Since the Fall, I've had a sponsorship deal going with Modern Tailor, a Web-based tailor service based in China. This may seem unusual for my blog - and it is - but I see it as a consumer-based extension of what we try to do in the world of UC - collaborate. Can't get much further away than China, and this has been a great example where geography is no longer a barrier in what has always been a highly personal, sensory-rich type of business.
If you need a refresh on the backstory or my experience with previous Modern Tailor orders, you can start here, and then follow the links embedded throughout that post.
So, just like dating a girl, you start small and work up to the good stuff. They made a couple of shirts for me and let me order a tie. The shirts required my measurements, and then I had to choose through a practically unlimited selection of fabrics/patterns/styles, along with a long list of customized features and accents. I know it's just a shirt, but doesn't this sound familiar? Y'know, a bit like personalizing your UC settings and preferences. It's the same thing in my book - that's what the Web and IP brings to just about everything we do now in terms of customization and self-provisioning.
I've already posted about how well those experiences went, and that goes a long way towards building up trust, which again, is essential for getting beyond the routine applications with UC. So, now it's time to step up to getting a suit. This is a much bigger leap of faith, and wouldn't be happening for me without that track record. The selection isn't as wide as for shirts, but the process was basically the same - with one exception.
Getting a suit to fit right is far more challenging than a shirt, so for a first-time order, there was an extra step involved. To get the best fit possible, I needed to send them a suit of mine that fits me well. I was ok with that, and they provided very clear instructions. I had to bear the cost - about $60, but keeping the big picture in mind, I know I'll be getting the suit back along with a new custom-fitted suit. There was some trepidation about ever seeing my suit again, along with getting it back in wearable condition, but I had faith, and they handled all of this just fine.
The only inconvenience really, was the time involved. I didn't ship at the cheapest rate, and certainly not the most expensive. From Toronto to Shanghai, my suit was enroute for about 5 weeks, so if you're in a hurry or can't be without that particular suit for a while, this isn't going to work. Add to that the time they need to make the new suit, then ship both back to me, and I'm out of pocket garment-wise for the better part of 8 weeks.
Fair enough, but I managed just fine wardrobe-wise, and for me the results were definitely worth it. The process I went through to select what I wanted in a suit was easy to follow, and the end product was very much as expected and as advertised. I don't wear suits every day, but I like dressing well, and there's nothing like a custom-fitted suit.
Would I do it again? Absolutely. Like a lot of things, once trust is in place and expectations are met - or exceeded - most of the friction is removed from the relationship. Presuming my body holds up ok, they only need my suit once, and then it's easy. Then, it's just a matter of selecting what I want, knowing that the fit will be fine. Their pricing is very fair, and you can easily spend a lot more off the rack without getting a great fit. Sure you'll get your suit a lot faster, but I'm in no rush. If that sounds like you, Modern Tailor should be a great choice for your next suit.