A few months ago, I was offered a suit by Indochino for review. As a consequence, I decided to create a series on “custom” suits which will be published in the following weeks. First, I want to present a few reviews from very inexpensive online MTM suits all the way up to true bespoke, with a few options in between. Of course, I will explain what to look out for in order to get the best result for your investment.
Today, I would like to begin with an Indochino review, because they are a big player in the Online Made-to-Measure field and they were the first one to deliver.
Pre-Order & Fabric Choice
Indochino’s website is very intuitive and reminds me of Apple’s design philosophy. The pictures are big, descriptions minimal and the navigation rather fluid. Most online Made-to-Measure sites only allow you to look at the fabric on your screen, and even though you usually find weights and a description, you never know what you’ll get until the suit is completed. Therefore, I was positively surprised to see that Indochino offered to have my chosen swatches sent via mail. Of course, not everybody can imagine what a suit looks like based on a 2-square-inch sample (though that’s why you have the pictures on the websites) but it is far better than choosing fabric sight unseen. The swatches will help you understand how the fabrics feel and wrinkle.
Most of the fabrics I saw were a bit too lightweight for my taste, which is why I opted for a heavier grey-blue houndstooth 400 gram fabric with a red overplaid. For the trousers, I chose a red cotton chino with cuffs.
Overall, I thought it was great to have the option to look at the fabrics before the order. Although the service costs $29, you’ll get a credit once you order.
The Indochino Jacket
When it comes to customizing your jacket, the choices are limited. For lapels, you can choose only between peaked or notched and slim or regular, though “regular” is 2.75″ inches wide and there is no option to change the width or the gorge height, which I found disappointing. You can choose your jacket vents but again, no option for how long you want them; the same is true for the button configuration. You can opt for 1, 2 or 3 button in single breasted or 6×2 double breasted. I went with a 1 button notched lapel jacket with slanted pockets and ticket pocket. Under “More Options”, you can specify things like pen pockets and functional buttonholes, but overall the order process is rather quick. I suspect it is part of the business model to offer only a few choices to avoid confusing customers. Though understandable, I would offer a few more advanced features and the ability to specify finer details such as the buttoning point, etc. Also, I would offer the option of a jacket with full canvas rather than the current version of half canvas coats because it improves the look and feel of the coat and it breathes better.
Once I chose all the options, it was time for entering measurements. Everything was well documented, but you will need someone to assist you with taking body measurements. You can choose things like sloped shoulders, but only for both sides. My right shoulder is more sloped than my left one, but you can’t accommodate these kind of quirks during the order process. Hence, I tried to get in touch with Indochino after the order, and I was actually able to send some pictures and express concerns about certain things via email.
Once ordered, it took less than 4 weeks for the jacket to appear at my doorstep. The packaging had the same simplistic layout recognizable from their website. The coat came on a flat cardboard hanger and the fabric was surprisingly soft, just like the overall construction. The jacket felt nice when I put it on; it had some drape over the chest and a full upper sleeve that made the jacket very comfortable to wear with only a very tiny bit of constriction in movement – much better than something I would try on off the rack. Of course, you can see that my sloping right shoulder was not accounted for, but more importantly, the buttoning point was extremely low. Most people choose 2 button or 3 button single breasted suits, and so I have no doubt that most of these coats will look balanced. However, the one button jackets are not as popular – and so they are probably not as familiar with them – because the buttoning point on my jacket was way to low and made me look oddly out of proportion. In fact, it was so low, that I knew I would never wear the jacket. Most people would likely not notice the low buttoning point itself, but they would notice that something was off. Just like 90% of coats out there, the back is cut a little shorter than the front. For some reason, this is what most companies consider to be the correct balance whereas traditional tailors usually make sure that the hem of the jacket has the same distance to the floor all around.
Of course, I reached out to Indochino and initially they always offer an alteration service, but once the buttonhole is cut, it clearly cannot be relocated, so I was offered a remake. I submitted photos of the coat and fit and requested changes for the slope and the buttoning point – note, I did not request any other changes. When the new jacket arrived, the buttoning point was correct and I only had a very few wrinkles on my right shoulder…but the jacket was smaller in the chest. The drape had all but disappeared, the armholes got smaller and the sleeves were cut much tighter too. I suppose this is the look the average Indochino customer is going for and they made these adjustments based on the pictures. However, I liked the feel of the first jacket more because the remade jacket is more constricting in moving my arms. When I reach forward, I can feel the jacket tighten over my biceps right away. So overall, they improved issue that I had before so I can wear the jacket now. At the same time, they made additional changes to the jacket that made it less comfortable to wear.
Upon closer inspection, you will notice, that a number of things are flawed:
1. you see puckering underneath my right armpit (left in the picture)
2. you see slight creases around the buttoning point
3. you see how the right front quarter hangs away from the body and hangs lower than the left front quarter
4. the sleeve on the right does not show any shirt cuff, while the one on the right does
All these flaws are related to my sloping right shoulder. Ideally, the armhole should to be cut deeper, and either I need more shoulder padding on the right or even better, the entire cut of the jacket is adjusted to my sloping shoulder
Also, the sleeve hem is not straight, which means you see more shirt cuff on the inside of the jacket than outside. On the right sleevehead, you can see a little gap, but the sleeves fall nicely for the most part and the back looks fine too. For my taste, the lapels are too narrow but this is at wide as it gets with Indochino – there is only a slimmer option.
I really like the fabric because it drapes rather well, and is not prone to wrinkles. It also has a chest pocket lining that can be used as a pocket square with a puff fold. While I don’t think that’s stylish it may come in handy when you travel.
Overall, the result of the second jacket is not perfect but good compared to off the rack items and better than some other online MTM jackets I have tested. But see the results by yourself. The shirt in the picture was made MTM by Sangar made from an Albini fabric and the tie is the blue & green silk knit tie by Fort Belvedere.
The Indochino Pants
Like the jackets, there are not many options for customizing pants. You can choose pleats or no pleats, cuffs / turn-ups or no cuffs, pockets or not, belt loops or suspender buttons. I would have preferred to specify the width of my cuff, but it’s only an either/or choice with this brand. If you get a pair of pants that fits well and is comfortable at a low price, that’s fine. Just like with the jacket, I submitted my measurements and preferences and received the pants at the same time as the jacket. When I received the trousers, they were almost an astonishing 4″ too wide in the waist. This is beyond altering, because your pockets won’t be in the right position and your legs are cut much wider as well. Therefore Indochino remade them as well.
All the features were the same with the remake, and the fit was much improved the second time around. I had ordered side adjusters and suspender buttons and I probably wouldn’t do that again, because the adjusters don’t really work as they should and the trousers always have a round waistband rather than a fish tail back, which would be ideal for suspenders. Also, the cotton fabric is not too thick and so you can see the paisley pattern of the lining from the outside under certain angles. So next time, I would choose a plain lining rather than a patterned one. However, the most important element – the fit – on the second pair of trousers was good and so I can’t complain.
Overall Indochino Review Conclusion
Indochino offers a machine made product at a low price with limited customization options and half-canvas jackets in a limited range of fabrics at prices starting at$449 for a suit or sport coat with pants. Jackets feature a soft interling, a trim fit and a slim look. While my initial orders both had substantial flaws, the remakes were better, though especially in the case of the jacket the second one was much slimmer than the first one. It seems they have a harder time coping with irregular shoulders, although almost anybody today has a shoulder that is lower than the other one.
Indochino shipping times are accurate and the service is good and reliable. Mistakes were handled professionally and a substitute was offered. Now, if you are on a budget and in the market for a Made-to-Measure suit, Indochino may be right for you if you don’t want to customize your product too much, if you have a very symmetrical body (less than 1% do) and if you like contemporary slim styles. They deliver on time, and have a good process in place to make sure things are corrected if I rate them 2.5 out of 5 because even after the remake there are a number of flaws that remain and I have high standards when it comes tailored clothing. In the coming weeks, we will show, how Indochino compares to other MTM and bespoke services, so stay tuned.
Indochino Pro & Cons
|Simple, uncluttered website & shopping experience||Very few customization choices|
|Option to see the fabrics in person before you buy||Substantial Issues with jacket & pants after first order|
|Delivered earlier than promised||Sloped shoulders or different arm length is not easily accomodated|
|Great Service & Free Remake of the products||Only two lapel width options, both of which are slim|
|Good range of movement - much better than RTW||Can't accommodate different arm lengths; uneven sleeve hem|
|Boutonniere Loop||Overlapping, closed front quarters|