Monday, September 19, 2011 Suit - a very slim fit
Update: Studio Suits now offers a fit guarantee on selected items.

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 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 a major 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 add a great deal. For web-based businesses a good website is like a store-front, it is what your customers see first.

Update July 2016: has since been updated with a clearer look. The suit customisation process is a clear copy of the Indochino design and function. 

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, two 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 (inc. tracking code). Overall, the time from ordering until the reception was quite impressive - under two 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 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 more expensive options Indochino fabrics.

According to Haresh, StudioSuits sources most of their fabric from a well-established mill, with the parent company located in the UK and founded in 1801. Shortly, StudioSuits also plans to expand their selection of materials further 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 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 small budget, then I guess it is an option. Don't expect premium fabrics and consider that for 100-200$ you won't  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 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. My suggestion would be to look at the Indochino sale items and get a good deal, knowing that you can always return the suit for a remake or a refund for no additional costs.

Reviewing a suit from
Unfortunately, the suit does contain some polyester, and the fit is too snug.
Signature Dark Brown Wool Suit
Date published: 09/19/2011
3 / 10 stars