Men's Suits: Tailor-made Versus Custom or Off-the-rack? The Latest Stylebook Post from Sets Things Straight

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A new series of Stylebook posts from Kyle Vucko, style-setting men's fashion expert and CEO of online tailor clears confusion about how suits are made.

When it comes to men's suits how does hand-tailored differ from custom, and how do both differ from "off-the-rack" suits? According to Kyle Vucko, CEO of, a leader in online, hand-tailored men's suits, it's time to demystify the debate.

Vucko and his team of Master Tailors are helping educate men on choosing the right suit for fall with a series of Stylebook posts on The goal of each weekly Stylebook post is to take some of the knowledge within traditional men's tailoring and make it more accessible for young men.

"For example, I hear so many guys using the terms 'tailor made' and 'custom made' interchangeably when they're totally different," explains Vucko.

This week's Indochino Stylebook post Making a Tailor-Made Suit clears up confusion between the terms with a range of photos showing Master Tailors at work. This kind of specific information is highly relevant according to Vucko, since today's stylish male wants to know a lot more about fashion than he did ten years ago:

"Many guys can tell the difference between designers and wholesale brands or between high and low thread-count in fabric, but they're baffled when it comes to the finer distinctions like the difference between custom suits and tailored suits. That's where we can help."

Key distinctions in how tailored suits, custom suits and "off-the-rack" suits are made:

1. TIME: A hand tailored suit takes seven hours to make involving three to five tailors personally working on each suit. Off-the-rack or wholesale suits are assembled in mass quantities in factory settings, often at lightning speed.

2. HOW MUCH IS MADE BY HAND: Tailor made suits are created and finished by hand. Custom suits are manufactured in parts as semi-finished suits which are then altered and assembled to fit.

3. MEASUREMENT MOMENT: Tailored suits are chalked and cut for the client, based on his exact measurements from the start. Custom suits are fitted to clients after the basic pieces are made.

4. FINAL DELIVERY: Tailored suits can take up to ten weeks from measurement to delivery. (Online tailors like Indochino have shortened this time frame to two weeks by using teams of tailors and FedEx international shipping.) Retail suits can be purchased off-the-rack but are selected for large chains up to two years ahead of time to deal with a complex supply chain.

5. FASHION RESPONSIVENESS: Online tailors do not pre-make anything, allowing them to develop new suits based on emerging styles. (For example Indochino adds new suit styles each week in response to fashion trends or new looks.) Makers of off-the-rack suits plan their winter/autumn and spring/summer lines a year in advance, ordering 10,000+ suits at a time.

"It comes down to the fact that if you've got two weeks or more, then ordering a tailor made suit online and getting it handmade for your exact measurements by skilled tailors, all for under $300, is really hard to beat," explains Vucko.

New Stylebook posts are added weekly on

About Indochino
With offices in Victoria, BC Canada and Shanghai, China, Indochino provides custom tailored, premium quality suits in the latest styles - backed by superior customer service and fast delivery times. As a leader in online, custom tailored suits, Indochino meets the fashion needs of busy professionals, hard-to-fit body types, corporate groups, wedding parties and anyone who wants high quality, custom suits delivered to their door within two weeks. With their quick ten minute measure and online order process, Indochino makes it easy and affordable for customers to get a hand tailored suit for a look that is professional, fashionable and truly sophisticated.

High-resolution photos/jpegs available on request.


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Marci Hotsenpiller
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