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Monday, August 19, 2013

Dress Spiffily Tailored for Cheap By Using the Measuring Tape Yourself

Posted By on Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 11:08 AM


The men and women who make big money here do it in jeans and sweatshirts -- Twitter's Jack Dorsey aside -- and if you are among the professional men here who want to adopt more mature aesthetics, the process of getting a suit isn't simple. Besides knowing where to buy good material without getting gouged, there's the issue of finding a tailor who can make your most expensive outfit flattering enough to wear. If you have $500 and an inclination or obligation to adopt pre-Zuckerberg business dress, Indochino is a novel melding of old world of tailoring and modern data storage that can outfit you.

The brand is the creation of two students who met in Canada and saw inspiration in their frustration at the difficulty of finding quality business attire. After you walk to the hardware store and get some measuring tape, the service walks you through just over a dozen measurements of your body, has you upload the figures, then pick out your patterns and fabrics -- you can also get it made with nanotech-treated Italian wool that'll hold against wrinkles and bead off the rain. If you want to throw in a flashy Ted Baker interior, you can do that, too.

The data goes to their factory in China, where co-founder and chief creative officer Heikal Gani (he's Singaporean) sits at the helm of their Shanghai HQ. Three weeks later, your suit, and shirts, vests, whatever else you want, arrives at your front door. When you need more vestments, your size is always on hand for the next order. If something is off, Indochino will give you $75 of credit to head to a local tailor.

The most basic fabric two piece suits start at just north of $400, but that number and the "made in China" tag on the inside are misleading. The fabric options include the same fine Super 140s merino wool you'll find on Italian equivalents. The brand's Vincero line of fabric is the same material used on Ralph Lauren's Purple Label suits. The reason for the (comparatively) cheap cost is that the brand works directly with their Shanghai production partners and has no retail engine to fuel. Unlike Men's Warehouse or a spendy Financial District boutique, Indochino don't have the cost burden of maintaining shops.

At least temporarily, though, they're paying for a pop-up at 117 Post Street to get the word out about the brand. On the first floor, flanking natty manikins are large swaths of fabric, which you are free to rub between your fingers as if you know what you're looking at. Upstairs is the crux of the shop, where the open floor with attractive attendants measure you and help the especially inept pick out a flattering fabric -- the process takes about 30 minutes. They flick through their iPhone to input every metric needed to dress down the rest of the next Apple unveiling or overpriced cocktail bar. The store will be available until August 29.

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Alexander George


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