Off-The-Rack vs. Custom Made
“The Efficient vs. The Effective”
What’s the difference between an off-the-rack suit and a custom suit? It’s a common question that occurs to most any man that’s shopping for a suit, especially if it’s not a process that they’re particularly familiar with. Well, it’s a simple question, with a simple answer. Off-the-rack is made for everyone, efficiently. Custom, is made for you, effectively. There are a few factors to consider: Price, Quality, Longevity, Fit, Craftsmanship and Experience.
Price: Is Off The Rack Truly Cheaper?
The majority of peole will make a major decision based on their initial impression of price. Off-the-rack, you walk into a department store or any menswear store, find a suit you like, buy it and wear it. Now, if you’re a man who takes pride in how he looks (which most of us are) that suit is most likely going to the tailor to get fitted and hemmed. Now the cost is going up and remember, off-the-rack suits aren’t cheap to begin with. The lowest price you’ll find an off-the-rack suit for is $200, and that’s the absolute LOWEST. Cheap? Sure, to some, but by the time you hem and tailor the pants AND tailor the jacket, now you’re getting closer to $300-$320, and keep in mind, that’s the cheapest. You better believe that $300 really starts to add up when you have to buy a new suit every few months because it ruins so easily.
Okay, so maybe you want to up your off-the-rack game, and you go spend $550 on a slim fit suit at a higher-end store. Great. You’re still going to the tailor, and that $550 just turned into $650 for the same overall story. And again, I’m talking about the least costly, some off-the-rack suits can cost in the thousands, and when you hear this next part, it’ll make you wonder why you ever even bother with off-the-rack.
On the contrary, at Mr. Custom Made, our suits start at $595 for a half canvas suit which includes alterations. In a head to head comparison on price alone, you may say that its twice the price, is it really worth it? If you wear suits often and factor in longevity, you may have to buy four cheap suits to get the same use of one custom suit. If you do the math, that is twice the price for the same usage! That doesnt even factor in the actual look, feel and fit of the suit which anyone can tell you is night and day comparing “Off The Rack” to “Custom Made”.
Price Winner = Custom Made
Time Crunch: I Need A Suit Right Away!
Ok, I get it. You have an event to go to tomorrow and you need a suit right now! If this is your current situation, I understand, we have all been there. A Custom Suit in this situation is NOT for you. Get the best fitted suit you can get off the rack and move on. If you are in a rush, sometimes you have to grab McDonalds and that’s ok! If you want a meal you salivate over for weeks knowing that are traveling to NYC to go Uncle Jack’s for the best Filet Mignon in town, you gladly wait for the best! Need that Big Mac now? Grab it!
Winner of Time Crunch: Off The Rack
Quality of Craftsmanship / Fit
Here’s the thing, big department stores and menswear stores manufacture their suits using fusion or glued interlinings. What is that? Well, it’s the number one way to make a suit in the industry today. Why? Because it’s cheap and you can produce on a mass scale cost effectively. It does the job. It gives the garment a three-dimensional shape. And that’s about all it does. The problems with this process however, are exponential. First, because it’s fused (glued), there’s no flexibility, and you can feel it. When you move, there’s almost no stretch and it’s uncomfortable. Also, for the vast majority of circumstances, if it’s fused, then it’s probably cheap cotton or a very low-quality wool blend. So, that being the case, the suit is less breathable and heavy, and if you’re the type that sweats, that won’t help. Matter of fact, it’ll make it much worse. It’s just a less-exciting fit that doesn’t wear right, feel right or hold right, and when I say “right” I mean “just right” not “about right”. Moreover, and most importantly, these fused garments simply aren’t made to last, and in time, they’ll come loose, forming ugly blisters on the lapel and the outside of the jacket. The suit will become a throwaway, something you once had, but then this and that happened and now you don’t anymore, and you’re money, that’s gone, too. So go buy another one. Okay sure, and then you’ll eventually throw that one out. Put it all together and you’re money is effectively wasted, and to be frank, I believe that all men deserve the opportunity to respect themselves and those they meet with a suit that’s an extension of their identity, something they take pride in, not something they bought as a chore that has no value to them, or those that made it. That’s where custom comes in.
When you buy custom, you’re getting a suit made using the full or half canvas process. A suit made with care and precision, for you and only you. and after your 16 measurements have been taken, then your suit can begin being made properly. The interlining is sown into the fabric, by hand, giving the garment flexibility, so when you move, it moves with you. It’s comfortable, breathable, there are no pressure points, and over time, the garment actually gets better. You buy one custom suit and you have it for years. It becomes a go-to. You might call it your “money” suit. Some one might tell you to break out “The Suit”. You might get some of this, too: “Yeah, remember that blue suit you did with that awesome window pane design and the custom paisley lining at that thing at that place way back when. That was a bad-ass suit.” Right. They couldn’t tell you where they were or what they were doing, but that suit, your suit, yeah, they remember that suit. They wanted to be in it.
Quality of Craftsmanship / Fit Winner: Custom Made
Experience: Custom Made For You!
And now the fun part. Another great reason to go custom, is because you customize the entire suit, each and every little detail, specifically for you. Fabric, style, pockets, lining, buttons, lapels, the whole works, all hand-selected, by you. Your preference, your taste, YOURS, 100% conceived by YOU. So when that suit finally comes in and you put it on facing the mirror, and what’s looking back at you is the exact vision you had in mind, the way it looks, the way it wears, the way it speaks volumes about who YOU are, you’ll know it’s because this suit wasn’t made for everybody, “Everybody” can’t where this suit. Only you can wear this suit, because that’s who it was made for. You, and only you. Now I know, we’re all men, for the most part we’re all essentially the same, but that doesn’t mean our suits have to be. When you go Off The Rack, you are wearing a suit thousands of other people have. You are a number, a statistic, a blip in the radar. We believe you are different. We beleive you are unique. So at Mr. Custom Made we like to put it this way: “It’s your suit. It’s your life. Let it tell your story.”
Written by Brandon Ciavarella and Adam Marks