In the early wild-west days of e-commerce, you would be lucky to order a book or a CD and receive it in the mail two weeks later. In the present world, however, nearly any commodity is available for purchase online, and in some markets a successful delivery can happen in a mere matter of hours. Buying a custom suit online really isn't too much different from buying anything else, but of course any product—whether it's tailored clothing or vintage stereo parts—is going to have its own unique aspects when it comes to online shopping.
Buying a custom suit online isn't quite as easy as choosing the product, clicking the "Order" button, and waiting for delivery. There are certain things that a customer needs to understand first before making the final purchase. As custom suits sold online still require custom tailoring, it is more of a personal service than it is a product per se. With this in mind, it is imperative that customers should focus on the quality of services rather than exclusively on the suit itself. But how do you differentiate quality service in the world of competing online retailers? How do you know for sure if an online seller offers high-quality services?
Here at Enzo Custom, we understand the needs of our clients. We want our clients to have the best comfort and superior fit possible when they receive their custom suits. With that in mind, the following concepts come from many years of experience, and taking these helpful pointers to heart will ensure that your shopping experience goes off without a hitch.
The "Perfect Fit" Is Subjective
Each person is going to have his own different perception of what constitutes a "perfect fit." Some men prefer a suit that is perfectly contoured to their body dimensions, while others may want something that breathes a little better. So what exactly does "fit" mean?
In tailoring terms, the "perfect fit" means that the outfit should follow your body shape from the top collar all the way down to your feet and complement the rest of the body's measurements. There are about 40 to 50 measurements that should synchronize with your body; in order to actually fabricate a suit that is well fitted, every measurement of the body from shoulder breadth to wrist circumference should be as precise as possible, and this will yield an appearance that is whole and balanced.
Alterations Are To Be Expected
There are some online tailoring shops that can get all of your measurements right the first time, but don't be disappointed when some don't. Alterations are simply part of the experience of buying a custom suit, and when they are done properly, client satisfaction always goes up a few notches.
If you come across Web sites that say they can "guarantee" the perfect custom suit on the first go-around, you might want to give it second thoughts. The old adage that says, "If it sounds like it's too good to be true, then it probably is" certainly applies here. When a tailoring business is moved to an online store, the perfect fit becomes more challenging to achieve, especially during the customer's first-time order. At Enzo Custom, your garments will arrive back in our showroom for a final fitting. All of the final alterations are completed in-house at no additional charge.
Measuring Yourself Can Be Tricky
In most cases, when the online shop has no physical store in your area, you will need to provide your own body measurements. In order to get the most accurate readings, you may need to ask a friend to help you take your measurements. Plenty of videos on the Internet exist that show you how to do this properly. If you're still not confident in the measurements that you did yourself or that a friend was able to take, you can always go to a local tailor, as they will have the proper measuring devices to ensure accuracy.
Look At The Refund And Return Policy
If the customer has to provide his own measurements, there is a greater risk of fitting anomalies, mishaps, and errors. Thus, the online store's return and refund policies become crucial. Unconditional return and refund policies should be standard after-sale services in this particular business, but unfortunately this is not universal in practice. Any store that offers anything less should be approached very carefully, if at all.
One's Word Is Only As Good As One's Reputation
With thousands of Web sites vying for online customers, some e-commerce retailers may have a bad or misleading reputation. So how can you tell the difference between a bona fide professional site and one that will give you the run-around?
The best way to check an online tailor's track record is to join or examine forums about their business. Real firsthand experiences from different people can help you decide which online tailoring shop is worth your time and attention. Look for detailed comments with emotion and specific dates, as these tend to be more authentic and trustworthy than one-liner recommendations and suggestions.
Request Fabric Samples
Before placing the order, ask for a sample of the actual fabric they use in making the suit. This is an important step in determining whether the quality of the fabric is top-notch or just mediocre. Some Web sites present high-resolution videos, photos, and other multimedia to enhance the appearance of otherwise average fabric, so while they might be useful tools in determining appearance, they cannot be trusted fully without reservations.
Feeling the fabric actually run through your fingers will give you a better judgment of what sort of quality they offer. It's also a good idea to request a sample of the lining as well, since this is important to the overall comfort level of the suit you end up purchasing.
Be Conservative In Your Color Choices At First
If this is your first attempt at buying a custom suit online, it's best to start out with solid classic low-key colors. Black, dark grey, and navy blue are all good choices. Don't jump to pinstripes or big squares just yet. Measurement errors are more easily seen on striped or squared fabrics, so sticking to classic colors at first will minimize the chance of ending up with an ill-fitting suit. Any slight bulging or wrinkles that may be present on suits in a solid color are hardly noticeable. Also keep in mind that stripes on a suit are more difficult to realign along the shoulders if any measurements are slightly off; suits in a solid color do not have this issue and are therefore easier to modify.
Elements Of The Suit
Now that we covered our bases regarding the process of selecting a reputable online tailor, it's time to get to the fun part of actually selecting what will comprise your suit. The following short tips will help you complete the perfectly fitted custom suit you've always wanted.
Choose A Fabric You Love
Go Natural With Your TrimsFabric selections can be a little intimidating sometimes, but there's no reason it needs to be a complicated process. Go with your gut, and most importantly go with something natural. Pay attention in particular to how the fabric feels and choose something that you'll love wearing.
Plastic buttons and other trims can look a bit cheap on a custom suit. Instead, consider going with natural trims like fabric, shell, or horn buttons. They're not just more aesthetically pleasing; they're more resistant to damage and better for the environment, too.
Pick A Natural Lining
Lining that is made from natural fibers will reduce heat and static. The wrong lining—especially a synthetic one—might make you sweat, and that's the last thing you want when you need to show up to an important business meeting or formal event.
Avoid The Glue
When it comes to the overall structural integrity of a suit, don't settle for anything that uses glue. Glued interfacing can separate over time, and you want a suit that contours to your shape, not one that literally hangs all over you. A quality custom suit should have a full-length canvas that includes a chest piece, hand-rolled lapel, and pad stitching.
Keep The Shoulders Natural
You Can Never Go Wrong With A Classic White Dress ShirtRather than settling for shoulder pads in your custom suit, you can let your natural shoulders shine through. A natural shoulder along with a sleeve head offers a modern look that you'll not only love but also prefer.
Be sure to also get at least one white custom dress shirt when you have your suit made. A white dress shirt always looks great, as it goes well with any suit color you choose.
Avoid Tailoring That's Too Tight
When you order a custom suit, you want to make sure that it is going to fit you perfectly. Make sure that the tailoring isn't too tight. You don't want to look like you shimmied into a suit that doesn't quite fit you. A well-tailored suit will fit you perfectly, customized to your measurements. But it should never look or feel too tight as if it were painted on.
Don't Forget About The Trouser Fit
Well-fitting trousers should be tailored to make your body look slightly longer. A long leg, narrow opening, and minimal break in your trousers can add perceived visual height.
Tailoring Is For All
Tailoring isn't just for the rich and famous; it is meant for everyone. With a well-tailored custom suit, anyone can feel confident in the way they look. If you're ready to take the next step in getting a custom suit that will always look spectacular, contact Enzo Custom today. We can help you set up a complimentary private appointment with one of our clothiers at one of our showrooms and get you on your way to loving the way you look. In addition to shopping online, you can also personally visit Enzo Custom's physical stores in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Beverly Hills, California, and Washington, D.C.