The idea’s a little counter-intuitive: you usually decide if a suit fits after trying it on — something made impossible by the internet’s cold, impersonal and altogether digital face.
But what Indochino loses in tactile testing it makes up for everywhere else. It’s easily hundreds of dollars cheaper than a custom suit at the nearby tailor. The deep customization system lets buyers browse an impressive suit selection and customize it however they like: your choice of lapel shape, buttons and jacket lining. Jump over to the advanced options to add or remove pockets, change the cuffs or embellish your suit with pick stitching or natural shoulders.
It’s something that might make suit snobs cringe. For purists, nothing replaces the well-worn hands of a custom tailor or the quality of designer brands.
But results speak for themselves. Full disclosure: I haven’t received my suit yet, so I can’t personally speak to the quality. But Western alumnus Richard Wong ordered one from Indochino — a two-button, three-piece pinstripe suit and with blue lining — and called the fit perfect and the material sufficient.
“It doesn’t compare to anything at Harry Rosen’s or Holt’s, but it’s one of the best suits under $500 I’ve ever bought,” he said.
The Vancouver-based start-up has grown over the past couple of years, partly due to a rabid social media campaign. Thirty seconds after I tweeted about Indochino, I had a reply from Indochino’s internet marketer Jason Carvalho, who promptly answered a question or two.
It’s this humanizing approach that makes Indochino a little less daunting. Buying a suit is probably the most difficult clothing purchase men have to make. But the 16-step measuring process ensures a snug fit and it’s paired with simple instructions and stripped-down videos. Get a friend to do the measuring or pay your tailor a visit to get the numbers.
“It’s surprisingly great customer service and I would definitely recommend it for others,” Wong says. “Especially when they have sales or other deals that make the purchase an easier decision.”
And he’s right — search for coupon codes online and you’ll likely snag another 10 to 15 per cent off. Your suit arrives in four to six weeks and shipping is also free.
But perhaps most encouraging is their guarantee, which claims the suit will fit perfectly. If not, send it back for a do-over or visit your tailor for alterations on Indochino’s dime — up to $75 worth, at least.
And for most students, that’s a suit that will suit your needs.
Visit Indochino at indochino.com.