For men, owning a tuxedo is as important as women owning that little black dress (aka: LBD). The tuxedo, like the LBD, is something that should not only fit well, but also be made well.
Unfortunately, most men struggle with the idea of picking up the hefty price tag associated with a tuxedo (or suit) when they might be wearing them but a few times a year. However, I have a good feeling that this struggle is all about to change with Indochino.com.
Indochino offers luxury made-to-measure suits, tuxedos, shirts and accessories at a very reasonable price. Given the upcoming holiday season and New Year celebrations I thought it would be an ideal time to get my favorite Short Presents model suited up in a great tuxedo while also sharing my experience with all my readers.
I plan to make my Indochino experience into a two-part blog post: The first will walk you through my learning’s from the ordering process and share with you what I know about ordering, customization and options; while the second will walk you through the receipt of the tuxedo, the results, and any potential modifications or alternations that needed to be made by Indochino or at our local tailor.
STEP 1 – Ordering:
Unlike renting a tuxedo, or buying a suit off-the-rack, Indochino is a made-to-measure (aka: MTM) suiting company. What this means is that the suit is custom made to your measurements. Because of this, before ordering you need to know your measurements which can be obtained in 1 of 3 ways:
(1) Visit an Indochino Showroom and get measured up;
(2) Have your local tailor measure you; or,
(3) Take your measurements yourself (with the help of a friend).
Fortunately for those men who aren’t close to an Indochino showroom, or don’t have a tailor they are comfortable with, Indochino provides a step-by-step guide for completing the measurements yourself. This guide walks you through the various necessary measurements and provides video on how to take them to ensure their accuracy.
Once you’ve taken all your measurements and saved your profile you can start the fun part: the suit selection and customization process!
STEP 2 – Suits Selection:
For our Indochino order we decided to go with the “Premium Midnight Blue Tuxedo” thinking that this would be the perfect fit for our upcoming winter Holiday events (i.e. New Years) and winter galas. This tuxedo had a price tag of $649 – about the price of two tux rentals or so, and what man doesn’t rent (or couldn’t use) a tux at least twice a year?
Although we decided to go with the premium tuxedo, Indochino also offers other options for the budget-conscious man with their essentials suiting line starting at $449. It’s also worth signing-up for Indochino’s mailing list to get notice of when they’re running sales which can discount certain suits into the sub-$400 range.
In addition to sales notifications, it’s also worth signing-up for their mailing list to get first access to their new releases – such as their new Winter 2015 Line with new colors and patterns perfect for the holiday season. From a Burgundy Basket Weave Blazer for a casual pairing with jeans over the holidays, to the Indigo Plaid Suit made with merino wool to keep you extra toasty on the cold winter days.
As you can expect, the price of a suit will vary based on the quality of cloth used. For example, the “Essential Black Suit” ($449) is 100% Super 120 wool. Whereas the “Premium Black Suit” ($649) uses Italian design 100% Super 140 wool – which is a bit heavier, more durable of a fabric, and has a bit less sheen for a more refined look.
As I mentioned, for our order we chose the “Premium Midnight Blue Tuxedo” as we were looking for something slightly different than the black tuxedo look. Although Midnight Blue is not entirely common for a tuxedo, this classic color has been making a resurgence over the past several years, helped in part by Daniel Craig’s expertly executed sartorial outing as James Bond in Skyfall. Also, it’s worth noting that while this suit will show as blue in daylight, in incandescent or dim lighting it actually looks like a richer black than black as true black can give off a green hue in such lighting. As such, it’s perfectly appropriate for black-tie events. In fact, in the 1920’s and 1930’s it was even more popular than the black tuxedo for black-tie events!
STEP 3 – Customization:
Unlike renting a tuxedo or buying a suit off-the-rack, Indochino is not only made to your measurements but also provides various customization options. The options associated with my order included the following:
(1) Five types of jacket lapel options (I selected “Shawl”)
(2) Three types of jacket vent options (I selected “Two Vent”)
(3) Four types of jacket button options (I selected “One Button”)
(4) Four types of jacket pocket options (I selected “No Pocket Flaps”)
(5) Twenty-seven types of jacket lining options (I selected “Navy”)
(6) Monogramming color and type options (I selected none)
(7) Two types of pant pleat options (I selected “Single Pleat”)
In addition to the above, they also offer various additional customization options including:
(1) Jacket waist pocket
(2) Jacket functional sleeve buttons
(3) Jacket pen pocket (I selected this option)
(4) Pant suspender buttons (I selected this option)
(5) Pant belt loops
(6) Pant side tabs
(7) Pant Cuffs
The above customization options really allow you to tailor in the look of the suit or tuxedo depending upon what you want to either make a suit more casual and fun, more refined and elegant, or simply more unique.
STEP 4 – Order Timelines:
Indochino advises 5 weeks from when they receive your order to when it arrives at your door.
Given the upcoming holiday season, we placed our order on November 4, 2015 in hopes that this would allow us time if we had to ship it back to Indochino for major changes, or take it to our local tailor for minor modifications.
It’s worth noting that Indochino provides up to $75 for minor alterations (think: pant hem, jacket cuff hem, etc.), but will also remake your garment if it requires major changes (think: shoulder width, chest width, etc). I think this shows that Indochino not stands behind their product but also wants to ensure you’re 100% happy with the final product, which is very important when ordering a MTM suit online.
My initial experience with the order and customization process was great. They offer many options not only to get your measurements right, but also to get the suit design details right.
I’ll be sure to keep you posted when I receive our order in 5 weeks and let you know my initial thoughts and any required alterations.
If everything goes smoothly, I really believe Indochino could revolutionize men’s suiting and hopefully bring back the age of the suited-gentleman! After all, what do women love more than a man in a suit, and what more do men love than a great deal – other than perhaps the LBD :).
* All photos featured above are courtesy of Indochino.com