May 2019 Update: Arden Reed rebranded and changed their name to Hive & Colony. My review is several years old at this point, but I’ve heard from many unsatisfied customers who had bad experiences with this company.
Considering this and the fact that my suit didn’t fit well, I strongly advise you to stay away from Hive & Colony. There are lots of MTM suit companies to choose from. You can find all of our MTM clothing reviews here.
Have you thought about buying a custom suit online?
It can be scary to purchase an expensive new suit that you don’t even get to try on before buying. To make things worse, there are so many suit makers to choose from. You don’t want to waste your money, but you need a suit that fits.
That’s why I publish product reviews here on TheModestMan.com. I want to help you avoid buying low-quality, over-priced and ill-fitting clothes.
This review is for Hive & Colony (formerly known as Arden Reed), an online custom clothier based out of New York City. They sell suits, shirts, pants, blazers and accessories.
Co-founder Carlos Solorio – a fellow man of modest height – sent me a gift certificate for a free suit of my choice. I went with the Vintage Light Grey Suit, which retails for $467.
In this review, I’ll talk about the fit and quality of the suit as well as shipping time and customer service. I also include some photos of the suit so you can see how it looks right out of the box!
I did not have any problems with my order, so I did not need to contact customer service. That said, Carlos responded to almost all of my emails within 24 hours.
Hive & Colony says that all orders ship within four weeks of purchase. They try to exceed this estimate, which was the case with my order.
I don’t know if this is typical, and some orders probably take longer than others, but my new suit arrived at my doorstep in less than three weeks.
The only company that delivers faster than this, in my experience, is Indochino.
The biggest problem with buying made-to-measure (MTM) clothes online is getting the right measurements. The whole point of buying custom clothing is to get something that fits perfectly, and this can only be done if you start with the right measurements.
Most online suit makers have a self-measurement system that consists of videos, written instructions and/or photos. Hive & Colony’s measuring process seems pretty solid.
They even have a downloadable PDF guide that you can use to store your measurements.
Each measurement is clearly described in a series of short videos, but I highly recommend that you let a friend measure you. Certain measurements are very difficult to get by yourself. You will also need tailor’s tape.
If you are worried about messing up your measurements and getting a suit that doesn’t fit properly, worry no more!
Like most MTM brands, Hive & Colony has a Perfect Fit Guarantee, which means you can get your suit altered at a local tailor and they will reimburse you.
Or, if major alterations are needed, they will simply make you a new suit. Most online suit makers have solid guarantees, but this is one is as good as it gets.
Most guys don’t care too much about thread count or where their suit fabric came from. Honestly, I don’t care too much about that stuff either.
But you do want to make sure that any dress clothes you buy are sturdily constructed from high quality material. Otherwise, they will fall apart after you wear them for a while.
I don’t know about you, but if I pay hundreds of dollars for a suit, I want it to last for more than a year!
At the time of this review, Arden Reed didn’t have any info about the fabric they use on their website, but founder Mike Abadi discusses the details on this Style Forum thread.
For those of you who care about wool-blends and canvassing, definitely check it out. For the rest of you, the bottom line is you probably don’t have to worry about Hive & Colony suits falling apart after normal wear.
Hive & Colony Suit Review
The best part of a good review is the photos. These photos were taken right after the suit was delivered, so no alterations have been made.
However, alterations are definitely needed. Can you tell what they are? Scroll down for the answer…
If you guessed that the pants are too long, you were right! They aren’t way too long, just a half inch or so.
This would be okay for most guys, but shorter men should make sure that their dress pants are hemmed nice and short so they don’t break at all. In other words, there should be little or no crease above the ankle.
Also, there are too many wrinkles in the arms. This likely has to do with something called sleeve pitch. This is really hard to fix with tailoring, unfortunately 🙁
If you noticed that there is no shirt cuff peaking out under the jacket sleeve, good for you! Ideally, your shirt cuffs should be visible under your jacket sleeves at your wrists.
The problem here is not the length of the jacket sleeves, it’s the length of the shirt sleeves. I’m wearing a shirt whose sleeves are too short.
This Hive & Colony suit doesn’t fit very well. It will be easy to hem the pants, but what about the problems with the sleeves and shoulders? These will be expensive and maybe even impossible to fix, even I take the jacket to a skilled tailor.
I wouldn’t order from Hive & Colony again. But if you are in the market for a new suit, definitely consider going “custom” with a made-to-measure company. The results can be fantastic.
Yeah I’ve had the same frustrating experience as the others above as my suits didn’t fit and I’m still dealing with getting them right 3 months later. They’ve been fairly responsive but overall a poor experience. Buyer beware
Alan Au says
To address your concerns about the fit, the length of the pants is minor. Simple alteration. What is harder is correcting the pitch of the sleeve. In most cases not even alterable. Also, the shoulder point to point is too wide; which also effects the wrinkling in the sleeve and mobility. The armhole is also too deep causing lessened mobility. Although the jacket isn’t cropped, which is good, it is still too short for your frame. Based on the first photo, and given how wide the shoulder point to point is, you would look TALLER with a slightly longer jacket. That length would be more flattering if the shoulders were slimmer cut.
John Stuart says
I had great experience with ArdenReed. My suit fits me 100%. I was really happy with my personal stylist, they helped me designee my own suit, I will definitely come back!
Ray t says
I share the similar sentiments as those expressed by Nathan and Ken. First off the prices advertised on their website are completely misleading. They advertise custom suits at $400, when in fact they really sell for $600. Even worse, when I inquired about the discrepancy between the prices, I was told by Carlos that my suit WILL be made with a better quality of material that they just started selling. Just my luck. So I inquired about reviewing the “lesser quality” materials, and that was the last time I ever heard from Carlos again 🙁 . I actually had to dispute the charges with my credit card company and asked them to include a note that the customer was trying to get in contact with them to discuss his order. After 3 weeks, I finally heard from Corina. She surprisingly was very helpful and resolved my issues, However, at that point there is no way I could commit to a purchase which operates on a trust system because it requires the customer to wait 3-4 weeks for a product after such a horrible experience. If any of you guys are interested in custom suits, check out Black Lapel for customer service excellence, quality tailoring, and credible prices.
Good luck Arden Reed in your ventures. Unfortunately, I will never be a customer ever again.
The ArdenReed founders are known to lie about recommendations. Be careful
Agreed that the suit is a bit big in the body. Tapering in the waist would make it more slimming and add visual height. Not so keen on removing the belt loops.
Ken Bruan says
I decided to try them after I received a deal through thrillist. I ordered on March 14th and confirmed that delivery was only going to take 3-4 weeks, I have a job interview on May 3rd and I wanted to give my tailor 2 weeks to make alterations. It is now week 6 and all I have is an email saying that they should make my May 3 deadline, but I probably won’t have any time to take the suit to the tailor. I just find it annoying that they are flooding social media about their new kickstarter project about some scanner truck and they can’t even fulfill the orders they have now. I will definitely stick with Black Lapel and I am glad I only wasted $234 on this bad bet.
Really sorry to hear this. I’ve relayed this to Carlos, one of the founders of Arden Reed. I hope they work to make things right with you and Nathan, because (as Nathan said) there are plenty of MTM companies to choose from.
Keep me updated ([email protected]).
Ken Bruan says
To make a long story short, I am getting a refund from thrillist. I think this situation highlighted 2 lessons for me. 1) Don’t cut corners or go cheap when you really need something. 2) Stay with what you know.
Nathan H says
Just had to mention my personal experience with Arden Reed, which has not been good so far. The first problem with these guys is the lack of good photos on the website. They’ve made improvements over the last month or two but it is still very difficult to get a good idea of what fabric you’re buying. The selection is also limited when compared to other similar sites like indochino or knotstandard (I’ve ordered from both before).
However, my biggest problem with these guys is their customer service. To their credit they have been fairly responsive, getting back to me without about 24 hours of receiving an email. However, being responsive doesn’t make up for simply refusing to provide the products I ordered and they originally agreed to provide. I placed an order for a suit and shirts using a deal voucher I purchased online and everything went through fine through the online billing page. Because I didn’t have all my measurements ready at that time I sent them an email saying to hold the order and I’d submit the measurements. In response I was shocked to find an email saying they were only give me one of the two shirts I had ordered. I’m still communicating with them trying to resolve the situation but at this point they refuse to honor the contract we reached. Bottom line, they might make fine suits but I don’t know yet because I’m having to waste time arguing with them about simply giving me the things I paid for. With plenty of other options that provide fine service in MTM suits (such as both the other sites I mentioned above) it is tough to see why we should work with this new startup.
AARON k says
That’s a good looking suit. I’ll have to give Arden Reed a look when I’m next in the market for a MTM suit.
In terms of fit, a few things stand out to me. The shoulders are a tad bit wide – not so much that the suit doesn’t work, but losing an inch would sharpen up the fit. I’d also suppress the waist and slim the sleeves in addition to the alterations you’ve already mentioned. Every bit helps for us short guys!