Suit Supply vs. Made-to-Measure
March 25th, 2014
Following up on our Online Made-to-Measure Suit Review, one of the most common questions we received was: how do suits from e-tailors like Indochino, Knot Standard and Black Lapel stack up against Suit Supply?
To compare, I picked out and ordered a suit from SuitSupply.com in my size. This is what came in the mail 3 days later (it hasn’t been altered in any way).
Firstly, I’ve worn Suit Supply product before, but I must say that I was really impressed by this particular suit.
I’m gonna cut right to the chase here.
Online made-to-measure clothiers fulfill a necessity. They offer a solution for guys looking to play designer and create one-of-a-kind pieces (whether that’s a good idea or not). More importantly, they offer a custom answer for guys who don’t meet the standards of traditional off-the-rack suit sizes. Not every guys’ body is as simple as 38, 40, 42, or 44 “Regular”.
However, if you are lucky enough to fit off-the-rack sizing (with some minor alterations, as always) Suit Supply is where you should be looking for anything in the $400-$800 tailoredwear market.
Under the hood (fabric & fabrication quality) the garments aren’t extraordinarily different. The major difference, in my opinion, comes down to the core value of the brand(s). It’s suit manufacturing versus fashion design.
The number one priority of a good online made-to-measure suit business, like Indohcino, Knot Standard, or Black Lapel, is to manufacture a suit that fits the client as close to perfectly as possible (according to his measurements), has all the correct details as chosen by the client, and is delivered as quickly as possible. The success of the company ultimately comes down to order processing, workshop execution, and customer service. Tailoring is a service business, after all.
The number one priority for a fashion brand like Suit Supply, on the other hand, is to create beautifully designed garments that are on-trend and reminiscent of expensive high-fashion Italian suits. And they do this very well. This unstructured double-breasted pure linen windowpane suit illustrates my point perfectly. Notice the balanced proportions and the subtle design elements; soft unpadded shoulders, high armholes with trim sleeves, subtle “bow” shape to the extra-wide peak lapels, etc. The pants also came with an oversized 3″ cuff on a very tapered no-break hemline. Very European and very chic.
There is plenty more we could dive into here about made-to-order vs retail menswear, but I wanted to keep this piece simple.
Perhaps we can discuss in the comments.
Do you have any experience with Suit Supply? Or Made-to-Measure? Or Both?
Please share in the comments below!
Thanks, as always, for reading.
Yours in style,
Articles of Style
Photography by Alex Crawford.