“Who is the best made to measure brand? Is Indochino better than Black Lapel or vice versa? Is it worth it to go to MyTailor over MySuit? What do you think about Astor & Black? Have you ever heard of Michael Andrews Bespoke?”
I get asked all of these questions and more, every week, almost every day. Sometimes a guy only asks one of the questions and other times all of them. I don’t mind, in fact I often take pleasure in answering. Helping guys dress better is one of the primary objectives of this whole blog thing anyway, right? Yes.
And yes, I have heard of Michael Andrews Bespoke. I do not have any direct experience with Astor & Black but from what I’ve seen and heard I can only say lukewarm things about them. If you have the extra cash MyTailor is worth it over MySuit a majority of the time. Black Lapel has better construction quality than Indochino, but Indochino starts at a price that is 18% lower and some guys may prefer the lighter jackets of Indochino. And most importantly, there is no single best made to measure or custom suit brand out there; at least not that I have found yet. There are, however, some very good ones.
As time marches on I become more steadfast in the belief that certain made to measure shops are better for certain people and certain situations. Cost, for many gents, seems to be the primary factor. If your budget is $500 then you must look to brands like Indochino, Black Lapel, Arden Reed and the like. If your budget is $1,500 then you need look to the Martin Greenfields and MyTailors of the world. And then if your budget is $5,000 you should look to the Paul Stuart Customs, Cifonellis, Len Logsdails and Steven Hitchcocks of the world. There is nothing to say that you won’t find a better fitting suit for you for $500 as opposed to $5,000, it is entirely possible.
But after cost, what do we have? Convenience? House style? Construction quality? Fabric selection? Durability? Place of manufacture? Online vs brick and mortar vs traveling? Fit? The list goes on…
Maybe you say to yourself, “I want a suit made in NYC,” then go to Martin Greenfield. “I want something where I can have my girlfriend measure me,” maybe you should look toward Indochino or Black Lapel. “I want to look at 1,000 fabrics at the same time,” well MyTailor is pretty good with that. “I want something really unique, exotic and tasteful,” then Cifonelli is likely your best bet. I could go on.
And it is through a diligent weighing of these factors and questions that should lead you to your tailor. It is a matter of priorities. These are the right questions you need to ask yourself and these are the things you need to research. The right question is who is the right tailor for me, not who is the best tailor period. It is all about finding the right fit. And finding the right fit of a tailor for you should lead you to the best fitting suit for you. And finding the best fitting suit should be the end goal in the first place.