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.
Awesome review, justin! Quick question, is their price point closer to black lapel or dragon inside? Not a huge difference between the two, but was curious how it compares.
It all depends on the fabric. But I would put them all in the same price category ($500-800).
You got the look, but That hair though….
I don’t think these are bad-looking clothes, but, man, these people spam aggressively. I could never buy anything from there after my experience with their marketing – they just can’t be trusted. As is noted in this review, you can’t browse their inventory online. I was hoping to do that, so I signed up for emails, but just requesting info about when their tailor truck was going to be in my area (DC), which I hoped would allow me to create a profile and see their fabrics (it didn’t).
Anyway, I quickly was bombarded with info about their tailor truck’s NY schedule (which I have no need for), their general marketing, direct ones from a “concierge,” and beyond – like 2, 3, 4 a day. It was nuts. I unsubscribed from everything and the concierge kept emailing, I kept getting the tailor truck emails, etc. It has been unbearable.
This is one of the first companies I reviewed. Since then, several of my readers have complained to me, both publicly (via comments) and privately (via email). I wanted to give AR the benefit of the doubt, but now I tell people to avoid them. Their customer service is terrible. They’re impossible to get in touch. And my suit didn’t fit well at all.
I try to support new companies, especially ones that are embracing MTM and fit technology. But I can’t get behind Arden Reed.
Did the 3d scanning actually work or did they measure manually as well for a “double check”?
They also took manual measurements.
I went to their truck for two suits to be made. I should have known not to go through with it when Carlos and the girl working in the truck were bickering at each other. You can already tell where this review is going. They remade my suits twice and both times my local Tailor told me the alterations would require them to open up almost each seam and would be over $225. The 3-D scanning is nothing more than a marketing scam. They made me get remeasured twice by my local tailor and they measured me manually in the truck as well. They do not respond when things do not work out. Luckily I paid with my credit card and my credit card company was able to reverse the charges because nobody from Arden reed would respond to me. All of this said I do agree that the material and the workmanship of their product is great. Dealing with this company and their lousy quality assurance processes makes that unimportant. I would rather a proper fitting suit made with lower quality fabric.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience! I hope you have found a brand that have been able to serve you better.