Any luck with online MtM?

mikewinddale

Starting Member
1
United States
TX
Lubbock
I'm curious if anyone has had luck with any online MtM (made to measure) men's suits.

I have a relatively "normal" body - 5'8", 150 lbs, and a 38S off-the-rack suit usually fits me pretty well, once I get it tailored.*

But I wanted to have more selection than what is usually available off-the-rack. I prefer 3-piece and double-breasted, and I wanted a wider choice of fabrics.

But I live in a small town, and there aren't many brick-and-mortar store options. So about a year ago, I decided to try Oliver Wicks and Indochino, online.

Well, it was a massive disaster.

The Indochino suit fit me so atrociously that it's beyond belief. For example, I couldn't even get the pants above my thighs. And the chest and armholes of the jacket were cut so that I couldn't raise my arms higher than my own chest. If someone had put an apple on top of my head, I would have been unable to reach it. Literally.

I double-checked all the measurements I gave them, and everything looked correct. I measured the pants they gave me, and the waist was 25" - far less than the 32" I told them.

I contacted Indochino and they offered to do a remake if the tailor would give them measurements for what had to be changed. Well, I had trouble communicating to my tailor what exactly I needed her to do. Her English was pretty good, but not perfect, and it was hard for me to explain that what I needed her to do was to pretend she was remaking the suit - not merely tailoring it - and to give measurements for a remake, not for an alteration.

I was finally able to coax some numbers out of the tailor, mainly because the fit was so bad. I mean, when you ask for a 32" waist and they give you a 25" waist, it's not hard to tell them to add 7 inches.

But when Indochino sent the remake, it was just as bad as before. The jacket hadn't been changed at all. Meanwhile, the pants waist fit, but they extended the crotch halfway to my knees. I'm not even joking. The pants looked like hammer pants because the crotch literally extended halfway to my knees.

So then I decided to try to find another tailor who spoke English better, hoping that maybe I could get a better result. I told Indochino that I was going to look for another tailor and that they should please wait patiently. However, they replied that an unannounced, arbitrary 30 day deadline had passed, and that I was no longer eligible for any remakes. They told me that the suits they had given me - the one with the 25" waist and the other with the crotch extending halfway to my knees - were all they were going to let me have.

Luckily, I was able to dispute the charges with my credit card company, and I got my money back.

The Oliver Wicks suit, on the other hand, fit sort of okay, but it was a bit tight, and it rippled all over in subtle but disconcerting ways.

I went to the first tailor to see what she could do. (These two stories are happening at the same time.) But the tailor wasn't sure whether she could alter it to fit properly or not. The Oliver Wicks suit was rippling in so many small ways that it would have required iterative adjustments and refittings, over and over again, until it was right. And the problem was that if the tailor tried to alter it, I would lose the chance to get a remake. So if the tailor wasn't 100% sure she could make the suit work, then I needed to do a complete remake instead.

But the tailor also wasn't sure what measurements to give Oliver Wicks for the remake. We were stuck between a rock and a hard place, because the suit basically sort-of fit, but it fit badly enough that it wasn't clear it could be altered, but it fit well enough that any changes would be very subtle, in the fractions of an inch probably.

I told Oliver Wicks that I wasn't sure what to do, so I was going to try to find a second tailor to see if they could do any better. Oliver Wicks replied that it sounded like too much trouble, and that they would just give me my money back if I sent them a receipt showing I had donated the suit to charity.

Later, I discovered that Joseph A. Bank does MtM. I got a suit made by them, and it fit almost perfectly right away. I don't know why Indochino and Oliver Wicks had so much trouble. If they had both just made me an off-the-rack 38S, it would have fit better than what they actually gave me.

I'm wondering if anyone else has had experience with online MtM.

Maybe someday I'll live in a larger city with a nice MtM store, but in the meantime, I'll stick to Joseph A. Bank. I know they're not the highest quality suits, but at least they fit!

* (There are some exceptions. For example, I discovered that at Joseph A. Bank, the slim and tailored fit suits don't fit my shoulders, but the regular fit do. So I just buy a regular fit and get the waist heavily suppressed.)
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
29,432
Harmony, FL
United States
Florida
Harmony
I've had a fair amount of MTM work done for me over the years (Suits, Blazers and sport coats and several pair of boots and shoes and to date, I have not encountered any significant or insurmountable problems with said purchases. However in each case, I dealt with the vendor's representatives face to face. IMHO, ordering MTM or Bespoke online or over the phone is just asking for trouble. If Jos A. Banks has served yout MTM needs well, stick with them! :teacha:
 

Matt S

Connoisseur
7,745
United States
NY
New York
Your results are typical for online MTM. I've seen many Indochino examples online and never a good one. Oliver Wicks can be hit or miss. I've tried them myself and got wearable results, but it took a few tries. Their cut is not good, and even if you apply the right measurements the suit will not fit many people well because of how they cut the suit. It works for some people, but even then it never looks great. Just going by the photos on their website I can see this.

What this comes down to more than anything is that the people who do online MTM are not good tailors. The do not know how to develop a good pattern, and they do not know how to accurately apply measurements to their patterns (hence numbers being off). With good MTM, the person measuring needs to know how to properly measure for the MTM system and then take accurate measurements. Ideally, well-trained sales reps do the measuring for MTM. These are a few reasons why online MTM is doomed to fail.

JAB works because they have trained sales reps to measure and their patterns were developed by people who know what they're doing.
 

blzr

New Member
27
United States
New York
New York
Thanks for posting your travails with online MTM. I have never gone down that route but am consistently tempted. Every time I read one of these horror stories I feel thankful that I'm pretty much a perfect 40R and an off the rack quality suit is better than all the gimmicky nonsense.
Having said that, I will mention that my co-worker went to the Indochino store and had them conduct the actual measurements. The suit fits well and looks nice.
 

Charles Dana

Honors Member
3,066
United States
California
San Francisco
I'm curious if anyone has had luck with any online MtM (made to measure) men's suits.
They've had a lot of luck. Most of it bad.

The Indochino suit fit me so atrociously that it's beyond belief. For example, I couldn't even get the pants above my thighs.

And the chest and armholes of the jacket were cut so that I couldn't raise my arms higher than my own chest. If someone had put an apple on top of my head, I would have been unable to reach it. Literally.

I measured the pants they gave me, and the waist was 25" - far less than the 32" I told them.

Well, I had trouble communicating to my tailor what exactly I needed her to do. Her English was pretty good, but not perfect, and it was hard for me to explain that what I needed her to do was to pretend she was remaking the suit - not merely tailoring it - and to give measurements for a remake, not for an alteration.

I mean, when you ask for a 32" waist and they give you a 25" waist....

But when Indochino sent the remake, the pants waist fit, but they extended the crotch halfway to my knees. The pants looked like hammer pants because the crotch literally extended halfway to my knees.

They told me that the suits they had given me - the one with the 25" waist and the other with the crotch extending halfway to my knees - were all they were going to let me have.
Mike W., I assure you I don't mean to make light of your experiences. What you went through had to have been frustrating and harrowing. May it never happen to you again.

Still, now that this matter is over with and has has a satisfactory resolution with your purchase of a Banks MTM suit that fits, let me say this:

The comments that I quoted above read as if they could have been the outline for a comedy skit on "The Carol Burnett Show" (which ran from the late '60s to the late '70s). It looks like something the writers would have cooked up, piling one absurdity on top of the other. I didn't want to, but I couldn't help laughing as I read your post.

Trousers with a 25-inch waist? A crotch hanging halfway down the thigh? A language barrier?

I can see Tim Conway (RIP) as the hapless customer, Harvey Korman (RIP) as the suit salesman, and Carol Burnett as the alterations tailor trying to follow Tim's instructions about "pretending to make a suit." What those three would have been able to do with the premise!

*******

WARNING! The rest of this post is lengthy and has nothing to do with clothing (except, perhaps, incidentally). Proceed at your own risk.

Luckily, I was able to dispute the charges with my credit card company, and I got my money back.
Good! By the way, have you ever wondered why customers are so often capable of getting their credit card issuers to remove a charge relating to faulty merchandise or services? Why should a credit card company EVER get involved as long as a charge is mathematically correct? After all, it wasn't the credit card issuer that performed poorly--all it did was extend credit so the customer could make the purchase. So, logically, shouldn't the customer and the merchant fight it out and leave the lender out of it?

Here's the deal: In the late 1960s, the United States Congress knew it had to tighten regulations on the credit card industry because too many consumers were having too hard a time getting their credit card issuers to correct billing errors. "You sent us a dispute letter? We'll get to it when we get to it." "You claim somebody used your account fraudulently? Prove it."

Stuff like that.

A Congressional subcommittee held hearings to size up the problem. During those hearings, consumer advocates spoke up. "Make those credit card issuers address and fix all complaints, even those concerning the quality of goods that the customer bought from some other merchant."

Executives from the credit card industry testified. "Why make us responsible for correcting every single problem? If a customer uses his credit card to buy a grandfather clock, and the clock doesn't work, why should we get involved? We merely lent the customer the money to buy the clock, but we didn't sell the clock."

Congress said to the executives: "Look, you guys fall all over yourselves trying to convince people to use your cards. 'Buy now! Pay later! Buy! Buy! Buy!' So don't play innocent with us. You have a responsibility to help out when purchases go haywire. Maybe that's not logical, but the Fair Credit Billing Act of 1968 that we're working on here is going to be big and complex. As with any major legislation, compromises will have to be made, not all of them logical."

The upshot: Consumers, with some exceptions, can have their credit card issuers ship a charge back to a merchant if the charge, though it may not actually be a billing "error," pertains to goods or services that went south. (Not always, though.)
 

Kyle76

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
426
United States
NC
Fayetteville
Brooks Brothers also does MTM, if you have one within reasonable driving distance. I haven't used them, but like Jos. A. Bank, you are measured in person.
 

Oldsarge

Moderator and Bon Vivant
10,600
On the banks of the Willamette
United States
Oregon
Oak Grove
As does Mens Wearhouse. The one here in Portland does a most creditable job with their Joseph Abboud MTM line. I have ordered two pairs of slacks, a sport coat and a summer weight 3-piece suit and am quite satisfied. They even plead with customers to try on the new garment so that they can alter it if necessary. Their main drawback is that they have nowhere near the selection of fabric that Hemrajani carries so MW is unlikely to ever be my primary choice--but they make one heckuva backup.
 

mlenecare

Starting Member
23
United States
illinois
lemont
You could give Lanieri a try. I've heard good things about them but I have no personal experience.
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
20,866
United States
New Jersey
Flanders
I'm curious if anyone has had luck with any online MtM (made to measure) men's suits.

I have a relatively "normal" body - 5'8", 150 lbs, and a 38S off-the-rack suit usually fits me pretty well, once I get it tailored.*

But I wanted to have more selection than what is usually available off-the-rack. I prefer 3-piece and double-breasted, and I wanted a wider choice of fabrics.

But I live in a small town, and there aren't many brick-and-mortar store options. So about a year ago, I decided to try Oliver Wicks and Indochino, online.

Well, it was a massive disaster.

The Indochino suit fit me so atrociously that it's beyond belief. For example, I couldn't even get the pants above my thighs. And the chest and armholes of the jacket were cut so that I couldn't raise my arms higher than my own chest. If someone had put an apple on top of my head, I would have been unable to reach it. Literally.

I double-checked all the measurements I gave them, and everything looked correct. I measured the pants they gave me, and the waist was 25" - far less than the 32" I told them.

I contacted Indochino and they offered to do a remake if the tailor would give them measurements for what had to be changed. Well, I had trouble communicating to my tailor what exactly I needed her to do. Her English was pretty good, but not perfect, and it was hard for me to explain that what I needed her to do was to pretend she was remaking the suit - not merely tailoring it - and to give measurements for a remake, not for an alteration.

I was finally able to coax some numbers out of the tailor, mainly because the fit was so bad. I mean, when you ask for a 32" waist and they give you a 25" waist, it's not hard to tell them to add 7 inches.

But when Indochino sent the remake, it was just as bad as before. The jacket hadn't been changed at all. Meanwhile, the pants waist fit, but they extended the crotch halfway to my knees. I'm not even joking. The pants looked like hammer pants because the crotch literally extended halfway to my knees.

So then I decided to try to find another tailor who spoke English better, hoping that maybe I could get a better result. I told Indochino that I was going to look for another tailor and that they should please wait patiently. However, they replied that an unannounced, arbitrary 30 day deadline had passed, and that I was no longer eligible for any remakes. They told me that the suits they had given me - the one with the 25" waist and the other with the crotch extending halfway to my knees - were all they were going to let me have.

Luckily, I was able to dispute the charges with my credit card company, and I got my money back.

The Oliver Wicks suit, on the other hand, fit sort of okay, but it was a bit tight, and it rippled all over in subtle but disconcerting ways.

I went to the first tailor to see what she could do. (These two stories are happening at the same time.) But the tailor wasn't sure whether she could alter it to fit properly or not. The Oliver Wicks suit was rippling in so many small ways that it would have required iterative adjustments and refittings, over and over again, until it was right. And the problem was that if the tailor tried to alter it, I would lose the chance to get a remake. So if the tailor wasn't 100% sure she could make the suit work, then I needed to do a complete remake instead.

But the tailor also wasn't sure what measurements to give Oliver Wicks for the remake. We were stuck between a rock and a hard place, because the suit basically sort-of fit, but it fit badly enough that it wasn't clear it could be altered, but it fit well enough that any changes would be very subtle, in the fractions of an inch probably.

I told Oliver Wicks that I wasn't sure what to do, so I was going to try to find a second tailor to see if they could do any better. Oliver Wicks replied that it sounded like too much trouble, and that they would just give me my money back if I sent them a receipt showing I had donated the suit to charity.

Later, I discovered that Joseph A. Bank does MtM. I got a suit made by them, and it fit almost perfectly right away. I don't know why Indochino and Oliver Wicks had so much trouble. If they had both just made me an off-the-rack 38S, it would have fit better than what they actually gave me.

I'm wondering if anyone else has had experience with online MtM.

Maybe someday I'll live in a larger city with a nice MtM store, but in the meantime, I'll stick to Joseph A. Bank. I know they're not the highest quality suits, but at least they fit!

* (There are some exceptions. For example, I discovered that at Joseph A. Bank, the slim and tailored fit suits don't fit my shoulders, but the regular fit do. So I just buy a regular fit and get the waist heavily suppressed.)
Why your suits couldn't fit!