The first fitting experience | Zegna Su Misura


A Su Misura appointment in London’s Sloane Street Zegna boutique -- from a customer who likes to write
34, Entrepreneur, London
t’s 6pm. I’m hurrying to an appointment in Sloane Street, London, that I booked online. A man in his thirties opens the doors of Ermenegildo Zegna’s boutique to greet me, for my first made to measure fitting. He’s called Marco and he wears a burgundy double-breasted suit.


Later he explains the look: it’s a double-breasted Milano suit with six buttons paired with a made-to-measure shirt (single cuff with a cutaway French collar). For Marco, his made to measure obsession started young. ‘I got my first made-to-measure shirt when I was 16, from a tailor in my home town, Firenze,’ Marco says.

Armed with a book of fabric swatches and collar details | Zegna Su Misura
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Armed with a book of fabric swatches and collar details, we begin.

‘I still remember how proud I was of it. It had my initials on it. I don’t like to show off, but it’s the details that make the difference.’ To complement his suit he’s wearing a made-to-measure tie and a personalised silk pocket square. An impressive ensemble. If I can come away looking half as sharp as him, I will be happy.


After exchanging handshakes, Marco takes me down to the made-to-measure fitting room of Ermenegildo Zegna’s Knightsbridge boutique. Later he tells me that his job takes him round the city: clients will have their fittings in their homes, their offices, their hotel rooms. Not something I’ve tried.


It’s been a long day, so we have an espresso and Marco starts to find out what exactly I’m looking for. After listening to me and asking a few questions he starts to sketch out what he thinks may work. He seems to have an innate sense for what will work. Armed with a book of fabric swatches and collar details, we begin.

Selection of some collars available | Zegna Su Misura
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A selection of some of the collar detailing available

‘A suit is built from the shoulders,’ says Marco, explaining how the way a suit hangs is dictated by how well the shoulders are constructed. Get this right and the rest will follow. So the measurements start from the top of the body: first the neck, then the shoulders, chest, arms, back and waist.


Shoulders and sleeves, it seems, are crucial to a jacket fitting well. Marco tells me that in most commercially manufactured suits, the seam between the sleeve and the body is done by machine. With Ermenegildo Zegna’s made-to-measure suits, this work is done by hand.

Different types of monogramming | Zegna Su Misura
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One of the selections showing different types of monogramming

‘Hand stitching is the only way of ensuring the correct tension in the stitches is achieved’, says Marco. ‘If they have uniform tension throughout, which is what happens when you machine stitch, the arms will not hang in the way they should.’


The main construction of the suits is done at Zegna’s made to measure centre of excellence. Here the pattern is cut and the garment assembled and tested – there’s approximately 40 different stages in turning a roll of fabric into a pair of pants or a jacket - ready to be delivered to the customer in three weeks.


Marco tells me that it’s rare to find a customer with a symmetrical body. Each one is different. The right arm may be slightly longer, the left shoulder slightly lower. For me, my right arm is 1.5cm longer than my left. News to me! But this small example helps explain why made to measure looks so good. These differences may seem small to the naked eye, but you can imagine that they add up, and to the fit of a garment, they’re everything.


Marco does his work, all the while observing tailor’s traditions: never passing between the customer and the mirror, and making countless tiny but crucial observations. The work is done quietly and methodically, with measurements recorded on a piece of paper that will be sent to the Zegna pattern cutters.


Throughout the Made to Measure experience, I’m guided by Marco’s questions and his knowledge. What type of fabric? What type of cut? Italian collar or cutaway French collar? Double cuffs or single? And how about the buttons: mother of pearl?

Marco Gentili with the tape measure | Zegna Su Misura
The man with the tape measure

Marco Gentilli, a Made to Measure expert from the Ermenegildo Zegna Sloane Street store in London

The man with the tape measure More Less

Marco Gentilli, a Made to Measure expert from the Ermenegildo Zegna Sloane Street store in London


Marco helps clients answer those questions. Although the range of options could be bewildering, the conversation is guided in a skilled way. After close questioning, Marco reveals he has established what colours suit me and what I like (not always the same thing) with unnerving accuracy, and is steering the fitting accordingly.

Su Misura is not a loose fit. It’s not a tight fit, it’s your fit. ... Read More

This comes with experience. And training. ‘Six months after joining Zegna, I had the opportunity to go and study at the [made-to-measure] academy. That was amazing. When you see the fabrics being made, you realise the power of Zegna.’ Each made-to-measure specialist is trained at the Zegna Academy, where they learn from master tailors and share stories and tips with their colleagues from around the world.


15milmil15 wool | Zegna Su Misura

Just as he is today, Marco often sports a full Zegna made-to-measure outfit. ‘A lot of people stop me in the street to ask what I’m wearing,’ he says. ‘Once, this guy stopped me on Bond Street and said, “Your look is amazing, where did you get it?” I gave him my card and he came to see me, to have a suit made. People who appreciate good clothing know it when they see it.’

Different cufflinks for shirts, shoes and outerwear | Zegna Su Misura
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Cufflink options: shirts, shoes and outerwear all can be made to measure



Marco tells me to expect to see the results in the second fitting. Three weeks from now, I’ll be back to try my suit (single breasted navy Trofeo, single cuffs, two vents, tailored trousers, no turnup), and Marco will make minor adjustments, according to his experience and my feedback.


It’s at the second fitting that the client starts to see the results of the Zegna Su Misura craftsmanship, says Marco. ‘The effect is instant. When the garment fits the shape of the client’s body precisely, it takes on a new power’.


It’s your fit. Yours, for life’ ... Read More

‘I know I’ve done a good job measuring someone because I can see the fit on the body straight away,’ Marco says. ‘And of course there’s what the client thinks. Sometimes we have to play with the look, make it a little tighter, but sometimes the client wants more comfort.’


‘You have to respect the client, listen to what they want and suggest the right thing for them. Made to measure is not a loose fit: it’s a glove, it’s your second skin. This is really important: it’s not a tight fit, it’s your fit. Yours, for life’


The fitting is over. Now there are only two things left for me to do. Show up in three weeks. And not put on too many pounds before then.


Service built around you: Zegna Made to Measure

Your Made to Measure garment, ready in just a few weeks. Book a fitting at your nearest store, your home or your office.



Your Made to Measure garment, ready in just a few weeks. Book a fitting at your nearest store, your home or your office.




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