StudioSuits.com Review

Monday, September 19, 2011

StudioSuits.com Suit - a very slim fit
Update: Studio Suits now offers a fit guarantee on selected items (here).

With the recent discussions on the expensive Indochino Vincero Collection and my introduction to  equally high-priced ProperSuit, I also wanted to cover a more affordable option. Haresh aka Harry from StudioSuits.com had contacted me a while ago and offered me to receive a free suit for review and I thought I'd make for an interesting article. 

One of the readers of this blog had mentioned StudioSuits a while ago in a comment, their prices are surely tempting - suits start at 99$ only - an unbelievable price for an MTM suit. At this price, you can be lucky to get a shirt at Indochino. But are the suits worth the money?

Their website is clearly a mess. I know those are harsh words, but it is hard to find out where you can select suits and there is an overwhelming abundance of choice and a rather inconsistent structure. Cleaning up the website would certainly be an important improvement, I believe the design & usability issues scare customers away. One reason why I like shopping at Indochino is the smooth process - you get the feeling that you are indeed buying something just for you and the way to select options and advanced options adds a great deal. For web-based businesses a good website is like a store-front, it is what your customers see first.

When I was contacted by Harry from StudioSuits, he suggested I try one their 99$ offerings. However, they are mostly polyester suits and I know I wouldn't wear that - seems like a waste to review a suit I could never use. Instead, I went for a slightly more expensive, brown suit called the Signature Dark Brown Wool Suit (180$). I thought to have ordered a 100% wool suit (it is in the Wool section and the fabric is called European Brown Wool), but Harry just clarified via email that it is a wool blend.

The measurement process was pretty straight forward, pictures are provided and in essence it is the same as for Indochino and other online MTM tailors. I selected my usual options - 2 button, notch lapel, 2 vents and a dark lining. After ordering, Harry got back to me via email to clarify some measurements and I found their customer service very pleasant to deal with.

Similar to Indochino, you will get regular updates on the status of your suit. After your order gets confirmed, you will receive notifications when the tailors finished their work & again when your suit gets shipped (incl. tracking code). Overall, the time from ordering until reception was quite impressive - under 2 weeks.  
The Suit

I had selected the slim fit option for the jacket, slimmer straight fit for the pants. In hindsight, that might have been a mistake. Both the jacket and the pants are very slim, I can fit into them but I feel a bit like in some spandex superhero costume. Jacket sleeves are a bit too long, but easily to be fixed by a tailor. My girlfriend says it looks good, but I am not sure if suits should be that slim fitting.

The material is alright. As it says in the picture above "Authentic Brand - Standard Quality Materials". I would not be surprised if the fabric actually contained a bit of polyester (update: it is indeed a wool blend). It feels somehow more stiff to the touch compared to my Indochino suits and possesses a slight sheen. I would rate it below e.g. the Ultimate Gray fabric Indochino uses and definitely below some of the more expensive options Indochino fabrics.

According to Haresh, StudioSuits gets most of their fabric from a well established mill, with the parent company located in the UK and founded in 1801. In the near future, StudioSuits also plans to further expand their selection of fabrics and offer pure, fine wool.

I also don't know how their construction quality is, but I assume at this price point the suits can only be fused, so be careful with dry cleaning. Buttonholes are properly sewn, so are the buttons itself - no loose threads, no noticeable mistakes were made.


One big drawback in my opinion is the lack of remakes or alterations offered. As a regular Indochino customer you know you ultimately won't end up with an ill-fitting suit.

Once you received your StudioSuits.com suit, that's it. They won't pay for alterations, you won't get a free remake. Considering the price you paid, that is of course understandable and to be expected, but it also means the risk is all yours. That makes measuring carefully even more important (and be careful with the fit specifications - slim fit is very slim indeed).

Harry from StudioSuits recommends buying a 99$ suit first, so you can see if it fits and change your measurements if needed. If you then order another, more expensive suit, the fit will be as you want. There is also a 20% coupon/store credit for first time buyers if they purchase a suit priced above 150$ that can be regarded as some way of compensation for alterations.

In a nutshell

If you are on a really low budget, then I guess it is an option. Don't expect premium fabrics and consider that for 100-200$ you won't see get a miracle suit but as long as you measure correctly, it will be decent enough. The business is legit and if you have some money to spare, it may just be worth a try. The question is if you are not just as well off with a suit from H&M or Zara and some alterations.

Shopping on StudioSuits.com doesn't offer the same pleasure it does when you shop on Indochino - at least that is how I feel. Indochino knows how to make you want a suit. Of course, that is mainly good marketing, but I like how they present their product. And isn't online MTM a big deal about exactly that? As a customer, you feel more at home in a nice looking (virtual) store and at the end, the perceived value of the product will be higher too.

Reviewing a suit from StudioSuits.com.
Unfortunately the suit does contain some polyester and the fit is too snug.
StudioSuits.com Brown Suit
Date published: 12/04/2011
3 / 10 stars

38 comments:

Brendan Tindall said...

I follow the blog here often and generally find your stuff to be pretty interesting.  I can understand (1) the obvious shortcomings in the Studio Suit website to cause one to question this business, and (2) the pricepoint bringing lower quality fabrics.  That being said, my opinion is that this post is written in a dismissive, better than thou tone.  Harry, whatever role he serves at Studio Suits, clearly was nice enough to provide you with a free product in exchance for an honest review.  What is delivered here as a result is a glaringly biased 'review' in which there's actually very little discussion about the suit. 

Why is the material just alright?  What does it feel like compared to an Indochino product that the readership here is familiar with? How fast was the product turned around to you?  Did you use customer service and if so were they helpful or not? These are all big factors in deciding to shop from Indochino but there's no mention of them here.  Finally, wouldn't it have been more useful to say upfront that the business model is different in not offering remakes or alterations instead of using it as part of the reasoning to be dismissive?  Just a few thoughts...hopefully we see a little bit more thorough a review when you examine ProperSuit's product.

Lorenz said...

Hi Brendan, thank you for your honest comment and your suggestions. 

I did not intend to write this review and be overly negative. As I concluded, I believe StudioSuits to be a decent enough choice if you want to spend as little as possible for an online MTM suit. I do however not feel like I owe Studio Suits anything - having this review online for a couple of days gives them on average 200 extra clicks a day and I am sure that some will generate some additional business for them. I will gladly take your suggestions and update the review accordingly to provide more information, especially in comparison to Indochino, as you suggested. 

Brendan Tindall said...

Lorenz,

Very fair comment about any additional business they may receive as a result of a potential set of customers reading this review.  I see the updates and think the context comparing the perqs of the Indochino quality and shopping experience round out the review.  Hopefully I wasn't too harsh with my first comment, was just hoping to see a little more and you've added it in the areas that I indicated.

Thanks,

Brendan

Lorenz said...

Not at all too harsh, I am glad someone reads my blog and actually takes the time to respond in a comment :) 

Herr_Synnberg said...

The site is broken. Links work at times, they don't after 2 minutes. They need to get some decent hosting at the very least.

In the odd event that I withstand all that and make an order, is there any word on international shipping?

Rtjohn said...

I completely disagree with Mr. Tindall. You openly and honestly expressed your opinion, nothing wrong with that. In fact I would have been much more concerned if it was a positive review. Once people start sending you free stuff, it is imperative that you continue to review it without pulling punches or the site will lose all credibility.

Lorenz said...

They ship worldwide, there is a shipping estimator before you checkout your item.

Steve said...

I've noticed that one thing that really, really should be improved in all of your suit reviews are the photos. You present an awkward collage photo, photos at odd angles, photos of small sections of the suit only, etc. No need for artsy photos here. The goal should be to show the fit and style of the suit. Why not show some clear simple shots from neck to toe of front, side, back (as seen here for example http://www.styleforum.net/t/265924/the-tailors-thread-fit-feedback-alteration-suggestions-and-construction-demonstration ) plus add some closeups of any details you'd like to mention.

Lorenz said...

Thanks Steve, I will work on that.

SB-Peaklapel said...

I agree.  It's better not to pull any punches and give us your honest opinion.

Mike said...

Lorenz I think think your review was good enough to confirm my "pass" take on StudioSuits.  The website is just too wonky, there is enough margin for error with a well organized site.  And I too would be willing to take the $99 test run except that best case it would net me a well fitting suit that I would never wear (due to material content).  I think the need to tweak the site and the business model to become a serious contender.

Dgriffberry said...

I ordered and received a $99 dollar MTM black" linen blend" suit recently from Studio Suits.  All I can say is- you get what you pay for.  The construction is marginal at best. I won't put any more cash into the experiment to have the mistakes fixed.  That's what I consider the purchase- an experiment to see if it was a deal to good to be true, and as we learn again and again, if it seems improbable- it probably is.

Lorenz said...

Thanks Mike, agree very much with what you said. 

Lorenz said...

Thanks for the info! I like your conclusion, at the end you get what you paid for, I guess.

anonymous said...

I stumbled upon the Indochino thread on Styleforum and most of the images posted really are a deterrent to someone who is looking to purchase his first Indochino suit.  I think it partly has to do with their poor posture/presentation, lack of appreciation for impeccable tailoring, and subpar photo quality.  

That being said, I have read all of your reviews and creeped on all of your photos and from what I can see, the cuts of your suits are far and away the best I have seen outside of Indochino's own website.  Although I do not condone the awkward stand-as-unnaturally-as-possible look, it would be a great service to everyone, including Indochino, if you could have someone else take some more natural shots for you (outdoors preferred) to display your suits.  The best examples of this can be seen on the Style Blogger (although I admit I have not been a fan of his ridiculous fashion movements recently).   

Lorenz said...

Basically my biggest problem is that I live in the city, in a flat mostly without direct sunlight. That's obviously not ideal for shooting suits.
I will take your suggestion up for my next review and get my girlfriend to take some proper shots outside during the day. Perhaps I will even provide some new pics for the most viewed, older reviews.

I am obviously also far less pro than Style Blogger and other pro bloggers, but I'll try my best...

anonymous said...

My suggestion is obviously more of an obligation that the status quo, and I completely understand why it isn't necessarily feasible.  And it's clear part of Style Blogger's motivation is to push MAB and his own clothing line so it wouldn't be fair to expect the same from you.  I am just pointing out that 90% of the images I've seen of Indochino suits on the internet have been far from flattering, which is unfortunate because I think mine and yours look fairly good.  Take my comment as a compliment.  

Acidbase_ab said...

Just received a $99 Terry Rayon suit which cost me about $140 with extras and shipping (not bad). This was my first experiment, before this, I purchased some suits from here and there but was never satisfied. My first time experience with studiosuits.com turned out to be way better than I expected or at least best so far. I received exactly the sizes I ordered which were not that perfect because of the poor instructions and my novice experience. Beside that the fabric was not that great but I ordered all other samples (about 100 swatches) for future reference. I will definitely order another but with expensive fabric (mostly wool is best in samples), as now I have figured out my sizes and their quality is not inferior than any racked suits. For this price if I am getting slim fit suit which fits like Hugo than why not.....cheers hope this helps 

anonymous100 said...

I made business with StudioSuits.com. The suit did not match the pictures on their website, neither the color nor the built. It was not a custom suit, it was one of their ready sizes. I contacted them via email, they did not even reply. Once you pay they will ignore you. They don't care whether they made a mistake or not.

strap jacket said...

Such a lovely post to read. Very well written. Thanks for sharing this post.



strap
jacket

Domminique Bradford said...

I ordered suits from StudioSuits.back in December 2011. I paid $378.00 for two merino wool suits. They sent me one 3 weeks later to check the fit before they made the second one. Well, the suit looks good, but the coat  fit was too tight. I took it to a seamtress and was told the size wasn't what was ordered. .And there was no room to extend the size as advertised.  StudioSuit would not give me any cooperation for their return addess. I had to go to PayPal for the information. I sent the suit back to StudioSuit thru express UPS. It's been in India customs since mid-January 2012. They start giving me the run around saying that they owe me for one suit. Over a period of time, I realized that the first is gone in limbo somewhere. I sent them the updated measurement for the second suit. I haven't heard from them in two months. Keep getting an automatic email response. They plays on the phone when I try to call them like they don't hear me speaking. Now I think they have call-id to ignoe my calls. I concluded that my money for the second suits has been confiscated with nothing to show for it. $378.00 gone!!!  India customs never answer the phone. PAypal tried to contact them and never got any response from them. My USPS trackiing number EI169059502US . Check out status for yourself.

Lorenz said...

Thank you for sharing, I hope you somehow get either your suits or your money back!

Stan said...

I ordered one suit and one pants from StudioSuits.com. I sent them my measurements done precisely to their instruction. The jacket shoulders
were too wide and pants waist too tight. However, the biggest problem was that my
jacket at the stomach was a way too small. I recheck my measurement and this was not even tight measurement. I contacted them via e-mail several times and was given only computer generated responses. Finally, when I sent an e-mail that I will contact PayPal and Credit Card company, I got a response. It was nothing but bunch of lies in their defense and no cooperation what so ever.
My advise to anybody who reads this comment is: do not waist your money. Their prices are very attractive, but you are not going to get what you order and they will not care about you after they get your money. For me it was a bad experiment and I will not make that mistake again.

Lorenz said...

Thank you for sharing Stan!

Charles said...

Hahaha Studio suits is a joke. I had 9 suits made for my wedding and they all showed up late and needed extensive tailoring. The suits ended up being expensive in the end, and of poor quality, also as stated below once you have paid they ignore you. Save your money and don't throw it away on these clown suits you will seriously regret it, as I will from my ruined wedding pictures because some mistakes in the suits could not be fixed, and these were clearly their lack of professionalism in tailoring, had two suits made with the exact same measurements and they ended up sooooo different. STAY AWAY !!!! THESE CLOWNS WILL ROB YOU !!!!!

Lorenz said...

Thanks for sharing, I will put a warning at the beginning of the article, the amount of negative experiences with this company is staggering.

Shane said...

I too ordered from Studio Suits and got 4 pure wool suits which ended up costing nearly $400 a suit and they have come back too small!!! This to us was a lot of money to spend but wanted custom made suits for the wedding and saw only positive feedback on their site so went ahead. I am very dissapointed and realise now that they only share positive feedback as i left negative and guess what it never made it to their page!! I have emailed several times trying to get a response as I knew as soon as I opened one of the packs that the pants were too small for one of the guys and after weeks of harrassing them I finally got a answer saying that they were checked and right - and now the guys are finally all together and can try them on and hello all of them are too small. I am going to lodge a dispute with my credit card company to get my money back!

Lorenz said...

Good luck getting your money back and thanks for sharing! Yet another clearly negative experience...

Anonymous said...

We ordered a couple of the cream mtm linen suits and were very plesed - quick, well made, good material. We're planning on ordering a couple more too.

Lorenz Loidl said...

I have had a good experience - ordered my husband to be suits from studio suits and got the $99linen suits custom made. I measure him myself and suit fits perfect and I think it is of good quality and well made. They confirmed sizing with me multiple times and I think it was all good

Lorenz Loidl said...

Studiosuits is not worth the price. Delivery was quick however, the quality in the tailoring is just not there. The fabric was decent, but I ordered slim straight pants and they came way tighter than they should have been. I ordered another pair as they were needed for a wedding and added a couple inches, and now they are too baggy! It is definitely not in the way I measured as I used measurements from an existing pair of pants that I love! Tried to get a refund for the first pair or the 20% discount for my next order and they told me re-ordering is part of the trial and error process!!! how ridiculous is that!!

Lorenz Loidl said...

spot on with this write-up, i like the way you discuss the things. i'm impressed, i must say. i'll probably be back again to read more. thanks for sharing this with us.

Lee Shin
www.trendone.net

Lorenz Loidl said...

Good to hear the positive experiences as well, glad it worked for you guys!

Lorenz Loidl said...

Thanks for sharing, good to see it works for some!

Lorenz Loidl said...

Worst experience ever. You get what you pay for here, which is nothing. Custom suit for $280....not even wearable once. Assuming you would put these suits on, they will not fit - Do not waste your money as I did - k
Keith Feinberg

Lorenz Loidl said...

WHAT A JOKE! This one tops them all -- had to order a vest & pants for a wedding I am in. The armholes in the vest are NOT EVEN THE SAME SIZE!!!! When I put it on, you can clearly see this. It is unwearable & even if this were not the case, the style of the vest is laughable.

The "custom" pants are just as bad. While the legs are at least the same size, I could blow up a pool toy around the hips inside them.

SAVE YOUR MONEY!!!! All they offered was a 20% discount off my next order. As if I would ever in my right mind order more from this money pit of a service.

Lorenz Loidl said...

Had a terible experiance with studio Suits. No return policy and they did not specify how the lining was going to comer the entire back of the suit!
When talking to customer service they were no help and ofered me a coupon to buy another suit???
VERY BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE
SUIT WAS CHEAP IN BAG AND NOT WHAT YOU WANT

Lorenz Loidl said...

Terrible PLace ... someone else said it too that you get what you pay for and man is that true

Post a Comment