First Time Buying an Indochino Custom Suit – What To Expect and Look For

Friday, January 20, 2012

Guest post by Mike Underell
Twitter: @mikeunderell

I recently switched careers, and on my new career path client meetings are a regular occurrence, which means I cannot dress down very often. This forced me to do something I had been delaying for years: I began building out a business wardrobe. The thing is, I had no idea what I was doing. So began my journey into the world of Indochino and custom suits.

I began shopping on Indochino’s site in early October 2011, ordered my first suit in late November, and received it just before Christmas. What can I say? I’m a thorough (cautious?) buyer. Over the almost two-month period from my initial browse to receiving my suit I have learned a few key pointers. These will give you the best chance at, when buying your first custom suit, achieving the desired result, which is a suit that you can wear right out of the box. 

My first tip is to find a tailor that you trust. While Indochino has nice videos on how to take measurements on their website I would encourage you to go to a tailor. Not only that, but find one that you trust. I have been to a few alterations shops and have come back with iffy results. If you find a place you like then stick with it. If you’ve never been to a tailor before, ask your friends. Ask friends of friends. Eventually you will find a recommendation from someone who has tested the waters. 

Secondly, I suggest bringing visuals to your fitting/measurement appointment. Do you have a shirt that’s been altered before and fits perfectly? Take it with you. Do you have a picture of the kind of fit you want your suit to have? Bring it with you. Give the expert/tailor as much information as possible. Don’t risk attempting to tell the tailor what you want. Show him or her what you want. 

Photos copyright by GQ Magazine
I liked the way Ewan McGregor’s suit fit in a recent GQ shoot, so I brought a picture of it with me to show the tailor exactly the kind of slim suit I wanted. I also brought a shirt of mine that had been altered before. It was done so well it’s been my favourite shirt a over a year now. I want more shirts like it, so I brought it with me as well. Bring visuals. It can only help. 

My third and final tip is to lower your expectations. I’m not suggesting that Indochino has a bad product. On the contrary, I believe Indochino has an amazing product, but you must face the reality of the situation though, and that is that you’ve never had a custom suit before. If that’s the case, then even if the suit is made to perfection it might not be what you expect when you finally put it on. It’s like a new car – it might look like an amazing car when driving by the car lot, but you won’t know if it is actually an amazing car or not until you test-drive it. The same applies here: what may look good on Ewan McGregor may not look good on you. This is where Indochino’s Perfect Fit Promise comes in handy. It is the promise that every suit will fit the way you want. Indochino will pay for alterations (up to $80) or make you a brand new suit. Take advantage of this if need be. 

Buying your first custom suit is an exciting experience, but there will need to be some work done beforehand (and potentially after the fact) to ensure it fits the way you want. Once the initial legwork has been done though, start ordering and each suit will be fitting like a glove.