The Hunt For The Perfect Shirt
Nailing the sleeve length on dress shirts is honestly one of the hardest things for me so far. Shrinking, jacket length and the overall shirt fit are some of the variables. Purging my wardrobe and replacing many of them was challenging but Made to Measure seemed to be the solution. This week the first of many shirts arrived from Apposta and in this Review I will tell you all about it.
Not sure who Apposta is? I don’t blame you since I also found out about them quite recently. But it was a true game-changer to see what is possible with a proper fitting shirt. I will tell you everything about them in this article since they deserve to be on your bookmark.
Grab some coffee and let’s dive in the Apposta Light Blue BD Shirt Review in Giza 45 Cotton!
Who Is Apposta?
Apposta is an Italian Shirtmaker focusing on Online Custom Made to Measure Shirts. They do have their headquarters in London it seems (was a little tricky to find out!) but the shirts are made in Italy completely. The Italian part of their heritage comes from the founders Gianluca Mei and Gianmarco Taccaliti.
Did you know they offer 4187 fabric choices at the time of writing? All of them come from famous and reputable mills such as Albini and Thomas Mason. With an extensive customization process, responsive website and great prices Apposta seems to be a great bang for your buck. How come you never heard of them before then?
Well you might have, but under a different name! Formerly known as Neronote, the company rebranded into Apposta in 2018. If you know me, I have a soft “romantic” spot for products with Latin names. Antonio Meccariello does this a lot (Legate, Principes, Tacticus) and Apposta is no different. In Latin, “Apposta” means “on purpose” or “deliberately” which makes their quest for the perfect shirt evident.
Disclaimer: Apposta was kind enough to provide this shirt for free without further compensation in exchange only for an honest Review.
What’s Your Obsession With Fit?
As aforementioned I had a tougher time gauging proper shirt fit than anything else. Not the overall fit of the shirt but finding the correct sleeve length.
First of all, even the nicest suit will look terrible with a low quality or ill-fitting shirt. Secondly, cotton has the admittedly annoying property of shrinking (usually 0.5 inches). Add to the mix your varying jacket sleeve lengths and consistency becomes an issue. I found that sleeve length appears much different with and without a jacket so I encourage you to try both. After all, you can shorten but you cannot lengthen fabric right?
Too much information? Let me make it as simple and clear then.
“Fit is King for all clothes and shoes”
Good, we got that out of the way.
I really like having an overview of the specifications in my reviews. For my first Apposta shirt I chose a Light Blue Button Down Shirt in Giza 45 Cotton. I was lacking a good Button Down shirt and this was the perfect opportunity.
- Brand: Apposta
- Collar: Button Down
- Color: Cyan
- Design: Plain
- Cuff: Two-Cuff
- Pocket: None
- Fabric: Giza 45 Pure Cotton Double Twisted Poplin
- Code: St.James_100
- Mill: Thomas Mason
- Weave: Poplin Double Twisted
- Price: $152 (€139/£124/1470kr)
- Order Date: 14/04/2020
- Origin: Italy
That is honestly pretty good. A reputable mill and specifications better than my Eton shirt for a lower cost and hopefully a better fit.
The Apposta MTM Process
I really like the Apposta website. Really easy to navigate, loads fast and is very responsive for me. You actually have two options when you get there.
One is to choose one of the pre-designed shirts which is helpful if you need some inspiration. They even have multiple categories to make it easier to filter and browse. The second one is all about designing your own shirt from scratch and involves four steps.
Let’s go through them one by one.
Step 1: Choose Your Fabric
This step is by far the hardest. There are 4187 Fabrics to choose from, it is absolutely ridiculous! I have never seen such variety from another shop so far. Filters are a lifesaver here as you can choose multiple to narrow down your choice:
I must admit it can still be very challenging to distinguish from varying shades of the same color with just a picture swatch. With a total of 9 reputable mills to choose from including certifications you can make a really good shirt fabric wise.
My recommendation is to always have an idea of what you want to make. Do you want something plain, or with a pattern? Then filter the color and adjust the rest of the details.
I knew I had to try the Giza 45 Cotton, one of the finest Egyptian Cottons in the world. I really enjoy both Twill and Poplin weaves but the latter was something I needed in my collection. The color choice was between Light Blue and Cyan which was the one I eventually chose.
Of course your fabric choice affects the pricing. There are 51 fabrics costing from 69€ up to 89€ for a great budget selection. Giza 45 on the other hand will cost you from 139€ up to a massive 849€!! Linen and other seasonal fabrics start around the 109€ mark. The bottom line is that there is something for every taste and every budget.
Step 2: Customize Your Shirt
If you thought Apposta spoils you for choice in the fabric selection, wait until you see what they have up next.
The first screen is rather simple offering a choice of Long or Short Sleeve Length. I also like very much that each choice has its own short description.
Afterwards you get to choose your cuff style. You can choose from a total of 8 styles including french cuffs, straight and angled or even the “convertible“. Now that’s a funny one I didn’t know about that works with both cufflinks and buttons.
In the next screen you get the option of adding one or two pockets to your shirt. I am not sure who or why would choose this but the option is there for you in 7 possible combinations. This is generally one that you will skip.
Ah, now we get to the interesting part which is the fit of the shirt. These days you usually see Regular, Slim and Extra Slim Fit with the rarer addition of Super Slim (Eton, Charles Tyrwhitt). Apposta offers you a choice of 6 fits: Regular, Regular Close Fit, Slim Fit, Slim Tight Fit, Casual & Sporty. The descriptions are pretty nice but in the end much will depend on your measurements. I chose a Regular Close Fitting and I am very happy I did so.
The last step involves choosing your preferred collar type. I won’t attempt to show you pictures as there are 29 collars to choose from. I couldn’t believe it. Knowing I want a classic Button Down that’s what I chose. There’s a lot of info here including measurements of each collar’s properties.
Step 3: Input Your measurements
We are almost at the finish line. If you are really lazy or short on time you can choose from the classic predefined measurements. I suggest creating a profile however and taking the time to measure yourself or a well-fitting shirt using Apposta’s very helpful guide. There are 9 total fields to enter:
- Sleeves (Left & Right)
- Cuffs (Left & Right)
What I like about this is that when you click on each box you get not only an image but also an instructional video. Their website is very customer focused and I like it.
In the end, add any notes if you have and proceed to safely checkout. I personally used my Suitsupply Traveler Slim Fit Shirt (38/15) as a reference for this.
Delivery & Unboxing
It usually takes about 2 weeks to receive your custom shirt. I placed my order on the 14th of April 2020 and received it on the 15th of May 2020. However this was very normal as Italy was in the middle of the Covid-19 Pandemic. If anything I am surprised I received it so quickly. For those curious about the logistics the carrier was UPS.
The box itself is rather simplistic and ripped at one corner during transport but luckily there was no damage inside.
I was very impressed as soon as I opened the box however! Inside the tissue paper there was my shirt folded very nicely but something else caught my attention. Apposta included a free Poplin Face Mask along with a little textured envelope. Honestly a really nice move especially when there are many price gouging face masks at these testing times. If you are a reader from the future, take a moment to appreciate what we went through!
In the next few weeks I hope I can get my YouTube Video Review out, but the unboxing experience set the pace and expectations for me.
Grade: 4.5/5 (Because of the box damage)
Quality Of The Shirt
There’s something about a good Poplin Weave that makes it so soft and pleasing to look at. I am very happy I chose the cyan color which as a very subtle sky blue tint to it. When I check out a shirt I usually look at a few key components.
Fabric – Giza 45 Double Twisted
First of all I begin by feeling the shirt to get an idea about the fabric. I must say it is sublime and probably the softest one in my collection. It surprised me a bit that it’s classified as “heavy” since it certainly doesn’t feel like it. Giza 45 Cotton has some of the finest fibers in the world of cotton giving it unparalleled softness and smoothness. Bed sheets from Giza 45 are the holy grail for many but it does come with a price. Literally and figuratively as it can be more prone to creasing.
Grade: 5/5 (Beyond my expectations)
Collar – Classic Button Down
Before unfolding I also inspect the collar. The Classic Button Down has an 8.8 cm point length and is a joy to behold. It’s not one of those skinny, flat looking ones but drapes beautifully with a wavy arch. Unfortunately I could not find information regarding the collar (fused or unfused).
Now, even in the description it says that you should wear it open without a tie and many will agree. I on the other hand think that a nice dressy BD like this looks exquisite with a tie.
Grade: 5/5 (Extremely satisfied)
Sleeves & Cuffs – Two Button Cuff
I enjoy the added flexibility of having a two button cuff. It means I can adjust for a watch or simply give my shirt some extra length if I need to. While there’s nothing special here to warrant giving a grade, I am satisfied with what I saw.
Buttons – Mother Of Pearl
Here’s my only gripe so far. The button themselves are great and have a lovely shine to them. They are however very thin for my fingers and I had some trouble getting them through some holes. I am not sure if they are indeed thinner or they just feel more lightweight but I did feel the need to be more careful when handling them. Regardless, the quality is there.
What good is a nice shirt without proper stitching. Luckily, Apposta delivers in this very important category as you might have noticed in the collar pictures.
Very high density SPI and consistent all over the shirt. I checked the collar, seams, cuffs and even inside the shirt. While I did talk about the buttons, the sewing is good and they don’t feel flimsy like Suitsupply’s for me.
I expect this shirt to last me a long time.
All This Is Good, But How’s The Fit?
I am happy to report that the fit is great. For a first time, online MTM I have to admit Apposta impressed me. I always worry about the sleeve length and taking the correct measurements but their customer support was excellent and responsive. Many thanks to Caroline and Alessia as well as the rest of the team.
I am certainly happy with the sleeve length especially when I try a jacket on.
As I mentioned before, I am extremely happy about the collar and how it looks with or without a tie. I think it’s phenomenal.
Of course very rarely something is 100% perfect. Now that I have a feel for the fit (which is already fine) I know I can make a few more tweaks in the next one.
First of all, depending on how much the sleeves shrink (usually 0.5 inches) I might add a little extra next time. Secondly, I began training extensively last month and my chest is a little bigger. I would add 0.5 – 1 inches on the chest and shoulder area to accommodate for that.
Color me impressed.
Overall Grade: 4.5/5 (Minor tweaks for the next time!)
Can I Recommend Apposta?
If you read through the whole Review you will notice I was enthusiastic from the beginning. I not only got an excellent fitting shirt from the finest materials but also received top notch customer service, friendly responses and thoughtfulness (Face Mask).
The price might be steeper for such a fabric, but with shirts starting at just 69€ there’s no reason not to try. Plus, you get a perfect fit pledge by Apposta. If you have the time to do some measurements and want something more special, I can wholeheartedly recommend them.
If you like it, head out to the Apposta Website and begin designing your own shirt in just a few steps!
My journey to replace my dress shirts began with a bang and success. It surprised me how unable I was to find a proper blue Poplin BD out there. I think good custom made is the future for many companies and consumers alike. Plus, I am glad to support small businesses ran by nice people. And this brings us to the end of the Apposta Shirt Review!
In the following weeks I will do many more shirt reviews, namely from T.M. Lewin and Spier & Mackay. Curious to see how those are going to end up! In the meantime, let me know if you tried, or consider trying Apposta and if you liked the article! Remember to Subscribe and support my effort! I appreciate all of you a lot!
Thank you for reading,