A while ago, we inspected a mytailor shirt and today, I will continue our series of Custom suits by reviewing a suit (c/o) from the same company. Like their shirts, they have an extensive fabric collection to choose from and offer a travelling tailor service in the U.S.
The first step of the order in process was to schedule a meeting with Mr. Andre Lani, who is himself a tailor that travels on behalf of the company. It was very easy to schedule an appointment online but alternatively, I could have called a 800 number to do so. When I arrived at the hotel suite in downtown Minneapolis, Mr. Lani had an extensive array fabric swatches lined up on several tables. The room had plenty of daylight so it was easy to see the real shade of each fabric. Compared to online establishments such as Indochino or Black Lapel, the advantage of mytailor is clearly the wealth of fabrics that you can choose from, right then and there, as well as the live consultation by an actual tailor. In the beginning, Mr. Lani asked me about my profession and what suits I already owned, and he guides his customers as much or as little as desired.
Fabrics & Cut
First, I began by browsing through the swatch books and although he probably had close to 1000 swatches with him, you can find thousands more on their website. Personally, I was interested in a flannel fabric and I pretty quickly settled on a navy with an off white windowpane from Vitale Barberis Canonico. Once at home, I saw, they also had one in mottled grey and all it took was an email to change my fabric choice along with a change of the lining color. Once we settled on the fabric, we discussed styling options. Of course, they had laminated cards with certain style features but I wanted to design my own silhouette. Generally, a true custom garment allows you to not only choose from options, but to create your own details from scratch. This requires much more know-how and vision of the finished garment on the customer end. I had brought pictures from my archive and pointed out certain elements I wanted. Mr. Lani took notes, but I also sent them via email, which is probably the best way to do it. I wanted a 6×2 double breasted suit with a high buttoning point, a lapel with a bit of belly, some drape and a flare cut which would overall look like a 1930′s suit that was modified for modern times. I also requested a lapel gimp buttonhole Milanese style, a full upper sleeve and rather small armholes paired with enough fabric in the back, and little padding so I would be able to move my arms easily. To me the advantage of bespoke garments is that you can really create a garment that is stylish with your own cut that is almost as comfortable as a sweater. As such, it is important to me that I can move my arms freely and most off the rack garments and even MTM garments are not comfortable to wear because they restrict movement. Currently is seems most bespoke lovers order their suits and jackets unlined and sometimes even without sleeve lining. It seems to me like this trend is rooted in the south of Italy and the current popularity of the Neapolitan jacket has definitely contributed to this trend. Personally, I own unlined garments but I don’t like them too much because your shirt sleeves are caught more easily. I also don’t live in a climate where temperatures and humidity in the summer almost force you to go unlined. As such, I had the front of the jacket lined in the suit fabric and I chose a green changeant herringbone lining for the back as well as a striped lining for the sleeves. In addition to that, I opted for a particularly soft canvas and for trousers with a fishtail back, side adjusters, offset piped pockets, double inward pleats and two inch cuffs. I was able to specify the hem width and overall trouser cut, which made me happy because I wear pants on my natural waist.
Once all details were discussed, Mr. Lani started to take measurements. He very carefully took every measurement at least twice. Afterwards he took several pictures of my posture that would allow the tailors to get a better fit because of my round back and sloped shoulders. Overall, I can say that this was the most thorough measurement session I’ve had with a tailor. It even revealed that one of my arms was a quarter inch shorter due to my posture. Overall, I was very pleased with the entire process.
Wait Times, Price & Payment
Generally, it takes about 10 weeks to finish a suit once the order is finally submitted. In my case, it took a little longer because of a delay in the fabric acquisition. Considering you get a full bespoke garment, this is a rather short time frame, especially compared to more famous travelling tailor establishments from England. Compared to Indochino or Black Lapel it is a bit longer but considering the higher degree of customization, I am perfectly happy with that time frame. Payments are due half upon order, and half once you are happy with your garment. A 2 piece suit in this fabric costs $999, which is certainly more expensive than Indochino or Black Lapel, but the extensive fabric selection including quality brand names, the custom pattern and the higher degree of workmanship do make up for it many times in my opinion. If you choose a Super 100′s house cloth, a two piece suit will set you back $799. Of course, you can also spend $8000 on a suit if you choose the most luxurious fabrics, but personally I prefer interesting patterns in 100% wool or blended with silk, cashmere or alpaca. Make sure to take advantage of this fantastic swatch collection and try to pick a fabric that is not one of the usual suspects that you can get anywhere else because it will be difficult to find the more unique fabrics elsewhere.
Fittings & Alterations
Mytailor will generally send you the finished suit without any fittings after your initial session. If alterations are necessary, you can either meet the travelling tailor next time he is in town, take pictures and send the suit back to mytailor (free return label is provided), or if you prefer to have your local alterations tailor quickly shorten a pants hem or something similarly simple, they’ll reimburse you. Alterations will be performed until you are happy with the garment.
To be honest I was not sure how the suit would fit without a formal fitting, though I hoped for the best since neither Indochino nor Black Lapel offered fittings. The result was very good for a first suit. Compared to all other suits, the mytailor.com suit had the best fit and felt the most comfortable, although it was not perfect. After having worn it a number of times, I will send it back and have alterations made, or even better, I wait until a rep is in town again, so he can take pictures and take notes.
As you can see in the pictures, only little things such as the button height, sleevehead and back area need to be fixed, maybe the right armhole could cut a bit deeper and then the wrinkles underneath the right shoulder would disappear. Otherwise, I am extremely pleased with it, especially considering that I have had full bespoke garments that did not fit as well after 2 or 3 fittings. Maybe it was luck, but I think it is more likely that the measurements paired with the pictures, expertise and experience were the reason for the best initial suit I have ever received. The position of the top buttons will be a challenge because of the combination of the window pane pattern and my sloping shoulders. It is more difficult to place the buttons so they look level and symmetrical when I stand normally, and they realized that and tried to compensate for it, which shows remarkable attention to detail. Overall, that’s a small detail that I can change myself rather easily because it is essential for me to wear it when the button is sewn on to get it right. The sleeves fall nicely and just the area of the sleeveheads on either sides show a few wrinkles. The range of movement is fantastic – I can reach everything without being constrained by the sleeves, armholes or shoulders, and I really enjoy that. Sleeve length good on both arms and need very little if any adjustment, and I also like the balance of the coat. The slope of my right shoulder also wasn’t spot on. In the pictures you can see the wrinkles in the back and under my right armpit. To solve the problem, they will have to cut the armhole on the right a tad deeper and take out some fabric on right shoulder seam so it lays properly against my back. I am confident that these little cosmetic changes will be no problem for mytailor, and I am really happy with the suit. Of course, the changes will also be reflected in your personal pattern, so next time around the suit should fit pretty much perfectly from the get go. Once you are at that stage, you could simply make a phone call to place an order for your next suit.
You can find their suits here.
PROs & CONs
Mytailor.com Pros & Cons
|Most extensive, bespoke customization options including custom pattern||Dated website with slow load times|
|Thousands of quality fabrics listed on website & about 1000 to choose from in person||10-12 week delivery time vs. 4-6 for others|
|Travelling service for measurements in person|
|Sloped shoulders or different arm length is easily accomodated|
|Perfect range of movement|
|Milanese Buttonhole and numerous custom details available|
|Best fitting suit in the our Series|
|Exceptional value for your money|