Indochino: A Made to Measure Review

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Please note that this review was updated in a 2nd article.   Click here to see it!

Recently, I made a point to try out a MTM suit by Indochino, a custom suiting and shirt company started in 2007.  I have seen other reviews of this service by Articles of Style, Dappered, and even the Young and Fine Gentleman.   To try it out for myself, I saved up a couple hundred bucks and purchased a suit, made from the measurements I provided.

Now this review was written a while ago, since I have worn this suit (after tailoring) many, many, many times.  This review shows the original, unaltered garment that I received right out of the box.

What is MTM?

In the custom menswear world, there are two main realms:  Made-To-Measure and Bespoke.   MTM isn’t entirely custom. There is a pre-made pattern for the suit, with existing lapel size, button stance, and proportions.  With a MTM service, they take your measurements (neck, length, inseam, chest, lower chest, etc) and update the pattern to fit your measurements.  For example a 5’8” and a 6’2” guy can have the same pattern suit, but the proportions will be made to your body.  Additonally, most MTM use machines or a factory to create the garment.  The person who measures you is a sales person and isn’t actually a tailor or the cutter.  

With a bespoke suit service, the pattern is entirely new and personalized for each client.  You are measured by either the tailor who oversees the store or a cutter.  There is a direct relationship between the measurements and the person who will actually make the garment.  It is made from scratch and has full customizability. Depending on the bespoke service, you can change the drape of the suit, the buttoning stance, and the lapel size and angle, down to the fraction of an inch.  It is this level of control and handmade craftsmanship that necessitates a thousand dollars or more for a bespoke suit.   However, MTM is cheap, replicable, and fits the needs of the everyday man.

What is Indochino?

Indochino is exactly what I said above: a MTM clothier for men.  With a few simple measurements that you can take at home (or ask a friend/tailor to do it for you), Indochino creates a garment that utilizes the values in algorithms, which approximate how the fabric will fit around you. They used to operate solely online but have moved to have a few physical showrooms.  These showrooms have suit examples and fabrics to allow potential clients to feel it for themselves.  Most importantly, the showrooms employ staff that can take the measurements for you and explain how the process works.

Why Indochino?

There are of course, other brands of MTM.  Oliver Wicks, Knot Standard, and Black Lapel name a few of them.  Each of them have different fabrics, pre-set lapel styles, and “house cuts”.  Most importantly to me, they all had their own way of making a double breasted jacket.  Indochino was the one I liked the most, so I went with them.

Plus it’s pretty hard to find a double breasted pinstripe suit for less than $1,000.

Pros and Cons Before Garment

Pros:  Good price, choice of actually attractive suit linings, $75 credit toward alterations (or full remake if needed), easy to understand measurement videos, helpful staff.

Cons:  Preset styles and measurements of lapels, generic shoulder types (slouch, regular, etc), not a lot of fabric selections currently.

My Experience

I already picked a fabric from the website and only went into the showroom in Beverly Hills (which opened this past August) only to get fitted and to go over any questions that I had.  I was running late and they were still accommodating.  Unfortunately, I didn’t to feel the fabric I wanted (it was a summer exclusive that they didn’t have in the store) but the fitting process was great and they answered all the questions I needed.  My pattern was then saved in their online database and they said that any future orders could be carried out online.  Also, any alterations that I would have done would need to be written on a form and scanned in so they could update my measurements for future purchases.

I tried my hardest to change the size of the lapels (my biggest aesthetic need) but they couldn’t.  I would have to pick between their four preset styles.

My Product

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I picked the Banker Stripe Linen fabric, in a Double Breasted, Wide Peak Lapels (default 4”) with default buttons, suspender buttons, and a cuff.  The suit was originally $750 but I bought this one when it was only $375.  

To test them, I requested to do high-waisted pants, which made my crotch drop measurement and waist to length ratio off.  However, they moved forward and went along with it, saying that if the pants come out bad, they will remake them.  Pretty good move, considering this was my first piece I was purchasing from them.  

Let’s start with the good.  The suits shoulders and sleeves fit me pretty perfectly!

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My main surprise is how well they fulfilled my request for high-waisted pants!  They sit perfectly at my bellybutton and elongate my legs well.  Very impressive Indochino.

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One subtle detail was that they included some rubber stripes in the waistband of the pant.  These provide friction so that your shirt stays tucked in!  Very cool.  

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I really loved the pattern for my lining; I think it went really well with my suit.  It was the main thing that set this MTM clothier apart from the other ones I checked out.  However, I recently checked the website; Indochino only offers plain colors for linings again.  Bring back some cool ones!

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However, there are a few problems.  The fabric feels a little cheap.  My other linen pants are very soft while this one is stiff.  The pants are a little long (no-breaks please!) and there is very little taper from the knee down; I believe the leg opening was close to eight inches!  Not very modern at all, and I even prefer classically tailored garments.  

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Additionally, the chest is a little large resulting in some slight puffing in the gorge area.  A dart in that area would eliminate that problem. An expertly tailored fit is important when wearing a double breasted suit.  Anything too baggy will look instantly 1980s, in a bad way.  

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You can really see that the back needs to be smoothed out; there’s excess room in there.  Even though its linen and is supposed to wrinkle, a suit should be smooth and fitted.

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Indochino should look into creating higher-armholes.  As you can see in the picture, the lowered armholes result in a warped figure. If the armholes were higher on the body (almost like a shirt), the suit jacket will be able to keep a slim silhouette while allowing more movement.  It’s this problem that most men associate with suits.

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For improvement, I’d say that their factory should match the fabrics  better during construction.  A great pinstripe suit should have the pocket flaps and cuffs line up with the lines of the suit.  I can forgive the shoulder/sleeve matching, since the rounded edges are much too difficult to do if you’re not a bespoke tailor.  Its this small attention to detail that can set a MTM brand above the rest.  

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I would also try to increase the quality of the buttons.  For this price suit, you would expect to have a genuine horn or metal button.
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Conclusion

Please note that this review was updated with a 2nd post.   Click here to see it!

Price:  Pretty amazing for a MTM suit.  It costs less than Suitsupply or J. Crew

Fit:  Alright.  Again, it was baggier than expected.

Details:  Fun details that they included, but fabric matching wasn’t spot on with th pockets.

Overall, the suit was alright.  There are a few problems, but nothing that a trip to my tailor can’t fix.  I basically bought this suit because I wanted a pinstripe DB suit for less than $1,000.   Looking back, I wish I removed the belt loops  (and used side adjusters) and added pick stitching to the lapels.  However, these all can be added to my next suit I get! 

I would definitely recommend Indochino to anyone who needs a custom suit.  They have plenty of conservative fabrics for those of you who only need one or two suits, but their seasonal fabrics (like mine) are pretty awesome.  If you live near one of the showrooms, I’d suggest going in so you can check out the fabrics and the fitting process!   However, just remember extra tailoring is always needed to get the absolute perfect fit.  

Have you tried Indochino or any other MTM brand?  Let us know by sharing your story below!

Always a pleasure,

Ethan W.

Street x Sprezza

Photography by Gabrielle U.

 

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14 comments

  1. Tony · January 22, 2016

    Ethan, have you tried High Society Tailoring in Ktown? They give you a full bespoke experience at the same price range as Indochina MTM. I highly recommend it.

    Most MTMs are plagued with large armholes. In fact, even if you asked for smaller armholes, the manufacturer would either refuse or be very reluctant to do it for you. This is a major strike against MTM for me since high armholes is one of the reasons I go for custom suits.

    Another problem with MTM is the fact that there’s no fitting. This results in fit that’s highly unpredictable. Take a look on styleforum and you’ll see plenty of MTM disasters, including those from Indochina. And no, after-the-fact alteration doesn’t make up it. Changes are far easier to make when the garment isn’t finished, and there’s only so much an alterations tailor can do to a finished garment that’s worth the cost and effort.

    As a result, these days I prefer either off-the-rack or full-on bespoke. Off the rack is better that MTM. The armholes are usually low like MTM, but at least the price is compatible with that fact. Also, you can see how the garment fits before you buy. I only buy if the fit is 95% there, and then I take it to a tailor to correct get the remaining 5%. There are some amazing off-the-rack brands out there!

    Like

    • Ethan W. · January 24, 2016

      Very good points! I haven’t tried High Society, but it’s a little out of price range! I plan to only get Indochino if its under $500. Maybe in the future!

      What level of control do you get with them? I have a very specific style of lapel that I like and Indochino was the only MTM brand that did that for me!

      Like

  2. Tony · January 29, 2016

    With High Society you can get them to do anything. Just give them a drawing or a sample garment they’ll do their best to follow your instructions, which . The workmanship is great. The fit is excellent. Their backs are particularly neat. There’s one fitting by default, and if there’s anything you don’t like about the garment, they’re happy to take it back and alter it.

    Their default armhole is still rather low though. It wasn’t until 4 commissions in did I convince them to get the armhole high enough to my liking. As with any bespoke tailor, perfect garments are a result of ongoing collaboration between tailor and customer.

    Like

    • Ethan W. · February 1, 2016

      I guess I gotta save up for that! I’d love Ambrosi trousers for cheaper.

      Like

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  5. Lorenz · July 25

    Hey, one thing I noticed in the pictures: you still have/had the tailor threads that close the jacket vents. Those need to be cut away and the suit will drape nicer.

    Like

    • Ethan W. · July 25

      If you look at this picture, you’ll notice that the vents are already open.

      Like

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  10. VG · February 15

    I’m offering an honest review from 1) someone who wasn’t compensated by Indochino and 2) someone has purchased a few custom suits.

    They are a fucking scam. The suit I received fit like something that’s two sizes too big and off of a department store clearance rack. And the material felt like something you’d get at the Gap.

    The customer service is totally full of shit. Condescending – and of course – the reason I didn’t like the suit was because it was the first time I had ordered a custom suit. No refunds of course – they’ll offer to update the suit and I have no idea why I should have any confidence in their ability to do that given how poorly they did the suit the first time.

    And the other posts that were critical of the shipping are right – you get a flabby cardboard box with a wrinkled ass suit inside.

    Honestly, there are no redeeming qualities for the company. If you want a good suit, try another custom fit company, or go buy a suit at a store and invest $100-$150 to get it tailored. You’ll be much happier.

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    • Ethan W. · February 15

      My review is honest as well. This wasn’t sponsored by Indochino; I paid for the suit myself. And I still stand by my review. It’s basically $400 suit for a DB with wide horiztonal peak lapels and high rise trousers. That is something that you can’t find anywhere else. If you want a regular suit, with low rise trousers or curved peak lapels, you can go to Suit Supply or wherever else. There are plenty of better options.

      Yes, the suit could have been packaged better. Yes the suit could’ve been better. Maybe the quality could have been better (especially in regard to pattern matching). But I still maintain that it was worth it to me and I’m very happy about it. It’s not everyday that you can find a DB suit that hits all the details that I want!

      Like

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