Nestled into a second story office space is Alton Lane, another name on New York City’s quickly expanding list of made to measure suit shops. Well, technically they classify themselves as a ‘custom’ suit maker because they do not take existing patterns and alter them (which is MTM, like My.Suit) but create an individual pattern for each person. They say this should give a better fit, but we shall see. The shop has a nice set up, couches, a small bar (mostly whiskey, naturally) and a few big chairs; a very masculine feel. I believe Alton Lane is trying to give off the impression of a clubhouse or social club. They pull it off pretty well. But that is really not what is important, what’s important are the suits.
The process at Alton Lane is pretty simple. You can either submit your measurements online of go into their shop at 11 W 25th street. The latter option was the method utilized in our case. And when I say our I mean my friend and I, for he is the one who got the suit not me, I was just an impartial observer in the whole process. The selection and fitting appointment took about an hour, as was the case at My.Suit. First, the fabric and design of the suit was selected. A solid navy, notch lapel, 2 button, single vented jacket was chosen along with flat front trousers with belt loops; about as classic as it gets. But I should note that the usual options were present (including hacking pockets, ticket pocket, functional buttonholes on the sleeves, suspender buttons, side tabs and different color button holes).
The fabric selection was excellent. The basic fabrics start at $495 and prices go up from there (up to over $2,000) for fabrics from the likes of Dormeuil and Vitale Barberis Canonico and others. But, I wouldn’t spend half of $495 for a suit at Alton Lane, I would take my money elsewhere. Why? You may ask. Because they do not provide a functioning boutonniere hole on the lapel, and it is not an option. Although I would get very little to no use of this hole it is a matter of aesthetics and principle. And to make matters worse, the girl who was doing the fitting (who other than this was great and answered all of our questions) said that you could take a seam opener to it to open it up. FALSE. All that Alton Lane’s manufacturer does is sew over the lapel fabric to make it look like a boutonniere hole. Of all corners to cut, this has to be one of the cheapest and it makes me wonder about the quality of the construction of the jacket and pants.
After the fabric and styling has been picked out comes the fitting. The usual measurements are taken but additionally the client steps into some type of electronic measuring machine (much like the full body x-ray machines at the airport). The client stands in the machine for about a minute while it takes thousands of measurements to create a 3D model of the client. I was told this helps a lot in determining the posture of the client, I would imagine it is also helpful with the shoulders. Once the measurements are completed and documented you down the last of your drink and head out. Simple enough, right?
Although six weeks was the stated delivery time my friends suit will arrive in roughly four weeks. Unlike My.Suit, alterations are left to the client to choose where to get them done. Alton Lane will provide a $150 certificate for alterations to a tailor of your choosing. There are obvious pros and cons to this method but I do not think that it is a deal breaker because most alterations will likely be covered by $150. But as I already stated, the lack of a true lapel hole is the deal breaker for me.
There will be one more post on the final product from Alton Lane, but before that I will have the first of the posts on my experience with Indochino.
No finished button hole on the lapel IS ODD in custom made haberdashery.
And I would want the suit to be fitted by the maker (is this shipped from China?) until perfect.
Beau Brummel, go elsewhere!
I just wanted to share my experience with the company as well so that others will be aware of the type of company that it is. BTW – the suits are made in Thailand and are of the poorest quality.
RUN AWAY FROM THIS SCAM JOINT – BUYER BEWARE! Can’t say it any more clearly. My partner and I ordered 2 tuxedos, 4 months in advance of need for a family wedding. My tuxedo arrived timely, however, all of the satin trimming on the jacket and pants were scorched, the fit was horrible and the fabric atrocious and arrived completely wrinkled in a poorly packed shipping box. Additionally, there was some sort of interfacing in the front of the jacket that was like cardboard. I called their “customer service” department as the directions instruct and offered many times to bring the garment in for their inspection since it was not a problem and I felt it would be more efficient. I was told that their procedure was to produce photos of the garment with a narrative and they would review and respond. This is just a stall tactic that they use. They reviewed and offered me $25 to have the suit pressed. To make a long story short, after weeks of e-mails back and forth, no customer service and lots of side-stepping, I filed a claim with the NY Better Business Bureau, began a dispute claim with my credit card company, sought the aid of a fabric preservationist, and reviewed the garment labeling law. They were in violation of the “Rules & Regulations Under The Textile Fiber Products Identification Act”. The garment did not contain the proper fabric content labeling. My partner’s tuxedo was equally in bad shape and he filed claims as well.
The end result after much hard work and aggravation is that WE FINALLY GOT OUR MONEY BACK (through our credit card company) !!! So beware, if you still buy there at least use a credit card that has buyer protection as a benefit.
Thank you for sharing your story. My friend who had the suit made had considerable difficulty in dealing with Alton Lane as well. I don’t understand why they are that way… But luckily the options in NYC are more than suitable. If you wouldn’t mind, could you tell more about the violation? I’m pretty curious about that. If you would prefer you can email me at Justin@thefineyounggentleman.com.
[…] of Men’s DressAboutThe Line Is Being BlurredWho Is…?Contact ← NYC Made To Measure Suiting, Alton Lane Pt 1 January 4, 2012 · 9:58 am ↓ Jump to […]
[…] options, for it is here you can choose for a functional boutonniere, which I criticized Alton Lane for not providing. I choose a jacket with single button front, peak lapels, side vents, hacking […]
[…] suited to my tastes. But unfortunately, neither shop ended up fitting into my budget. I nixed Alton Lane (starts around $500) because I could not find as much information on it as I could My.Suit, but I […]
[…] In case you have been wondering why the progress on the Made To Measure Suiting Battle Royale has been progressing rather slowly I would like to pass along an update. But first I apologize for the delays in finishing this series of posts. The delays are mainly a result of two things. The first is that my time has been limited as of late, courtesy of increasing demands from my real job. The suiting posts take much longer to write than a majority of the other posts do. The second reason is that the suit had to be remade at both Alton Lane and Indochino. The sleeves were far to short on the former, something that cannot be fixed by tailor, but this should not have happened in the first place given someone from Alton Lane took the measurements. On the latter the sleeves were too long, which I think was my fault, and the chest was too large which may not have been my fault. Both of which could have been fixed by a tailor but Indochino and I agreed that it could be a useful for purposes of FYGblog to go through the remake process. At this point I am still waiting on the remade suits back from both Alton Lane and Indochino. In the meantime please feel free to browse through prior posts in the series (My.Suit I and II, Indochino I and Alton Lane I). […]
[…] the website and from the measurements Indochino is able to fabricate the suit. Unlike My.Suit and Alton Lane, there is no human interaction between the customer and the maker. Which can create a […]
This place is horrible. I got two suits and a few shirts a few months ago (I splurged, yes) and they are so slow and unaccommodating and simply just hustlers.
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Did you post a follow up to this with fit critique? I was thinking of visiting AL’s DC showroom, but I don’t want to waste my time if your first impressions were accurate.
AL approached me asking to do a second review of them and I was going to oblige, however, they backed out. I still have yet to hear of any good things about AL from friends and others I’ve spoken to who’ve been and/or worked there. That said, definitely take your money elsewhere.
This place is a scam!! I would recommend that you stay as far away from Alton Lane as possible. I made a huge mistake by going there and hope that at least someone learns from my mistake.
I ordered a suit for my wedding. They were fully aware of the date when I needed it and assured me they would have it in plenty of time. I began to get concerned a couple of weeks before my wedding when the suit was not ready. After numerous telephone messages and emails, I was finally able to reach someone who “investigated” the issue for over six hours. The end result was that they never even started to make the suit. Their stated excuse was that the fabric was back ordered and “sorry we dropped the ball.” Nobody ever shared this fact with me until after I inquired. Of course, they had to have known it was back ordered from the day I ordered (and paid for) the suit, and every day after that for over a month. Nobody ever shared that fact with me until I inquired. Moreover, their website indicated that the suit had been shipped. I am now stuck without a suit for my wedding. So, not only could they not deliver on the promise they made, and I paid for, by “dropping the ball” and not telling me they were unable to provide the service they promised, they have prevented me from getting a legitimate tailor to make a suit for me. I suggest that you go to any one of the many custom suit companies in New York. I have had a lot of success with Tom James. Unlike Alton Lane you can expect to deal with professionals–not a two-bit company masquerading behind the façade of a leather sofa and empty scotch bottles. I feel like I was completely scammed.
Agree. Stay away from this place. My Yelp review below. I offer some suggestions on other places that are better.
I was introduced to Alton Lane by the Company’ prior VP, Operations. He is a guy that I worked with previously, and just went with the assumption that the experience would be great.
Provided below is the email that I sent to Alton Lane detailing my issues. This email was a direct response to a sales email I received from Katherine at Alton Lane wherein she was trying to sell me more shirts. I never got a response to my email, which likely represents how much Alton Lane cares about my business.
I suggest people not purchase anything from Alton Lane. The frustration is not worth it. I have listed below three places for custom clothes in NYC that are much, much better. I cross referenced each of these establishments Yelp reviews with my own experiences, and each one rated higher than Alton Lane.
– Doyle & Mueser
– Proper Cloth
– Kamakura Shirts
My email to Alton Lane:
Thank you for your note. Yes; I shopped @ Alton Lane in the past. Over a five or so month period I spent close to $10,000 to figure out if your product / service was right for me.
After a less than spectacular customer experience with you guys, I have switched to a different custom clothing company in NYC. In the last year, I have spent close to $25,000 on shirts and suits from them – sales that frankly would have come to you if my experience would have been better. I would really love to come back because I like the showroom experience and selection, but worry about quality and service given the issues I outline below. The place I am getting shirts / suits from now is more expensive, but, price is never the only consideration.
I experienced a series of issues with my orders. For example, you guys never got the fit right for any of my suit jackets. They all bunch up and hang poorly when the front top button is buttoned – this was after multiple attempts for you guys to fix the jackets. I am 6′ 1″ and thin, so this has never been an issue with any of the other custom suits I own. Additionally, the suit you made for me that cost $2,550 had fit issues (jacket bunches in the front when buttoned and hangs poorly) and the interior lining of the jacket separated from the jacket after two wears. Finally, all of the shirts I bought from you guys wore out very, very quickly. Specifically, the underside of the French cuffs on every shirt wore thin within 3-5 wears (i.e., you can see through the top layer of fabric and the fabric was worn through). I have many custom shirts and have never seen this. I wrote to Raul about this but he said it was my fault and that I should not dry clean the shirts. Fact is, I have never dry cleaned any of the shirts I got from you, or from any other custom shirt maker. After that response, I just gave up on you guys. Reality is I have $9,000 – $10,000 in suits and shirts from Alton Lane that just sit in the back of my closet given either poor fit or quality.
In the end, I can afford these kinds of experiments, so I do not get angry like a typical customer might. Rather than just ignore your email, I thought I would be honest about why I stopped shopping with Alton Lane and switched to another custom clothier. Hopefully, this will save you guys’ time.
Just picked up a custom made suit. I have to say that I am beyound taken back by the quality of work. It’s horrible, had the pants altered upon trying them on and they are still a mess. They now look like MC hammer pants tight on the bottom (which we could consider custom fit to the knee) then there is a sudden dimple on the side that expands giving me disproportionate hips and thighs. I also told them the crotch was way to extended, practically down to my knees. Never mind the fact that I’m not a tall guy to begin with now I’m a short guy with elephantiasis. I can’t even believe this custom made suit. It’s fit for an idiot