Best Custom Suits Online: A Guide To Buying A Made-To-Measure Suit On The Internet

Best Custom Suits Online: A Guide To Buying A Made-To-Measure Suit On The Internet2018-08-29T08:50:16+00:00

When you’re investing in a made-to-measure suit, you want to make sure that you’re getting the best value for money. Unlike going into a tailor’s and being able to judge for yourself, buying custom suits online can be daunting.

As you’re placing yourself into the hands of people you may never meet, you don’t know what you’re getting until you have it. Fortunately, we’ve assembled the best places to buy made-to-measure suits to provide you the best possible experience.

You can use the following links to jump to the 5 best online made-to-measure below:

  1. Indochino
  2. Black Lapel
  3. Articles Of Style
  4. Hockerty
  5. iTailor

There are many terms thrown around with regards to personalised and tailored suits. Learn the distinction between them by referring to our various guides on bespoke suits, made-to-measure and custom suits.

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Buying The Best Made-to-Measure Suits Online

In this guide, we also offer tips and advice on how to buy a made-to-measure suit online. Buying a made-to-measure suit can be a bit of a can of worms even when you walk into a store. One of the biggest difficulties guys have is imagining the fabrics they’re looking at made up as full suits.

Whether you’re new to made-to-measure suits or a seasoned veteran, you’ll feel confident in future purchases after reading this guide.

Use the links below to jump ahead or scroll down to read it all:

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1. Indochino [Best Fit & Fabrics]

indochino homepage
  • Type: Made-To-Measure Tailors
  • Price Range: From $500
  • [Shop Now]
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Complemented by their brick and mortar stores across the USA, Indochino offers one of the best made-to-measure experiences possible. Despite their rich selection of fabrics and reliable fits, they offer their service at very attractive prices.

Furthermore, there’s a wide selection of available cuts with plenty of customisation options. The online experience depends less on 3D interfaces but ensures accuracy and substance thanks to its clean breakdown of measurements.

2. Black Lapel [Reliable Service]

  • Type: Made To Measure Retailer
  • Price Range: From $600
  • [Shop Now]
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Like Indochino, this well-known made-to-measure outfitter has the added benefit of brick and mortar stores. Some may find this more approachable while still benefiting from the online service.

Overall, the experience is not unlike Indochino and offers a similar level of quality. However, we prefer the customisation experience of Indochino.

3. Articles Of Style [Made In the USA]

  • Type: Made To Measure Online Tailors
  • Price Range: From $1000
  • [Shop Now]
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Although by far the most premium on this list, Article of Style’s prices are easily justified by the fact that they’re one of the few that make their suits in the USA. With a selection of cuts and styles to choose from, they also have a variety of fabrics and colours.

Furthermore, Articles Of Style has a different approach to the process. Instead of using a 3D-style designer interface, you select the style before going through a checklist of options. Some people may find this easier and a less stressful experience.

4. Hockerty [Easiest Interface]

  • Type: Online Made-to-Measure Outlet
  • Price Range: From $189
  • [Shop Now]
Shop Now

With its clean interface, Hockerty is very easy to master and offers a rich selection of fabrics and customisation. However, they’re also very affordable and sell their wares at competitive prices.

Of course, this depends on your choice of material as their premium wool fabrics tend to be on a par with Indochino.

5. iTailor [Most Affordable Custom Suits]

  • Type: Online Outlet
  • Price Range: From $179
  • [Shop Now]
Shop Now

A well-known and cheaper alternative to its competitors, iTailor offers affordable and fully-customised suits for its clients. By using the intuitive 3D deisnger, you’ll have your own made-to-measure suit made in no time at all.

Furthermore, the brand offers a range of other garments such as shirts from $29 as well as polos and formalwear for women.

How To Buy Made-To-Measure Suits Online

Online MTM companies offer great convenience and potential for superior fit and construction. Yet, bear in mind that the measurements needed are much more intensive and the price is often higher compared to a ready to wear (RTW) suit.

When heading to a tailor shop or store, this service is provided and you’ll be measured by a professional. However, a reason that made-to-measure suits are cheaper online is that you’ll need to provide these yourself.

Pant bottom measurement

Nevertheless, the best made-to-measure suit websites are aware of this and accompany you along the way. This can come in the form of graphics or even videos as you provide your measurements.

Ideally, this is best done with a little help as taking your own measurements can be difficult.

Taking Measurements Of Yourself

Outseam and inseam measurements

As mentioned above, some sites help you take measurements more than others.

Therefore, consider looking at the measuring process you’ll need to go through beforehand. Can you do it yourself or will you need a friend to help? Are there clear instructions for each measurement? Better yet, are there videos detailing how to take each measurement?

how to take an overarm measurement

An important thing to remember is that the measurements you take may vary from company to company. Some have proprietary systems, others abide by classic methods that haberdashers have been using for centuries. Don’t make an assumption one way or the other, as it could royally mess up your suit!

You can use our full guide to taking suits measurements to help you on your way.

Why Buy Made-to-Measure Suits?

Three fine windopane suits in Scabal showroom

Overall, the benefits of made to measure tailoring speak for themselves. Unlike off-the-rack suits, you won’t have to find a way to conform to the industry’s attempts at standardising sizes.

In reality, very few of us actually have a body type that corresponds to the templates laid out by ready-to-wear sizing. Although it’s presentable on most of us, it’s usually far from the perfect fit.

As such, a made-to-measure suit ensures an excellent fit for your suit so you can be sure that you look your best. Even someone with the ideal body type will benefit from made-to-measure services.

Why Is Made-To-Measure Cheaper Online?

However, made-to-measure is labour-intensive as the manufacturer is crafting or assembling suits for a single size. This renders it much costlier than off-the-rack formalwear.

Yet buying a made-to-measure suit online brings those costs down by reducing overheads. Rather than having to hire an expert, you’ll be taking your own measurements.

Furthermore, the brand doesn’t have to invest in renting an expensive location but solely depends on warehouses and manufacturers. Consequently, clients have a much stronger buying power and will be able to access better materials and costlier construction methods.

Nevertheless, bear in mind that even online made-to-measure needs a higher time budget than a RTW suits. Even the quickest turnaround time for a MTM suit will be about two weeks. By comparison, getting a RTW suit online will only take about a week to ship at a maximum.

Inform Yourself On Construction

Any suit company will tout the quality of their fabrics and will often use them as the metric by which price differences are made. That is to say, “nicer” fabrics mean higher prices.

Suit Patterns Fabrics And Canvas

This is completely legitimate, but it only tells the “parts” story of the cost of your suit. The other part of the story? Labor.

Suits can be made using fused, half, or full canvasses. In a nutshell, these are synonymous with low, medium, and high in terms of price. Your online made-to-measure suit will likely be half-canvassed, but it’s important to check this information before buying. You may also be given the option for a full canvas, which is oftentimes the wiser route to take despite the additional up-front cost.

Be Aware Of Return / Remake Policies

Turnleaf-CollarMost MTM companies don’t take returns like RTW companies will. This is understandable as the merchandise was made specifically for you and is thus not resell-able, so be sure that you’ll be able to design a suit that you’ll enjoy wearing. Do they let you customize the design of the suit to your liking? Does the fit on the models look like something you’d want to wear?

As with ready-to-wear companies, you’d do well to read many customer reviews to learn about others’ experiences. Was the overall quality good? If something went wrong quality-wise, would the company offer to remake the garment? If people are generally happy, chances are you will be, too.

Will I Need Alterations? Yes!

A common misconception is that made-to-measure suits require no alterations because they’re being made specifically for you.

Tailor Pinning A Suit

As it happens, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it’s highly likely that you’ll need alterations. Don’t forget that your suit is being made from a block pattern, not a custom one!

This is another area in which it’s important to be familiar with a company’s policies:

MTM companies generally offer an alterations “credit” up to a certain dollar amount (typically $75-$100), but the amount varies by company. You’ll have to patronize a local tailor for this, and you’ll get reimbursed after the work is done. Be absolutely sure to keep your alterations receipts and follow the company’s policies so that you can be properly reimbursed.

If you need suggestions on finding a tailor, see our guide on how to find a tailor.

Can You Buy A Bespoke Suit Online?

Tailor And Customer Selecting Cloth

That’s debatable. Fully custom suits are available online, but we’d predict that bespoke tailors would bristle at the thought of a true bespoke suit being made without a cutter present to take measurements and discuss fit and style.

Our feeling is that the custom process is best experienced with a tailor as opposed to on the Internet. This isn’t necessarily because of improved accuracy of fit (though we’d feel more confident doing this in person than on the web), but rather because the custom / bespoke process is a special one, and flipping through fabric books while discussing your fit preferences in person with a cutter is an experience every guy should have at least once.

What Next?

Now that you have read our guide to buying suits online, consider perusing some of our related content:

About The Author – Paul Anthony

Paul Anthony Sidebar PicPaul is a the founder and creative director of Bespoke Unit. His interests range from: suits, shoes, watches, sport, and travel. See his full profile here, and read latest articles.

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