I welcome the opportunity to introduce Elite Suits to my fellow Styleforum members. By becoming an official Styleforum affiliate it allows us to promote our services to a wider audience while assisting Styleforum to continue to publish this valuable website at no cost to their members.
Elite Suits is no stranger to either North America and Europe. Over a third of our production already goes to North America, split almost equally between USA & Canada, with another 20% going to Europe mostly to the UK and the Scandinavian countries. Most surprisingly, almost 10% of our production is now being sold to Asian based customers which, when you consider most Asian cities have a tailor shop on every corner, attests to the quality of our garments as our Asian based customers seek a better made suit at a value for money price.
We have just celebrated the 2nd anniversary of the establishment of Elite Suits and in that short time we are well on our way to being able to survive purely on repeat business. We have established a base of a more discerning suit buyer wanting to purchase high quality suiting at great prices. We have customers onto their 4th or 5th suits who have their individual pattern customised so finely that all they need do now is send me their fabric choice and in a few weeks we send them a perfectly fitting suit.
There are still some great true bespoke tailors who make their own suits with multiple fittings (including the first at "baste" stage) and turn out absolutely sublime suits at a world class level. Buying a true bespoke suit is more than just a purchase it's an experience in itself and if you have never had a bespoke suit made for you it's something I strongly recommend that you put on your list of things you want to achieve in life.
However, there are many tailors today offering a bespoke service but outsourcing their actual tailoring to suit factories, mostly in Asia but also less commonly to Europe. Unfortunately a lot of these suit factories only mass produce cheap machine made half canvas (or even fused canvas) suits which the local "tailor" then passes off to their unsuspecting customer as their "bespoke" suit at a massive markup. If your tailor claims to be making you a bespoke suit but there is no baste stage fitting and the only fitting is with the completed suit then it is not a bespoke suit. It is only their version of made to measure and you can almost guarantee they have outsourced the actual tailoring.
Naturally, we believe our suits to be better and we explain in detail HERE. It's a long article (brevity in writing is not my strong point as you will discover). For those that don't wish to wade through the article allow me to summarise here.
- We use real tailors - Many "tailors" today outsource to suit factories. Nearly all of our online competitors are nothing more than fronts for Asian suit factories that churn out cheap machine made fused suits. While we also offer a budget range of factory made suits (although one of the better ones where the suits are made by seamstresses rather than machine) the majority of our suits are made by actual tailors. Mostly one or two man operations in their own workshops. We have 11 different tailors on our roster all over Asia making suits to various standards which allow the customer to choose how they want their suit to be constructed
- We source our own fabrics - Again most of our online competitors use the fabric supplied by the suit factory. By sourcing our own fabrics it allows us to control the quality and accordingly, we believe allows us to offer higher standard fabrics than you buy elsewhere at similar prices. We have alliances with a number of Asian fabric merchants as well as one based in Huddersfield UK which is the traditional home of fine suiting fabric who supplies us with fabrics purchased directly from the actual mill. This allows us to be able to bespoke quality fabrics such as Clissolds and Holland & Sherry at amazingly low prices
- We offer full canvas suits - Unlike most suits today which are either fused or if you're lucky half canvas, most of our suits come standard as full canvas or offer a full canvas as an option
- We offer a No Worries Guarantee - Our fully tailored suits are guaranteed to fit. If they don't you have our comprehensive No Worries Guarantee to rely on. There is no $50 limit and we don't only offer reimbursement by way of store credit (although we will on request). If your suit obviously doesn't fit we will either pay the full cost of alterations in cash or arrange a replacement suit it's as simple as that. Yes there are some conditions mostly to stop those 0.01% of people who will abuse any system and ruin it for others but they are not onerous and if it's your first Elite Suit I'm as keen as you are to get the fit right so you are confident in ordering off us again. However, we do not pretend to be a bespoke tailoring company and accordingly do not pretend to offer a bespoke fit. You can read more on what the guarantee is designed to cover and what it doesn't cover (and the very good reasons why) HERE
- We are constantly striving to further improve the quality of our suits - We don't rest on our laurels. I'm of to Asia once again next month and the main goal of the trip is to source suppliers of things such as trimmings to further improve the already high quality of our mid priced suits. We have also sourced a range of high quality fabrics for a new range of business suits we hope to launch this year. We believe the high quality of the fabrics offered at the prices we will be selling at will cause quite a stir and make Elite Suits the place to go if you wear a suit to work
- Finally (and most importantly) you get to choose the quality of the suit you want - We believe the Elite Suits concept to be unique. Unlike most of our online competitors, who offer one basic suit in a single range of fabrics, you get to choose the quality of your fabric and the standard of tailoring used in the construction of your suit. The final outcome is determined only by your budget and we believe that at any pricepoint we offer a superior suit or "more bang for your buck" as we like to say.
OK let's talk about the website. Please allow me to assure you that there is nothing negative you can say about the website that I'm not aware of. I fully understand every last one of it's shortcomings and I will only respond to any comment with THIS LINK.
However, I beg of you, please do not let this thread degenerate to a discussion about the website instead let's talk about great suits. We are working on an upgrade but we are finding it to be highly problematical. We offer an extensive range of fabrics and five different levels of tailoring. To many average suit buyers it's going to be highly confusing. We also want to be able to give as much information about the suits as we can so each Elite Suits customer is able to make an informed decision on the suit they are about to purchase. The problem we have been working on for months is how to do this in the simplest way possible without compromising the overall business plan and to date we have yet to arrive at a satisfactory solution. We will get there eventually but it's never going to be a simple point and click site. If you're looking for somewhere with lot's of pretty pictures and that simply says "Blue suit - $399" then unfortunately Elite Suits will never be the website for you. That's OK, we're not really trying to compete in that market nor are we looking to take over the suiting world. We're seeking the more discerning customer who wants a better quality suit at a better price. So yes I am aware of everything that's wrong with the website and we will eventually come up with a way to fix it especially the currently clunky ordering system.
However, in the meantime the current system does work. Our growing sales every month are proof of that. While it may be at first confusing, it may not be as hard as you may think when you remember one simple rule. Suits are priced according to the quality of the fabics and the standard of the tailoring. It is really that simple. The more expensive the suit the higher the quality of the fabric or the higher standard of tailoring or a combination of the two. Purchasing a good suit is a decision not to be made lightly and many customers return up to half a dozen times before finally making a purchase. If you take the time to read the site and associated blog you will be in a position to make an much more informed purchase decision even if you decide to buy elsewhere.
The ordering system, while clunky, isn't as complicated as it may first appear. Many customers download everything they need from HERE (this page also has links at the bottom of the page to some good tips on how to measure and alternative measuring methods) and complete the order form before finalising their purchase.
Finally, and I apologise for the length of this missive (but I did warn that brevity isn't my forte), I do understand that many people don't have great faith in the Made to Measure system. That's fine and we are happy to deliver you our superior quality suits in a standard off the rack size. These standard size measurements were kindly given to us by one of Asia's biggest off the rack suit makers who ship all over the world. All we ask is that you give us your chest and pants waist measurements and we will send you a standard size suit made to fit those measurements.
We at Elite Suits look forward to many years of interaction with our fellow Styleforum members.
Edited by Simon at Elite - 9/30/12 at 3:53pm