First, a primer on how to measure for a dress shirt —then, a Q&A with the label
Q: Men’s dress shirts are designed to be relatively exacting in their measurements, in order to fit the wearer precisely. What are the various body measurements to take and know when deciding which size shirt to wear?
A: The main measure to consider is the neck. Then, the measurement of the shoulders and chest, which are often in proportion with the measurement of the neck.
Q: Tell us how to measure for a dress shirt. Can someone do it at home?
A: Use a tape measure to measure the circumference of the neck. Take this measurement by wrapping a tape measure around your neck, a couple of centimeters from the point where the neck comes off the shoulders. It’s a process that can easily be done at home.
Q: Italian dress shirts typically come in neck sizes that refer to the circumference of one’s neck, in centimeters, e.g. 38, 39, 40…and so on. But what if the sizes listed are a standard Italian garment size, e.g. 46, 48, 50, and so on. How do those translate?
A: 38 = 46 (small); 39 = 48 (small-medium); 40 = 50 (medium-large); 41 = 52 (large), 42 = 54 (large-extra large), 43 = 56 (extra large), 44 = 58 (extra large+), and 45 = 60 (extra large++). If you’re unsure, please contact italist customer care.
Q: Are there any tips or tricks for how to measure for a dress shirt, making sure you get the size you want?
A: Our shirts have a very regular fit (custom fit), not a slim fit, so while the neck and shoulders should be relatively exact, the body of the shirts leaves room to breathe.
Q: What other details about a dress shirt are important to consider?
A: We are known because we have been in tailoring for more than 130 years and our clothes are produced according to the Neapolitan tailoring tradition, which is characterized by the meticulous care and attention to detail.
Key features of an Eddy Monetti shirt:
- 5 hand steps are involved in the crafting process
- Hand riveting of the buttonholes, which ensures they are big enough for the button and sturdy enough for regular use
- The collar is almost always the “cut-away” style (also known as the French / Italian neck), so the collar points more sideways than down. Read more about collar styles from blogger William Prector at Ask The Gentleman.
Also, a rule of thumb with sleeves: the length of the sleeve must be exactly at the wrist with the arm bent at 90 degrees.
The Story of Eddy Monetti
The history of the label begins in Naples in 1887, where at No.50 Via Toledo, Eduardo Monetti opens a two-window shop dedicated exclusively to hats.
Prestigious clients include, among others, Italian operatic tenor Enrico Caruso, who influences the fashion of the time with his style. Eduardo hands the business over to his son, Salvatore, who runs it very successfully during the dark period of World War II, managing swiftly to expand the premises and launch a wide range of ties, accessories, and smoking jackets, in addition to hats.
The real breakthrough comes in 1960 when the company is handed over to Eddy. The post-war years of the Italian economic boom—”La Dolce Vita”, the space race, and the first heart transplant follow.
Eddy finds his inspiration everywhere and thanks to his talent and intuition, manages within a short period of time to expand the business in the city and open new shops in the most important streets of Rome and Milan. The brand slowly begins to be recognized abroad thanks to the quality of the products and the eclecticism of its owner who in addition to being a designer, is also a journalist and a musician.
After its founding almost 130 years ago, Eddy Monetti is still a family-run business with boutiques around the world and a presence in some of the most important stores globally. We personally supervise the creation of the collections and the entire sales network.
Our main aim is to continue along the path that was paved by the now legendary Eddy, offering goods which reflect his refined taste and unique style.
Interview with The Brand
Q: Italy is full of similar companies—family-run apparel and accessories companies that have been in continuous operation and are still in-demand. What makes Italians so good at apparel and accessories design and production?
A: Italy has always been a nation of artists. Italians have a lot of imagination and above all a great craftsmanship. These two qualities put together make our products somewhat unique in the world.
Q: I lived in Italy briefly and remember learning more about the ‘world of bespoke Neapolitan tailoring.’ I had custom dress shirts made for myself, which felt like a quintessentially Italian experience. Why is Neapolitan tailoring so highly-regarded within Italy and around the world?
A: Because there is a great tradition of apparel in Naples. The “Neapolitan school” was born between the first and second world wars. At that time, the city of Naples was frequented by artists, writers, prominent personalities of the political world. It was considered the capital of Europe.
Everyone came here to spend months enraptured by the beauty of this city. This meeting between different cultures and Neapolitan craftsmanship gave rise to a specific “school of style.” In Naples there were talented tailors. Their skill, mixed with the tastes of men who came from all over the world, gave birth to something different, which did not exist anywhere else in the world, hence the “Neapolitan jacket, trousers, and shirt” with their specific characteristics.
Q: What makes Eddy Monetti unique among its peers?
A: We don’t think we’re unique. Rather we think that each brand has its own philosophy, its own DNA. Everyone builds their own way.
Q: Geographies other than Western Europe and the USA have taken a greater interest in fine tailoring—like China and Japan. Why do you think that is?
A: The Japanese as well as the Chinese are great admirers of all that is Made in Italy and of all that is exclusive and personalized. And what’s more exclusive than a custom-tailored suit for the customer, made to his or her exact measurements?
Q: What’s the aesthetic essence of Eddy Monetti? What sort of person wears your clothing?
A: Eddy Monetti used to say “If you appear elegant and someone points it out to you, it means that you are not at all, because elegance is a mute message that can only be perceived but not read.” It’s a silent thought hidden between your skin and things. Here, maybe this is our essence.
We have a very multigenerational clientele. From 20 to 80 years and older.
Q: In addition to suiting, Eddy Monetti produces ready-to-wear, like leather jackets and cashmere sweaters. How does your knowledge of bespoke tailoring inform how you design a ready-to-wear garment?
A: The week is made up of 7 days and our customers don’t always dress in a suit and tie. Hence, the need to design a collection that also addresses leisure and free time. Of course, always with our signature style and attention to details.
The tailor-made experience is characterized by the exchange of information with the customer, talking with the customer, trying to understand their tastes, habits, desires—and of course, knowing their measurements. This information is precious and helps us to guide and direct the creative process for our ready-to-wear collections, which complements the tailoring side.
Q: What does the future look like for Eddy Monetti?
A: This is difficult to say. The future is something that an individual can only imagine, dream about. We would like to reach more and more people around the world. Today this is easier thanks to technology and new sales channels. We would like to open stores outside of our national borders, perhaps in Asia or the Americas.
Q: As an insider, what are your favorite spots in Milan to eat, take aperitivo, and shop? Favorite bars? Best historical/touristic spots to see? Are there any places you would suggest our readers not miss if they visit?
A: For shopping we definitely recommend the Quadrilatero della moda (central section of Milan where most shopping happens), where we have our flagship store at Via S. Pietro All’Orto, 22.
As for restaurants, one of the places we are most fond of is definitely Il Baretto, located inside the Baglioni Hotel Carlton. For a good glass of wine I would recommend the Salumaio di Montenapoleone, a spot housed in the historic Bagatti Valsecchi building.
For historical visits, however, I would recommend moving south. Cities like Rome, a real open-air museum, and Naples really have a lot to offer in terms of rich history and sight-seeing.
Discover the entire Eddy Monetti men’s collections and women’s collections.
Discover more Tips & How-Tos content: How to Care for your Leather Shoes; How to Wear a Scarf; and a Guide to Designer Shoe Sizes.
Discover more Menswear content: Why Neapolitan Tailoring is the Best; A Name to Know: John Lobb; and Style Icon: Q&A with Ermanno Lazzarin of ERAL 55.
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