On the left, the author wearing a three-piece suit custom made by Lanieri
As the renewed interest for all things sartorial appears to be in full swing, many brands have jumped on the bandwagon to offer online tailoring services at affordable prices.
Often these offers are just about gimmicks and fancy stuff, like having your name embroidered, choosing the color of your lining or adding a colourful buttonhole —nothing earthshaking —especially when you know the risks implied by “measurements” (see Hugo’s famous article Better to buy a Good Ready-to-Wear suit instead of a bad Made-to-Measure).
Yet, as the market is exploding with dozens of new players popping up every month, it seemed more than justified to have a tangible experience with at least one of these new brands; thus, we decided to try one particular MTM offer that seemed promising (as it’s next to impossible to sample the entire market).
First, one should remember many of these brands harp on confusion between industrial made-to-measure and traditional tailoring. One should never think of customization as being in the same ballpark as real tailoring, as the latter involves not only personal measurements, but also creating a personal, individual pattern.
Still, there’s a large chasm between brands who offer quality products (i.e., streamlined processes and cheaper production, online orders to avoid storefront costs, etc.) and third-rate industrial productions hiding behind gross marketing facades.
To experience online MTM firsthand, I decided to try the products of Lanieri, a new brand from Milan founded in 2011 and run by Simone Maggi and Riccardo Schiavotto.
After taking online measurements, you choose between several options applied to standard patterns, such as double-breasted or single-breasted, two or three buttons (3-roll-2); notched or peaked lapels; three or four sleeve buttons; three different trouser legs, etc.
Lanieri does not claim to offer a bespoke experience but is clearly, in my opinion, a significant notch above most ready-to-wear. Their approach of industrial tailoring is based on made-to-measure Italian style.
Although it’s not possible to choose crucial details such as lapel width or shoulder construction, they have many arguments in their favour. Their production is made in Italy (in Lombardy by a renowned factory), and thanks to a sectional-production system where each worker deals with a single operation, there’s also a small amount of handmade work, with attention to a well crafted finish.
The fabrics are Italian and emphasize quality makers such as Vitale Barberis Canonico. There’s a respectable variety of fabric choices and you can have fabric samples sent to you in order to test them out. The fabrics are carefully presented with complete references (weight, fineness of the fibres, warp, etc.), which shows a special effort to inform the client about the core material used to make the suit.
The shirts feature important details, such as triangular hem gussets, mother-of-pearl buttons (with parallel seams), French seams (fianco all’inglese) and collar attached al rovescio (reversed).
Here’s a brief pictorial of my experience with Lanieri online orders of one blazer and a blue three-piece suit:
My first element of doubt centered around the fabric as I couldn’t perceive its weight and overall effect; however, my doubt was lifted immediately upon wearing, and I wasn’t disappointed—the brown blazer was a Vitale Barberis Canonico with a superb feel (260 gr, super 110’s, four season).
The making is Neapolitan in spirit: a camicia shoulder, patched pockets, no shoulder padding, rounded quarters, kissing buttons, barchetta chest pocket, and open cuffs. It’s an unstructured jacket with a highly pleasant fit and the shoulder construction is very nicely done. The fit is really precise for an online order and feels easy-to-wear and light, close to the body but not too much, allowing freedom of movement. I should mention that Lanieri will reimburse minor alterations, a notable commercial incentive.
The look and feel of the three-piece suit is also enhanced by the quality of the fabric, a splendid blue Vitale Barberis Canonico (230gr, super 120’s, four season). The jacket is half-canvassed with horse hair stitched using the picchiettatura technique (with an arostriglione hook-shaped needle). Again, with this more structured jacket, the experience of made-to-measure, in my opinion, feels better than most ready-to-wear: the trousers are quite well adjusted and the waistcoat feels equally comfortable.
Quality fabrics, half-canvassing, good fit and Italian style—in that price range, Lanieri a very good offer (starting at 430€ for a jacket, and 580€ for a two piece suit).
If anything negative can be found, it’s not about the performance of Lanieri, which is frankly impeccable in most details, but about the concept of online customization itself. This kind of approach lacks high-level customization that tailoring connoisseurs value, namely the cut, the lapel size, and the shoulder construction which are impossible to integrate into industrial and price-competitive tailoring.
Still Lanieri goes as far as possible with its process, to cover personalization aspects such as three trouser leg widths, a more precise fit and represents a very interesting and affordable way of securely experiencing made-to-measure, both in terms of value and style.
The Italians, once again, seem to prove that they know how to bring to the fore their genuine tailoring legacy and make it accessible without watering it down.
Maybe there’s a lesson there…
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Website : Lanieri.com
Editor’s note: if you’re interested in the Lanieri experience and you do get in touch with them, you may mention that you are a Parisian Gentleman reader and you will get (substantial) preferential treatment for your first order (PG does not get any commission, of course).
Use the following code when you checkout : PARISIANGENTLEMAN-20