The dapper lads on the cover of this month's glorious Vanity
Fair Hollywood issue all star in this year's Oscar nominated films.
But they have something else in common…they are Budd shirt
The Budd shop on Piccadilly Arcade is exactly as you'd hope. Tiny,
charming, stuffed with shirts and gentleman's fancy fiddly bits;
cufflinks, bowties (that look so un-bowtie-ish when laid flat),
silk socks and braces. Several relics from when Patrick Budd
first opened the doors in 1910 remain, including a carved wooden
chair with dragon arms and an enormous gold framed mirror for new
shirt admiration. "The dragons keep us safe," says Mr Rowley,
the shop manager who's been with Budd for 30 years, during which
time "The Budd 'spread' collar, our best seller, hasn't changed one
Whilst there's plenty off-the-peg, the lion's share of Budd shirts
are bespoke and made upstairs, where chief pattern cutter Mr
Butcher (he's been here for 47 years) reigns supreme. Here's
where the magic happens; measurements are converted into a pattern,
drawn onto brown paper, the cotton cut and then all the fluttery
pieces are tied up in bundles and sent to Andover where a team of
nimble-fingered seamstresses sew the pieces together.
Traditional British dressing is the Budd way. Hand-stitched
monograms are available but it's highly recommended these
are on the left hand breast, (apparently the 'Continental' way is
on the hip, while Americans like it on the cuff).
Piped-pyjamas and night shirts make for a chic kip. While
'the ultimate Budd boxer short' is currently being developed.
Hopefully the kind that girlfriends want to steal - 'cause surely
that's the ultimate seal of approval?