This review is a long time coming, arguably overdue. For that I owe Arden Reed an apology for taking so long. Anyway, I first came in contact with Arden Reed about a year and a half ago when they reached out to me. However, we decided the time was not quite right to do a review of their suits; so we held off.
Fast forward a year and the construction of a truck designed to measure guys for suits and Carlos (Arden Reed’s co-founder, the other being Mike Abadi) and I decided it was time to do a review of one of their suits. We decided it would be best for me to visit Arden Reed’s Traveling Tailor Truck as opposed to doing everything online. I think that whenever possible it is best to meet with a brand personally to have them measure you, as opposed to submitting measurements online. Ideally it will lessen the amount of error, but also, any error will be the fault of the brand and not the consumer.
As far as I know, Arden Reed is the only brand with any type of mobile platform like their tailoring truck. It’s a great promotional tool but it is also a great way for them to meet in person with customers in different geographic areas. Usually the truck is based in NYC, however, it has made trips to DC, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami and I am sure other places as well. You can check its whereabouts on the schedule.
The process at the tailoring truck was pretty straightforward and easy. I stepped into their body scanner, which I am told takes hundreds of measurements of my body. Carlos then double checked the measurements by means of manual measurement. Which I also cross referenced with my measurements that I have in my head (I’ve done the measuring so many times I think I have them all memorized). Following the measuring I selected all of the details and fabric for the suit.
The details for the jacket are as follows: 2 button, peak lapel, flapped hacking (slanted) pockets, side vents, functioning boutonniere, non functioning sleeve buttons and half lined. For the pants: no pleats, no cuffs, no belt loops, side tabs and 2 back pockets. For the vest: 5 button front, 2 pockets and liner lined back. I selected a very nice brown wool/cashmere (95/5 blend I believe) herringbone fabric. I requested a brown lining to match the brown of the fabric, as Arden Reed did not have a brown lining on hand; fortunately, they were able to fulfill my request.
If you take the time to browse Arden Reed’s website you will notice that this fabric is not present on the site. That is because they have a much more extensive fabric selection on the truck than on the website, at least 50 different fabrics are available. Which is certainly another reason I think it is better to meet with the brand in person if at all possible.
Speaking of the website, I do not like how the Arden Reed website requires you to create a profile to simply browse the site. They also do not have customization options on the website, instead, they have a few stock fabrics and set ups that you can choose from. However, I am sure if you wanted to change and of the details you could just email Arden Reed.
So, how did the suit fit? First off, the suit came in 4 weeks, as expected (which is the norm for mtm makers who use factories in China). The first suit that was sent to me was a mess. Both the fit and the details were off. The jacket had patch pockets and was too big in the chest, stomach and shoulders. The pants had belt loops. Carlos acknowledged the error and immediately offered a remake, which was what was needed in this case. I made a few adjustments to my measurement profile and we commenced the remake. So how is the final suit?
Clearly, I have some pretty mixed thoughts on the experience and suit from Arden Reed. On the one hand, we had to remake the suit, the jacket pockets are off, the side tabs are elastics and the website is not made to allow for customizations (which is a different business model they are trying). On the other, the fit, fabric and construction quality on the final suit are all quite good. Not to mention by using their tailoring truck allows you to easily customize your suit and choose from a wide array of fabrics. The customer service has also been excellent and Carlos is a really easy guy to deal with.
So what say I? Arden Reed’s suits have come a long way since I first spoke with them and I expect them to continue to make progress. However, they still have some kinks to work out. So although I recommend Arden Reed (only the tailoring truck, as I did not deal with the website), I will say that they are not in the top tier of made to measure operations that I have reviewed. There are certainly not enough issues to tell you all to steer clear. That said, I look forward to continuing to follow Arden Reed’s development and growth. If you have any experience of you own or questions, please feel free to share in the comments.
Note: FYGblog did receive the suit being reviewed for the purpose of review. As always, the utmost effort has been taken to maintain an unbiased point of view.