So you’ve probably heard about these online “custom” suit brands. Perhaps you’ve even purchased a suit from them before (ex. Indochino, Black Lapel, just to name a few). You think you’re getting a great deal, and it DOES sound great. But then the suit comes in, you try it on, and…
It doesn’t fit.
And that’s where we come in. We wouldn’t be writing this post if we hadn’t seen it happen over, and over, and OVER again!
In fact, we recently had a customer who had purchased from one of these retailers come in to get his suit looked at. He thought the jacket was OK, but he told us upfront that the pants had to be remade because the thigh was too tight.
Well, our master tailor took a look at the jacket. Right away, she could tell that the armhole opening was too tight and the shoulders were too big. The customer had wanted a very slim look and got what he asked for, but not without sacrificing other parts of the jacket. The company had cut the waist too narrow and since the shoulders were too wide, it looked like the jacket had bat sleeves every time the customer moved his arms! Lastly, the sleeves were too short.
Although these problems could be fixed by our tailor, it would cost hundreds of $$, and it still wouldn’t fit 100%. On top of this, the customer would have had to pay for majority of it out of pocket since the company only offered ridiculous reimbursements of only $50 for a jacket and $25 for pants. We highly suggested that he contact the company and ask that they remake the jacket as well.
The Good and The Bad
-They are typically quicker than a traditional in-store custom services. However, you don’t have the multiple in-store fittings to ensure a great fit.
-Usually a much lower cost. But remember, you get what you pay for.
-If you’re looking to wear a suit once or twice a year, this might be OK (since it won’t you long anyways).
-You don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. Although this is true, we offer private appointments in your home or office at your convenience as well.
-They are made from low quality fabric, often sourced from China to cut costs.
- You don’t really know what you’re getting until it arrives. The fabric could be a different shade, it doesn’t have a good hand, or you’re just overall underwhelmed when it arrives.
-They won’t last long. If you wear suits a lot, they should be an investment.
-Even with your “custom” measurements, it still won’t fit as good as if a tailor made your suit. They have the knowledge to make sure it does!
-You do the measurements at home, yourself. They offer video tutorials to walk you through each step, but even being slightly off can really mess up the suit.
-Black Lapel offers a full canvas construction to repeat customers only for a small additional charge. Which means fused interfacing is standard. This is a big NO NO if you want a quality suit. (See our previous blog post for more info about this).
-There’s no knowledgeable staff to aid you in your decisions, or answer any questions you might have. This is vital for a first-time custom suit buyer!
When all is said and done…What is the REAL cost of these suits?
It is common to see these go anywhere from a couple hundred up dollars - $700. After spending that money, and then taking the time out to get it fixed at an alterations shop, possibly wait for it to be remade, and then still pay out of pocket for alterations…we offer a better solution: Come into one of our two locations, and let us do the work for you.
Have you purchased from one of these online retailers? If so, we’d love to hear about your experience with them.