Long time readers of this blog will know that tailored clothing, in particular made to measure suiting has been the most frequented topic discussed on The Fine Young Gentleman. I would even go so far as to say that I have reviewed more brands than anyone else and that those reviews garner more traffic than other blogs reviews. But I could be wrong on both of those. Either way, my point is that I have been following the industry closely over the past 3.5 years, back when the industry was really in its infancy. Now it is somewhere past its infancy and far from its maturity; but the players seem to be established. Black Lapel, Indochino, Dragon Inside, Knot Standard are the bigger ones that I have reviewed and then a few I have not; iTailor and Modern Tailor (I do hope to review them in the future however). Then there are countless lesser operations, some I have reviewed and some I have not. You may ask what about Suit Supply, Alton Lane, MySuit, J Hilburn and all of the traveling tailors? I am not including them in this discussion because they are either primarily a brick and mortar operation or they suck (ie Alton Lane).
As the online made to measure industry has grown, some of the brands have raised some serious capital and others have chosen to fund themselves internally. Their consumer bases have grown both in number of customers as well as in the number of markets served. I believe that future expansion will include both of these segments continuing to grow as well as growth through expanded product offerings (accessories, shoes, bags etc). A key part of each brands future expansion will also include a more noted physical presence. Warby Parker and Bonobos have excelled at this model; build your audience up online and then once you reach a critical mass (or at least enough of one) in a given market, build a physical presence. Although many of the aforementioned mtm brands have had a physical presence in NYC to varying degrees it was not until the last few months that I think things have begun to really change in a noticeable way. The best example being the opening of the Indochino store in SoHo.
Anyway, while up in NYC a few weeks ago I had the good fortune of stopping by the NYC outposts for Black Lapel, Indochino and Knot Standard. I’ve included some brief thoughts and photos below. If you have any questions or would like more information on a given brand, please sound off in the comments.
Black Lapel – About a year ago Black Lapel moved into a new office (27th and 6th) with a dedicated showroom and fitting space. They have a few more fabrics on display in the showroom than on the website so if you are NYC based I recommend stopping by if you are interested in using Black Lapel and their top tier customer service. I have a very interesting and attractive blue/grey birdseye suit from their fall/winter collection heading my way for review. Appointments requested.
Indochino – Indochino is the largest player in online MTM suiting, as far as I know. They now also have the most prominent location and storefront, relative to their competitors, with the opening of their street level store at 435 Broome st. Rest assured, the fit of the suits the mannequins are wearing is planned to be improved. Stop by for yourself, no appointment needed.
Knot Standard – Knot standard is leading the pack with 6 showrooms, 5 in the states and one in Dubai. I recently stopped by the NYC outpost (right off Madison Sq Park) and was impressed with the fabric selection on hand, which is far more extensive than what is on their website and the most comprehensive of any of the makers in this post. Mills such as Holland & Sherry, Dormeuil and Ariston were all present. I have a jacket in the blue check pictured in the last photo on the way, I cannot wait. Appointments requested.
Dragon Inside – Although DI doesn’t have a physical presence in NYC yet I believe the brand is looking into something. Either way, the brand must be complemented on its exceptionally strong fall/winter fabric collection. I have really been pushing every mtm brand that I deal with to build out their seasonal collections, it is nice to see how Dragon Inside has built theirs (how much of that is based on my advice, I do not know). The collection has some beautiful flannels from VBC as well as a few nice Donegal tweeds, like the one pictured below.
Note: FYGblog did not receive material compensation from any of the noted brands during the production of this post. In the past and in the future, however, FYGblog has received suits and other goods for review from each of the brands. Additionally, affiliate links are included in this post. Please help support the production by clicking on said links if interested in purchasing a suit from Black Lapel, it will not cost you anything extra.