Made To Measure Suiting: Alton Lane, Pt III

Made To Measure Suiting: Alton Lane, Pt III


It’s time to start wrapping things up with all of the various made to measure series.  Alton Lane will be the first.  In the next few days I will follow up with the final Indochino post, additionally, you can see my thoughts on My.Suit.  Sometime in the next ten days or so I will have the second posts in the Black Lapel and My Tailor series as well.  And finally when all is said and done I am going to prepare a summary of all of the experiences in effort to centralize all of the information in a more concise and comparative manner.

In the past two Alton Lane (first and second) posts I have made it clear that I have not been exceedingly happy with the fit of my friends suit.  The manner with which they addressed making alterations was also not ideal; namely, they take forever.  The initial fitting was in the beginning of September and the final, twice altered suit was not delivered until mid-April.  However, before I got further, I should note that I have other friends who have not had the problems that I have thus far written about.  They are happy with Alton Lane and to my knowledge are planning to continue to shop there.  But here are my thoughts…

Much improved sleeve length. As I noted previously the pants fit well. The rest of the jacket fits pretty well from the front, including the shoulders; I think it will look better once pressed properly. The jacket length and lapel width are done well. The wearer notes it as being comfortable.
A good view from the side.
Once pressed I think the jacket will look better from the back, but the fabric doesn't seem to sit well. Also, the vent still rests open, which was supposed to be fixed. It is very unsightly in my opinion.
Nice and clean on the inside of the jacket with a generous sweat guard by the armhole.
Machine stitching around the armhole. Some degree of hand stitching is certainly desirable, as it allows for greater movement of the fabric and lining around the armhole.
The lining is stitched to the bottom of the jacket. Ideally it will not be a closed stitch like this, but one that allows for the lining to move and float (there would be a small gap between the jacket and the lining.
Buttonholes are machine stitched and clean. Certainly on par for suits in this price point. However, I prefer kissing/stacked buttons.
The sin: a fake keyhole stitched boutonniere. I have gone on at length on this before. This is one of the cheapest things I have seen and should not be this way on a $500 suit. The boutonniere hole should be a straight slit and it should function. Many suits at this price point will have a keyhole button hole, which is not ideal, but at least on those ones it is functioning.

In conclusion I would not recommend Alton Lane.  The quality of construction is sub-par and the turnaround time for the initial suit and subsequent remakes and alterations is also sub-par.  It would be one thing is the price and quality justified the length of time needed, however, they do not.  Although the final fit of the suit is tolerable, I suppose, the process by which to get there was not in the least.  I have heard some good things about Alton Lane but given this experience I would shy away from them.





  1. Wow, look at those photos. I don’t think you needed to say a word. look at the way the material is put together on the back photo of that suit. And you’re saying this is after corrections. What is that bulging under his right arm in the front shot by the way. And the sleeves…. No one can fault you for not giving a good and honest review with those photos as proof. Thank you for doing this review.

  2. Thanks for the interesting post Justin. I tend to think that with suits the old adage of you get what you pay for applies.I love my fully bespoke John Cutler suit which cost me an arm and leg in 2003 and still fits me like a glove and looks great. However I tend to wear this suit infrequently because it is so special and I am not in a position to afford another one anytime soon. At the other end of the spectrum I have my everyday workhorse suits from tm lewin that I literally purchased off the Internet and after minor adjustments also fit me very well. Tm lewin sells jackets and trousers as separate items so I my case I can mix a 44 regular jacket with a 36 inch trouser ( and afford to purchase 2 pairs ) . In the middle ground are the cheaper made to measure suits or the slightly more expensive off the rack suits from Paul Smith and Richard James. These suits are ok but I still had to get them altered and I still don’t wear them on a daily basis. As for the cheaper made to measure suits I have had similar problems to you. They took forever and I still wasn’t 100 percent happy with them at the end. They didn’t listen to what I wanted eg side tabs instead of belt loops and slanted pockets and the jacket was too short. At the end of the day for the same money I would have been happy with some more tmlewin suits or another off the rack designer suit such as Paul Smith, Richard James or Armani Collezione. I tend to think that off the rack with alterations may ultimately be more satisfying than cheaper made to measure and save your money for the true bespoke suit.

  3. Hey! I was wondering if you had anything other experiences with alton lane since your friends suit. They just opened a store where I live (richmond va) and I’m looking to get a blazer. Not many MTM here that isn’t super duper conservative cut, and i’m not trying to look like an old banker.

    • Patrick,
      I have spoken with a few people who have gotten suits from them, as well as a person or two who used to work/consult for them and still advise against using Alton Lane for anything. Furthermore, they have approached me twice to review them again and then gone out of contact.