easy (even for beginners). On top of that, their customer service is one of the best I’ve seen. Vinnie will personally make sure you are happy with your order, that’s for sure.
In order to be satisfied with Deo Veritas or any other online MTM shirt maker, make sure to follow these simple rules:
- If during the ordering process, something you’ve specified is not 100% clear, make sure to confirm those details prior to placing the order (or quickly thereafter).
- Always validate the way the brand asks you to measure a shirt or how to provide measurements vs. what you may have provided historically. The methods can differ.
- Read the specifics around Returns, Fabric Shrinkage, and Fit Guarantee
- If you are not happy with your shirt, contact the brand directly and let them comment on the issue and their proposed remediation
See below for additional photos of the shirt being worn as well as a video showcasing Deo Veritas’ tailoring / production process.
If there’s anything we missed or if there is additional information you’d like to learn about custom dress shirts or Deo Veritas, do not hesitate to ask within the comments section below.
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