When it comes to suiting up, there’s no denying that a tailored fit is the way to go. But the process of getting off-the-peg suits to fit can be costly and time consuming.
Indochino offers a solution with their streamlined custom suiting service, which they’ve now rolled out to 79 brick-and-mortar locations across the world.
There is nothing more frustrating than trying on clothes that don’t fit, especially suits. If you’ve ever had a suit or sport coat off the rack that needs a few alterations to make it your own, then you know how much time and money it can cost to get the perfect fit.
Many modern “custom” or “made to measure” suit brands – such as Oliver Wicks, Indochino, Blank Label, Black Lapel – offer a quick and easy online purchase process where you submit your measurements and select your fabric, then the garment is cut and shipped directly to you 3-6 weeks later. We consider this the “fast food” option of custom tailored clothing.
These suits are cut using patterns that have been pre-made in a number of sizes and then modified with your measurements. The closest pattern is used to build the suit. There is no cutting of fabric to begin with – just pre-cut pieces that need to be modified.
A custom suit is designed with a person’s body measurements in mind. The tailor creates a pattern for each client and takes into account their specific frame and preferences, which is why these suits are typically more expensive than off the rack ones.
Fabric is also an important factor when choosing a suit, as different materials are better suited for different seasons and occasions. For example, linen is a light option that feels comfortable to wear during Summer, while heavier fabrics like wool are perfect for colder Winter weather and formal occasions.
If you’re looking for a versatile suit for Fall, try a wool-silk blend. This material combines wool’s warmth and durability with silk’s breathability and softness, making it ideal for cool temperatures. In addition, choose a suit fabric with a super number (like a Super 200) to ensure high quality. This will guarantee that your suit will be durable and hold its shape over time.
Most modern “custom suit” brands like Black Lapel, Indochino, Knot Standard and Oliver Wicks are made-to-measure only. This means they take your measurements and then send your order to a factory, where it’s sewn into a suit. The person taking your measurements is typically a sales person rather than a master tailor. They may even be untrained.
A made-to-measure suit starts with a basic or standard pattern that is adjusted for your body size and posture images, but it’s still not custom. You might have several fabric options, but not as many as you’d get with a bespoke suit.
You also might not have as many choices when it comes to sleeve lengths. Off the rack suits usually come with non-functioning sleeve buttons so they can be lengthened or shortened by a tailor. On the other hand, a bespoke suit will have functioning sleeve buttons and your choice of double or single vent. You’ll also have the option of notch or peak lapels, which are a bit more formal than the plain, square-ended lapels on most off the rack suits.
Men who are looking to get a suit can find it on the rack in various stores. These suits, known as ‘off-the-rack’ are designed to fit a wide range of men. The suits can be tailored, but that doesn’t make them a custom suit.
When talking about custom suits, you’ll want to be clear on the differences between off-the-rack, made to measure and bespoke. Many people are under the impression that you have to shell out multiple thousands of dollars to get the image-boosting experience of a custom suit, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
If you go with a made-to-measure suit from brands like Indochino, Oliver Wicks or Black Lapel, you’ll have a sales person take your measurements and relay them to the tailor. You’ll then have a limited set of fabrics to choose from, based on that specific silhouette. A full bespoke suit, however, starts with a brand new pattern that’s intended just for you.