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Deo Veritas Dress Shirt Review

After we recently reviewed a dress shirt from IGN Joseph and a Made-To-Measure shirt from J. Hilburn, we would like to present you with a review of a Deo Veritas dress shirt. UPDATE: Make sure to read our other dress shirt reviews, especially the mytailor shirt review.

Deo Veritas – The Company

The name, Deo Veritas, came into existence after altering the Latin phrase “In Deo ac Veritas,” or “In God there is Truth”.  However, the shirt company has nothing to do with religion, but much rather with made-to-measure shirts.

While on business travel in Asia, Deo Veritas President, Vinnie Sikka, found he had plenty of spare time after work, and so he explored the various cities he was located in. One day, he came across a talented shirt maker and realized that he was able to get a customized shirt of high quality for less than a shirt would cost in the US off the rack. With his background in logistics, in 2007, he decided to start his own shirt business – Deo Veritas. His maxim was always to produce a high quality shirt that was affordable for the average man. In order to achieve this goal, Deo Veritas had to provide old world craftsmanship paired with 21st century technology. As such, Deo Veritas pursued Hong Kong’s most skilled shirt makers and set up a system that would be able to transform the client’s measurement into a pattern printed on a CAD blotter in Hong Kong. There, a shirt would be made by hand using high quality shirt fabrics and, subsequently, sent back to its corresponding customer.  Today, Deo Veritas is an emerging shirt company based out of Chicago that strives to produce high quality shirts that even satisfy true bespoke customers.

The Deo Veritas Dress Shirt

With so many online shirt manufacturers around, I honestly did not expect too much when I first examined the website of Deo Veritas. However, after I learned about the Deo Veritas Shirt features, I was quite impressed. A split yoke, single needle stitching, mother of pearl buttons and, most importantly, the option to choose unfused collars really caught my eye.  After getting in touch with Deo Veritas, I began the online configuration for my own shirt.

The Deo Veritas Order Process

Using the Shirt Designer, all the details are chosen, including the measurements. Deo Veritas offers body measurements as well as shirt measurements. For people who already own a bespoke shirt, I highly recommend the shirt measurement option because it is very accurate and there is no room for error.

Either method should work just fine since the Deo Veritas website includes extensive videos and written advice on how to measure. In case you decide you go with body measurements, I strongly suggest you ask another person to take them for you. In case you have a difficult figure with sloping shoulders, etcetera, you should definitely provide them with a few pictures wearing one of your shirts so the tailors can adjust your shirt accordingly.

Once the measurements are provided to Deo Veritas and the shirt is paid for, it will arrive at your door within 28 to 31 days. If you chose express shipping, it should just take a little more than two weeks .

The Shirt Fabric

Pattern Matching on Shirt Sleeve Placket

Pattern Matching on Shirt Sleeve Placket

When I designed my shirt, I chose between 79 different fabrics. While this is only a fraction of what you find at other online companies, Deo Veritas provides fabrics almost exclusively by Thomas Mason and Tessitura Monti, two of the world’s best shirting manufacturers. Obviously, Deo Veritas chooses quality over quantity. I went with a beautiful medium-weight 100% Giza 45 2-ply cotton herringbone twill with a thread count of 140/2 from the renowned Prince Rose collection by Tessitura Monti. It feels  very soft and luxuriant; it will make for a perfect fall shirt.

The Shirt Collar, Cuffs, Pocket and Placket

Deo Veritas Shirt Front Placket

Deo Veritas Shirt Front Placket

Online, there are only six collar styles available,  which is admittedly not a wide selection. However, at Deo Veritas, you can design your own collar with them. All you have to do is send Deo Veritas an email and provide them with pictures and the tailors will most certainly be able to recreate your custom collar style. Now, this is something I have never encountered at other online shirt manufacturers and it is a huge plus in my opinion!

Moreover, there are 6 cuff styles, but again – Deo Veritas is willing and able to provide you with your desired custom cuffs, which is, once again, an industry first.

As mentioned before, the optional unfused collar at Deo Veritas really stunned me, and so I had to give it a try for a small upcharge of $9. Other than IGN Joseph, there are hardly any shirt manufacturers that offer unfused collars. They are much more soft than traditional collars and make for a different look.

Portofino - James Bond - Cocktail Cuff

Portofino – James Bond – Cocktail Cuff

To round out my choices, I chose a classic front placket and a gauntlet button, but decided against a chest pocket. Of course, there are all kinds of options for contrasting cuffs, collars and threads,  but I disregarded them all in the manner of a classic dress shirt.

The genuine white mother of pearl buttons of Deo Veritas are about 3mm thick and sewn on tightly by machine. As such, they do not have a shank, but there is enough room underneath the button. I noticed very few concentric wrinkles on the buttoned front placket, and after a few washes, they will probably disappear completely.

The Deo Veritas buttonholes are machine sewn and cut after they are a sewn, which is not ideal since there will be some fraying. Also, some were not cut all the way through but in general the buttonholes are fine and en par with the one’s of IGN Joseph and J. Hilburn.

The Inverted Shirt Back Pleat

Instead of choosing one of Deo Veritas’ three back pleat choices, I opted for a bespoke design and had them make an inverted back pleat for me. This kind of pleat allows for the maximum amount of movement and is very unique. All I had to do is to send Deo Veritas a picture and a drawing of what I wanted and they were able to make it work.

The Extras

For further personalization, I was able to choose the omnipresent monogram. For review purposes, I had the monogram added on the inside of the collar so it is only visible for me and maybe for my wife. It is a standard 3 letter diamond machine stitched tone-on-tone monogram which looks neat and subtle.

On top of that, I was able to order a pocket square and, upon request, I even received a larger one. However, the edges are machine stitched and so I will not get any use out of it. Now, if the pocket square only had handrolled edges, I would certainly wear it.

The Result

In the past, I have had issues with the fact that one of my shoulders is more sloped than the other. However, I always provide pictures of my posture and Deo Veritas was able to accommodate yetanother special request accordingly.

However, when I received the Deo Veritas shirt, a couple of measurements were strangely off, while others were precisely correct. I chose shirt measurements and so I could exactly check whether everything was correct. Slightly baffled by this experience, I contacted Deo Veritas, and since they had overhauled their website just before my order, some shirt measuring instructions were off. Consequently, they offered to make a new shirt for me free of charge and told me to keep the other one or give it to someone who it might fit.

Now, this is absolutely great customer service by Deo Veritas. Mistakes can always happen but if they are acknowledged and fixed right away, I have no cause to be dissatisfied with the experience – in fact, I was thrilled by the extent of the resolution. All too often, manufacturers want you to have the shirt altered or something similar but that does not really do the trick. To offer a complete remake is certainly tough financially, but it is arguably the best customer service you can provide.

The second shirt arrived 17 days after I notified Deo Veritas of the incorrect measurements, and this time the fit and the measurements were much better. A nice, small armhole in combination with the right sized cuffs and club collar put a big smile on my face. Also, the workmanship on both Deo Veritas shirts was excellent, with two low-quality exceptions. On the one hand, the shoulder seam was only an overlocked stitch (also known as surged) on the inside, instead of neatly sewn with a single needle. This surprised me because the side seams were all beautifully done with a single needle. On the other hand, the buttonholes were sewn and then cut open instead of the other way round. Otherwise, Deo Veritas even matched the pattern of the herring bone on my sleeve placket – this is something you hardly ever see on a plain fabric with a texture.

The Verdict

In my opinion, Deo Veritas is a great shirt for the following reasons, though I think that mytailor offers a much broader range of fabric, higher degree of customizations and the option to meet someone to be measured in person for the same price..

Of course, you have to take the measurements yourself and you must order online instead of in a nice custom shop, but whether this is worth the extra money you might pay is something everybody has to decide on their own.

3mm Mother of Pearl Button

3mm Mother of Pearl Button

You can configure and order your shirts online at www.deoveritas.com

Now, if you are still not convinced to part with $132, bear in mind that they offer a shirt made of a basic fabric for only $49 dollars shipped! At that price point, really everybody can afford to give Deo Veritas a try.

In case you are interested in how a Deo Veritas Shirt is made, I can recommend the following video:

 

20 replies
    • Sven Raphael Schneider
      Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      Well done Jovan, thanks for convincing Deo Veritas to offer them! An unfused collar is not the best option when you want a crisp look but it is extremely soft and great casual or semi formal shirts.
      Thanks once more for bringing that to Deo Veritas’ attention!

  1. Jovan
    Jovan says:

    You’re welcome! He was the first one in the world of online tailoring I asked who was very receptive to that idea and said, quite quickly and confidently, that it could be done. Most others (not naming names) have had to hum and hah a lot before giving me back the answer that it couldn’t be done or they never got back to me about it at all. He seems to employ very skilled tailors. Is it anything close to a CEGO, Kabbaz, or Anto shirt? Probably not and one shouldn’t expect them to be that level either. But it’s still the best online MTM shirt I have in my wardrobe.

    I actually prefer the slightly imperfect look and comfortable feel of it. Just look at Connery’s shirts in his 007 movies — the soft spread collar slightly rumpled turnback cuffs are things of beauty. Top shirtmakers still make double cuffs and the collar band with sewn interlining since they hold up longer, even if the customer wants a fused collar.

    I do wish Deo Veritas would have sewn interlining available on the front placket as well. I wouldn’t mind paying a bit extra on top of the $9 for it.

    • Vinnie Sikka
      Vinnie Sikka says:

      Jovan is absolutely right…he did give us the idea to offer unfused interlinings! Thank you Jovan!!!

      Also, we can offer sewn interlinings for the placket as well … you just need to ask :) We’re working on offering it along with the sewn collars / cuffs.

      Funny you’d mention the look of the Bond shirts. We’ve received quite a response (in terms of requests and orders) from Goldfinger era aficionados looking to replicate not only the sewn collar / cuffs but also the cocktail cuff look that young Mr. Connery loved to showcase. For those that don’t know — the Cocktail Cuff (we call it the Flowback) is folded back like a French cuff but secured with buttons vs. cuff links. Definitely not for everyone, but we love it!

  2. Jovan
    Jovan says:

    Vinnie, I’m actually thinking of commissioning such a shirt from you! Too bad you don’t have ecru fabric, but it’s not like another white shirt is a bad thing at all. A man can never have too many clean white shirts.

    Glad you have sewn plackets available now. I’ll definitely specify that. :)

    There’s a post on “The Suits of James Bond” (great blog, and Matt’s a nice guy even though he hates button down collars) about proper turnback cuffs. From the picture I’ve seen of yours, it needs a bit of work to be like the Turnbull & Asser style. Needs to be more rounded and overlap a little. Perhaps you can offer this as a separate style?
    http://bondclothes.blogspot.com/2010/10/2-button-turnback-cuff.html

  3. Daniel C. Grimm
    Daniel C. Grimm says:

    A note to our German readers: I have had a really good experience (both in terms of quality and service) buying my shirts at Cove & Co, which is now featuring 9 shops across Germany. Shirts start at about 120 Euro.

  4. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    Interesting article about a bizarre shirt. Thank you for posting. That pleat on the middle of the back was very strange on a shirt, Have seen that on XIX Century jackets, never on a shirt.

  5. J.D.
    J.D. says:

    Apparently, I feel differently regarding the fast customer service. I ordered my two shirts on Feb. 24, 2012. I did not receive them until April 20, 2012. That’s 56 days later. When I did get them, the front panels were cut 3 inches too short and I couldn’t even tuck them into my pants. Vinnie, kindly told me to ship them to California for correction (on my dime). I shipped them on April 24, 2012. That was 50 days ago – and I still don’t have them back. So to date, my order was over 100 days ago – and I still don’t have my two shirts.

    • Sven Raphael Schneider
      Sven Raphael Schneider says:

      J.D., thanks for your comment. You should not have to pay for the return shipping and I am sure he will refund it. Having tested a number of different manufacturers now, it seems like it always takes longer than expected or promised, especially if things go wrong. Keep us updated. I am sure Chinese New Year had its impact. Vinnie told me that the order arrived on April 9 according to the tracking and that they receive the shirt back in May, although he agrees, that the faulty measurement was a problem on their end. Mistakes can always happen, but if they deal with it, that’s what counts.

  6. J.D.
    J.D. says:

    Update on my shirts. . . I did receive both of my corrected shirts. The shirts were indeed corrected to my measurements – and look and feel exceptional. Vinnie did apologize for the unusual delay during the original order due to the Chinese New Year – and was again apologetic for the extended amount of time to correct the shirts in California (the fabric I requested the shirts be constructed of was unavailable at the California facility). Deo Veritas has asked me to give them a “second chance” by offering me a complimentary shirt of my choice. I am one who does not throw stones, and by the appearance of my first two shirts . . . I will take them up on their offer. I will update you on my second experience – since I feel confident things will certainly go smoother than before.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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  4. […] other shirt reviews please see our articles about J. Hilburn and Deo Veritas. Address: IGN. Joseph Rolandstraße 24a 40476 Düsseldorf Germany Tel: +49 211 -49 85 001 Fax: +49 […]

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