Cheap MTM Suits & Shirts in NYC - Indochino? Looking for insight/advice!

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by epic raccoon, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. epic raccoon

    epic raccoon Senior member

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    Hey all, after years of thrifting I've finally decided on expanding my wardrobe with a few key MTM pieces. Unfortunately OTR is out of the question due to my specific requirements; in particular, I tend to sweat a lot and do not take well to heat and humidity (read: polyester is a dealbreaker).

    On a related note, has anybody had experience with the Indochino location in NYC? Do they take measurements there, and if so, do they tend to be more accurate than doing it online? I'm also very open to alternatives, especially given my low price points.

    Suit - Charcoal, 2pc or 3pc
    • Price - aiming for $300-400, fingers crossed...
    • Fabric - hoping that a very lightweight wool will do; also open to wool/linen or cotton blends, but afraid they might not be as appropriate in more formal settings, or not be as durable and/or affordable
    • Lining - partial lining, no polyester
    • Sleeves - Surgeon's Cuffs (or the option to convert later on) would be nice
    • Pockets - hacking flap pockets (ticket pocket would be a nice extra)

    Shirts - Dress & Casual
    • Price - ideally no more than $60-80; willing to go up to $100 depending on fabrics; not sure how feasible this is
    • Fabric - again, a very lightweight fabric (100% cotton) for dress shirts; cotton/linen blends for casual shirts
    • Other - spread collar with removable stays for dress shirts

    Again, any insight, experiences, and/or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance! :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  2. rms340

    rms340 Senior member

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    Pretty sure there's an Indochino thread. Check that out. It will probably give you the answers you're looking for
     
  3. epic raccoon

    epic raccoon Senior member

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    The thread's huge. I've looked through it and I can't seem to find much information about experiences at their location in NYC. The posts appear to be all about ordering online?
     
  4. starro

    starro Senior member

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    The consensus seems to be they're incompetent. Stories of getting suits off by 5 sizes, even though measured in store. Not good value proposition.

    And also, who in the world thinks it's a good idea to call an MTM brand that (presumably?) aims at luxury a name suggestive of two of the world's heaviest exporters of mass produced crap??
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  5. epic raccoon

    epic raccoon Senior member

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    Are there any feasible alternatives whatsoever in the sub-$500 price range?


    Yeah, no idea where they were going with that. Their marketing seemed pretty shitty when they first came out though.
     
  6. starro

    starro Senior member

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    It seems every week an online MTM service in your price range pops up. Separating the wheat from the chaff takes some homework.

    Off the top of my head,
    - Oliver Wicks (good reviews, both half and full canvas)
    - Thick as Thieves (very specific aesthetic, good reviews)
    - Vulture Suits (read about them in my junk email, to illustrate the point about the ubiquity of online MTM)

    Ask around SF, do some search, and your list will be much longer. Cheers.
     
  7. epic raccoon

    epic raccoon Senior member

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    Ahem. I have been around SF for years, and I'm excellent at research :p

    The trouble here is that SF users tend to be a bit, how should I put this...quick on the draw?

    I mean, I can sympathise. I'm a regular on a number of online communities, where, in spite of sidebar/navbar links, sticky topics, and archived threads, people will just ask the same question again and again. I just want to reach through my screen and slap them in the face.

    But I digress.

    In my seven years of SF membership, I've recognised a number of idiosyncrasies common amongst many active users. One such idiosyncrasy is a very curt, brusque, or terse manner of posting, which I have never encountered in the same form elsewhere on the Internet. And this style of posting is noticeably exacerbated in threads about common topics such as this one; presumably it's a side effect of repeating the same information over and over again.

    However, this particular hastiness to relay information often leads to another commonly-exhibited SF idiosyncrasy, where a user inadvertently adopts a lackadaisical attitude as they respond to threads in a sort of stream-of-consciousness-meets-Wikipedia mindset.

    The end result? Missed details.

    ---

    Apologies for that. I meant no serious offence, and I appreciate your input.

    I'm aware of Thick as Thieves, and I'm sure your other two suggestions are just as viable, but you missed a key piece of information that can be found in the title as well as the replies:

    I'm in NYC.

    ...that is, unless TaT has expanded and opened shop in New York--in which case I will be overly ecstatic :D
     
  8. starro

    starro Senior member

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    The list of three I gave is indicative of the amount of time and effort I have available to answer your initial question for "feasible alternatives." I am very confident the exhaustive list (or a good approximation thereof) would be multiples longer, however I am constrained by my own schedule and unfamiliarity with your exact circumstances from doing the actual homework (for you).

    What I will remark in general (and I assume this to be self-evident to anyone with some life experience) is that it is damn near impossible to find an MTM service that's high quality (both in fitting and finish), and has local brick & mortar presence, and meets your very stringent pricing requirements (for reference, SuitSupply--which many SF'ers agree offers an attractive mix of quality fabric, quality construction, intelligent spectrum of fits, and affordable prices--prices their RTW suits at the top of your price range). The world doesn't have free lunches like that, in a well functioning economy price adjusts to demand, blah blah. So one would have to balance his priorities, and find an MTM place that offers an acceptable compromise among them. Of course, reasonable people with differing sets of priorities could reasonably land upon different "sweet spots" in their decision matrices. I would argue that a place like Oliver Wick offers a much more attractive overall package than Indochino (disclaimer: never ordered from either, entirely based on hearsay from a while ago). Would I take the combo of online measurements + tailor revision (over skype if needed) + guarantees of $125 in post-purchase alterations (OW) over the alternative of in-person measurement by inexperienced salesmen + underwhelming quality + business model of hype and churn, as evidenced by the trail of customer horror stories (IC)? It's pretty obvious.

    ... Wow, I started with a kernel and ended up with a rant apropos of nothing. Please don't take anything personally. My view of online fora like this is that no one knows anybody, we're all just text on a screen to each other, and the primary goal is to exchange information to our mutual benefit. So I never really get it when someone overlooks the usefulness of the content and gets upset over a perceived "tone."
     
  9. Mr. Six

    Mr. Six Senior member

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    My general impression from reading past threads about the lower cost custom options is that few if any were satisfied with the results. If you don't need the suit immediately, it might be better to save a bit longer so that you can raise the top of your price range to $800-900. At that price, you'd probably be able to use Kent Wang, who has a physical presence in NYC and is known to produce results in the acceptable to very good range. I would be very surprised if anyone is able to identify a reasonable option for you at the quoted price, but I hope I'm wrong!
     
  10. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    My two cents on Indochino: Attended a Style Forum Meet-Up at the San Francisco
    store. Among the many retailers who have hosted Meet-Ups and Trunk shows,
    Indochino offered the most exaggerated trendy design and the poorest quality
    garments. Admittedly, even if they were beautifully made and exuded quality,
    their style, would never appeal to my conservative taste.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  11. epic raccoon

    epic raccoon Senior member

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    No worries at all! You bring up very cogent points, and I've been around long enough to understand it as well. :)

    After reading your reply I realised that, having not been on SF recently, I left out a key piece of information: quality isn't as high of a priority right now. I'm still in the early stages of my career, and in a year or two I'll hopefully be making much more. When that happens, I'll certainly be looking into higher-end stuff.

    But for now, I'm merely trying to find a "stopgap" solution--a place from which I can order clothing with my measurements for the next 1-2 years.

    My OTR options are already in the $200-300 range and still fall short when it comes to my requirements (especially with fit and linings). I figure that for ~$100 more, there must be a feasible MTM alternative.

    Just to give you an idea, the sort of OTR options I considered before included such brands as Lauren Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Uniqlo, Zara, Banana Republic, J. Crew, and even H&M. Unfortunately ridiculously large armholes and polyester are unavoidable these days (also I have very strong feelings against patch pockets)!

    Also, searching for clearance items and digging around at discount/outlets e.g. Marshalls, Century 21, and Nordstrom Rack is too time-consuming, and I have rarely come across solid colours anyways. (Unless anybody knows of any reliable locations where 36-38S suits are regularly stocked in NYC ;))

    In other words, this is what I'm seeking in an MTM service (bulleted list for brevity, somewhat in order of priority):

    • Price range: $300-400 suits; $100 shirts
    • B&M location or in-person tailor to do accurate measurements for suits and shirts
    • Suit lining options: partial or unlined, no polyester
    • Solid charcoal, navy, greys, blues...
    • Suit fabric options: lightweight wool or blends (wool, linen, cotton) ideal for high temperature & humidity
    • Shirt fabric options: lightweight cotton or blends (cotton, linen) ideal for high temperature & humidity
    • Your "standard" customisable options, e.g. lapels, pockets, buttons, vents, etc.

    Again, I'm trying to find an budget/entry-level MTM service that can produce clothing to my measurements for the next couple of years. I don't care if the salespeople don't know why black is not the colour to get, or what a 3-roll-2 is, or what is traditionally considered black tie--just so long as I can have a suit made to my measurements and preferences.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
  12. epic raccoon

    epic raccoon Senior member

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    I'm sorry, I should have clarified: I understand SF's idea of "reasonable" is considerably higher than that of the average population (which I love!) but what I'm looking for is a "stopgap" suit that fits well, and doesn't make me sweat (i.e. summer fabrics and partial or no lining).

    I'm still in the early stages of my career. I'm looking to find something that I can wear for the next couple of years until I start earning more and can afford something truly beautiful ;)

    I also just posted this in response to another user's reply:

     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
  13. epic raccoon

    epic raccoon Senior member

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    How long ago was this? I recall Indochino being very trendy and ridiculous when it first launched years ago, but I was under the impression that they've improved.

    Regardless, if they can last me two years, and I can customise them so they're more on the conservative side of trendy, I'd be willing to consider them. I'd like to hear from people who have been to their NYC location though. My primary concern with Indochino is the measurement process.
     
  14. starro

    starro Senior member

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    Unless you got really fancy tastes in shirts, or have a ridiculously abnormal body, then I'd wager you can make do with OTR shirts. In which case, you can take at least 50-60 off your shirt budget and put it towards the suit. Just for reference, decent dress shirts (i.e. all natural, no polyester) at the types of retailers you mentioned can go as low as $10-20 when they are on sale. Charles Tyrwhitt clearance shirts are around $30.

    Another alternative to consider is enlisting the services of a good tailor. If you can find something that fits reasonably well, esp. in the shoulders, a tailor can take care of the rest and you could come out ahead in the long run.
     
  15. epic raccoon

    epic raccoon Senior member

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    I have the latter.

    I've spent many months looking for a dress shirt that fits me well, but there's always something off. Once you factor in the cost of alterations, the total sometimes exceeds MTM.

    On top of that, solid colours aren't as easy to come by when you shop discount stores, and there's very little in the way of fabric choice.
     

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