Being six foot six inches tall generally does not make for a good shopping experience for any kind of clothing and most certainly not for suiting. In fact it’s usually the opposite, a recipe for frustration, with the question, “Do you have suiting in size 48 extra large tall?” usually met with a blank stare—or, in the case of one snooty British Savile Row shopkeeper, “It does not exist.” (I resisted the urge to tell him that without Americans like my tall grandfather, an Air Force Colonel stationed in London in WWII, his primary language would be German.)
In the past, I’d find the best possible specialty store for tall men, buy the best possible off the rack suit, and have a modest amount of tailoring done to ensure a decent (though far from perfect) fit.
Times have changed.
Enter Indochino, a men’s clothier providing custom-tailored suits, without compromise. I set up an appointment for a fitting and within a few days, I was at their Newbury Street store in Boston, greeted by the personable and extremely helpful Victoria Perez. I explained what I was most interested in—a suit that felt contemporary and forward, but with a nod to the classics. (The name of my company is Captains of Industry after all, and I have to look the part.)
Victoria guided me through a wide range of styles and fabric options, explaining the benefits of each in as much detail as I needed. They had a good selection of suit styles and quite a wide selection of fabrics available in their new fall line. What caught my eye the most was a three piece suit in a very dark navy nailhead fabric—very classy. From there, I was given a range of options for choosing the little details that would add up to an exceptional suit. These included a choice of how many pockets, pick stitching on the lapel, the color and pattern of the interior lining. For the third piece, there were several options, including the lapel style, or going for the double-breasted option. I chose the double breasted option with a tapered lapel that felt classic and even a bit retro, a counterpoint to the slim cut of the suit itself and the slightly shorter jacket common to today’s styles.
Then came the measurement stage. 14 measurements to be exact. Victoria went about the process carefully measuring everything from my neck to cuff size, explaining the importance of each size for the overall fit of the suit. I have to say that I felt very well taken care of by this whole process. It’s the opposite of the usual ‘take it or leave it’ attitude of most stores. Victoria genuinely cares about getting it right.
I went through a similar process for my custom shirt, and to complete the outfit Victoria helped me select a cool tie that would complement the colors of the suit and shirt. I was on my way.
My measurements and choices were instantly relayed to Indochino’s factory in China, and I was promised the outfit within about four weeks. Having a global supply chain is one of the reasons why custom suiting can be not only be high quality but affordable in 2016. The best fabrics are sourced from around the world. Fashion design and tailoring is done in the U.S. Manufacturing in China. And the cost is less than what you’d pay for many of the off the rack suits available for tall men—and actually, much less expensive, in most cases.
In my next post, I’ll write about the experience of coming back to the store to have the new suit fitted and altered so the fit would be perfect, plus share the details on the wear. Stay tuned.