Review: Hockerty Custom Peacoat & Outerwear
Custom outerwear is hard to come by for less than thousands of dollars. Even at a budget of around one thousand dollars it’s hard to find custom outerwear. We’ve reviewed one of the few companies offering custom men’s outerwear in the $500-$1,000 range already and really liked what we experienced. Now, we turn to one of the only companies we know of that even offers custom men’s outerwear at an even lower price range, Hockerty. They offer custom coats starting at just $249, an almost shockingly low price. Of course, we had to take a look and see what they were all about.
Style & Design
Given how uncommon it is to find custom men’s outerwear available online, much less at this price point, Hockerty offers an astonishing range of options. You can get a classic overcoat, a double breasted overcoat, a funnel neck coat, a pea coat, or a duffle coat — all designed to your exact specifications and fit profile. They also offer a whole wide variety of fabrics, including some lesser fabrics that are poly blends and so forth. If you want 100% wool, you’re looking at closer to $300 for a coat — which is still a fantastically low price, but we do wholeheartedly recommend you go 100% wool. They have a ton of different color options and even some patterns and so forth, and you can choose whichever you would like to make whatever coat you would like. We went with a pea coat in a black 100% wool fabric for the purposes of this review. You get to customize most every detail about it, from picking a slim fit, the buttons, the rear vents, whether there will be a belt or not, and even the lining (which they offer a quilted option for to make it warmer at an additional cost which we went with for our pea coat).
We went with the classic pea coat design, in black like I said, as well as a rear belt for added style, and no vents. The final look is really solid. All the proportions are correct and look good and proper. A classic, well-fitting pea coat is surprisingly hard to find, especially at this price. If you are picky about the details of the look, that is even more true. So, it’s super nice to be able to design one exactly to specifications. And they really delivered. This looks like a classic, true pea coat in every sense. They did a good job with the design of this coat. It certainly would go well with most any suit, and can absolutely be dressed up. I also think it looks great with darker chinos and a sweater in the colder months. This could even work with jeans, if you do it right. Certainly, it’s a dressier coat, and can and should handle all those situations, but this can pull its weight a bit more casually leaning as well.
The fabric, though — and this is where we will begin to talk about the quality — is not the best looking I have ever seen. There is a slight cheapness to how it looks, with sort of an “off” texture. It is hard to convey in either words or images, but the low nap of the fabric and the cheap-looking, plastic buttons do certainly detract somewhat from the look of the coat. I want to be clear that it is by no means bad per se — it’s just not the world’s best looking fabric. Now, this is certainly to be expected at this price point, but it is something to be aware of. Additionally, replacing the buttons on your own at your local tailor with some higher quality ones is no big deal either, but, again, both of these things should be considered before purchasing. Overall, though, this coat looks quite good, even if the fabric could stand to be a bit better. A-
Ordering Process & First Fitting
Hands down, Hockerty has one of, if not the single best, online design systems. Every change you made is represented immediately in a live-updating, colored, 3D model of the garment. I wish that every online custom garment company would have a system like this. It’s easy to use, intuitive, and makes ordering a ton of fun, as you are literally building your item as you watch.
Still, the rest of the experience was less stellar. Shipping took 6 weeks, and only after I emailed to ask what the heck happened did the item actually ship. Had I not followed up, I am not so sure. I do not suggest here that this is a scammy company — not at all. Just that I think their customer service is not going to be on par with somewhere like Indochino (review coming soon), where you can call them straight up, or Black Lapel where their staff replies to emails super fast, and their shipping is quite quick and responsive as well. Hockerty just seems a more distant company, and every way they operate backs this up. Their lead times are super long, their customer support can take a day or two to respond, and they don’t give you a ton of information in their emails. Plus, the garment shows up finally, many weeks later, stuffed into a box much, much too small to be used for a piece of outerwear.
Again, costs need to be cut somewhere, so none of this is a surprise. Still, my overall experience with them hovers at unacceptable.
On that note, my first fitting was a bit of a disaster. Nothing at all fit right, and the entire coat was comically long, all around. Not to mention too much room in the chest, waist, and sleeves, and… well… it needed a lot of fixing up. I emailed their support team, who asked for some photos and what I would suggest changing, which I sent them. Unlike with some other companies that are happy to offer remakes when needed, I felt like with Hockerty that I needed to convince them to do it for me, and that it was really necessary. Maybe I didn’t need to, really, but I sure felt that way. Then, a few days of no reply, and a confirmation email arrived in my inbox that my new coat was being made. No further follow up. No double checking. Just, boom, a new one was on the way. See? This is the sort of stuff that I mean. Sure enough, a bunch of weeks later the remake arrived. B-
Considering no further follow up happened once I said I needed a remake, and basically only sent my pictures with some pointers, I was super impressed with how the final garment came out as far as fit goes. Yes, there are a few tweaks I would make in an ideal world (take up the sleeves a bit; clean up some of the fabric in the upper chest; take in the sleeves a tad), but nothing that I would request a remake over. I’m not even sure the changes are worth bringing to my local tailor as once you throw a suit jacket underneath, it fills in the coat a bit more. In the end, is it perfect? No, but it’s pretty impressive for the price, effort, and certainly fits me better than anything I would get off the rack, sans further tailoring.
Quality & Construction
As I was saying above, the fabric leaves something to be desired. Again, it is not at all a crappy fabric, but it is noticeably not a nice fabric either. Very low nap, not a lot of texture, no real richness, and a bit scratchy and not-so-great-feeling to the touch. The buttons are plastic and feel cheap. The lining is solid enough, and does add some extra warmth, but don’t expect to harsh serious winter weather in this coat. Both the cold and the damage the water or snow would do to the coat would make that less than a good idea.
On the flip side, this coat is overall very decent. I can see this lasting quite a few seasons, especially if it is, say, a second coat, and not your primary. Nothing about it feels flimsy or that its poorly made. It’s just not premium in any way; but nor is it crappy in any way. It’s just… fine. Nothing to really write home about in either direction. And I keep coming back to this, but at this price, this is more than the best you can ask for. B+
Value & Conclusion
Hockerty Custom Pea Coat — $249 and up: Look, this is a surprisingly good coat for the money, no two ways about that. When you order from some of these “too good to be true” companies you can get real dubious about what you will end up with. I wouldn’t worry about that here. I can tell you exactly what you’ll end up with: a coat that is just fine. It won’t be amazing. It won’t be bad. It’ll be just fine. Where you compare this to something like Black Lapel, well, you really can’t. They are two different leagues as far as quality is concerned, but as far as price is concerned as well. There is no question: if you can shell out the extra cash to buy from Black Lapel, do it. Every aspect of the product and experience is undoubtedly superior. I just don’t trust the tailoring expertise or attention to detail of Hockerty as much as somewhere like Black Lapel. If you can’t spend the extra money, though, or just don’t want to for whatever reason, then you won’t be making a mistake with Hockerty. Final Grade: B