If you’ve been in the market for a new suit at least once in the past few years, you probably know your options: Fully custom (or bespoke), made-­to-measure, or “off the rack”.

In this ongoing series, I won’t necessarily comment in depth about the particular company, or the details of the suit characteristics beyond what is necessary.

What I want to focus on in this series is fit: How it fits right out of the box, what turned out perfectly, and what I need to alter to get to 100%.

Hopefully this series gives you more confidence in ordering made­-to-­measure suiting in the future. And if you have any questions along the way, let me know.

Today, we’re checking out the Lanieri suit.

Save $100 off your Lanieri purchase by using code EFFORTLESSGENT at checkout.


The Buying Experience

If you’ve ordered MTM before, you know the drill. First, you have to go through the usual process of measuring yourself (or, ideally, having a friend or loved one measure you).

This step freaks some guys out, but I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

While you should strive to be as accurate as possible, Lanieri has done this long enough and can tell if something is off; they have an algorithm in place to catch any outliers.

If it does look like something is off, they will reach out and ask you to double check. As long as you’re measuring thrice, recording once, you probably won’t have any outliers that signal the alarms over in Italy.

After you finish the measuring process, the fun part begins… actually customizing your suit!

You start by choosing your suiting fabric, either from their latest collection, or from the larger selection of swatches. There’s an option to have swatches sent to you, if you’d like to see and feel them in person first before placing an order.

By the way, the fabrics are exquisite and come from well-known, top notch mills in Italy such as Loro Piana, Vitale Barberis Canonico, and Reda, to name a few (shirting fabrics are from Albini).

MTM Showdown: Unboxing The Lanieri Suit
MTM Showdown: Unboxing The Lanieri Suit

click to enlarge

Selecting all the little details of your suit is easy.

Your chosen fabric is displayed along with an example of each customization, from button color and style, to the piping and pick-stitching thread color, jacket lining (half or full), collar melton (the felt that lines the undercollar), inner waistband options… the list goes on and on.

All suits are half canvassed, and Lanieri will have a fully-canvassed option soon, if not already.

First Impressions

I placed the order on Lanieri’s site and received my suit four weeks later.

I went with a wool linen blend by Reda, in an unconventional color they called Marsala. I opted for the double-breasted style, double vents, peak lapels, and patch pockets.

Quick Tip: If you’re ordering a custom suit and you already have your basics covered, why not have a bit of fun with it?

This jacket also has functioning buttons on the sleeves. It’s a feature I love, but am always hesitant to get since it prevents most alterations to the sleeve length, should the suit maker not nail it the first time.

The guys at Lanieri assured me it would work out just fine. (It did.)

One thing I wanted to mention: If you have the choice, always opt for suspender (or brace) buttons. These are sewn on the inside of the waistband and allow for the use of suspenders / braces, in case you don’t want to wear a belt.

And if your size doesn’t change much, you could probably forgo belt loops completely, opting instead for said suspenders, or side tabs.

What Fits Well

MTM Showdown: Unboxing The Lanieri Suit

click to enlarge

You’ve heard me say this before: I want my jackets to fit like armor.

I’m happy with the fit in the shoulders, although as you can see, the jacket is slightly big in the waist, and a tad too big in the chest as well.

With a bit of waist suppression (and maybe a few cm taken from the chest), the jacket will have more of a V taper before the skirt—the part of the jacket that hangs below the waist—flares back out.

The pants fit exactly as I’d hoped; they have a higher rise and are meant to be worn above the hips, about a two- to three-finger width below the belly button. I opted for a noticeable taper and a larger cuff as well, 1.6″ (4cm).

What Needs Altering

MTM Showdown: Unboxing The Lanieri Suit

click to enlarge

Not much.

Like I mentioned above, the jacket’s waist and chest could be taken in a bit. Luckily, these are alterations that don’t require much effort from a tailor.

I’m estimating 1–1.5″ (2.5–4cm) from both areas. Once alterations are made, the jacket will fit perfectly. I’ll update this post with fit pictures, post-tailor visit.

As always, my experience may be unique. Don’t assume you’ll run into the same issues I do right out of the box, no matter which company you go with.

Rule of thumb: If you over-communicate exactly what it is you’re looking for, and you measure three times / record once, you will have a very high chance of success the first time around.

lanieri on effortlessgent

After alterations. Click to enlarge (new window)

Get One Of Your Own

While the particular fabric I chose is no longer available, there are many more (seasonally-appropriate) ones to choose from.

Lanieri suit pricing ranges from $590–$1090, with shipping and customs included (it is coming from Italy, after all.)

Lanieri also provides a $100 alterations credit, should anything need to be adjusted once you receive your suit.

Save $100 off your Lanieri purchase by using code EFFORTLESSGENT at checkout.


Tell Me

What are your experiences with MTM suiting?

  • Tried it once, loved it, never looked back?
  • Bad first experience, never doing it again?
  • Decent experience other than a few hiccups, willing to try once more?

Let me know in the comments below. And if there are other online MTM companies you are curious about and want to see, let me know about them as well.

Learn a few shortcuts to dressing well

Enter your first name and email, and I'll send you a free eGuide with quick and easy tips you can use today.

12 Responses

  1. Peter Nguyen on

    Wow Barron, the color is freaking awesome. I’m a peak lapel guy myself, I’d personally like the lapels a bit wider and the length a bit shorter on the coat. But I’m definitely going to look into them.

    My favorite MTM experience is definitely Brooklyn tailors. Daniel there is a super nice and talented guy, and their suits are just timeless. It definitely helps that he’s local so you can get the tweaks as they’re making it. I was lucky enough to get my suit before they really blew up. The MTM was sub $900, but prices are pretty similar now.

    I have really athletic proportions with my larger arms and thighs from weight lifting, so OTR requires me to go up then heavily tailor the chest and shoulders, which is a pain. I haven’t gone full bespoke yet since I can honestly get by with OTR and the occasional MTM. Please post an update when you get it tailored more so we can see a comparison.

    • Barron on

      Thanks man! Glad you like some of the details I’ve chosen. I’m the same way with my proportions; my chest, back, and quads are bigger relative to my torso and I usually have to size up, and then get everything taken in and tapered.

      I’ve heard a lot about Brooklyn Tailors, even before I moved here. I think a couple hundred dollar premium for a local option would be worth it, if one has that option.

      Will definitely post some updated photos once I get this taken in.

    • Barron on

      Thanks! Both samples I received are great, in terms of fabric and quality of construction. Service from both companies were great too. I guess it comes down to your preference of what’s available, i.e. if one company has a specific fabric you prefer.

  2. Jay Ziemer on

    I enjoyed your article. If fact, it led me to purchase three shirts and a suit from Lanieri. I purchased the shirts first, and I purchased the suit soon after I thought I should receive the shirts. I, however, had a very different experience than you did. I think that your readers should understand what happens with thing go wrong.

    The shirts arrived late and 1.5 inches too long in the sleeves. The armholes are so small that they restrict my movement.

    I have been working to return these shirts from May 2, 2016 to May 19, 2016 (the date of writing this post), and I still don’t have all of the issues with the shirts worked-out.

    First, Lanieri informed me that I had to take take the shirts to my tailor for my tailor take the measurements to “prove” that the sleeves were 1.5 inches too long and that the armholes were too small — 2.5 inches too small after seeing my tailor.

    My tailor’s report, however, was not enough. Laneri then stated that I had to send them pictures with me wearing the shirts as additional proof. During this entire time, Lanieri has treated me as if I am a liar.

    Perhaps the most significant issue is that Lanieri added 1.5 inches to my sleeve measurement without informing me of such. According to my tailor, Laneri determined the size of the armhole without the proper measurements to determine such. Thus, the mis-sized shirts are not the fault of my measurement: they are the fault of Lanieri.

    Despite Lanieri’s unilateral changes to my measurements, it will not refund me the money for the shirts unless I send the shirts back to Italy, at my own cost with tracking. This will cost somewhere between 20 USD and 50 USD. Lanieri will not pay for its mistake. I don’t understand why I have to send them the shirts in any event.

    Now to the suit. Lanieri claims that it cannot use my confirmed new measurements for manufacturing my suit. Lanieri will not make a different suit with the proper measurements to send me. It insists upon sending me the suit that it made after it incorrectly and unilaterally changed my measurements. The sleeves with useable button holes will still be 1.5 inches too long, and the armholes will still be too small. I will then have to send the suit back with tracking to get a refund for the suit, simply because this is “Lanieri’s return policy for U.S. customers.

    I have returned suits to Italy before. It costs over $150.00 to send a suit from the U.S. to Italy if you wish to track it. Again, Lanieri should have to pay for this cost.

    Your informed readers should know about Lanieri’s draconian customer service policies and its inflexibility. This is no way to run a business, and it gives all internet MTM clothing manufactures a bad name. I, for one, will never use an internet MTM service again. I will miss the good deals that I can get on internet MTM shirts.

    • Barron on

      Sorry to hear you had a poor outcome w/ the suit and it doesn’t sound like it was handled very well. I wouldn’t rule out MTM completely, though. Just because you had a bad experience with one, doesn’t mean you’ll always have that same experience.

    • Lanieri on

      Dear Jay,

      We’re extremely sorry if we weren’t able to find your perfect fit in our first attempt. Nevertheless we are aware that in non-exact science like tailoring this kind of things can happen. Especially when the process is made completely online.

      First of all, we would like to make clear that we have never treated you as a liar, and will never do. We have only followed the best way we have found so far to deal with this kind of issues via internet. When we ask for pictures and for a tailor’s opinion is just because we would like to get the most information we can to avoid re-making a garment that would still not fit perfectly. (We’re pretty sure your disappointment would have been even greater if in a second attempt the shirts hadn’t fit).

      As stated before, we know fit problems might happen during the first purchase process, given to very different factors (Interpretation of the measurements, errors during a hand-made process, errors in the measurements sent, or simply the fact that being an online process, there are some information we miss for what regards the body type of our customers). Nonetheless, we are always available to remake the garment until we find the perfect fit.

      We know the disappointment of not having a perfect fit has lead you to think we have unilaterally changed your measurements. Nonetheless, it is only the interpretation process we use for every single client. We have to add room to the anatomical measures you send so that you can move once you receive your garment. If we would have taken your anatomical measurements as they were to create your shirt it would have looked as a wetsuit.

      Our main goal is to find our clients perfect fit, so that’s why we make easier the process of remaking the garment until we get the perfect fit than the one of returning it without giving us a second chance. Of course all those conditions were clear before you proceed with your purchase.

      For what regards the suit, we had almost finished your suit when you request the refund for it. We understand your disappointment for the shirts’ fit, but being different garments, the interpretation of your anatomical measures for one garment and the other is completely different. Having almost finished your suit, we thought that sending the suit would have been the best way of showing you our quality, and in case it didn’t fit, you would still have had the chance to remake it until it perfectly fit you.

      Regarding our conditions, we have to protect ourselves from people just buying without a real interest and then just sending back the garments. As you just said, sending suits from and to Italy is expensive, and that is something we are not charging our clients for in their purchase charges.

      We apologize if the correct level of flexibility was not offered to you at the beginning. We take our fault and that’s why we decided to further contact you to find a coherent solution for us both.

      Having said that, We’re pretty sure all online MTM providers are doing their best to deliver the best service in a new industry like this one. Of course, being a new industry there are still a lot of things to improve and I would like to encourage you to keep trying, if not with us, with different online MTM providers as this is the best way in the market to get a high-quality MTM garment at affordable prices.

      Best regards,

      Lanieri Team

  3. Nils on

    Hi Barron,

    I’ve read all three of your MTM posts and found them really helpful as well as interesting. I also would like to commend you on your writing style and format which is consistent between posts making it quicker and easy to read. I am also curious about seeing comparisons across MTMs in terms of “showdowns” between them (price/quality/service/style).

    In trying to order my own I am considering a few different MTMs. Recently I was measured by a Lanieri tailor and found a suit in, what I think, is an amazing color (cobalt blue) that is a really modern but classy blue. I really want a suit this color that is a strong, obvious blue, but deep and bold making the color more modern than classic navys but less out-there than bright blues. I have no doubts about Lanieri’s quality but this suit is quite expensive 950 euro. Even with the discount putting it at 750 euro it is a big chunk of change compared to Oliver Wick’s suits which your review seemed to sound great for, or even Black Lapel/other MTMs.

    I almost never wear a suit except for conferences, presentations, and some family stuff but I want something that is modern in color but still classy. Do you have any thoughts on the matter?


  4. Romain G. on

    I just add my 2 cents about Lanieri. I just received my second shirt, after a blazer and another shirt.
    The Ibieffe denim azzuro is beautiful, the shirt is superbly crafted and sized perfectly.
    I need to say that I had a previous shirt to adjust the measurements via the chat customer service.
    The initial measures were taken in Italy, in their showroom in Roma.
    I for sure will be a long term customer of them.
    And if you allow me, if you use the code MOXFUFU when you make a 300 euros+ order, you will get a 100 euros discount, anytime, for anything !

  5. Sprezzaturo on


    Well, in my experience as a professional stylist I need to say that Lanieri is an AWESOME option for those who can’t afford a bespoke suit and want to have the best of Italy. I always recommend it to my clients. A friend of me works at Lanieri and gave me a special discount code that I always use for a 100 EUR discount. If you want the discount here it is: LANIERI200 You will be surprised with the amazing italian quality and you will forget SuitSupply.

    Never forget your style! 😉