Indochino Review: The Midnight Blue Tuxedo

Monday, November 26, 2012

Indochino Midnight Blue Tuxedo Review
Indochino Midnight Blue Tuxedo - available for $449
Sorry, it took me a while to get this review up. Not so much because of the text, but my photographer was out of the country for a while and just got back to me with the photos now. Anyway, just in time before the Black Friday Deal ends. 

The Tuxedo was something really new for me. Over here in Europe, we don't usually wear tuxedos much. You wear them for the grand Opera ball in Vienna (actually, you don't, as I found out in the comments) and other society events that I usually don't (or rather never) frequent. Still, I thought a tuxedo might be fun to have, you never know, and I thought it'd be interesting to many of you - seems it's much more widely used in the US and Canada.

I didn't want to go for a standard black one, so I thought the Midnight Blue Tuxedo might be a good alternative. I also went with the all the classic bells and whistles - shawl collar, slit pockets, no vents.  I also got the working sleeve buttons, with the last button matching the lining (burgundy). For the shirt, I decided for the studded Starched at Casino Royal Shirt ($99). It needs a couple of studs and as I had ordered the shirt with cuffs, I just went for the Tuxedo Cufflink Set ($59) to get all I needed. 

Indochino Midnight Blue Tuxedo Review

The bow tie was a bit of a challenge. Indochino only had the pre-tied one in black, and I thought I could do better. The only one that I thought was acceptable is the Charcoal Wool Bow Tie, but to be entirely honest, the colours do clash a bit. Getting the bow tie to look acceptable was another issue - I underestimated that. I also realised I need new shoes if I want to wear the Tux properly. I settled for a pair of plain oxford Mantorii ($309) as they now offer patent leather as well and currently run a Black Friday Sale for 20% off - will take 4 weeks before I have them, though.

Overall, I think some of the customization options were a good idea, others not so much. I feel uncomfortable without vents, even if it seems to be the standard. I think one vent (Bond) should just work better. Not sure if the contrast buttons on the sleeves are a bit over-the-top, but that's ok. I like the slit pockets, the shirt's excellent too. 

Indochino Midnight Blue Tuxedo Review
Would Archer approve? More importantly, would Lana? 
As for the suit and the fit: It's great overall, but it's not as perfect as I hoped it would be. The important parts are all good - shoulders and jacket length is perfect. The minor issues are nothing a local tailor can't easily fix, but I don't know why the fit is any different than on my suit before. I need to investigate a bit and see if and how my measurement profile changed. The jacket sleeves seem a bit too wide, I'll have them slimmed down. Pants from the knees down have a bit too much fabric for my taste as well. 

The colour is great, though. Needs good light to come out as blue, but it has a nice subtle sheen (95% wool, 5% cashmere) and it's not the standard black. So that's a choice I am very happy with. I hope the colour comes across well in the photos.

Info: Many people have asked about the possibility of having the lapels all satin. Below please find the official response from Indochino on that issue. Thanks to Dan for sharing it below in the comments.
"Since the release of Skyfall last October, we’ve had a LOT in interest in an all Black Satin Lapel to our Essential Midnight Blue Tux. But unfortunately it is not available with an all satin lapel at this time. The lapels are available with Satin-piping only. I’m sorry that we are unable to assist in this regard. (I’d like one with an all black Satin lapel too!). All Satin lapels are available on our Essential Dinner Jacket Tuxedo and Essential 3 Piece Tuxedo."
To get back to my suit, overall, I think there are not many things that can go wrong with an Indochino purchase for me. My measurements are pretty much done, I still change around minor things sometimes, and it seems Indochino does some changes or at least it's never 100% the same. But overall, it's just click and order for me now. I can also tell that they are constantly improving, it's not always the obvious things, but having proper Bemberg lining, nicely done shoulders, etc. is just really really a good sign, and I am sure there is more to come. 

Indochino Midnight Blue Tuxedo Review
It seems bluer here because of the strong light from the side.
You can get the Indochino Premium Midnight Blue Tuxedo for $649 right here:
Indochino Midnight Blue Tuxedo or if not available, check out the full Indochino Tuxedo lineup.

Indochino Midnight Blue Tuxedo Reviewed by Lorenz Loidl. Rated: 9/ 10 (Excellent) A Tuxedo should be part of every man's wardrobe. The midnight blue tuxedo is a great alternative to the black ones.

Black Friday Deal Alert: Get 30% off all orders over $700

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Indochino Black Friday Coupon Deal 2012

There is a good reason why many of us are curiously waiting for Black Friday to arrive: we know there will be a proper Indochino deal coming up. Of course, it's always tempting to buy full price, especially when new collections sell out quickly. However, if you are a bit of a gambler, it does make sense to wait for these occasions. 

This years deal is in fact the same as 2011, which is not a bad thing at all. Use the coupon code BLACKFRIDAY12 to get 30% off all orders over $700. Which means if you get things worth $701, you will only pay $490.7 and save $210.3 in the process.

There are a couple of strategies that may make sense. If you want to spend as little as possible, you should make sure to achieve a total before discount not much above $700. If you don't mind spending a little extra, it's easier. 

Let's take a look at some of the options:

Indochino Starter Package (lowest total cost of $491.4 after discount)
Indochino Black Friday Deal 2012
Note: if you want to go for another suit for $399 instead of $379, leave out the pocket square and add another pair of collar stays. 

Total sum before discount: $702
Total sum after discount: $491.4 ($210.6 saved = 30% off)

Indochino Winter Luxury Package (total cost of $946.4 after discount)
Total sum before discount: $1.352
Total sum after discount: $946.4 ($405.6 saved = 30% off)

Other Notable Coupons:
Upcoming online shoemakers Mantorii Custom Footwear are having a Black Friday Deal as well, they are giving 20% off all orders. Use the coupon code BF2012 if you want to complement your custom suit with a pair of great custom shoes (valid until November 27th).

Thomas Mason fabrics and the impressive development of Indochino

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Indochino is developing quickly. Just a few days ago, they introduced Thomas Mason fabrics for their shirts. Only a few years ago, the Indochino guys themselves didn't really know if their fabrics were wool or polyester. They sold their suits below $300 and talking about Reda or Thomas Mason fabrics would have been inconceivable. I remember readers were already protesting loudly when there was no coupon for a free shirt, a free tie and 20% off available for a few weeks - and I agreed with them, back then. 

How things have changed. Look at Indochino today: digital cutting, professional pop-up stores, Reda fabrics, suits that sell for $600 (Vincero Line) and now Thomas Mason shirts for $149. That company is developing fantastically. They surely lost a number of their bargain seeking clientele along the way, but they successfully tapped into new customer groups, willing to pay more. 

There have been a couple of major improvements that are perhaps not that obvious, but still very much worth mentioning, especially when you compare it to just a few months ago.
  1. All linings are now made of Bemberg. Previously, Bemberg lining has been only available for the Vincero line. In the normal suits, the lining used to be polyester until a few weeks ago! A big improvement, Bemberg is a far more breathable fabric and just much higher quality.
  2. BWF collar felts on all suits. Again, this is a major improvement.
  3. Real bullhorn buttons. A bit of a grey area before, at least for me. Clearly declared as bullhorn now.
  4. Helsa shoulder pads from Germany. Not sure what was used before, but Helsa has a really good name in the industry. Indochino's shoulders were always a bit of a problematic area, but this should really be solved now.
  5. Construction. Now using Freudenberg components (I guess the interlining). Well, this is a little bit more tricky. Remember Indochino uses their own kind of method, somehow between fusing and half-canvas. Well, it is still unique and now - I am sure the components are of good quality, but why not offer a proper full canvas upgrade? They also mention the construction is lighter now, there have been some issues reported on the forum lately about just that (thread 1, thread 2).
Together with the most recent overhaul of their website, they are without a doubt the major player in the online MTM tailor business by a very long stretch. The website has two main new parts:

Indochino Suits:
Learn everything about how Indochino works, their fabrics, customisation options nicely visualised and much more.

Indochino Shirts:
Same for shirts, go through the customisation options, check how the monogram will look like - really well done.

The shirt bundle deal is still available and now it an altered version also applicable to the shirts. Use SHIRTBUNDLES at checkout to get two premium shirts for $269 or three regular shirts for $229. Also, watch out for a Black Friday sale, I hear they have something nice in store for everyone this year. 

What do you think about the new shirts and the general development of Indochino?

Mantorii Custom Footwear Review - The Verdict

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mantorii Review

Update: Mantorii now has official product photos online here.

I promised to publish a review of Mantorii, so here we go. For the introduction, please go here. I was a kind of beta-tester for Mantorii. They had their prototypes ready and wanted to have at least one review up for their launch, so they made me an Oxford toe cap (I specified it using a PDF, the website now is much nicer). It arrived within 3 weeks for me, luckily also without any extra tax to pay.

The Looks:
The shoes look great, I like the design, just what I wanted. Classic yet elegant shape with nicely rounded toes. Not too pointy, definitely not square. I like them like that. Heel size is just right as well, soles are nicely and carefully made. It's always a sign of quality if the edges of the sole have been smoothened to the shape of the shoe. All the stitchings seem flawless, there is nothing on the shoe that was done in a sloppy way.

The leather inside is black, something that will be switched to tan leather by default for production shoes. I think brown leather and black lining doesn't go that well together, but then it's true I had a prototype version of the shoe. 

The Feel:
I have very sensitive heels, I don't get blisters anywhere else, but usually I get them on the heels with virtually every shoe I buy. My Mantorii shoes did need some breaking in as well, but I did it carefully, wearing them only in my flat for a couple of hours every day. The fit was rather tight, but spot on right from the start. I have a pair of proper shoe trees that I put in after wearing. After a few days, I felt comfortable enough to wear them for my daily job.

I've been wearing it frequently for the last 2 weeks or so and the sole has held up very well - even though the weather was wet and cold. There is actually no real damage on it, I just didn't bother to clean the sole, so you get a real picture. Some of my RTW shoes looked worse after a few weeks. By the way, I only have the single leather sole, but on my model the thread is not visible, I heard they decided to leave it visible for the production models.

The leather held up equally well, no scratches so far. There are a few wrinkles that I like, it adds personality to the shoe.

Mantorii Sole
Sole holds up well, even in wet and cold climates
The Shoemaker gives his opinion:
The real test for me was to bring the shoes to a local shoemaker. That's also the reason why I'm a bit late with this review. The guy has his workshop just around the corner from where I live and a nice showroom in the city. His workshop doesn't look like anything special, but the guy sure knows his trade. Apart from doing his own custom and RTW shoes, he is also working as a cobbler. I brought my Mantorii shoes over to have him examine the leather and the construction method. 

At the beginning, I wasn't sure if that's a good idea. From experience I know that for example local tailors love to bash online competitors and obviously a reason for that is also  because they perceive them as a threat. The shoemaker was different. He said the shoe was constructed solidly (Goodyear welts) with great attention to the details. He also confirmed it would be no problem to resole the shoe, if necessary. When I told him the price he couldn't believe it and said he was happy not more people knew about it.

Mantorii Review
A well proportioned shoe
The Verdict:
Overall, a very convincing product for a great price. If you want custom shoes without spending +$1000, you should consider giving Mantorii a try. They have to streamline and improve some parts of their shopping experience (show more photos of real shoes, for example) but the product is good and they seem to be a very dedicated team.

What I think helps them a lot, is that their company may be very new, but their shoemaker has been in the business for decades. I am sure that sped up product development and they have the advantage of selling a product that has already proven itself over many years.

I hope they will also expand their collection to boots and other essential footwear such as loafers soon. Would love to get some half-brogue boots for winter, for example.

Mantorii Construction
Great attention to detail
Mantorii Custom Footwear Oxford Cap Toe
10 out of 10
By Lorenz Loidl

Guest Review: The Bootlegger Blue Tweed Suit by Sam Brown

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Indochino Review
Bootlegger Blue Tweed Suit
By Sam Brown (follow him on Twitter)

Excitement, confusion, frustration, impatience, anticipation, and complete satisfaction accurately describe my emotions during the process of ordering my first Indochino suit.

I had just purchased a coupon through for a suit, shirt, and tie of my choice when Indochino released the Deco Collection. The nod to the 1920’s was a look that appealed to me so I was eager to place an order; however I wanted to get a closer look at the material so I purchased one of Indochino’s Tailor’s kits.

Deal Alert: Indochino Trenchcoats for $179 instead of 279$

Friday, November 9, 2012

Great Happy Hour Deal - save $100 on trench coats
A very decent Friday Happy Hour deal from Indochino this week - Trenchcoats go for $179 instead of $279. I have the blue one and like it a lot - very short review here. As usual, quantities are limited and at this price I think the last ones will be gone soon.

In other news, I have a review of the Blue Sharkskin suit coming up (submitted by a user), the Midnight Blue Tux photos should be ready soon, the Mantorii review is coming along well, the interview with Indochino's Product Manager is still planned as well. You see, lots of exciting things happening!

Introducing Mantorii Custom Footwear - Affordable Custom Shoes

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mantorii Custom Footwear
My Mantorii Shoe - an Oxford Cap Toe (also featured on Mantorii's website!)
Sometimes there are new companies that really excite me. Needless to say Indochino is one of those, so are ProperSuit, Black Lapel and a few others. I was recently introduced to a newcomer that immediately caught my attention.

Let me introduce Mantorii Custom Footwear. Mantorii is the brainchild of Aron, a sartorially inclined Hungarian Stanford graduate, who spent years working for a big multinational before founding his own company in Asia, doing sourcing, consulting and factory audits. Aron has always had a deep love for shoes and had been sending around shoes from his favourite shoemaker in Vietnam to friends around the world for quite a while. Not long ago he decided to use his previous work experience and take the business online: Mantorii Custom Footwear is the result.

Deal Alert: Indigo Blazer and Water Lilies Shirt for 329$

Friday, November 2, 2012

Indochino has a special sale today, you can get the Superhero Indigo Blazer and Amazon Gray Water Lilies (yes, that's the name) together for 329$ (sorry, the initially reported 299$ turned out to be a miscommunication on Indochino's side, it's corrected now). Quite a specific deal, but hopefully interesting to some. Just head over to the Happy Hour Sale page to find the two items and apply the coupon BLAZERCOMBO at checkout.

In other news, I didn't get enough time to finish the interview questions for the upcoming interview with Crystal, Indochino's Product Marketing Manager, but I will do that on the weekend. Look out for the interview soon. Also, I got my Indochino Tux and will review it next week.