Made-to-measure fashion is thriving online. It makes perfect sense: instead of filling a bricks-and-mortar store with myriad sizes of a certain style, the new era of e-boutiques can create what their customer needs on an individual, on-demand basis. Take shirts: much simpler in construction than a suit, they are still tricky to find in the perfect fit off-the-peg, given the infinite possible combinations of neck, shoulder and chest size and arm length.
Santamaria Shirtmakers is an online venture based around the skills of master tailor Ramón Santamaria, who has been creating shirts for the past 50 years since he was an apprentice aged 15. His London-based tech partners have created a dynamic engine for his work, which centres on a 3D image of a shirt that can be spun around and manipulated to put together the perfect combination of material; collar, pocket, placket and cuff style; and thread colour. Fabric options range from crisp cottons (from £79) in classic checks and stripes from revered Italian mill Canclini, to plain and patterned linens (from £79), and vibrant seersucker (from £79) from Barcelona. There are 10 collar styles, including the classic spread and a cutaway, and nine for cuffs.
Measurements are then entered into the website before Ramón’s studio sets to work. “Our service makes the experience of ordering made-to-measure shirts online easy, fast and, dare I say it, fun,” says Santamaria. “Yet despite all the high-tech 3D models and innovative ways to enter measurements, each shirt [from £79] is made in a very traditional manner.” And crucially, the service comes with a 100 per cent guarantee of a perfect fit. If there is any issue with a shirt, it will be remade until the customer is completely satisfied.