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Thread: Men's Warehouse, Custom Made Suits

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    Men's Warehouse, Custom Made Suits

    I was shopping at Men's Warehouse, looking for some pants, when I noticed their display showing custom made suits. The salesman said they make "made to measure" suits for much less that does a traditional "bespoke" tailor elsewhere. I'll be in the market for such a suit in the near future, so I decided to do some researh. I wanted to know just what this custom made suit at Men's Warehouse was all about. I found the following information on the Internet using Google. The following are excerpts from what I found:

    I learned that these suits will have the Joseph Abboud label. Abboud is a men's clothing designer and a good one. However, he does not personally make the suits, and he is not a tailor. The Men's Warehouse "custom" suits are made in a clothing factory.

    I know, this fact doesn't mean those suits are no good. They cost less than a suit made by hand by a tailor from scratch for a reason. The quality can still be very good.

    I found some background about Joseph Abboud, a real person, and how that name came to Men's warehouse. According to information on the Internet:

    Abboud was born in Boston Massachusetts to a working class family. His mother was a seamstress. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Boston in 1972.

    Abboud joined Ralph Lauren in 1981, eventually becoming associate director of menswear design. He launched his own label in 1986.
    Abboud sold his trademarks and name to JA Apparel for $65 million in 2000. That company was acquired by private-equity firm J.W. Childs Associates for $73 million in 2004, and Abboud left JA Apparel in 2005.

    The Abboud company under J.W. Childs Associates was primarily a wholesale business manufacturing suits, and other garments, in Massachusetts with a small licensing business on the side. Joseph Abboud clothing also is sold in department and specialty stores, including Nordstrom, Inc., and Bloomingdale’s Inc..

    Abboud launched a new line called Jaz in 2007. He also created the Black Brown 1826 line for the Lord & Taylor department store in 2008. The year 2008 also marked the opening of Abboud's first stores in China.

    In 2010, Abboud became the chief creative officer of HMX, owner of the Hart Schaffner Marx and Hickey Freeman brands. HMX made an offer to buy JA Apparel for $90 million in 2011.

    In December 2012, Abboud became Chief Creative Director of Men's Wearhouse. Joseph Abboud had been selling product under his label in Men’s Warehouse for a number of years before this event.

    In mid 2013, Men's Warehouse announced that it had agreed to acquire the parent company of Joseph Abboud from private equity firm J.W. Childs Associates for $97.5 million. The acquisition also includes JA Holding’s U.S. tailored clothing factory that employs 450 workers.

    That New Bedford, MA factory produces both ready to wear and custom suits (and other garments) under the Joseph Abboud label. Ready to wear Abboud label suits are ticketed at $495. Made to measure suits will have price points of $595 and $695, depending on the fabric, according to information on the Internet.

    All of the fabrics are Italian make, and all the swatches are identified by Super number (thread counts of 110-150).
    The suits are half-canvassed. The canvassing is the standard cotton/wool/horsehair blend. Both the custom and ready to wear products are half-canvassed, according to information on the Internet.

    I found no information on exactly how these "custom" suits are actually made. Since they are made in a factory employing hunderes of people, I doubt they are made from scratch in the traditional way that a tailor makes them.

    So, how do I think these suits are made? I don't know for sure, but I suspose the factory makes these suits in the same manner as those on-line "made to measure" Chinese and other vendors make suits. When they receive a customer's measurements, they send the figures to the factory floor and they make the suit to match the measurements.

    I would think they employ the same suit making techniques as those used to make ready to wear suits, though they likely reserve a separate area on the factory floor for the custom work.

    There are no fittings, no adjustments, no nothing to ensure a proper fit before the customer actually tries-on the suit for the first time. Even so, I understand that some adjustments can be made after the fact. Men's Warehouse guarantees a proper fit or they'll fix it for free, according to the salesman at Men's Warehouse.

    As such, these suits don't technically qualify as custom (bespoke made) suits. I would rather call them "made to measure" garments. Hey, they cost about half the price of suits made from scratch by a traditional tailor. I think I should have one of these.

    What do you all think about the Men's Warehouse line of custom (made to measure) suits. Is this a good deal? As for me, I kind of like the idea.

    Fritz

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    Bespoke means that a suit is designed specifically for one person, vary expensive. Made to Measure, is much more economical, and they take your measurements and adjust an existing pattern. If done correctly, it should fit you better than a Off the Rack suit. Well that is unless an OTR suit coincidently fits you pretty well. You usually have more selection of fabrics and perhaps some custom features like pick stitching and lapel size. In-store MTM is better than online because you don't need to measure yourself, although it can be more costly. I believe that Joseph Abboud (the company) was the in-house MTM at Nordstrom's. If it is a good deal depends on what you want.

    If you want a fabric that is available in the OTR version, and it fits you well, that is a better deal. There is also going to be a difference in cut with Abboud vs. other MTM programs. For example; expect more conservative options than Suit Supply.

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    Joseph Abboud had been selling product under his label in Men’s Warehouse for a number of years before this event.

    In mid 2013, Men's Warehouse announced that it had agreed to acquire the parent company of Joseph Abboud from private equity firm J.W. Childs Associates for $97.5 million. The acquisition also includes JA Holding’s U.S. tailored clothing factory that employs 450 workers.

    That New Bedford, MA factory produces both ready to wear and custom suits (and other garments) under the Joseph Abboud label. Ready to wear Abboud label suits are ticketed at $495. Made to measure suits will have price points of $595 and $695, depending on the fabric, according to information on the Internet.

    All of the fabrics are Italian make, and all the swatches are identified by Super number (thread counts of 110-150).
    The suits are half-canvassed. The canvassing is the standard cotton/wool/horsehair blend.

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    Real custom-made suits are not necessarily better than MTM suits; it all depends on how well a certain suit can fit a person's silhouette. I mean, if an MTM suit can fit almost perfect, but costs much less, why not an MTM suit instead of a real bespoke one?

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    Their custom isn't bespoke or even made-to-measure. You can choose the fabric and styling details but you're limited to your off-the-rack size in one of three fits. At least that's how it was a while back. Joe did a review of their off-the-rack suits when they first introduced them.

    https://dappered.com/2014/06/in-revi...a-abboud-suit/

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    Well there is Joseph Abboud Custom Clothing with higher end fabric and that has suits starting at $895 which simply is a non starter for me, too many other options and even off the rack at that price point. There is Joe Custom Joseph Abboud which starts at a reasonable $395 but an absurd 6-8 weeks. Honestly if I am spending over $600 I am going JCrew Ludlow $750 or Suit Supply which starts at $399 plus both those places often have sales or coupons. If I need custom Indochino especially since I live in NYC makes sense even there higher end suits go on sale for $369 often. If I need just a workhorse suit or something last minute Banana Republics suits are always 40% off with some other kind of promo putting them at sub $300. Then if you simply want custom and that high end experience just get a Suit Supply custom at $999 while you drink your free Nespresso at one of their boutiques

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    Varsity Member mebejoseph's Avatar
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    @Fritz : Very interesting story. Thank you for sharing.

    Did you ever buy one of these suits? Are you happy with it? Why or why not?

    I purchased a JA cashmere blazer on clearance sale earlier this year for the ridiculous price of only $79 and am very happy with it. It was my first purchase of any JA labeled item ever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kpopcat45 View Post
    Well there is Joseph Abboud Custom Clothing with higher end fabric and that has suits starting at $895 which simply is a non starter for me, too many other options and even off the rack at that price point. There is Joe Custom Joseph Abboud which starts at a reasonable $395 but an absurd 6-8 weeks. Honestly if I am spending over $600 I am going JCrew Ludlow $750 or Suit Supply which starts at $399 plus both those places often have sales or coupons. If I need custom Indochino especially since I live in NYC makes sense even there higher end suits go on sale for $369 often. If I need just a workhorse suit or something last minute Banana Republics suits are always 40% off with some other kind of promo putting them at sub $300. Then if you simply want custom and that high end experience just get a Suit Supply custom at $999 while you drink your free Nespresso at one of their boutiques
    If you live in NYC, look VERY long and hard (giggity) at Black Lapel. They have an atelier in Manhattan where you can be measured/photographed in-person, and having taken part in exactly that I couldn't be happier with the results. I was lucky enough to be asked to do a "5 faves" column for the site back in May, and that suit definitely made the list. I got a 3-piece MTM in what feels like 130s or 140s wool, at a price point that rivals a new Ludlow or Crosby suit with tailoring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mebejoseph View Post
    @Fritz : Very interesting story. Thank you for sharing.

    Did you ever buy one of these suits? Are you happy with it? Why or why not?

    I purchased a JA cashmere blazer on clearance sale earlier this year for the ridiculous price of only $79 and am very happy with it. It was my first purchase of any JA labeled item ever.
    mebejoseph,

    Yeah, I purchased one of those JA made to measure suits at Men's Warehouse. I'm a hard to fit guy who can't buy an off the rack suit or even a shirt. When I decided to make the purchase, I just looked at the various fabric samples and picked the one I liked without asking about the price or anything else about the fabric.

    My selection turned out to be the most expensive fabric that they offer. Yeah, it cost me $1,200. I didn't care, because that's what I wanted. They softened the blow by giving me a $100 voucher to use to purchase one of their custom made shirts. They also said to pick out any two pair of wool pants they had on the rack at no cost. With those incentives the price of the suit was actually well below $1,000. The suit they made fit me perfectly. I like it very much.

    I have no problem buying off-the-rack pants that fit. It's only my upper torso that's hard to fit. Previously, I had purchased a bespoke suit from a local tailor who made it from scratch. A real custom made suit. That suit also cost me $1,200. So, even though the Men's Warehouse suit isn't really bespoke, rather a made to measure item, the price isn't out of line for the great quality.


    That's my story.


    Fritz

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    Varsity Member mebejoseph's Avatar
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    @Fritz: Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you made a good investment.

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