Lanieri Custom Suit Review
As we continue to cover online MTM here on the site, we are journeying further into the world of online MTM suiting. We have already reviewed both Indochino and Black Lapel — two of the biggest and most popular companies in this space. Now we turn our attention to another contender, Lanieri ($740+). Their slogan is “Italians do fit better” and it very well encapsulates what sets Lanieri apart from the other online MTM suiting companies. For one, they are an Italian company, which means that not only are the fabrics sourced from long-time, famous, and reputable Italian mills, but the suits are also all tailored in Italy as well. Additionally, Lanieri claims that they do a better job of nailing your fit than other comparable companies. Naturally, we put it to the test. They certainly are a higher end company, and their prices reflect that. We went with a grey double breasted suit, the fabric for which is now sold out. Their suits start at $740, though, and go up pretty quickly from there, topping out at about $1,400. Of course, let’s see if they live up to all the hype!
Style & Design
Lanieri sources their fabrics from mills like Read, Drago, or VBC — all renown and high quality mills. You’re getting super high quality fabrics from reputable places, and the patterns are beautiful. Even the solids, like our grey suit, has great depth to it. These are not cheap fabrics, but instead, quite high end. These are the same mills that SuitSupply sources their stuff from. It’s the same mills that Black Lapel’s high end line uses, and are in a totally different league to the fabrics used by a place like Indochino. In addition to the quality being superior, you’ll see truly beautiful and unique fabrics offered, with rich and deep checks, plaids, houndstooths, and so on and so forth. They’re more expensive than Black Lapel, and way more expensive than Indochino, but the fabrics they are using are a step above, so it’s a different league.
The final product — my double breasted gray suit — was super nice and came out looking great. The double breasted proportions are all spot on, and it strikes the perfect balance between modern and timeless in the angles and button stance. The buttons are also a very cool, almost iridescent grey adding a subtle flair to an otherwise pretty plain suit. In all, the suit, and all the other fabrics offered by Lanieri, are truly beautiful and quite special. A
The Lanieri website could use a bit of refinement, but, overall, is quite solid. The actual customization process for suits is pretty good, with a live-updating preview showing you the changes as you make them. This doesn't stay through every change, but it does reflect the big ones. As far as customization options, you have all the classic ones, with different lapels, both wide and more narrow, and, of course, double breasted. You can do the vents, pockets, buttons, lining, and more, all to your specifications. They also offer a nice half-lined option, which is something I always like to see. You can choose side tabs, pleats, suspender buttons, and even from three different cuff heights.
Uniquely, they also let you choose from three different slimness settings for the leg opening of the pant. This, I’m sure, has lots to do with the whole “Italians do fit better.” I wish more companies would offer options like this, and I wish Lanieri would offer such options for, say, sleeve or waist slimness as well. After all, why not ask the customer what he wants? It would go a long way in getting a first fitting that is close to perfect.
Shipping is pretty slow, taking well over a month, and pushing 6 weeks. This is definitely one area that they can improve some, though, if the final product is that amazing, such a wait is certainly worth it. A-
The Fitting Process
So, with all that being said, how did the first fitting come out? Well, in all honesty, pretty good! Still, though, not perfect, and still needing of a remake. As you can see, the pants were too long, and not as slim at the cuff as I usually like. There were also a few problems with the seat of the pants that needed to be tweaked. The jacket had more issues, being too roomy in the chest, waist, and sleeves, and having some serious pulling by the shoulders, along with sleeve pitch issues. The length of both the torso and the sleeves was also a bit off.
I emailed all the fitting pictures to Lanieri, and explained the situation. They offered to remake the jacket, no questions, and to reimburse me for any tailoring needed for the pants. When I told them I prefer that they remake the pants so I know that ordering from them will come out perfect in the future, they agreed right away without any further push back. They were able to rush the remake a little bit, but it still took over a month to arrive. When it did, the pants fit perfectly save for the seat of the pants being a bit too tight and cutting into my rear. This is an easy future fix. The jacket was now perfect except for the sleeve still being roomier than I liked (I have this problem with jackets all. the. time.) despite showing them fit pictures of how I prefer it to look, and the waist was a bit too tight and was causing pulling when buttoned. I brought the jacket to my local tailor who took care of these alterations no problem. Lanieri reimbursed me promptly as well once I showed them the receipt. I then told them the changes the tailor made, and the updated my profile with them as best they could, for future orders.
After all this, the final result is quite good. It’s not without flaws, though. The sleeve pitch could use correction, as you can see my hand sitting at resting position is against the rear of the sleeve as opposed to the front. There is also a bit of pulling in the back across the chest area and near the shoulders. And, there is the seat of the pants which is a bit too tight. Overall, though, it is a pretty well-fitting suit, and Lanieri did a good job with it.
Here, though, is where I am a bit down on Lanieri. As in, where do I go from here? I can order from them again, but they have no phone number to call to discuss things with, their email response is consistent, but can take up to a day. And the people on emails do not speak English natively, and while it is good enough to work, you can tell that things get lost in translation. Meaning, the relationship with the “tailor” is not as good as a place like Black Lapel or Indochino, both companies who have physical store fronts, and phone numbers you can just call right up and talk to someone about the fit of your garment. It’s much more difficult to communicate with Lanieri. I’m sure they can get the sleeves perfected, as well as the seat of the pants. But what about the pulling in the back or the sleeve pitch adjustment? Those are hard to get right and require real communication. While I am pretty happy with the overall product, in the end, I am not sure I would run to order again. The wait time is just too long, and there is just too much uncertainty for me with a product this expensive. More on this in the conclusion though. For now, we can conclude the fit section by saying quite solid, but not perfect. A-
Quality & Construction
Lanieri makes really nice suits, that is the long and short of it. The construction is wonderful, the fabric is awesome, and all the details are there. Everything from the colorful lining of the pants, to the super-substantial side tabs just gives off an aura of true quality. The fabric drapes beautifully and elegantly, and feels wonderful and perfectly weighty. The canvasing is done really well, and the lapels sit nicely on the jacket. There is great shape and life to the jacket, and you can feel that it is a quality garment, quite a league above something out of Indochino. A
Value & Conclusion
Lanieri — Suits from $740+: When you look at each element here, Lanieri does a great job. Fabric selection is awesome and quality, their construction is excellent, and they do a very solid job with the fit, even if it is not going to be perfect on the first time — it never, ever is with MTM and that is 100% okay as long as the company stands behind their product and is willing to work with you. And Lanieri absolutely is. Trouble is that the communication isn’t excellent, there is no phone number or real way to have a serious conversation with them about the fit of your garment, and the fact that they are based overseas thus both helps and hinders them. You’re getting better quality fabric and construction, and better, more refined fit algorithms, clearly, but losing the ability to communicate and discuss your suit. And then there is the pricing, which, well, is pricey. It’s certainly high, and significantly above the starting price of Black Lapel, for a garment that, while higher quality, is not that much higher quality. And Black Lapel offers an NYC storefront, along with excellent, responsive, customer service and expertise. Someone considering Indochino will likely not be interested in Lanieri anyway. Lanieri is higher end, and you get a product in a different league. If you’re looking for Italian tailoring available online, and Italian fabrics, then Lanieri is a solid bet, with excellent choices and customizations, and good but not amazing customer service. They’ll work with you, but if you’re particularly hard to fit, you might find that the best you’ll get is pretty close, but not perfect.
In the end, the decision is yours, and the differences in choice here are subtle. As far as we have reviewed, things come out like this:
Indochino: An excellent, lower end option, with great customer service, but mediocre fabrics and construction.
Black Lapel: SuitSupply quality (and up), at SuitSupply prices, but a MTM experience with excellent customer service here in the US.
Lanieri: Italian tailoring available online, with beautiful Italian fabrics from renown mills, but slightly uncertain communication channels, and high prices to boot.
I don’t think there is a wrong choice here. It’s just what, exactly, you are looking for. Final Grade: A-