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In 2023, no scrounging is necessary to order a couple of customized shirts online. There are scads of e-retailers that allow you to input your neck and sleeve size, select a collar style, choose a fabric, and then wait a few weeks for the finished product to arrive.
Nevertheless, my ears perked up when I learned that Anglo-Italian had entered the made-to-order shirt game last fall. Whereas many of the companies providing a similar service exist as interchangeable ciphers, with styling left entirely to the customer, Anglo-Italian has brought its own distinct viewpoint to the online made-to-order shirt process.
For starters, there are not scores or hundreds of fabrics to choose from, but just 11, split between oxfords and poplins. And with the exception of a green stripe oxford and a solid navy, every one of them is either light blue, white, or some combination of these two.
Though this may sound limiting, the charm is that every one of the fabrics was developed specifically for Anglo-Italian and lives comfortably within the brand’s muted color palette. Similarly, just three collar styles are offered—button-down, spread or point—and each is a carefully considered house iteration designed to play nice with the label’s other wares.
I landed on a reverse stripe blue oxford—something of a house signature—and the button-down collar, complemented by other Ivy details including a placket, a box pleat with a locker loop, a chest pocket and a monogram that is by default placed at the left ribcage (the correct position, in my opinion).
The oxford cloth, milled in Italy to Anglo-Italian’s specs, was satisfyingly heavy at 170gsm, but lacked the coarse quality that other heavyweight oxfords have right out of the box. It was instead finer and slightly slippery but without sheen or shine, pushing the shirt in a dressy direction. The more formal feel was helped along by its lightly fused yet soft button-down collar, whose 4-inch points establish a deep, extra-wide roll that frames a tie beautifully.
While I’d chosen a 15.5” neck and body size—my usual—I found its cut to be somewhat constraining on my 40” chest. In response, the Anglo-Italian team offered to remake the shirt, this time taking advantage of the option to match a different size neck and body. My second shirt, which retained the 15.5” neck but bumped the body to a 15.75” (quarter-inch increments are much appreciated) proved a better fit for my broad chest and shoulders.
At a time when many online clothiers feel like the sartorial equivalent of a Chipotle assembly line, it’s refreshing to see a custom option that reflects the taste of its maker. And if you, like I, appreciate a strong house aesthetic but find yourself between standard sizing, Anglo-Italian’s venture into made-to-order shirting will be well received.