The great custom-clothing shoot-off continues. Today, my attentions are firmly pointed toward Indochino, another popular player in the hand-crafted ‘cut and stitch’ market.
The company was founded in 2007 when co-founder Heikal Gani purchased his first suit; disappointed by the generic ‘off-the-rack’ result, he joined best friend and classmate Kyle Vucko to develop customised apparel for men the world over.
Going from strength to strength, the company has recently started introducing makeshift pop-up stores. But does Indochino deliver on its promise of superior custom clothing for men?
Indochino’s offerings are suitably robust and diverse; there’s something for every occasion, be it a ‘definitive lavender shirt’ or ‘better-than-basic black suit pants’.
Each garment is shown off with high-resolution, well-modelled images; there are plenty of views from which you can admire your new shirt, suit or blazer, not to mention the snippy explanations and recommendations that accompany each garment.
While not offering the same assorted selection of some custom retailers, Indochino are still unquestionably well stocked. The basics are adeptly handled, as essential staples are ready to order; from the ‘Essential Dinner Jacket Tuxedo’ to the ‘Ultimate Khaki Cotton Suit’ you won’t have a problem picking up an instant classic to hang in your closet.
The website is neatly categorised into organised sections, including a ‘new arrivals’ portal to show you what’s hot off the line this month. The layout is fresh, modern and delightfully unadorned by the usual detritus littering the pages of most contemporary e-retailers. Adding to your cart is as simple as clicking a button, and the selection process is simple and uncomplicated.
Measurement taking begins with simple metrics like height, weight and so on, before delving deeper into specifics like stomach size, jacket hips and shirt neck. The accompanying video provides great visual advice on how to measure, and is easily one of the clearest guides I’ve used in all my product testing to date.
Peculiarly, unlike the near psychic performance of Tailor4Less’ system, Indochino’s estimates were easily inches off each time; a slightly worrying sight when placing your initial order – I was definitely put in two minds as to whether my readings were accurate enough on a couple of occasions. Without my ‘measurement buddy’ on hand to reassure me of my metrics, I’d certainly have questioned by own precision.
Once complete, your measurements are logged on to the system, before being ‘locked’ after your analytics are sent to the tailors.
Payment, as with most other e-tailors, can be made via credit card and PayPal. The system is pain free, and the zippy checkout definitely left me feeling contented after the extensive measuring period.
Postage, Packing & Delivery
Each product page features an estimated delivery time for your item. I was promised a delivery date of no later than three weeks. This turned out to be a pinprick accurate estimate, arriving in my hands exactly twenty-one days (and seven minutes) after hitting the confirm button.
I encountered no levies or duties on my purchases, and Indochino state on their website any fees incurred during the delivery stage can be reimbursed. Delivered by a local courier service (in my case FedEx), you’ll need to ensure there’s someone in to sign for your package, unless, that is, you want to go to the trouble and expense of finding your nearest sorting depot.
The sizable packing box definitely looked the part in white and gold, and I’m glad to report the usual excess of pins, ties and rigid plastic tags were conspicuous by their absence. Although a slightly bigger container would have prevented any creasing on the pant legs, the light wrinkling was easily eliminated when left to hang overnight.
The Final Product
My order was a fairly non-adventurous selection consisting of the ‘Ultimate Gray Pants’ and ‘Light Blue Essential Wrinkle-Free Shirt’. These two were selected specifically due to their utilitarian design and simplicity – the expectation of both was fairly high due to their potential for workhorse usage and everyday convenience.
The ‘Ultimate Gray Pants’ fit like a dream. No two ways about it, these are the best dress trousers I’ve ever had the delight of wearing. The fabric skimmed my bulky hips effortlessly, and the seat/crotch was undeniably precise: for the first time in a long while, my derriere felt comfortably supported and not hidden under superfluous inches of fabric typically experienced with off-the-peg pants. The length was millimetre accurate and broke exactly where it should. I don’t feel I could have realistically wished for more; sure, slightly more durable textiles would be nice, but for the price I wouldn’t be so churlish as to complain.
In terms of the colour and tone of the cloth, everything matched faithfully as depicted on Indochino’s website, with the drape of the fabric entirely ‘on-the-money’. All in all, it’s a stunning performance from the ‘Ultimate Gray Pants’.
Unfortunately, the results from the ‘Light Blue Essential Wrinkle-Free Shirt’ are slightly less impressive.
While the fabric, tone and colour were very much as promised – great quality, accurate hues and no loose threads – there were a few irrefutable issues with the overall fit.
What was the problem? Well, suffering from slopped shoulders and a distinctly curved spine, I duly ticked the matching options during the selection process. However, Indochino’s tailors mistook this to mean ‘reincarnated spirit of the Hunchback of Notre-Dame’ – all stoop and no shape! The classic ‘American’ box-construction only exacerbated the emphasis, with a rather unattractive bagginess around the front lower torso area and visible billowing around the waistband.
My next order will definitely be accompanied with a swift tick of the ‘slim fit’ option and regular shoulders selected. As I’ve mentioned previously, this is an issue you should expect with online tailoring, and those who wish to take the time to alter their garments may do so with Indochino’s tailoring reimbursement system; check out the website for further details on what you need to do before ordering.
While not a home run, Indochino’s service is certainly up there with the best of them. With several tweaks to future orders, there’s no reason why Indochino couldn’t reach a stage of near perfection. Good fabrics, an easy to use website, robust choices and relatively decent delivery times equate to a service you can rely on to provide the e-tailoring you’ve been looking for all these years.