I don't mind wearing a suit to a meeting or to a nice party or wedding, but I hate shopping. So what's my solution? Well, I've discovered a way to walk out with a shiny new gray suit and actually not hating the experience. SHOCKING I KNOW.
You probably need a suit. It's the reality of New York life.
Shopping has never been a great love of mine (did I mention that I really don't enjoy it) so the less I have to do to get things right the better.
Full disclosure is always important and I wrote this article after being given my suit, shirt, and tie for free in exchange. I write honestly and am ALWAYS happy to talk further openly about my experience.
InStitchu was founded by a couple of young guys on the North Shore of Sydney who thought that buying a custom suit (or a suit at all) should be easier. The process was too complicated and didn't feel like it had been updated for the modern era: Technology wasn't a part of it, and there was no personalization.
“Retail is becoming all about an experience,”
Tim, the man taking care of me from Istitchu, whispered to me while measuring my inseam… delicately.
“Rows of clothes racks are gone and they've been replaced by an elaborate showroom where a customer can feel and touch the quality of a product. You want to be taken care of and have a personalized experience, you don't want to just be thrown into the deep end.”
In my 32 years, I haven't had the chance to have a fully custom-made suit, so it was a bit of a treat for me to feel like I got to pick something that was made just for me and where I got to pick all the stupid colors I could possibly imagine (oh boy, did I ever).
Why InStitchu is a bit different.
InStitchu's main difference when it comes to its competitors is the fact that the person you meet and who measures you is a trained professional tailor, not just a salesperson with a job they don't really care for.
I know, that doesn't apply to every salesperson at all, but in my history of clothes shopping, I hadn't met someone like Tim before. Tim loves what he does and he loves getting the right fit on a suit (you can really tell because he looks like he wanders the streets of New York at all times looking ready for a photoshoot).
The first appointment takes about 30-45 minutes and while that may seem like a long time (I hate shopping remember), there's a good reason for it.
“I need to get to know the person, and I need them to gain some trust in me, so that we can build a bit of a relationship. I want them to listen and believe the recommendations I make, and also be confident of the quality of product we're going to produce for them”,
Explained Tim, while I made finger guns at my own reflection and practiced my handshaking motion to test the movement of the jacket.
Who uses InStitchu?
Is it really just people with fancy requirements or is the common man (like me) welcome here too?
“Some come in knowing exactly what they want, but most come in knowing that there could be something better, something that could fit better.”
Which made me realize something.
I've never really thought about is the fact that a “well-fitting suit” is something completely different for every person (hell, I've never thought about suits all that much at all). OBVIOUSLY, everyone is a slightly different size, and that means the suit is by nature a different size, I know that, but I'm talking about something else.
For the Type A corporate banker who wanders into the showroom, they want something that shows a fair bit of their ankle (and look borderline ridiculous with some of their calf showing, if you ask me).
For the normal (super cool) person like myself, you want something that fits snugly but doesn't look like you're smuggling muscles.
Or maybe if you're someone looking to emphasize the “lounge” in lounge suit you want the kind of cut that allows for a loose butt so that you can fully cross your legs in a hammock.
Either way, they're all “good” but you're not going to know of all these variances unless you hang out with Tim!
New York is a weird place, a competitive place, and a stylish place. So you need to pick and run with the style you've got while enhancing it in every possible professional way.
“Our expansion from Australia to New York was pretty straight forward”
Tim continues while standing at the window, looking out and thinking about all the ill-fitting suits walking down 34th. A single tear, rolls down his cheek.
“New York is the fashion and culture driver of the world. It's where the fashion influencers are, and if you're in fashion, especially suits, you need to be here. It's the general aesthetic of the city!”
My experience with InStitchu
So after all this, what did I think?
One rule for writing articles about businesses on America Josh is that I'm always going to be overly and completely honest.
I had a lovely experience with InStitchu and the overall experience was fantastic. Tim was friendly, he taught me things about suits that I didn't know, and he helped fit me for a suit that I love. What I didn't expect was to have to go back and have my suit further customized when it first arrived. The suit fit well but not perfectly and Tim wouldn't let me leave with it, so it needed to be trimmed again.
That all being said, I love my new suit! If you've seen me at an event in the last couple months you'd know I'm telling the truth because you would have seen me wearing it!
I loved meeting Tim, I loved the process of going through all the customizations and picking what I wanted with this suit. I also really love the fact that now my measurements are all configured in their system, getting a second, third or twelfth suit is just a few clicks away from the non-shopping space of my couch.
This makes me happy. See!
Get your own InStitchu suit
So what are you waiting for? Check out InStitchu at their NYC Showroom @ 27 W 24th St (make sure you book an appointment first) or head to their website (just make sure you mention that I sent you so I look cool). Right now they're giving away a free shirt with every suit purchase!
Black Friday Deal
Right now they're also running a Black Friday deal for three custom made shirts for $200. All the details are here.
Here's me wearing it at my last event!!