The ultimate guide to the perfect Indochino suit

Sunday, April 11, 2010

last updated July 12, 2011

Having ordered from Indochino more than 5 times and counting, I would like to present you with the ultimate guide to the perfect Indochino suit. Over time I have perfected the most vital steps and I believe if you follow the advice as laid out below, you will likely get a suit that fits well. Please note that this guide was written specifically for Indochino suits, but may be applied to other online MTM companies as well. 

I will regularly update this guide as I learn about new things. Indochino is constantly growing and evolving, so please bookmark it and check back sometimes for updates (follow me on, on Facebook, or sign up for the RSS feed to get notified). For any suggestions, criticism and questions you can email me directly at But now on to the interesting part (I know it's not a short read, but if you are about to spend 400$-500$ on a product, it's well worth your time!)

Have the right expectations

The truth is, you are not going to get a suit that rivals truly bespoke suits in the price range of many thousand dollars/euros. However, what you get is  a great product that is well worth the money and surely better than anything  in the same price range that can be bought off the rack (OTR). Indochino is experiencing a period of high growth and it is now vital for them to keep up their quick response rates and fast delivery times, their high customer orientation and their commitment to satisfy.

If you read the interview that I did with Indochino CEO Kyle Vucko back in 2010, you will see that they care a great deal about their customers and they are very quick to react to criticism. Their suits now also have canvas through the lapels and you can order natural shoulders and higher armholes, which gives you more freedom to move in your suit.

Order the Indochino Tailor's Kit to check the fabric

It might not seem that important to you at first and you might think a blue suit is just a blue suit. However, the fabric quality, look and feel make a huge difference. Furthermore, every screen displays colours a bit differently and you might get the wrong impressions. Read more about it here.

So if you you have some time before you order (sometimes their collections sell out quickly, then ordering the Tailor's Kit risks missing out on the suit you might have wanted). The Tailor's Kit is delivered within a few days and the cost of 29$ are credited for a future purchase - it can even be combined with a Groupon coupon. Just a quick word about polyester: even if it is a few dollars cheaper, don't do it. It's just not a material to wear on your skin and has many drawbacks (sweat!).

The Tailor's Kit is delivered within a few days, but if you can't wait, at least go for those fabrics with 100% natural fiber  One other advantage of the Tailor's Kit are the 2 free measuring tapes you get with it.
There is also a constant promotion on both Indochino's Twitter and Facebook accounts, on how to get a free tape measure if you are in the U.S.

Check for discount coupons

Indochino already offers great value for money on default, but that doesn't mean that you have to spend more than necessary. There are periodically great deals that can give you a discount, free shirts or ties and cufflinks. To find out about the best coupons, check my Coupon Page regularly for updates or check on the Indochino website, occasionally they announce their own special deals right there.

While we used to get great promotions very frequently in 2010, 2011 has been quite disappointing so far. We did get numerous Groupon deals at the beginning of the year, but since then it has been calm. Indochino has mentioned numerous times not to plan any Groupon deals or other coupon deals in the future. It is hard to say if they will stick with that plan or if new coupons will come up - I will definitely keep you updated.

Get your measurements right

Indochino promises measuring yourself won't take more than 10 minutes on their website, but this is mainly not to scare customers away with a lengthy measuring process. The truth is, you might just need some time and a good partner to do it properly. What you will also need is a measuring tape (you get 2 of them with their Tailor's Kit) - don't try it with anything else. Follow the video advice as closely as possible, as a rule of thumb: if you are slim, measure rather tight, if you are a bit bigger, measure a bit more generously.

Don't use any tweaks you might find on websites, as they are usually outdated or only valid for the individual that ordered originally. When the Indochino tailors start working on your suit, they consider your weight, your height and they use their experience to maybe tweak the settings a bit as well. In fact, the extend to which they adjust the measurements can be pretty high and the results vary - for some it turns out fine, for others (mostly those with unusual measurements) the fit of the first suit can be pretty off. If you are interested on how many people needed a rework or alterations, you can check the results of my Indochino Survey. I really want to emphasize again how importing accurate measurements are, so please make sure you take your time and be patient with the whole process.

My recommendation is to stick to the video instructions for the first suit and together with your local tailor, your girlfriend, etc. develop some tweaks for future orders or for a remake.

One more thing: If the Indochino tailors believe your measurements are way off, they will write you an email and ask you to confirm or suggest other measurements.

Advanced Options
Part of why ordering a suit from Indochino is so cool are the different customization options you can choose. These can be pretty overwhelming if you are buying your first Indochino suit, so if you want to find out more about what is worth having, check here for more information - the advanced customization menu is pretty well hidden, so make sure you check out how to find it in the link below.

A Guide To Indochino's Advanced Options - Part I - Jacket

Your first Indochino suit is not the final product

Well, it is of course ready to be worn, but you should not expect it to be flawless and fitting perfectly. If you go to a tailor to have a suit made, you will come back at least 1-2 times to check the work in progress and make changes. This is not possible with Indochino suits  (after all, their tailors have never seen you)until you receive the suit at your doorstep. Once you have your suit, regard it as the first fitting test - if there are changes to be made, Indochino will reimburse up to 75$. Don't forget to update your online measurements with the changes your tailor made, so your next suit will not need any changes.

If you are interested in statistics and other people's opinions, you can check out the Indochino Survey I did a while ago (100 participants) for some interesting insights.

It is important you keep that in your mind and don't expect the suit to fit perfectly right away. There are such cases, but chances are that some alterations will be needed on your first order. Be aware of the time and patience that is needed to get a good result - this applies for most other online MTM companies as well. At the end, I believe it's still worth it and I would never go back to OTR suits as it is now.

If the tailor tells you he cannot alter your suit or you are completely unhappy with it, you can either ask Indochino for a complete rework (within 2 weeks of reception of the suit) or ask for a full refund. Multiple reworks are possible, they want you to be happy. Please note that in case of reworks or refunds you have to send your original suit back and pay for that yourself. Try to avoid high shipping costs by doing some research on the internet before. Also, you don't have to use the original packaging (which is rather heavy) to send back your items. I just recently found out that the returned suits are giving away to charity organisations - nice move.

One more word about remakes - there used to be some cases where remade jackets or pants didn't fit with the original garment. However, Indochino has taken the necessary steps to avoid this:

To get a better understanding of our processes, fabric only mis-matches when we exchange bolts of fabric. Our rotating stock is typically all sourced from a single bolt before it is sold out. As such, the only suits that could be remade with different shades of fabric are those from our Basic Collection.

Because of previous problems with this, we now also note which suits are made from which bolt and when there is the possibility of mis-matching fabric, we remake the entire suit to ensure a consistent and matching shade. (Taken from an email conversation with from May 4, 2011)

Find a good local tailor

Having a tailor you feel comfortable with is quite an important thing. You don't want to nervously enter some shop and quickly tell them to shorten the sleeves. You may want to tell the tailor a bit about Indochino and how it works, put on the suit and let him take a close look at it.  He can also give you great fashion and style advice. Check this thread at Ask Andy to get an idea about the costs involved, but don't forget to ask your tailor directly on how much it will cost. There is a PDF that gives a quick overview on what on your suit can be altered - included is also a table to write down the changes made (don't forget to update the measurements online). I was a bit hesistant about finding a local tailor at first and actually didn't really spend any time researching. However, they are usually happy about the extra business and it does indeed help to have a tailor you trust and know.

There is a great article about suit alterations and how to find the perfect tailor over at Art Of Manliness. There is also a link on the Indochino website on tailors that have been recommended (link is not officially visible on the Indochino page anymore but still works) by Indochino users. Unfortunately, there are currently only tailors listed in the US and Canada (and one in Germany). Of course you can just use Google or Yelp etc. to find ratings on tailors. 

If something doesn't feel quite right, let them know

Their customer service is very response and helpful, don't feel ashamed or lazy to tell them what you don't like (also let them know if you are happy), so they can improve their product. I have heard many stories of Indochino being very helpful, they really want you to be satisfied. Always give it a try, also if you want some extra customization that is not offered by default. Customer Service at Indochino is really a benchmark for other companies, I have never been disappointed by how responsive and helpful they are.
    A quick word about import tariffs, because the question came up in the comments. It might happen that a local tariff agency calls you to ask for a bill, so they can determine VAT/other tariffs. In my case, they always billed Indochino directly with those tariffs (there was a special 3rd party account mentioned on the import papers). So, if anyone ever had to pay VAT/tariffs themselves, please let me know in the comments, but I know of no occasions.

    All in all, those (currently) 7 steps should give you a great suit. A poll on my website revealed a majority of suits needs some alterations by a local tailor, but don't let that put you off. You usually get a very nice suit and you can cover many of the alterations with the 75$ Indochino reimburses. If your tailor estimates the cost significantly higher than 75$, you might want to consider a remake. In the worst case (and this rarely happens), you will get your money back.

    - Lorenz

    disclaimer: I cannot guarantee that your suit will be perfect if you follow the steps outlined above. I do however believe that they will give you the best possible result.