In this Lanieri review, we’ll take a look at this custom menswear brand to see if Italians really do fit better.
As a short, slim guy, I have trouble finding clothes that fit well off the rack. This is especially true with formal clothing like suits and jackets.
Dress pants and sport coats are complicated garments, and the ready to wear options I find are almost always too big or too long.
So I’m a firm believer in buying custom clothing when it comes to formalwear.
The explosion of online and in-person made-to-measure clothing companies has made it easier than ever before to get a suit that fits well.
But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. I’ve tried many custom suit brands over the years, big and small, and I can honestly say that it’s a hit or miss experience.
In general, things seem to work better when you’re measured by an actual person, rather than submitting your own measurements online, but most brands give you the option to do both.
Lanieri is no exception, but right now they only offer in-person appointments in Europe (they have seven showrooms throughout Italy, France and Belgium).
At their invitation, I took the opportunity to try out Lanieri’s services while traveling to Rome. I had somewhat high expectations for a few reasons:
- Italy is a menswear mecca
- Italians are much more fit conscious than Americans
- Lanieri’s motto is “Italians do fit better”
- Other reviews seem very positive
So I visited the Rome showroom to get measured up in person, and my order arrived stateside a few weeks later.
Here’s my Lanieri review…
What I Ordered
Rather than getting another full suit (which I wouldn’t wear often), I opted for a sport coat and trousers. I also tried out their semi-custom knitwear by ordering a wool turtleneck.
Their sweaters aren’t made-to-measure, but they’re available in different sizes and lengths (sort of like Son of a Tailor or ASKET).
Here’s what I got:
- Sportcoat – 4 Seasons Wool Silk Houndstooth by Zegna
- Trousers – Brown Flannel Wool by Lanificio Zignone
- Sweater – XS/Short, 100% Wool by Linsieme
These pieces can be worn on their own, but I chose them with the intent to wear everything as an ensemble for this review.
Since I was in Rome, I was able to get measured in person. I sat with Riccardo and looked through swatch books.
Lanieri offers a good selection of fabrics, all from Italy, including many higher-end choices from mills like Zegna.
They also offer many customization options with various buttons, linings, collar types and pocket types.
Their online configurator is very polished and fun to play with. This is what Riccardo used to input my choices and save them to my profile.
After we chose fabrics, he took a thorough series of measurements using a tailor’s tape.
This process felt like any other in-person measurement experience I’ve had. Riccardo was pleasant and professional, and he noted my fit preferences.
How long did it take?
My order was placed on 11/8 and went into production on 11/11 (they send an email to let you know when production starts).
On 12/11 I received an update saying the order would be a few days late.
On 12/12 I received a notification that the order had been shipped via DHL.
The order was delivered on 12/14, 36 days after it was placed.
This timeline is similar to what I’ve experienced with other custom suit brands, although it’s slightly longer than average.
After trying out so many custom suit brands, I don’t expect anything to show up and fit perfectly right out of the box – and you shouldn’t either!
Even made-to-measure clothes usually need minor alterations, and my Lanieri garments were no exception.
Like most MTM brands, Lanieri suggests that you take your clothes to a local tailor, assuming there are no unfixable problems.
They’ll refund your tailoring expenses up to a certain amount. You just need to fill out a form noting what was changed and provide a copy of the receipt.
Here’s what I had done:
- Jacket sleeves lengthened
- Jacket collar reduced
- Pants leg opening tapered
- Pants waist let out
- Pants hip let out
- Pants thigh taken in
The total cost of these alterations was $155 (in New York City), and Lanieri provided a full reimbursement.
Here’s the bad news: the turtleneck sweater was just too big all around. The sleeves were too long, and the fit was too loose.
It could be altered, but knits are tricky, and this wouldn’t have been worth the price, so I chose to donate it instead.
The jacket and pants fit nicely after alterations.
How did it fit?
After alterations, the jacket and trousers fit very nicely. They’re fitted but comfy, and they look great together.
Since the Lanieri sweater didn’t work out, I’m wearing an older MTM dress shirt instead.
The jacket is a bit short, which is a somewhat contemporary look. Menswear purists might say it’s too short, but I think it’s a good look for shorter guys like myself.
The sleeve length is perfect, and the jacket has a nice amount of compression n the torso.
The pants sit well above my hips on my actual waist, which helps to visually lengthen my legs. I went with side adjusters instead of belt loops because they’re superior in every way 😉
While these wool trousers were too snug around the hips, they fit well after alterations:
The pants have single pleats and cuffs, which help weight down the bottoms and create a nice drape.
And yes, shorter men can wear cuffed pants. Just be sure to go with slight or no break and plenty of taper below the knee.
What I Liked
I’m happy with the final fit of the jacket and pants. After some relatively easy alterations, both pieces work really well for my build.
They’re nice and fitted but still comfortable to wear and move around in.
The fabrics are lovely. I really like the colors and can feel the quality of the materials when I wear these garments.
What I Didn’t Like
The sweater was too big all around. I’m not surprised that the sleeves were too long, but I was surprised (and disappointed) that the fit was so roomy.
Given that Italian men tend to wear closer fitting clothes, and the Lanieri’s mission revolves around better fit, I thought they’d have a slimmer fitting knitwear collection.
To me, the sweater fit like an off the rack Small from any American brand, which is too bad because the fabric felt great.
If you have a hard time finding sweaters that fit, check out my guide about sweaters for short men.
I wouldn’t recommend Lanieri’s knitwear for anyone who’s shorter than average or very slim, but I would definitely recommend their custom clothing, especially if you can visit one of their showrooms.
This isn’t the most affordable MTM option, but it’s one of the better experiences (and results) I’ve had so far.
If you’re interested in checking out Lanieri, you can visit their website here.
Jim Natali says
Thank you for this great write up! I am heading to Rome in December (fingers crossed) and have been looking at Lanieri for getting a couple of suits and shirts. I found your article extremely helpful and somewhat reassuring!
Thanks for sharing your purchases with us
I agree the Italians do it well/better
Love seeing the pleats and cuffs and the side adjusters on these trousers, very smart twists and
making them look current