The Full Indochino Custom Suit Review & Comparison To SuitSupply (Part 1)
Indochino could be a case study in what happens when you expand a new business too quickly. They reached too high, flew too close to the sun too quickly, and got burned. A brief search on the web will turn up countless horror stories about Indochino suits that fit terribly, inconsistent sizing from one order to the next, cheap materials and build quality and construction, and poor fabric choices and matching. Needless to say, before dropping a couple hundred dollars on an Indochino suit, I was nervous. But, for the good of this site, of course, that nervousness was set aside, and to Indochino I went.
The short version? Indochino has come an incredibly long way from those darker times. Their quality, fit, styling, detailing, fabrics, and more have all seen vast and tremendous improvements. While their overall reputation and perception online is still dubious at best and downright terrible at worst, Indochino actually nowadays delivers a pretty damn impressive product, especially at the price. Yes, you have to give them a chance. And yes, you will have to give it some time before you really nail down your fit perfectly (and, as you’ll see, I highly recommend going in to a fitting room to be fitted properly). But, Indochino really will deliver a solid, solid product at a very reasonable price. Not to mention, these days, their customer service is really quite good too, and is seriously manned by stylists and people trained in fit to give you a better final product.
So much for the short version. Now let’s get to the long version.
Style & Design
Of all the online MTM (made-to-measure) suiting companies, Indochino has got to have amongst, if not the single largest, collection of fabrics. They have all the standard options, like your grays and blacks and navy and so on — and they all come in numerous tiers of fabrics as well. But they also offer stretch fabrics, beautiful plaids and checkered fabrics, cotton and linen suits, as well as richly textured weaves. And the list goes on and on and on. In some ways, they might even have too many fabrics, as it can be a bit overwhelming.
For this review, we went with a beautiful dark indigo windowpane fabric, and made it into a three piece suit (more on that later). It costs $369 on most days, though sometimes is a bit more, sometimes a bit less. (The slash-through price is $799. While we think that’s a bit high, it still would not be outrageous for this suit. Though more on the value here later on in this review.) It’s 100% merino super-120s wool, and looks amazing in person. There is almost a texture to it. It feels fine and soft, and super smooth. The pattern is beautiful and unique, while still remaining somewhat subtle. It’s really not so in your face, and the closer you get, the more the pattern opens up. This is the sort of suit that could be worn to most occasions when you want to stand out just a little bit. Wouldn’t work in the most formal of settings, but just about anything shy of that this would be more than fine. We went with a peak lapel, which we think adds a bit more oomph to the look of a suit, though comes down entirely to personal preference. We also went with a vest, as we like our three piece suits, and also wanted to see everything Indochino could do. We did side adjusters on the pants — always a nice touch, but especially important when wearing a vest. Finally, we went with no cuffs, as for your first suit, it’s a bit easier to hit the length correctly without cuffs to start.
Overall, this is a super nice suit in both fabric, and design. Everything is well proportioned, so the peak lapels — which many companies get wrong — look really great here. The custom lining in the suit as well is a nice touch, and everything from the lightly padded shoulders, to the well-cut double vents in the rear, is well done. Real attention to detail is paid, and the final result is really a great looking suit. A
The Ordering Process
The overall design of the website is clean and simple, and easy to navigate. Still, for a website like this that has been around for so long, you would think that they would have a better, more interactive and live design process. The way you customize your suit is literally through a series of drop-down menus. I wish that you could see the changes reflected in a live model of the suit as you go — like Hockerty has. Hopefully, this is something they are working on. It makes it not only a lot more fun to design your suit this way, but is quite helpful in picking and visualizing options.
As far as options go, you do have a lot of control. Everything standard is there, from how many buttons (or double breasted) the front of the jacket is, whether you want pleats or not (you don’t), whether to add a vest, and how many buttons said vest should have. You can also pick your lapel style, and how wide you would like it. You can choose side adjusters for your pants, whether you want pick stitching around the lapels, a matching button hold stitching, what cool lining you want to use on the inside of your jacket or the back of your vest, as well as whether you want pants cuffs or not. And so on, and so forth. Basically, everything you might want to change about your suit, you can do. Except one noticeable absent choice: buttons. Whatever button color/choice you see in the model pictures is what you will get. You cannot change this. So, for instance, in the suit we ordered for this review, I wish the buttons were a darker brown. I don’t like these light brown ones at all, and this it detracts from the look of the suit. The fact that this cannot be changed is frankly quite crazy to me. Now, a little birdie told me that they will soon be releasing an updated customization system that will allow you to change button colors, but in the meantime, this is a sorely lacking feature. Other than that, though, the ordering process is quite clean, simple, and easy to use.
Shipping is also not fast, but not slow. It’s reasonable. You’re looking at about 3-4 weeks, though if you have a remake processed, they can do it faster very often, in only 2-3 weeks. It shows up in a box the size of about half a suit, so you’re suit inside is folded over only once, and is inside of a suit bag. It shows up slightly, but not terribly, wrinkled. Simply hanging it up for a couple days will do the trick to get rid of them. B+
The First Fitting
I went in to their NYC location in order to get fitted properly by one of their staff members. They stored my measurements in their system, and it was actually a few months later that I finally placed my order. If you happen to be in the city, or near a showroom of theirs and can get measured, I’d recommend it. You might as well, and this way you have it for when you want to order. (Though you will likely need a second fitting as well.)
While Indochino does allow you to measure yourself at home, with the help of a friend, we really suggest getting to a store, and doing it “right.” Even though Indochino has some great staff on the phone that can look at your fit pictures with you, and make suggestions, it will never be the same if you don’t start from a great starting place. For that, you should go in to a store.
This is made even ore important because Indochino does not use literal body measurements. Instead, they use alteration measurements, meaning, they go based on certain standard size garments that they have, and then store what you need tweaked from those. So your sleeve might need to be a bit shorter, or slimmer, or longer, or wider. Your jacket might need to be shorter or longer, and so on. But they store these as adjustments, not as straight measurements. This has helped them with consistency and accuracy, but it means that you’ll do a lot better by going in to the store, and actually trying on their garments, and seeing what needs to be tweaked, and how, as opposed to measuring yourself. This is always true, but especially true with Indochino’s new system.
Anyway, about a month later after placing the order, my suit showed up. And while I was expecting there to be a whole lot wrong with it, I was pleasantly surprised. The starting point from which my second garment would be made was actually quite a great starting point indeed. Indochino is, these days, super good with remakes, as they want to be able to lock you in as a customer. The first fitting had a number of problems, but were very fixable. The jacket was too short, as were the sleeves, and as was the vest. The pants were too tight in the crotch and seat, and not quite as tapered as I usually like. The sleeves could be tweaked a bit too fit better, but, overall, the fit was pretty good for a first fitting. A-
This is only part one in a two part review of Indochino’s custom suits. Read the second part here.