The Custom Dress Shirts: why building your own made to measure dress shirt is better

Choosing a custom dress shirt

The dress shirt, more than any other male garment, has served to distinguish a man’s wealth and social class. Up through the XIX century, a white shirt was considered the epitome of male elegance and functioned exactly like the modern T-shirt by keeping sweat away from the outer garments while protecting the body from the coarse outerwear materials.

man with a custom light blue dress shirt and purple tie

Nowadays a high-quality button-up shirt has changed its use but it still is a cornerstone of every man’s wardrobe, it’s in fact the most versatile garment you can own.

We wear it under the jacket while at the office, we wear it outside our jeans or slacks at the weekend: the dress shirt is something that cannot be missing in our everyday wardrobe.

You can easily dress it down with a blazer and a pair of chinos, or you can pair it with an elegant suit and tie for more formal occasions.

There are shirts of infinite types, colours, fabrics, but most of the times it is difficult to find one that perfectly adapts to our style and our built.

The standard shirts sold in shops are made to be worn by the majority of people, but even so it is very difficult that two people have the same circumference of the neck, chest, waist and hips. What does this mean? That if we choose to wear a standard shirt, we will have to adapt to the size range of the shirt, and adapt to own it looks on us.

Fortunately, there is an alternative, and it’s easy and available to everyone: the tailoring. Here it’s explained why and how to choose a custom dress shirt.

Especially custom shirts have become a major trend in recent years, not only for the absolute control they afford you over every aspect of the customisation, but also for the precise fit they offer to everyone. Tailored to your body rather than to ordinary on the rack garments (that are made to fit many and as a result, they fit no one perfectly), a custom shirt fits better than just about anything.

Most men wear dress shirts that do not fit them properly forgetting that details do really matter. The shirt you wear, in the absence of a jacket, for example, is the most powerful signal you are using to non-verbally communicate with people around you. Your shirt, whether you like it or not, is speaking for you, so make sure it’s saying who you really are (or, at least, who you want to be)!

But let’s go into details and discover why, who, when, where and how to choose a custom dress shirt and what are its main features.

Why to choose a custom dress shirt

Close up on tailored dress shirts' cuffs, various colors

What really means to wear a custom dress shirt can only be understood once tried. To wear a unique suit in the world, that was exclusively made for us, it’s really a priceless luxury. The advantages of choosing a custom dress men’s shirt are not only about the importance of wearing a shirt that fits us in the right way, following the lines of our body, and respecting our proportions, but takes in consideration the longevity and the value for money.

Custom dress first of all means resistant, and resistant means lasting. A shirt made following the tailoring tradition, using only Italian fabrics of premium quality, it is a shirt that resists to ripping, usage and can last in time. Last but not least, the style factor.

A custom dress shirt is made following our own tastes. You will be able to choose all the details: from the colour of the fabric to the pattern, from the shape of the collar to the cuffs, so to create a shirt that goes well with its use and our personal taste.

Who should choose a custom tailored shirt?

Close up on mitered cuff of a tailored cotton blue men's dress shirt

For those who a have a standard built, custom dress often is a matter of taste and elegance, for all other men is a real necessity. There are those who have a bit of belly and would like to hide it, there are those who practise a lot of sport and need to underline their built, there are those who are very tall or short and would like a shirt that will add value to them.

For all those who have specific characteristics, choosing a custom dress shirt means not having to give up appearing in their best shape in all occasions and wearing the perfect shirt.

When to choose a custom tailored shirt

Close up on collar's button of a Lanieri's white shirt for men with cutaway collar

Starting by saying that wearing a custom dress shirt it is a pleasure that each one of us should be able to afford everyday, there are some recurring situations in which the dress code imposes an elegance beyond the usual standards.

In the more private occasion like the day of the degree, our wedding or the one we are invited to or we are the best man, a romantic appointment, a banquet. Or for business occasions: a first job interview, a very important meeting, the day of our promotion, an elegant business dinner.

How many times have we found ourselves looking for a suit? The day of the wedding who wouldn’t like to wear a custom dress shirt, choosing the best matching with special ties for ceremonies?

Choosing a dress shirt appropriate for all the more formal occasion means knowing how to respect the etiquette (business and not only), but mostly it means choosing to present to the others the best version of ourselves.

How to choose a custom dress shirt

Lanieri's custom blue dress shirt with a button-down collar folded up next to an old '70s phone

Choosing a custom dress shirt today is easier than you think. First of all you need to choose the fabric: colour, pattern, material and weave. To orient yourself in the decision of the best fabric it is possible to consult our guide for men’s fabrics.

Once you have chosen the fabric you can continue adding the various details, among which: neck, cuffs, buttons, chest pocket and embroiders. Even in this case, you can help yourself with our two simple guides on the various types of cuffs and collars for men’s dress shirts.

The last but not least passage is the one about taking the effective body measures. If you choose to let your friend take your measures, you’ll need a classic tailor meter and you can follow the steps of our tutorial video, otherwise, you can consult a tailor or go to one of our Lanieri Store.


A series of blue fabrics for men's made to measure dress shirt, different varieties

The fabric is what a shirt is actually made out of after all. Fabrics, especially 100% cotton, are in fact the primary material for dress shirts. Fabrics are either 1-ply (/1) or 2-ply (/2), this is the number of yarns twisted together to make a single thread.

This process makes the fabric more durable. Another important feature of the fabric is its weight (measured in grams) which varies from lightweight 160 gr up to 300 gr. This obviously determines the use according to the season.


Close up of collar and shoulders of a tailored men's checkered shirt with cutaway collar

It’s quite easy: a well fitted dress shirt should first and foremost be comfortable. But how to exactly understand if it fits you correctly? In general the right fit should allow two fingers in the collar when buttoned and has to be* tight enough around the chest.

A well tailored shirt should also have long enough sleeves so that you can extend your arms in any direction without the cuff pulling away from the wrist. At the same time if the sleeve lenght fits correctly, you shouldn’t have more than 1 inch of fabric bunching near the cuff when your arms hang.

Last and not least, shoulder points have to extend to the end of the shoulder and no farther.


Close up on collar plastic removable white stays of a checkered dress shirt

The purpose of a shirt collar is to properly balance and frame a man’s face. It’s the most visible part of a shirt when wearing a jacket and plays a very large role in determining the formality and use of the shirt. Men’s dress shirt collars come in a variety of styles, some more classic than others.

The most common difference in collar style is the spread, the distance between collar points on a collar. Shirt collars go from less spread as the Italian one to more spread such as the cutaway collar.

Choosing the appropriate shirt collar requires a bit of experimentation and a little common sense. A custom shirt be provided with removable collar stays (little pointed pieces of plastic or metal into the underside of a collar) that keep collar points sharp and curl-free.


Mitered cuff of a tailor-made white men's blue checkered shirt

Besides the collar, the shirt’s cuffs are the only visible parts of a shirt when a jacket is worn. Most dress shirt cuffs are pretty classic: a barrel cuff with a squared edge, two buttons and interlining (an extra piece of material sewn in that gives a shirt cuff extra structure for a crisper look).

There is a large variety of cuff styles: from a rounded edge to a rectangular cuff, to a more unique French variety (to be fastened with cufflinks instead of buttons) to finish off more special looks.


Shirt Lanieri Gussets

The long life of a shirt is about materials and of course construction. A strong seam with more than 7 stitches per centimeter and gussets (little piece of triangular fabric sewn in where the side seam meets the hem of the shirt) are synonyms of quality and will protect shirts from tearing.

What makes Lanieri custom made shirts so special?

  • 100% Italian cotton fabrics for a soft hand-fee
  • Removable angled (not rounded) collar stays
  • Small tone on tone gussets
  • French seam with 7 stitches per centimeter
  • White or black buttons with a thickness of 2 or 4 millimeters
  • Lily shaped buttons stitching
  • 7 different cuffs and 9 different type of collars
  • Interlined collar to provide a crisp and perfect stand
  • Horizontal bottom button hole
  • 4 monograms locations

Why create a shirt on

Lanieri custom dress shirt 3D online tool

Image you can choose between 60 different fabrics, confronting them. Imagine been able to design in real time the shirt you have always dreamed of, personalising it with all the details that you like. Now imagine doing this at home, while sitting on your sofa. Now go to and find out that this is already a reality!

Online you create your custom dress shirt with a few and simple clicks. But not only that. Because Lanieri is easy, and safe. In case the shirt you have chosen needs some changes, you have at your hand a punctual and attentive post-selling service that grants you the final fitting.

By altering all these features, a custom shirt can either send the message you are ready for a sparkling aperitivo or ready to meet your girlfriend’s parents. It’s up to you.