Apposta Review: Shirts From Your Imagination To Your Doorstep Via Italy
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. We received compensation and courtesy product from Apposta in exchange for our honest review only. All opinions expressed here are our own.
Apposta manages to justify its premium price tag through its fabric and shirtmaking quality, made-to-measure fit, and bewildering customization choice---spearheaded by an impressively seamless online ordering system.
It’s what I might tell my girlfriend every now and then when I do something really stupid.
It’s also the English translation of the Italian word, “apposta”.
And as you’ll soon learn, this technology-driven, bespoke dress shirt maker is doing all it can to live up to the phrase.
What Is Apposta?
Apposta is a custom tailored men’s dress shirt maker.
The brand is headquartered in London but it has a distinctly Italian flavor. And I’m not talking about espresso this time.
You see, every Apposta shirt is manufactured in Italy—”with the care and experience of those who have been making shirts for over a century”.
If you were to ask me who I’d ideally pick to create all of my dress shirts, an Italian shirtmaker with decades of experience and a generation of shirtmaking behind him or her would be high on the list.
Who knows if it’s really quite that romantic in reality with Apposta. A boy can dream, right?
Apposta’s Italian influence isn’t a huge surprise given the brand was founded by distinguished Italian entrepreneurs, Gianluca Mei, and Gianmarco Taccaliti.
In fact, Apposta is a 2018 rebrand of the pair’s first technology enabled, digital apparel brand, Neronote, formed in 2009.
Mei and Taccaliti effectively created the secret sauce with Neronote, winning multiple awards in the process.
What Makes Apposta Unique?
The Italian angle aside, the sheer scope of choice available to you really does set it apart from most other bespoke dress shirt brands I’ve seen.
From a starting point of 150 pre-designed shirt options, you can customize every element of your shirt, right down to the fabric producer. Or you can go full Picasso and start from scratch.
The end result is more possible shirt combinations than there are people on Earth.
And it’s all done via the brand’s online shirt designer platform which I’ll walk you through next.
If a video’s more your speed, this promo clip gives you a taste for the brand:
The Apposta Online Shirt Designer
You’ve got a few options for creating your own dress shirt masterpiece:
- Start with one of Apposta’s pre-designed shirts and either roll with it, or customize it from there. The brand has split these into themes, styles, and occasions to help you find a starting point that works for you; or
- Get your shirtmaking hat on and design your own shirt from scratch; or
- Send your favorite shirt to Apposta and tell them which part of your shirt you’d like them to clone. Their fabric and style experts will put it under the magnifying glass and come back to you with a proposed new shirt. They’ll then send you your old shirt back with a brand new one.
You can then pretty much customize every shirt characteristic to your liking, including:
- Collar style
- Collar optionals
- Contrast finish
- Sleeve length
Yep, 3,000 billion shirt possible combinations looks about right.
I found the online shirt designer to be slick and seamless. I like that they use a mix of graphic and text explanations to explain the differences between each choice. It makes everything pretty much self-explanatory which is what you want in an online ordering system.
Sizing And Measurements
Once you’ve designed your shirt, you’re then asked to add a new measurements profile which Apposta’s shirtmakers will use to create your made-to-measure shirt.
You also have the option to choose a standard size in centimeters or inches (i.e. not made-to-measure), which I can only assume is targeted squarely at the time poor.
There’s no extra cost involved in going bespoke and so I definitely recommend taking the few extra minutes to get a custom fit. I mean, why wouldn’t you?
With the help of Apposta’s detailed videos and instructions, I found it to be really easy to take and input my measurements. And the fact that they save as a profile is a big plus for future orders, or even just for having a record of your measurements saved somewhere online.
So, as you can probably tell—overall, the online ordering experience gave me a pretty good first impression of Apposta.
But let’s be honest, it’s all about the finished product that lands on your doorstep.
Keep reading for my thoughts on the shirts themselves.
Unboxing & Review
My shirts arrived individually packaged inside elegant cardboard boxes and wrapped with tissue paper.
Each shirt was folded neatly and secured with standard dress shirt fasteners to keep its shape during shipping.
I think the packaging is quite classy and it makes for an enjoyable unboxing experience. It’s definitely giftable.
In case you’d like to replicate my style choices, I’ve snapped screenshots of the specifications I chose for each shirt below each mini-review.
Here are my customizations:
First up is the Cotton CoolMax® Twill—a dress shirt built with summer in mind.
And no, it’s not because it only comes in white.
It’s because of the fabric. A proprietary CoolMax® fiber—which has a UPF protection factor of 50 and the ability to move moisture to block out heat and keep you dry and cool—woven with a cotton twill fabric for high-performance comfort.
The fabric is from world-renowned Austrian technical fabric provider, Getzner and is designed to be soft, smooth, and with a medium weight.
So what’d I think of the shirt?
Let’s talk fit first of all, remembering that the shirt was created made-to-measure and in a regular close fit.
The shirt fit our model really well in both the front and back. As you can see, it tucked in neatly with no excess fabric, which is a huge factor in presenting a good fit for a dress shirt.
It also fit perfectly across the shoulders and collar. As the only downside, it did run a little long in the arms.
It’s worth noting here though that Apposta mentions on its website that all fabrics used tend to shrink somewhat after seven or eight washes. This is taken into account when they make your shirt and so it will have a looser fit until you reach that wash threshold.
My testing has so far been out of the box and so I’ll report back once I reach eight washes.
The feel is where the brand’s quality really shone through for me.
Our model shots were done on a blistering 90°F day in Texas and the fabric still felt breathable all day. The CoolMax® technology seemed to genuinely do its job in blocking heat and stopping moisture from building under the shirt.
It actually felt a bit strange to not be sweating up a storm while wearing a dress shirt out on such a sizzling nearly-summer day.
Heat resistance aside, the cotton twill fabric also feels super soft and comfortable against the skin. The comfort level is absolutely on par with what I’d expect at this price point.
I went for a more casual style with this shirt with the angled band collar, short straight cuff, and no front pocket.
Most of my customizations came out exactly how I hoped they would and I really like the overall style of the design. The white is nice and vibrant.
I chose the “thick buttons with cross-stitch” and found them to look a little different than the picture online, but it’s a minor issue.
The stitch density is consistently good, especially on the exposed areas such as the button-holes, which should mean less fraying and longer life.
Overall, I’m impressed with the Cotton CoolMax®. Arm length aside, this made-to-measure fit is the closest I’ve got to a tailored fit using any online custom dress shirt service.
Add to that the comfort-factor and noticeable heat-resistance and it’s already become my go-to white dress shirt for spring and summer.
Get the Cotton CoolMax Twill Shirt
The 100% Pure Cotton Poplin Printed Shirt
Here are my customizations:
Looking to inject a little personality into your dress shirt collection for the warmer months?
So was I. And it’s why I opted for this floral day shirt.
Made by Italian fancy/classic fabric producer, Ronghi, this is a 100% pure cotton Poplin with an in-house floral design.
The fabric is soft and smooth and has a medium weight. And while the print screams summer barbeque, the fabric is appropriate for year-round wear.
Cotton Poplin has many benefits, including being thin and breathable, quick-drying, resistant to odor, and great for sensitive skin.
Here are my thoughts after giving the shirt a few wears.
I also had this shirt made-to-measure with the same regular close fit.
It fit just as well in the front and back and again, tucked in beautifully with very little excess fabric.
As with the CoolMax®, the arm length ran a touch long here again, but not quite as noticeably. I’d expect the fit to be just about perfect after the eight-wash-slim-down effect that is customary with Apposta shirts, as mentioned above.
This shirt has all the hallmarks that come with a quality cotton Poplin fabric.
Even though it’s the same medium thickness as the CoolMax®, this feels a little more lightweight and less clingy against the skin. It’s comfortable, with a nice crispness and smoothness to it.
Wearing it on a 90°F day, it did feel less heat-resistant than the specifically-summer-designed CoolMax fabric, although that’s to be expected. Cotton Poplin, while not high-performance, is known to absorb moisture and dry quickly so it wasn’t uncomfortable.
I’ve not always had the best experiences buying floral prints online. Filters and editing can do magical things. And then the pattern turns up looking like what your uncle wore to his last Ugly Shirt Party.
Luckily, I had a rare floral win on the style front with this one.
I dig this print. And it seems a lot of my friends do too—it’s been a compliment magnet.
The floral designs are intricate and interesting and the greens, reds, and yellows pop brilliantly against the cream base. But importantly, they don’t tip that balance of clashing or going over the top.
The standard buttons this time look precisely like the picture, and they feel nice and sturdy and securely stitched. I was again impressed with the overall stitch quality and density here.
Although you’d expect it at this price point, it’s pretty clear that Apposta carefully screens its shirtmakers for quality of construction.
The round cuffs are executed well (and, I think, add some character), and the semi-spread collar holds decently well, even without collar stays.
Overall, I’m really happy with my floral cotton Poplin from Apposta. It ticks my boxes for a spring/summer day shirt. It fits well, and it’s light, comfortable, and breathable. Oh, and of course—it looks pretty damn sexy.
I am hoping it slims after a few washes to shorten the arms a touch, but it’s a minor gripe.
Given my major fails buying floral prints online elsewhere, I’d definitely recommend this fabric and print from Apposta if you’re a fan of the floral style.
Get The 100% Pure Cotton Poplin (Printed Shirt)