My first experience with Suitsupply came about five years ago when groomsman duties required a matching Napoli suit. Prior to that, two cheap suits got me through weddings and funerals. I wasn’t thinking about fabrics, lapel size or canvas; only that my suit fit and wouldn’t draw attention in formal settings.
That off-the-rack experience at Suitsupply went swimmingly, and the upshot was I had a classic suit I wear to this day. Even if it cost a bit more than other suits I’d worn for other weddings, the Napoli wasn’t a one-time rental or a polyester outfit I’d never wear again.
It also sent me down a path some men take in their thirties: learning the difference a well-fitting and well-constructed suit makes. As another function of being in my thirties, I eventually stopped being able to fit into those cheap suits. That prompted me to buy another Suitsupply suit — its semiannual outlet sales present fantastic value — and when the company reached out about the Custom Made program, well, I was interested to explore what that entailed.
What is Suitsupply Custom Made?
Suitsupply Custom Made is the company’s made-to-measure option that lets you pick every last detail on your suit: Not just the fabric and lapels, but the pleats, lining and even the Columbia stitch. Even I didn’t know what a Columbia was before I started building my suit (it’s the stitching in the inner jacket pocket).
Rather than choosing an off-the-rack suit in a specific cut or with pre-set lapel and pocket shapes, your Custom Made suit is measured to fit you and only you — unless someone has the same exact body as you. In that case, it’ll fit that person, too. There are so many pieces to customize that there’s virtually no way anyone else will have the same suit as you.
The steps involved in Suitsupply Custom Made:
- Build your suit online
- Send the suit’s custom code to a Suitsupply store
- An in-person first fitting
- Suitsupply makes the suit
- A second fitting to make sure everything is to spec
Generally, it takes about a month from the first fitting for the suit to be made and shipped. That held true for me — and each step was a breeze.
Building your Suitsupply Custom Made online
This is the most fun part of the Custom Made program. It’s doubtful anyone has actually done the math, but based on the number of fabrics, stitches, pleats and sartorial options, there are likely millions of permutations to a Custom Made suit. In this case, “unique” is best way to describe your final outcome.
In all, I spent about two hours tinkering with my suit online. You get to be your own stylist while sitting on a sofa. The main points of Custom Made choices are:
- Extra trousers (a yes/no proposition)
Custom Made fabric options
You start out with the fabric of your choice — wool, linen, silk, cotton and blends are all options, with hundreds of fabrics to choose from. That lets you build a suit for any season or occasion. The Custom Made fabrics come from Italian mills known for their quality, with hundreds of years of history in some cases.
I went with a conservative mid-gray stripe in pure wool, figuring any flair I went for would be more subtle. It’s hard to not announce your presence in a green suit. In need of a more formal option, I opted for subtlety.
Custom Made jacket options
From there, the small details you can modify are staggering (in a good way). On the jacket, you’ll get to customize:
- Fit & Style
Fit & Style is far and away the biggest part here; Suitsupply offers a variety of fits with different shoulder constructions, more traditional or slimmer cuts, peak or notch lapels, and double-breasted or single-breasted jackets.
Since my suit was a conservative color, I went for a nuanced variation: Peak lapels and 2.5 buttons. What’s fun to me is that most people will just see a well-cut, traditional suit. It takes a closer looks to see the lapels or the pant pleats.
I also went for natural shirt sleeves, so the shoulders look more relaxed, along with slanted flap pockets. Flap pockets fall between jet pockets and patch pockets in formality (jet being more formal, patch being less), again aiming for versatility.
The only other real flair in my Custom Made jacket was a Flower Dark red lining. No one will see it while I’m wearing the jacket, but it’s a fun pop of personality.
Custom Made trousers options
Your trousers have fewer variations to choose from, but still enough to make things interesting. You’ll get to choose:
The Model portion gives you options for closure and waistband, while construction lets you choose pleats and hem. I opted for a double hook closure, side adjusters, a standard single pleat and a plain hem. All are just personal preferences, but again, the theme for me was nuance that wouldn’t scream, “Look at my fancy suit!”
Custom Made extra trousers
A suit’s pants tend to wear out quicker than the jacket ever will; it makes sense, because you’ll sometimes take the jacket off, but you wouldn’t really take the pants off and continue wearing the jacket unless you’re Porky Pig.
Jokes aside, you shouldn’t wear a suit coat without its pants. An extra pair of trousers allows you to extend the life of a suit, especially if you have to wear one daily. I don’t, so I skipped getting extra trousers.
Custom Made waistcoat options
A waistcoast is the vest portion of a three-piece suit. I decided to get one, figuring I could always wear the suit without the waistcoat if I so choose.
As far as options go, you can choose:
Once again, I went conservative: A single-breasted, 5-button, V-shape waistcoat with jetted pockets and no AMF. I opted for the Flower Dark red lining to match the jacket.
Custom Made size options
Most off-the-rack suits are drop-six, which means you subtract 6 inches from the jacket size to determine the waist. I’m just that: 40 in jacket and 34 in waist. I am lucky in that off-the-rack suits seldom need much tailoring if I’m able to try them on.
For anyone unlike me, like tall skinny guys or short, broad guys, Custom Made allows you to pick your waist size separately. No more tailoring shenanigans. You just get something that fits and looks great.
Once you’re settled, you submit your Custom Made suit, and you’ll get an email with a link and identification code for the suit you’ve built. But thankfully, you can still tinker.
I went to Suitsupply’s flagship store in SoHo, Manhattan, for my first fitting. There I met Logan, an associate who walked me through all the choices I’d made online. He pulled up my suit by the ID number and we talked through some potential changes based on his recommendations.
Aside from being knowledgeable about all of Custom Made’s various options, Logan also offered feedback on the details I’d selected. For example, we ended up changing the sleeve lining color, went from a single vent to a double vent and added suspender buttons. The rationale on the buttons was it was easy to simply not use them, but I might want them later on. Good advice.
After that, I tried on a jacket and trousers to make sure we had the right fit. I ended up going with size 36 trousers and taking them in a bit, given that I have a big butt, thanks to a lifetime of sports and squats at the gym. And my right arm sits slightly lower than my left — apparently that’s typical if you’re right handed.
In total, the first fitting took about 30 minutes.
About three weeks later, I got a text message telling me my suit was ready for a second fitting. This speed isn’t guaranteed, but Logan told me it typically takes around a month.
The second fitting is to ensure your suit fits perfectly. In my case, we needed to make a small adjustment to the pants hem, as I preferred less of a break (how much the pant leg pools at the top of your shoe). A small adjustment like this can be done the same day, and the good thing is, it comes at no extra cost.
After that, my suit was ready to go.
How long does a Suitsupply Custom Made suit take?
From tinkering on a computer to having the final alterations in hand, my suit took just under a month. You don’t want to rush yourself and try to get a made-to-measure suit you need in two weeks. But if you’re planning for a big day, you’ll have plenty of time to go in for fittings and make sure everything’s perfect.
Is a Suitsupply Custom Made suit worth it?
This is entirely subjective, but yes. As the saying goes, fit is king when it comes to clothes. You can’t do better than having all of your measurements taken to ensure a suit sits correctly in all the right places. And if you’ve got a big event coming up like your own wedding, this is a great price point for a bespoke suit.
This is the nicest suit I own — even nicer than the Suitsupply Jort (it’s a soft J) I bought in 2020 for upcoming weddings. All the details and variations I chose — primarily my fabric choice — put my suit in around $1,200. That said, I went for a few fancier options.
For under $1,000, you’ll have a hard time getting a suit this well constructed with the materials Suitsupply uses. It’s easy to keep your suit between $500 and $700 by selecting more standard fabrics, and those are clearly marked from the start. How fancy you get is up to you and your budget. But if you build a classic suit you love, you’ll get plenty of wears and value from it.