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Convince me NOT to go MTM

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by acconrad, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. acconrad

    acconrad Senior member

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    Mar 17, 2009
    Boston, MA
    So I've been holding out for a deal on a RLBL suit, but the more I wait the more I'm wondering why I'm even bothering.

    Thick as Thieves and Steven Aver both make fully canvassed navy suits with a variety of Super 100s wool that will most likely fit someone with a 11'' drop better (BL is only 7'') simply because its MTM. I've got a very muscular build and I can't seem to find any shop that has broad, soft shoulders and a significant drop down 11''...plus all of those suits feature pants that are WAY too big. And, at a price of around $500, that's about the same as RLBL on a good sale. But something is holding me back...marketing/brands? Hype?

    So what are the downsides to this option? Why is everyone not doing this? Someone convince me not to go MTM...or at least explain why I haven't pulled the trigger yet, because I really think the deals for these MTM suits is almost too good to be true.

  2. theyare

    theyare Senior member

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    Feb 27, 2008
    Does RLBL fit you well? I don't have quite as extreme of a drop, but have pretty broad shoulders. To get a RLBL to fit right on the shoulders, I have to size up 2 full sizes, which obviously makes the rest of the suit ridiculously big.

    I have found MTM the best way to go since very OTR are made for broad shouldered people.

  3. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    Oct 21, 2008

    So what are the downsides to this option? Why is everyone not doing this? Someone convince me not to go MTM...or at least explain why I haven't pulled the trigger yet, because I really think the deals for these MTM suits is almost too good to be true.

    1. There aren't a whole lot of downsides, as long as you get your measurments right.

    2. Why is everyone not doing this? People don't know about it. Aver and TaT are well known on SF as they are both SF members and post heavily. But nobody else has heard about it, at least when you consider society as a whole. Also, the average person probably doesn't care enough, they'll just go out to Macy's and assume that when the sales rep says it fits great that it must actually fit great.

    In the end, I'm not going to convince you to not go MTM, I've had great luck with TaT and find it a superior value to RLBL.

  4. Macallan9

    Macallan9 Senior member

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    Apr 14, 2009
    The downside of MTM is that if your measurements are off, you're out 500 bucks, not happy, and can't really resell your suit for anything close to what you paid.

    Also no Steeze from having RLBL and cannot participate in the many RLBL discussions.

  5. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    Jan 3, 2008
    Princeton, NJ
    i dont think ethier will work for you.

    Honestly i took one of my friends shopping that has the same prob, except i didnt bother with BL, i went to brooks brothers with him and he fits well in golden fleece, except the waist.

    Trim the waist on the suit, and recut the pants, done.

    I'm about a drop 8, i usually opt to buy jackets/pants rather then suits. But i know which suits fit me well and much prefer them to a MTM dart throwing program.

  6. East Oakland

    East Oakland Senior member

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    Jan 26, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    I agree with others here that MTM can a risky game.

    MTM is not the same as bespoke with repeated fittings, etc., so there is no guarantee that the suit is going to come out right based on a single set of measurements.

    I am still hanging onto a MTM suit that I pad $700 for in 1995 that I have worn maybe once--the sales rep measured me in person, but when it arrived I hated the fit and I was out $700 bucks for a suit that I won't ever wear. If you search this forum there are lots of fit picks of MTM suits that did not turn out so well -- a lot of them from young guys, for whom $500 may have been a lot of money.

    I have been meaning to give TAT a try, and will probably do so soon. TAT does appear to be an incredible value from what I have seen here.

    But I'm prepared for the possibility that my first suit/coat from them may not be perfect unless I can get measured when I am down in LA at some point and that I may have to spend additional $$ on alterations.

    Off the rack really can work well if you have a relatively common build and live in a city with lots of retail so that you can try on suits made by a wide variety of different manufactures, etc. (and can hit the sales when they happen). Sounds like you have already tired that route, though.

  7. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    May 10, 2005
    Menlo Park, CA
    I agree with the previous comments. MTM can be tricky.
    Over many years the results of my MTM experiences have been
    mixed at best. Having a competent measurer at a reputable
    store does not guarantee that instructions will be be followed
    and the garment(s) won't be screwed up at the factory.

    Second point. Of the two MTM candidates you are considering,
    I would choose Aver. Perhaps it is the images the firms are trying
    to convey through their websites, but to me at least, TaT is
    projecting an updated Reservoir Dogs look:


  8. Alan Bee

    Alan Bee Senior member

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    Sep 26, 2007

    I have had the undesirable privilege of spending over $10,000 at Oxxford Clothes on thier MTM program, each time hoping that they'd get me closer to a perfect fit. Well, it did not happen - a very expensive lesson.

    On the subject, the point of note is that most of my favorite articles of clothing happen to be OTR. I did lock-in on a RTW coat maker whose style and fit I find pleasing, and have since returned to the same brand severally.

    As Skinny points out, MTM is akin to throwing darts in the dark (in an expensive leather panelled room).

    Much is made of bespoke and MTM on this forum but you'd be pleased to learn that some of the greats', including Cary Grant, often purchased thier clothes off-the-rack (quoting his biographical work). Further, a recent Wall St Journal interview with Willie Brown (ex-San Fran Mayor) reveals that most of his clothes are OTR, excepting of the infrequent odd sartorial project.

    So I'd suggest - if you are a difficult fit, as I am (10" drop) - you invest the time and effort in finding an OTR alternative to bespoke or MTM. For one, you can be certain of the quality, and more evidently, you know what you are getting at the point of purchase.

    And certainly not the least, it may save you a trip to the poorhouse.


  9. SlamMan

    SlamMan Senior member

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    Mar 18, 2008
    I've had a lot of luck with Samuelsohn MTM. It's not the cheapest but not bad if you can catch a trunk show somewhere. Certainly not in the TaT price range still. A lot of it comes down to who measures you. With MTM your drop won't matter nearly as much.

  10. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

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    Jun 25, 2007
    I haven't worn any of my MTM suits in over a year. Yesterday I put on my charcoal MTM suit to wear to a funeral, but quickly took it off because my OTR suit looks much better on me. I've gone the MTM route with several suits that now just hang in my closet unworn; ironically, my RTW suits fit significantly better.

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