If you’re one of the millions (billions?) of clients I’ve done a consultation for in the last month, you’ll know that even the smallest details like the width of your lapels or the angle of your pockets can help make you look better.
Even if you haven’t signed up to get your Style Profile, it should come as no surprise that these details are important.
Like you gentlemen, I experience a large gap between my desire to dress well and the funds required to do so. Most men have a hard time shelling out $500 for a suit or two, let alone going the full custom route and paying more than the price of your first car.
Thankfully, I’ve stumbled onto what I believe will be an excellent solution to our problem.
I’ve been working with a few clients who are looking for specific suits and I didn’t want to just send them to the traditional men’s stores like Banana Republic or J Crew. Don’t get me wrong, I recommend their clothing all the time and wear their stuff myself, but these clients needed something a little more customizable that wasn’t going to break the bank.
I started looking around at a few different companies when the name Indochino popped up. I’d heard of them before and had even read favorable reviews online and in a few print magazines. So I reached out to them to see if I could get a few questions answered.
Within a few hours a gentleman by the name of Lenny was back in contact with me. We scheduled a time to talk on the phone and talk about the company, what it offers, and how it can benefit a man who wants to look like a million bucks without paying for it. Turns out, this company is pretty awesome. Their entire concept is based on custom-clothing you can order online. I’ll show you what I mean.
The folks at Indochino were cool enough to hook me up with a custom suit and shirt so I can experience their whole process from start to finish. I was a little skeptical at first about having a custom-made suit without ever actually seeing the maker in person, but their detailed measurement process put me at ease.
The very first thing you do is set up an account. I’m always hesitant to set up an account with online retailers but for these guys it makes sense. Within your account you will take and record body measurements. These are saved to the system so when you decide you want to by a blazer or another dress shirt, all you need to do is customize the specific item. It saves you the hassle of having to enter your measurements with each order.
They start off with a few basics like your shoulder ratio, chest size, and your posture. There are two keys to getting a good fit with this. First, have someone else take your measurements. This isn’t rocket science so you can grab your girl and have her come help you out – she doesn’t need to be an alterations expert. The second is to measure what you actually are instead of what you wish you were. If your posture sucks, have your jacket compensate for that. If you don’t have massive pecs, don’t get a suit with room for them.
After answering the basic questions you get into the details that require an actual tape measure. This is the first part where Indochino really shined for me. Most places will ask for a few basic measurements and then try to guess on everything else. You can get decent-fitting clothing this way, but the sign of true custom is when every detail fits your body like a glove. Indochino has you take 16 different types of measurements. They even let you customize details like the length of your jacket and how high the crotch in your pants should be. It’s much more detailed than I was expecting and I’m hoping the execution reflects that.
If you (or your girl) get confused about how to properly take your measurements, each one has an instructional video that will show you exactly what you need to do to get it right. And, if you do get something measured incorrectly or the suit comes and doesn’t fit properly you have two different options. They’ll give you a $75 alteration credit that can be used with a tailor for fixable things like sleeve width or pant length, or – for the larger problems – they’ll let you ship it back and then they will correct it for free.
On top of the details you get with your measurements, Indochino gives you almost free range with the customizations available with each piece of clothing.
With your suits you can tell them whether you want it single-breasted or double, what lapel type you want, how the vents in the back should be cut, and how many buttons you want. This is great because the downside to buying a non-custom suit from another men’s store is that their selection might not actually look good on you. If you’re 5′ 4″ it doesn’t matter how great the fabric is with your complexion and how slim all the sleeves are if the jacket only comes in a three-button instead of a two. Rather than having to settle for one element or another that won’t work with your individual needs, this customization gives you the option to determine exactly what you want.
The only thing that wasn’t there that I wish were is the ability to tell them your button stance. This is largely determined by the length of the jacket in your individual measurements, however some men need higher or lower button stances depending on things like the size of their guts and the proportions between their legs and torsos. Hopefully this be an added feature in the future.
One thing you want to keep your eye out for is a little button called “More Options” on the top right.
This is another area where Indochino could have chosen to give generic options but instead are allowing you even more customizations. Let’s say you’re tall and skinny and need some extra visual weight in your torso, they let you throw on a ticket pocket. Or say you need some more visual height because you’re wider than you’d like to be, they’ll let you slant the angle of your pockets.
Little details like surgeon cuffs, a pen pocket, and contrast stitching are the things that will make your suit go from generic-but-well-fitting to completely custom.
Even with the shirts you get to choose options like the collar type, the cuffs, and a monogram. Just like with suiting, the shirt details are what will make everything look phenomenal.
The best part about the shirting options is the level of detail in the collar. You can check out their gallery and they will not only tell you what face shape works best with which collar type, they’ll even tell you which tie knots work best in that collar. Again, this is a level of detail that could have been easily overlooked and proves how dedicated Indochino is to helping their clients look their best.
From what my experience has been thus far, the ease of the online experience is only part of the reason to shop with Indochino. The founders are young and they have a better idea of what it’s like to be a man in today’s world. These are not guys who have waited around for opportunities to present themselves. They’ve started their own business and they’ve made a tweak in an old, well-established industry that can use a few tweaks. From an entrepreneurial perspective, these are young alphas who are bending the rules to create a better product, and that’s the kind of man I will always stand behind.
Expect a post in three weeks when this thing comes in the mail. I’m hoping they keep me as pleasantly surprised as I’ve been thus far.
PS. The month is more than halfway over so take advantage of the reduced price on Basic Consultations before they go back up.