A short while ago, I conducted an interview with Bobby Miloev, one of the founders of internet tailoring firm Dragon Inside. There followed an opportunity to review the product and so I decided to take the chance to get a mid-grey wool pinstripe single-breasted three-piece with a U-cut waistcoat.
The first requirement is to choose the fabric for the suit. I was pleased that Dragon Inside not only send you swatches of all fabrics but that you are also able to choose based on photographs of a made-up suit. This was far more reassuring than some tailoring websites, which simply offer an image of the fabric, by which it is impossible to gauge actual tone, texture or how it appears in the context of a whole suit.
After choosing the fabric, you choose the style of suit you want; lapel, vents, double/single breasted, jacket lining and waistcoat style (single and double-breasted available). You can also select ‘additional options’ including pick stitching, flower loop, functional lapel buttonhole (rather surprising), pockets, waistcoat back fabric, belt loops, turn-ups and braces buttons.
I went for the usual slanted pockets with a ticket pocket, flower loop, braces buttons, turn-ups and – not an option but available on request – single pleats.
After this, it’s time to enter the measurements of a suit that fits you well (I used a bespoke as a guide), as well as bodily measurements. Usefully, there’s a pictured guide for each measurement, so it’s fairly foolproof.
Manufacture is fairly fast as delivery doesn’t take longer than 3-4 weeks.
The suit was delivered in a sturdy box, which was surprisingly small but in no way crushing the product inside.
I was pleased by the cut of the U-shaped waistcoat, as it was not too severe, and the canvas rolled nicely between the fingers. Checking that all my preferences were in place, I reviewed the construction carefully.
The lapels were slightly asymmetrical (see pictures), although I largely corrected this by securing the lapels in place with pins and steaming them. From the folds, I could detect that it had possibly occurred in transit as the lapel was upturned when it was removed from the box.
The trousers, as usual, fit very well indeed; there’s something so marvelous about a pair of tailored trousers. The inside waistband featured a rubber stay-grip for shirts – something which should be included on all trousers – and the turn-ups were of an acceptable size.
The buttons were, however, rather dark for me so I changed them to smoked mother of pearl (after the photo shoot).
All in all, the suit fits me well. The jacket feels snug under the arms and doesn’t constrict when I secure the top button. It cuts in nicely at the waist and there is no fabric stress on the shoulders. There is slight rippling of fabric across the center of the suit when it is fastened but I actually prefer a little rippling in tailoring as the no-ripples aesthetic comes across to me as stiff and lacking in sprezzatura.
The proportions of the suit are excellent, and perfect for someone of my stature; I much prefer shorter suit jackets, as no matter how well-cut a longer jacket might be, it simply drowns me. Traditionalists will scoff at the fact that the bottom of the jacket does not drop into my palms but this is a rule I tend to ignore completely.
The first issue with the suit is that the way that I ‘dress’ means that there is a subtle but visible bulging in the crotch of the trousers. Unfortunate but, considering the format of the tailoring, quite expected; it’s annoying that this can only be corrected on the second suit order, but it is admittedly difficult to broach such an intimate and delicate matter via the internet.
The second issue with the suit is that there is an ever so slight bagginess in the body of the waistcoat at armpit height(see pictures) which results in large ripples. I prefer my waistcoat to have some characterful ripples, but usually due to overall tightness and not looseness in one particular place. Therefore, I will take the waistcoat to a London tailor to be adjusted accordingly. Admittedly, my taste for tight waistcoats isn’t uncommon but I have had the same problem at first fittings for fully bespoke suits.
Fit: 8.5 out of 10 – comfortable and stylish but needing some tweaks to waistcoat and trousers.
Fabric: 8.5 out of 10 – a high-quality Super 100s English wool.
Service: 9 out of 10 – quick turnaround and good contact throughout; Dragon Inside got in touch to get a better photograph of me wearing a suit to judge proportion.
Quality of finish: 8.5 out of 10 – a good standard of finish to buttonholes and stitching, pattern-matching and lining.
Overall satisfaction: 8.5 out of 10 – a high-quality product from Dragon Inside that looks and feels good. A few minor niggles, most of which are easily corrected. For the cost of the suit, it represents excellent value.