Custom suits do not have to cost an arm and a leg. In fact, you can score the suits in the post for as low as $299.
I had the pleasure of getting to review Indochino custom suits this Spring, and was able to receive two suits, which I styled into 5 different outfits.
This is a sponsored post where I received 2 complimentary suits plus an advertising fee. The statements in the review are my own.
I’m going to walk you through the entire process of selecting a custom suit, reviewing the fit and finish, and also how to style your new suit to make you look your best.
But first, let’s learn more about Indochino and where the company got its start.
Indochino was born in Canada in 2007 at the University of Victoria, as an online company, and now have expanded out brick and mortar locations across North America with new showroom locations in New York’s Financial District, Chicago, DC (opening next week), and second one in Philadelphia coming up in August.
The original founder lived in a city of less than 500,000 people on the West coast of Canada, and his only option was Moore’s (the Canadian equivalent of Men’s Wearhouse).
After buying his suit at Moore’s, and trying it on at home, he found it boxy, generic and overpriced. $100 in tailoring later, and his same generic suit at least fit him a little better.
But he knew there had to be a better way.
That’s when he founded Indochino, and here’s their basic model:
- Visit Indochino.com, pick your suit, and enter in your measurements
- If you don’t know your measurements, you can visit them in-store, go to a local tailor or do it at home via instructional videos
- Indochino makes the suit from scratch and ships it to your door in two weeks
- If this suit doesn’t fit, Indochino will fix it or replace it for free
- For your second suit, Indochino has your measurements already, so re-ordering is a breeze
Today, Indochino offers 1000s of suiting options, has customers in 60 countries, and 35% of orders coming from repeat customers.
Creating Your Custom Indochino Suit
I booked an appointment online for my custom fitting.
A week later, I showed up at 424 Broome St. right in the corner of SOHO, Nolita and Lower East Side.
The space is beautiful. It’s a converted warehouse space with super high ceilings and tons of space in the storefront (its much bigger than the Bonobos stores I’ve visited in the past).
Once I arrived, I was greeted by my suiting expert.
I was gifted two complete suits by Indochino, and he helped me make my selections.
Indochino Jacket Options
For my jacket, I needed to make a decision on:
- Lapel style (peak lapels, notch lapels, slim notch lapels, wide peak lapels)
- Buttons on the jacket (one button, two button, three button, double breasted)
- Pockets on the jacket (pocket flaps, no pocket flaps, slanted no flaps, slanted flaps)
- Fabric (Indochino has 50+ fabric choices in virtually all colors in wool, light wool, cotton, linen, and silk blends)
- Jacket lining (there were 30 different choices, I went with a paisley print)
- Jacket details (pick stitching, waist pocket, pen pocket, functional buttonholes, functional boutonniere)
- Button color (brown, black,
- Buttonholes color (brown, dark brown, maroon, blue, grey, light maroon)
- Pants belt details (suspender buttons, side tabs, belt loops or nothing)
- Pants cuff (or no cuff)
I really care about how I look, but to be honest, for the majority of these decisions I went with my expert. I asked him, “what do people normally do,” and just went with the crowd.
Indochino Suiting Recommendations
These are the specific customizations I would recommend though:
- Get side tabs on your pants (when you’re on a week-long trip and eat a little too much, its nice to get some extra room in your pants come wedding-time)
- If you’re a shorter guy, make sure to get a 1-button or 2-button suit, the 3 buttons will make you appear shorter than you are. The same goes for a taller guy, you need the 2-button or 3-button suit
- Don’t get a vest, they will offer you one, and kindly decline
- Get the functional buttonholes on your jacket. Nothing shows a suit is custom made like having the buttons work (extra bonus points for unbuttoning the last button, just to show this detail to anyone whose discerning)
- Don’t cuff your pants. Unless you’re planning to attend a mobsters vs. gangsters party, this style has seen its time and gone.
Okay, once you finish selecting all your suiting options, it’s time to move onto the shirt.
The shirt, to me, should play second fiddle to the suit. The suit is where you’re investing your money, and the shirt is just there to make sure you don’t get cold.
I always go with a white shirt, and try to change up my style by switching up the collar, buttons, and then accenting with a tie.
Here’s my advice for picking a sartorial shirt:
- Go with the spread collar, this collar has the most swagger
- Go with a shirt that is white or light blue, stay away from anything green, purple, red, etc. (we don’t want to repeat the mistakes we made shopping at Express in college)
- Go with raised mother of pearl buttons, stay away from black buttons or brown buttons, they’ll just make your shirt look cheaper
These are all of the collar choices and styles. The spread collar may not work for someone in a conservative profession, so pick out the collar that suits where you’ll be wearing your suit most often (sorry for the pun).
The Classic: Spread Collar
The classic choice is often associated with bespoke and made-to-measure shirts. The wide spread collar made this classic shirt the best all-around style. Match this with a Windsor knot to reveal a more sophisticated style you can wear.
The Bold: Cutaway Collar
If you’ve got a narrow or oval face shape, slimmer and longer necks, this shirt style is your best choice. It visually widens your facial features and balances your total appearance. Pair this shirt with a wider tie know for more emphasis and style.
The Sporty: Button-Down Collar
One of the classic style and probably one of the most literal style name there is. The Button Down Collar has a button on the point of the collar to keep them in place at all times. Best for weddings, funerals and other formal occasions.
The Purposeful: Pinned Collar
This collar features two holes on both sides that lets you pin or bar the collar behind the tie, pushing the tie up and letting it stand out. This collar style was really popular in the 80s.
We’ve got a complete guide to tying a tie, with 15+ different combinations if you want to geek out.
Indochino Suit Pricing
A custom suit used to cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on the suiting choices, fabric choices, and quality of the tailor.
Indochino has been able to knock that price into a fraction of those original prices.
- Linen and cotton suits can be had for $299
- Wool suits on sale for $299
- In fact, the most expensive suit at the time I was shopping was $389 (after 50% off)
How do they do this?
Indochino suits are made in Shanghai. They received a $30 million strategic investment from Dayang Trands (a smart manufacturer specializing in made-to-measure suits). So while the suits are indeed custom made, they are made by hand, which to some is a big issue, but to me is just fine.
I’m fine paying less money for near the same quality.
Indochino saves money by going direct to the consumer, which is a double-edged sword. Unlike Men’s Wearhouse, Indochino was born online, and thus was able to cut out many of the traditional costs in retailing of real estate. This means that the customer has to measure themselves, which apparently has led to many a suits “looking like a trash bag“, when not measured properly. Indochino is hoping to address this measuring issue by opening up 10 retail locations in major cities.
My experience going into the store was flawless in terms of fit, aside from the knees needing to be tapered.
I like my pants extra tapered, which is really only possible by trying them on once produced, and getting an extra tailoring session. Also, whenever I request a tailor to taper my pants, they tell me, “it will be too tight for your ankle,” which I’ve gotten sued to having to make multiple trips.
But if you are measuring online, for the first time, I would recommend either going to a tailor or expecting that when your suit arrives, it is going to have to be altered further. Indochino covers these changes, so for your second suit, you should be able to expect a perfectly tailored suit, on arrival.
How to Style Your Indochino Suit 5 Ways
Indochino Review: Final Thoughts
For a $299 suit, I don’t think you can beat Indochino.
I did a review of Combatant Gentleman, and I like Indochino better. The quailty of the fabric is better, and the fact they have an in-store showroom really made the difference for me.
I wasn’t a big fan of the Indochino shirts, personally, the best custom shirts for men is still Proper Cloth.
But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t still recommend Indochino and their approach to custom suiting.
Look for my future reviews of other custom shirts and suits for men, I’ve got some exciting plans in the works. Hope you’ll be there to check them out.