One Good Suit: Indochino

Indochino has been one of the single most important influences in the business of made-to-measure suiting.  The company was a first mover when it created the first truly viable online customized clothing model, a market that continues to expand everyday.

While ubiquitous today, when Indochino launched in 2007 the idea of actually spending real money for a custom suit bought over the internet and manufactured somewhere in China was at best, iffy.  But Indochino focused on a core message of customization at a fair price, speed, and the potential ease of reorders, allowing a customer to expand his custom clothing wardrobe.  A website that acts design and retail home base backed up by their innovative Traveling Tailor pop-up shops has kept Indichino at the front of the online custom suit pack.

Indochino LabelsThis suit was actually selected during a 2013 Traveling Tailor event in Washington, D.C.  It is the Premium Gray Three-Piece Suit in Reda fabric, which was a special run and not always available.  The super 140 weight is just right for a three-season suit and the classic cut and color is appropriate for almost any situation.  We opted for two-button, notch lapel, side vents, working sleeve buttons, ticket pocket, and no cuffs on the trousers.

The quality of construction and design as quit impressive and frankly better than expected, given the business model.  As with all Indochino products, it arrived in purpose-designed packing, slickly branded, and ready to wear.  Except that it wasn’t.  Even though measurements were taken in person by an Indochino staffer, the suit coat and vest were both too tight.  To their credit, the company unquestioningly held to their satisfaction guarantee, fixed the issue, and quickly replaced both pieces, updating the online profile as well.

While certainly frustrating, such a situation is also to be expected with this kind of business model.  It’s part of the price when removing ongoing personal attention from a very personal craft.  In the end, mattered was how the problem was resolved, in this case very well.

The goal for this suit was to be the one go-to suit that works for most situations.  We feel the effort was a success; it’s a great suit of cloths that fits well, has comfortably slim cut that works dressed up with a tie or toned down with an open collar.  The trouser break is slight, so depending on the shoes chosen the look can be ankle flash mod or meeting-ready sober.

While having a big suit wardrobe may work for CEOs, lawyers, and other boardroom dwellers, the fact is that most men do not need more than two or three.

Wanting more is another thing, and a desire that Indochino is more than happy to satisfy.



Suit: Indochino
Shirt: Thomas Pink
Tie: Andrew’s Ties
Pochet: Alan Flusser
Shoes: Paul Evans


OTC & Indochino Team Up in DC: Free Suit

Indochino Traveling Tailor Pop-Up Shop

Indochino, the web-based purveyor of custom suits and shirts, literally revolutionized the online marketplace for custom clothing.  When the company launched its first website in 2007, Indochino quite literally created a new menswear retail segment from whole cloth.

Read on to learn how you can win your own custom Indochino suit!

Indochino has since grown and matured; improving product quality and quality control.  Refined designs, new offerings, better construction, and higher quality fabrics have moved Indochino into a position of bona fide market influencer.  Now, the company is moving in new territory: bringing the tailor to you.

Indochino’s innovative Traveling Tailor program puts its tailors on the road with pop-up shops in key US markets.  After a series of successful events in Chicago, San Francisco, and New York City, the next stop will be in Washington, DC.  Plan to swing by LivingSocial’s 918 F Street, NW venue where Indochino will be setting up shop from Saturday, March 2 through Sunday, March 10.

Appointments will be scheduled in in 15-minute intervals from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for men to meet with Indochino’s custom tailors and stylists.  It’s your time to get measured, check out the options, and go custom.  Explore suiting styles and customized details, and check out a range of shirts, collars, and cuffs.

And, even better, Indochino is offering guys who pre-book an appointment at the event two great deals.  First, everyone who pre-books an appointment will receive a FREE dress shirt ($79 value) with any suit purchase, one shirt per customer.

Win an Indochino Suit

Even better, OTC and Indochino are teaming us to help you win a FREE SUIT from their essentials collection (value $379). Here is the link.

Winning is easy as 1-2-3.  Here are the details:

  1. To enter, Like OTC and Indochino on Facebook and Follow OTC and Indochino on Twitter.
  2. You can add a bonus entry to win your free suit if you pre-book an appointment and comment on Facebook or Twitter during your appointment.
  3. The contest closes Sunday night, March 3.  We will announce the winner on OTC and Facebook Monday morning, March 4. (IMPORTANT: The prize (one, two-piece suit) can only be redeemed in person at the event.)

Coming Soon: Aspetto for OTC

One of the great privileges and pleasures afforded to OTC is the opportunity to discover and introduce to our readers brands and craftsmen they might not otherwise ever hear about.  Clothier Aspetto, Inc., of Fredricksburg, Virgina, is such a company.  In the coming weeks we will be reviewing a custom three-piece suit from this relatively young company.

Founded in 2008 by Abbas Haider, Aspetto has already dressed a plethora of world class leaders, politicians, business professionals, celebrities, and athletes. Aspetto has also dressed members of numerous government and private agencies. How, you might wonder, does a custom clothier from a college town in Virgina achieve such a significant reach?

The impressive client list is helped by the unique reputation of Aspetto’s other business, American Armor Attire; a maker of world class custom bulletproof clothing.  American Armor was an extension of Haider’s tailoring business and began as a university class project.  Already in the custom clothing business, he developed the idea for customized bulletproof clothing of equal quality and detail.  As one of the only firms of its kind in the world, the brand is known to those in the know and in need of protective suits, blazers, shirts and pretty much anything else.

As impressive at the bulletproof suits are, we focus on a more metaphorical need for sartorial protection here at OTC.  When it comes to Aspetto, Haider makes sure that every client receives exceptional attention and focus. Suits are hand stitched and with 300 fabric options and horse-hair canvas lining, they have a lot to offer.  Personalized touches like working sleeve buttons, pick-stitching, and customized linings and collar felts are all offered at no additional cost.

From what we have found, Aspetto has a solid reputation for service and quality.  The suits’ model is, as is the trend these days, on the slimmer side.  However at our fitting we made a few adjustments to alleviate potential snug spots.

Below is the suiting fabric and lining with which we decided to go.


The Proper Suit Review: Exceptional

When OTC and Proper Suit first sat down to create a suit that could be used as a core wardrobe staple, we wanted to first see what Proper Suit had to offer.  Our first article highlighted the founders, Richard and McGregor, and ran through the initial fitting and selection of suit style, details and fabrics.  Needless to say, we looked forward to checking out the finished product.

We received the suit a few weeks ago and, after making some tailoring tweaks and testing it out on the road, at meetings, and on the cocktail circuit, I can say that the OTC Proper Suit is outstanding.  It feels and fits like a custom suit should, is well built and – most importantly – has perfect shoulders.  As you should know, the shoulder is the cornerstone of any suit and if the shoulder does not fit well, nothing else really matters.  The natural shoulder of this suit is spot on; it fits well and allows for just the right amount of movement.

The components of this suit are well designed and well thought out.  The jacket itself fits very well, is trim but balanced and provides overall proportion to my frame.  The full canvas interlining gives it a soft drape and lightly structured construction.

The jacket’s sleeves are a tad longer than they should have been, but perfectly useable.  They look just fine but show very little shirt cuff.  Having chosen the option of working “surgeon’s cuffs,” the longer sleeves are here to stay.  This, by the way, is why Proper Suit typically does not recommend working sleeve buttons on an initial order.  The cost-prohibitive fix is to take the arm off at the shoulder and shorten it from the top down.  As it turns out, I like the longer sleeves on this suit.  They give it a less formal air and actually make the jacket feel slightly more contemporary.

I did have to make one significant alteration and have the jacket’s sides let out; it was simply too tight.  Proper Suit’s policy is that they will reimburse tailoring expenses on a future order, which is fine with us.  They are a small company and want to develop lifelong “member” customers.  After letting out the sides about 1 ½ inches and letting out slightly the rear of the armholes, it fits perfectly and is a joy to wear.  My tailor, by the way, was very impressed with the quality of this suit.

The suit’s trousers are almost perfect, my only complaint being that they are a touch too long.  It’s a complaint of perception, because most people have said they look just fine.  Again, an unexpected outcome has been a less formal and more contemporary feeling suit.  A particular feature of note is the jetted flat front trouser pockets recommended to me as a way of avoiding the annoying “elephant ears” effect of puffed out pocket openings common to flat front trousers.

The trousers’ hems are finished on the inside with cloth tape, which both helps to weigh down the pant leg and provides reinforcement against heel wear.  A nice touch.

An equally distinctive feature unique to Proper Suit is the hidden cell phone or wallet pockets stitched into the rear left inside vertical seam of the jacket.  By moving this pocket under  the left arm, the weight of the phone is carried by the shoulder and does not offset the line of the jacket.  Half the time I forgot I was even carrying anything the pocket.

An OTC reader who also ordered a Proper Suit had the following to say: “It was great being able to pick the liner color and the design of the pocket piping.  Any options on the suit that I was not completely sure of, McGregor walked me through and explained the pros and cons of each option.  While they typically do side vented jackets, the folks at PS were able to accommodate my request for a center vent at no extra cost.”

These are suits for the long haul – well designed and made well.  Ours possess a pleasant balance of classic and contemporary and feels substantial.

Proper Suit likes to advertise that their suits are as good as, or better than, name brand suits that cost much more and are supported by extravagant advertising budgets.  It’s a big claim, and they can back it up.  The quality construction, design and attention to detail place these suits in a class by themselves.

OTC is thrilled with this suit and looks forward getting a few more.  We also plan on picking up some sports coats. We highly recommend Proper Suit.

More images:


Taking Proper Suit for a Spin

As we continue to work with Proper Suit on the official OTC suit, our Editor-in-Chief Chris Hogan took the recently delivered set of duds for a spin around town.

This is a quick teaser for the full review which will be coming next month.  What we endeavor to accomplish here is explain what to expect from Proper Suit once you take the plunge.

First off, OTC’s suit both met and exceeded our expectations.  The initial review of key components, including fit, construction, fabric, overall quality and attention to detail impressed us on every count.  (By the way, that wrinkly arm in the picture fits wonderfully – just needs some steam.)

It’s important to remember when choosing to go with a brand like Proper Suit, you are opting to order custom tailored clothing with certain constraints.  Among online clothiers, Proper Suit is unique in that Richard and McGregor will personally take your measurements prior to your placing a first order.  It’s extensive, thorough and designed to ensure that your fit is as accurate as possible.  It is not, however, the same as having a custom suit made for you by a tailor who will update your measurements several times throughout the process.  That is an altogether different, and more expensive option.

Making a custom suit is an art, not a science – don’t confuse the two.  Understand the process and set realistic, firm expectations.

Those initial measurements will form the basis for your Proper Suit suit pattern.  It’s a point in time translated to a tailor who will in turn translate them into a suit of clothing.  So, when you open that box for the first time, this should be your expectation:  it should fit very well, but will likely need some tweaking.

That’s exactly the case with the OTC suit; it fit almost perfectly but will need to be let out a touch on the sides.  Other than that, it’s spot on and that’s pretty darn impressive.  And this gets us to the issue of realistic expectations.  It absolutely met ours.  We were not expecting a perfect suit from a single fitting several weeks prior.  We were expecting a suit that was almost perfect and received just that.

The cost for the tailoring adjustments will be reflected on our next order as a credit and we will indeed be placing a next order.  Once those adjustments are made to the Proper Suit pattern, we should have something that does indeed fit perfectly, right out of the box.

Stay tuned for the full review which will go into the details, look and what goes into a Proper Suit and show you the finished product.