Review: Indochino Suits

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Given that fit is more important than anything in men’s style (at least according to me), an online service that can provide you with bespoke clothes – even made to measure – has to be a good idea.

Not everyone has a high-quality tailor around the corner, and so access to bespoke is limited. Perhaps more importantly, the lack of tailors at the lower end of the price scale has moved bespoke out of the range of most men.

Indochino aims to correct both of these problems, by providing bespoke tailoring at reasonable prices over the internet. The suits range from around $250 to $400, which is cheaper than you can get made to measure pretty much anywhere, and shipping is free. Suits are shipped within two weeks and can be altered for $25.

I was invited by Indochino to try out its service and agreed to give it a go. The first thing I noticed was that it offers three different ways to get your measurements. You can measure yourself with a tape measure, measure a suit that fits you well or take instructions to a tailor and ask him to measure you.

This is an improvement on the offerings of most online suit or shirt stores, many of which invite you just to measure yourself – I’ve tried that and it can be tricky. So I went for the second option, to see if this was a viable alternative that might work online. It certainly makes more sense, and seems to offer less room for error.

There are quite professional videos demonstrating how to take the measurements, and the number asked for is impressive. However, the instructions are not necessarily clear. You are asked to lay your jacket flat. But does that mean with the side seams at the edges? Or with the jacket buttoned? Or should their be no overlap of the front panels?

These little points make a big difference – buttoning the jacket reduces your waist measurement by at least an inch, and so it is unlikely to fit. After watching the video several times, and trying to make out how the tailor had his jacket laid, I decided the jacket was buttoned.

Which was the right decision, for when the jacket arrived the waist fit perfectly, as did the arms and the waist of the trousers.

Unfortunately, that was all. The jacket was too small across the chest and the shoulders, and the collar stood away from my neck by about an inch. The trousers were also too short, almost comically so, not even touching my shoes.

Now the length of trousers is easy to alter – I can do that myself. But as I have written in previous posts, the neck is the hardest thing to change and the shoulders the second hardest. It will be expensive to correct and take time.

I have to say I wasn’t that impressed with the quality of the material either, despite it being the most expensive in the range ($400). There were signs of quality elsewhere – the jacket was canvassed, not fused. And it came with a free tie, tie bar and cufflinks.

But I’m afraid it was a disappointment. A service that sells itself on a great fit needs to get that right and it was wrong in many ways. Perhaps I should have gone for the tailor-measured option, for this route obviously didn’t work for me.


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Simon Crompton is a journalist and a style enthusiast living in London, who blogs at permanentstyle.blogspot.com. He has too many suits.

Comments

  1. It sounds like great idea for the price but im not sure it would be worth sacrificing quality just for “fit”. In this case you didnt even get the “fit”. None the less I would say go to a store that can do all of the measuring for you and find a suit that is well crafted. Im not sure how well Indochino suits are made but for the low price I would assume you are loosing a lot of the quality work in the shoulders and chest (which is noticeable if you wear a fair amount of suits).

  2. Uri Baruchin says:

    I tried them, buying two blazers. Arrived quickly and well packed. BUT: Bad fit (inconsistent – like your’s. I had a friend measure me, and after I got the jackets I had a tailor take my measures just to make sure that friend wasn’t to blame. She wasn’t.), inferior materials and not such great style. One was cheap and really bad, the other expensive and mediocre at best.
    It was a terrible experience and the 25$ they offer didn’t even come near how much I had to spend in order to make the articles even wearable.

    They wrote me an email asking if I was happy, I made it clear I was not, and never heard back from them.

    Never again – even well described ebay items + alterations are less of a risk and more cost effective.

  3. Sleats says:

    Simon can I invite you to try my company
    http://www.cadandthedandy.co.uk and although we do online orders with our design tool I would always recomend a face to face session with one of our tailors. I can understand the lure of a cheap price as in indochino case but always worth remembering that you get what you pay for i guess as in your example but great article shame the result didnt give you a suit that you wanted!

  4. Hannah says:

    Dear all,

    Hey Sleats, your website looks nice and professional but as a matter of facts, I just purchased a suit for my boyfriend in one of these “online tailor” at http://www.coliseum-suits.com
    I still haven’t received it (normal since I ordered 3 days ago) so I can’t comment on it. All I can say is I had a very easy time taking the measurements and the customer service team was very responsive and efficient to guide me for the style’s selection.
    I will post a comment next week once I receive the tailor-made suit.

  5. Sleats says:

    Not a website I have come across so thank you for pointing it out. I wish you all the luck with the suit.
    I think that the guys will provide a typical suit as if you were to get one in a Asian country, which of course plenty of people buy and love. My company though provides more English orientated suits and we use only English cloth that we source directly from the mills. I sit on the Advisory Panel for the London College of Fashion, which amongst other things helps set the syllabus and training for up and coming tailors so always good to see new companies emerge even though with their london, new york, paris claims these guys seem a little more like trotters independant traders.