These days, it’s easier than ever before to get a custom, made-to-measure suit without breaking the bank.
By this point, you’re probably aware that made-to-measure suits are readily available from a bunch of different brands. And you’ve probably heard of what is arguably the most popular custom brand, Indochino.
I’m a huge fan of custom formalwear, mostly because 90% of dress shirts and suits that I find off the rack don’t fit me properly. #shortmanproblems
See Also: Suits for Shorter Men (In-Depth Guide)
For that reason, all of my suits and dress shirts are made-to-measure. This is my second suit from Indochino, and after making a few small tweaks to my measurement profile, I’m really happy with how it fits.
If you’ve been on the fence about giving MTM suiting a try, I want to give you my top five reasons why it might be a good idea.
Reason #1: Get the Perfect Length
The biggest fit problem I have with off the rack suits is the length. I’m not just talking about the length of the pants. After all, it’s pretty easy to get a pair of trousers hemmed.
I’m also talking about the length of the sleeves and the jacket. If your jacket and sleeves are too long, it’s going to be expensive and difficult (maybe even impossible) to have them shortened.
The problem is, if your sleeves and jacket aren’t the right length, it ruins the whole look. It makes you look shorter you actually are, and it makes you look like you don’t know what you’re doing. Remember, style is all about the details!
But when your sleeves, jacket and pants are the proper length, you look like pure class – like you’re going to have a lunch martini (or three) with Don Draper.
Plus, proper length makes you look taller, leaner and more competent. If you don’t have a lucky “off the rack” build, going custom is one of the best ways to ensure proper length.
Reason #2: Control the Proportions
The second reason I love custom suits is the fact that they allow you to control the proportions. Here’s what I mean:
Every little detail of your suit should fit your individual build. If you’re a really big guy – wide chest, huge calves and feet – you’re going to look great with wider lapels, spread collars and a very little taper below the knee.
If you’re a smaller guy like me, you’re better off with narrow lapels, a point collar and more aggressive tapering through the leg.
Combine these details with a small tie knot (like a four-in-hand) and tastefully sized watch (36mm), and I look like a million bucks.
Reason #3: Fabric Selection
With online made-to-measure, you not only get to specify your measurements, but also your fabrics.
You can pick from a wide variety of fabrics, and I’m not just talking about colors. You can also choose a specific weight and quality, depending on where you live and how “hard” you’re going to wear your suit (certain fabrics are more luxurious, but also more delicate).
Since I often feel too hot in a suit – like at a summer wedding – I stayed away from heavy fabrics like winter weight wool, flannel and tweed, and instead opted for a medium/light weight wool.
I went with medium grey because it’s one of the most versatile suits you’ll ever own – perfect for casual and formal occasions.
Reason #4: Customization Options
This is another fun part about buying a made-to-measure suit. You get to pick out all of these small customizations.
For example, I chose the following customizations for this grey suit:
- Pick stitching
- Slanted pockets
- A ticket pocket
- No belt loops
- Side adjusters
- Suspender buttons
- Custom monogram
- Contrast felt
- Floral pattern lining
If you’re like me, you’ll probably spend WAY too long trying to pick out the perfect lining for your jacket!
Reason #5: Long-Term Strategy
I’m not going to lie: going custom isn’t easy, at least not at first. You have to figure out your own measurements, which can be tricky. Your first suit probably won’t be perfect. It takes some time to dial in the fit.
But once you do, buying a new suit becomes a very simple process. You simply pick the fabric and customizations you want, make any measurement tweaks you might need, click “order” and wait for it to show up on your doorstep.
So while going custom takes a bit of effort, in my opinion, it’s totally worth it in the long-run. You just have to have some patience, especially if you’re new to online MTM.
Got questions about going custom? Leave a comment below!
I have been buying custom suits for fifteen years (along with RTW). I am fairly average build (5′-11″), 38R/32 waist, but I like being able to customize the suits with not-too-common features. Always no belt loops, always side button adjusters, interior suspender buttons, and only one back pocket in the pants (the UK look). These days costs are less than RTW designer suits.
Love the website and the content!
Taylor Darcy says
I bought a MTM suit from Black Lapel and it is amazing. One of the best purchases I’ve EVER made. I love how it makes me feel. I’m short and overweight. Clothes do not fit me off the rack. They make me look shorter and fatter than I already am. MTM on the other hand makes me feel like Superman even at 250 lbs. Great post! It’s important to have clothes that fit and make you feel awesome no matter your size.