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Business Idea

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I read complaints on this forum and others regarding difficulty in finding OTR suits that fit an athletic build.

Even the brands such as Ralph Lauren Black Label, J Crew Ludlow etc seem to be tailored towards a slim build and not necesarily an athletic build. I believe they are typically drop 7. In my personal experience, I still have to get some waist suppression done with these brands.

So why isn't there a suit company that is specifically targeted towards the athletic (lets say drop 10) group. This might not be the largest demographic, but there must be a certain fraction of men that would appreciate a cut to fit this build that is also relatively affordable. I am thinking the 20-30's crowd who don't want to spend extra money/hassle on tailoring. Perhaps something along the business model  Proper Cloth uses for shirts, or a Suit Supply type company with a focus on personal tailoring for the athletic build?

Am i missing something. Is there something comparable already out there?

post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by geneclean5 View Post

I read complaints on this forum and others regarding difficulty in finding OTR suits that fit an athletic build.
Even the brands such as Ralph Lauren Black Label, J Crew Ludlow etc seem to be tailored towards a slim build and not necesarily an athletic build. I believe they are typically drop 7. In my personal experience, I still have to get some waist suppression done with these brands.
So why isn't there a suit company that is specifically targeted towards the athletic (lets say drop 10) group. This might not be the largest demographic, but there must be a certain fraction of men that would appreciate a cut to fit this build that is also relatively affordable. I am thinking the 20-30's crowd who don't want to spend extra money/hassle on tailoring. Perhaps something along the business model  Proper Cloth uses for shirts, or a Suit Supply type company with a focus on personal tailoring for the athletic build?
Am i missing something. Is there something comparable already out there?

Sounds good to me. I've never understood why there can't be a MTO clothing company that offered jackets in six differing measurements: chest, shoulder, armscye, waist, length, and drop. This wouldn't be MTM, as the sizes for each would be standardized. But you would be able to try on jackets trying to get the right measure in each of the six areas. Then they'd make it up for you.
post #3 of 12

It'll come down to marketing, and the size of the target demographic. The question would be: Is there significant overlap between guys with athletic builds and guys interested in well-fitted suits?

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 


This is a good point. I can imagine someone like J Crew with a marketing machine already in place could set up a line targeted to this demographic. Who knows... maybe they looked into it and decided it wouldn't be profitable.

For a smaller/new operation it would be a question of getting the message out there. One could imagine commercial partnerships with say CrossFit might be beneficial but again they might only want to deal with the bigger players in clothing.

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by geneclean5 View Post
 


This is a good point. I can imagine someone like J Crew with a marketing machine already in place could set up a line targeted to this demographic. Who knows... maybe they looked into it and decided it wouldn't be profitable.

For a smaller/new operation it would be a question of getting the message out there. One could imagine commercial partnerships with say CrossFit might be beneficial but again they might only want to deal with the bigger players in clothing.

 

Right. And also the logistics. Starting a clothing company is very different from starting an internet company. Bigger fixed costs, more complex supply channel, etc.

 

Definitely can be pulled off, but might not be easy. The vacuum may be telling you something here.

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Testudo_Aubreii View Post


Sounds good to me. I've never understood why there can't be a MTO clothing company that offered jackets in six differing measurements: chest, shoulder, armscye, waist, length, and drop. This wouldn't be MTM, as the sizes for each would be standardized. But you would be able to try on jackets trying to get the right measure in each of the six areas. Then they'd make it up for you.

Some basic MTMs are little more than a couple of different measurements.

 

As to the OP, it may be a great business idea. The "issue" with big companies is that they have a finite capacity for change at any one time and when people are pitching niche ideas to them they lose out to potentially much less interesting etc ideas for the mass market simply because their business case will always win.

 

When I worked for one company we were contesting some IT resource with another sister company, their proposed use would give them a 0.5% improvement in customer retention. For us to have matched that business case we would basically have had to say the month of the developers time would enable us to almost double our customer numbers. Simple reality is that we'd lose almost every contest we went into.

 

It may be a good business for a smaller sized organisation though. Can they get the economies of scale to produce the quality you want at the price you want? What size is the market? What percentage of "athletic build" types want good fitting suits and arent wanting to have alterations? Are there other characteristics of this demographic that may cause challenges? Eg do they want what they saw in Mens Fittness/ Vogue etc yesterday and tomorrow it'll change to whatever the next celeb is wearing? Its still achievable but speed to market and need to shift unwanted stock are challenges to overcome when you dont want high prices.

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post

Some basic MTMs are little more than a couple of different measurements.

if that's all they are, they're confusing MTM and MTO. An MTM coat should have more than six measurements taken.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Testudo_Aubreii View Post


if that's all they are, they're confusing MTM and MTO. An MTM coat should have more than six measurements taken.

This is where we start running into problems as there are no standard definitions for these things and one company will sell something as "made to measure" which goes further than another company's "bespoke" offering.

 

MTO, to me at least, is predominately a free choice of material made up to standard designs. It tends to be rare for suiting here but the once or twice I've seen it you simply chose the body of the jacket in a standard size (44S in my case) and sleeve length could be set independently

 

MTM starts to go further in that if you are small chested but over weight you no longer have to choose between a jacket that closes but is too big on your shoulders or one that fits up top but wont ever close but some do take a real minimum number of measurements and may only suppliment them with some basic unmeasured observations (sloping shoulders etc). One online place I saw the other day only take 5 measurements (chest, waist, seat, arm length and jacket length) and thats it.

post #9 of 12

yes,This is where we start running into problems as there are no standard definitions for these things and one company will sell something as "made to measure" which goes further than another company's "bespoke" offering.

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post #10 of 12
It's probably because 1) even if the drop is right, other alterations almost surely will need to be made, 2) the waist can be taken in without difficulty for let's say 97% of men, and 3) suit separates are a workaround for much of that 3%. Also, no one really knows how much use for suits men with very large drops tend to have, and some of them would look odd in suiting that emphasizes a small waist. The idea would be more much valid if athletic cuts (drop of 8" or more) were very hard to find.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

I am drop 10. I like to think that I look fine enough in a suitably tailored suit. I just have naturally broad shoulders and am not overweight. I thought that suits were supposed to flatter/accentuate a v-shape anyway. Say I pick up an RLBL suit, I always need to have the waist taken in and maybe sleeves altered. No other major alterations needed. Also, there are threads on this forum where people discuss issues regarding suit fitting for athletic body-types. So presumably there is some stated need.

 

Suit separates can help matters but regardless I would still need to get some waist suppression on the jacket or its just too baggy.

 

Unless I am looking in the wrong places, there are no OTR options for a drop 10 cut.  I don't know if some athletic-shaped early twenties guy, for example, is going to immediately take his suit to the tailors, or if he is just going to make do.

post #12 of 12
It's arguably "very hard" to find athletic-cut suits in stores outside of big cities. They're available via the web, though.

Also, Dior Homme sells some suits that are at least drop 10.

Maybe a young guy expects to wear a suit as is (as though it's supposed to fit like that), but the market isn't going to cater to incorrect beliefs when there's hardly any profit to be had. Nobody disagrees that it's tough for major v-shapes or that a line catering to such men would be a bad thing, but it seems highly unlikely to be practical.
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