A Review of SPOKE Trousers + Polo Shirts
A new, rather interesting company launched recently. It’s called SPOKE and it’s based out of London. As is implied by their name (be-spoke), they want to offer a more custom, tailored, precise fit for various garments of clothing. They’re starting with pants, cords, and polos. The way they offer this refined fit is through offering a whole lot more sizes than usual companies do. When picking a trouser, for instance, you select first a waist size, then a “build” (how slim you like it), and then a leg length. So if you want a 29x33 pant, you can do so! This is quite amazing, and will be a great thing for many guys who have a harder time finding pants that do not fit. Similarly, with a polo shirt, you select a size (and they even half in-between sizes!), a slimness, and then a length. Again, the promise here is a much more accurate and better fit.
We placed an order for a pair of pants, as well as a polo shirt. And, we really really hate to say it, but were quite disappointed overall. It’s a pity, since we really wanted to love these things. But, they just do not live up to the hype.
Note: I am 6'1 and 175 lbs. and usually wear a size 31x32 pant in a slim or extra slim fit and usually wear a 15.5” / 34 shirt in a slim or extra slim fit.
Let’s start with the pants. As you can see from the image, despite ordering my usual waist size of 31x32, they were much, much too tight in the waist, seat, and hips. Worse, despite ordering the slimmest “build” they were too loose below the knee. Sizing up would help with the waist, but then below the knee would no longer be the very tapered look I was going for. When you’re offering pants at this price point ($110 and up), they should fit true to size. Due to the waist being way, way tighter than any other pants I have tried in this size ever, it throws the whole proportion of these pants off. Maybe this is just a new company issue, and they’ll iron this issue out. But, for now, these pants do not fit true to size, and are thus quite difficult to recommend considering they claim a perfect fit. (I got the “Sharps”, and actually tested two sizes, and neither were true to size. Could be the other types of pants fit better?)
When it came to the polo shirt, the fit was a whole lot better. I went with a Medium, Long, and Slim. However, I found it a bit too tight through the body, and just perfect in the biceps. I think a Medium+ would likely fit me quite nicely, but I would be nervous that the biceps would end up no longer being quite as nice and slim. But, again, the fit is much better here than with the pants, and seems to be only a tiny bit smaller than usual for a Slim, Medium sized polo. And, I must say, overall, the fit is better than most off the rack options. Still, at $80, I felt I needed to return it. For a lower price point, the fit was good enough I might have kept it. But at $80, there was just no way.
Now, they do get a whole bunch of things right which I must give them credit for: Their shipping and returns process is excellent. Free and fast both ways. And the overall quality of the garments is super nice. The fabrics are comfortable, hefty, and immediately of obvious quality. All the stitching is clean and neat, and there is nice attention to detail with things like the pants lining fabric, and so on. So, the quality for the price is definitely there. And they offer a whole lot of colors and, with the pants, fabric options in addition to all their sizes. So, their product line is sizable, especially for a new clothing company.
In short, SPOKE seems like a new, wannabe Bonobos, almost. The quality is honestly pretty much exactly the same. The feel and ethos of the company is just about the same as well. And it is clear that the company is on the right track, just perhaps on the wrong train. They definitely put serious time into deciding on the details of these products, it’s just some of the execution and sizing needs to be refined. I do question where, exactly, the place of a company like this is within the world of online MTM at the same, if not lower, prices. But, with some time, I hope that SPOKE will turn out to be a company we return to again and again for great fitting garments. (Imagine what they could do for shirts!)