PRODUCT REVIEW: SUITOPIA, ONLINE MTM SUIT MAKER  (7.4)

I
T SEEMS LIKE EVERYDAY THE MENSWEAR INDUSTRY IS GROWING BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS. MEN NO LONGER WANT TO BE LIMITED TO ONLY WEARING CERTAIN STYLES OR BRANDS WHEN IT COMES TO SUITING. GONE ARE THE DAYS WHERE WE’RE FORCED TO WEAR THE SAME STYLE, OFF-THE-RACK SUITS TO WORK. OUR PERSONALITIES ARE WHAT MAKE US DIFFERENT AND OUR CLOTHES ARE GENERALLY A REFLECTION OF THAT PERSONALITY. OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS, THE MARKET HAS SEEN A FLOOD OF ONLINE MADE-TO-MEASURE SUIT MANUFACTURERS WILLING TO DO COMPLETELY CUSTOMIZABLE SUITS FOR THE MAN LOOKING FOR SOMETHING A BIT DIFFERENT. SUITOPIA IS ONE OF THOSE COMPANIES. A STOCKHOLM-BASED COMPANY, SUITOPIA, THOUGH NOT AS BIG OR WELL KNOWN AS SOME MTM COMPANIES, HAS QUITE AN EXTENSIVE SUIT FABRIC SELECTION. LIKE MOST MTM SUIT COMPANIES THESE DAYS, THE SUITS ARE MANUFACTURED OFF SITE AND THEN SHIPPED TO THE CUSTOMER, BUT WHAT MAKES SUITOPIA UNIQUE IS THEIR WILLINGNESS TO CUSTOMIZE JUST ABOUT ANYTHING ON THE SUIT. INNER LININGS, PERSONALIZED NAME ON THE INSIDE OF YOUR SUIT, THE OPTION TO ADD A VEST TO YOUR ORDER… WHATEVER YOU CAN DREAM OF, THEY CAN HELP YOU ACHIEVE.

WE WERE OFFERED THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO THROUGH SUITOPIA’S ONLINE ORDERING PROCESS OF PURCHASING A SUIT AND REVIEWING THEIR PRODUCT FROM START TO FINISH. LET IT BE KNOWN THAT WE’RE NOT AGAINST THE TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES IN THE SUITING INDUSTRY, BUT WHEN IT COMES TO BUYING A SUIT, WE ABSOLUTELY BELIEVE YOU SHOULD BE TALKING WITH SOMEONE WHOSE BEEN DOING IT FOR A WHILE. THE PURCHASING OF A SUI HAS BEEN ABOUT “THE PROCESS” FOR CENTURIES. TALKING WITH A SOMEONE ON YOUR NEEDS, PHYSICALLY FEELING THE FABRIC IN YOUR HANDS, LOOKING IN A MIRROR AND VIEWING THE SUIT IN PERSON CAN REALLY HELP YOU FIND WHAT’S RIGHT. PERSONALLY, AS A GUY WHO, WHEN GIVEN TOO MANY CHOICES, GENERALLY MAKES THE POOR DECISION, I WOULD RATHER HAVE SOMEONE ELSE’S OPINION RATHER THAN JUST MY OWN INSTINCT. SIMPLY PUT, WHEN PURCHASING SUITS ONLINE, SO MANY OTHER FACTORS HAVE TO BE TAKEN INTO THE CONSIDERATION.  

THAT BEING SAID, WE SAW THIS AS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO CHANGE OUR PERCEPTION ON THE MATTER AND AT THE SAME TIME PRODUCE A THOUGHTFUL REVIEW FOR THOSE GUYS WHO ARE SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING A JUMP INTO THE UNIQUE, ONLINE MTM SUITING WORLD. LETS DIVE IN…


SUITOPIA, ONLINE MTM SUIT

Quality8.0
Design8.0
Fit7.0
Price6.5
7.4

ORDERING PROCESS

We stuck to the following criteria when creating the specific suit we wanted. It’s best to list out what is most important before you start getting hung up on the small details:

  1. The suit will be a 3-piece suit. We want this suit to be versatile however we choose to wear it.
  2. The suit is either going to be blue or grey. ADVICE: Even if you want some, “look at me” pattern, stick to a blue or grey. We recommend staying away from bright colored suits in fear of looking like a Halloween costume.
  3. We wanted the suit fabric to be at least a 2-season suit. Make sure you’re not selecting a Donegal tweed suit for summer. Chat with a representative if you’re unsure or contact us (we’re always happy to help!)
  4. Measure twice, cut once. Go to your local tailor and get measured if you don’t know how to take your own measurements. You don’t want to worry about sending your suits back to be re-made (since it’s not made domestically). Tailoring a suit a little is A LOT quicker than remaking one.

Suitopia’s ordering process is pretty straightforward. Signing up to their site will allow you to have a profile with shipping info and place to save your measurements on file for future orders. When starting out, you can either select one of their Essential Suits or perhaps you’d prefer their Premium Fabric Suits, which cost a little more. These Ready-to-Go selections are accompanied by images that show how the suit looks on models, so you can get a feel for how it might look on you.

This is a good way to gauge what look you might like if you don’t already know. If that’s not why you came to Suitopia, you can click on “Design Your Own” and let the fun begin. Their ordering menu system is very easy to understand. Starting from the top, first select what you’re looking for. They offer 4 different options: full 3-piece suits, standard 2-piece suits, and jacket only or pants only. Once you’ve selected what you want, you should click to the next section below. Choose your fabric, the lining, the buttons and everything else you desire. As you check off these options and select the details, there is a real-time 3D render to show you what your garment will end up looking like. Take advantage of this preview. If something doesn’t look right, save your progress and email Suitopia or make sure you address your concerns in the special instructions section. There’s not much more to it. If you’ve input your measurements, you’re all set to hit the buy button. Generally it takes about 2-3 weeks from your purchase date until the suit arrives at your door via DHS.

NOTE: WHILE IT MAY SEEM LIKE SUITOPIA IS A GREAT BUDGET FRIENDLY OPTION, BUYING A NICER FABRIC AND ADDING CUSTOM ELEMENTS TO THE SUITING START TO ADD UP AND YOU COULD EVENTUALLY BE IN IT FOR OVER $600-$900 WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE. GO INTO THIS WITH PURCHASE WITH A CLEAR BUDGET OR A DECENT BANK ACCOUNT.

Next, well dive into how our Suitopia purchase specifically turned out and what were some of the flaws and what generally surprised us with this online MTM brand.

QUALITY

As mentioned above, we went into the process of buying this suit with a few key ideas in mind. After those were set, we decided that for a thorough review we needed to touch on some of the extras that might cost a bit more. We started by selecting a high quality fabric. Suitopia’s Genoa 120s navy fabric was the perfect weight and color for what we were looking for. Typically, we’ve found that some MTM suit makers will entice buyers by showing a cheaply priced suit by using a blended fabric. These fabrics are cut with polyester, rayon or some manufactured thread. Although they may strengthen the garment, it also makes it less breathable. When looking to creating your suit, look for 100% wool.

No matter how supremely cut a suit is, it will not feel as soft or comfortable if it’s made with synthetic threads.

Our first impression of our Suitopia suit was overall good. The fabric we selected was soft and the construction was a lot nicer than what we were expecting. The detail of pick-stitching, which was an option on the lapels, was actually done pretty well. Unfortunately, it seemed that it was just for show, as it seemed the lapels of the suit were fused. This is peculiar because we chose to spend extra money on their floating canvas in the body of the jacket, so we’re not sure why they would fuse this aspect of the suit. This fusing not only caused the fabric to pucker, but creased the lapel so much that steaming/cleaning the suit at all might ruin it. This wasn’t the only spot that was fused. Unfortunately, they also chose to fuse details like the breast welt pocket and pocket flaps. These aren’t deal breakers for some gentlemen, but for the sake of a thorough review and as we did select these extra details to be added to the order, we hoped that they would have taken more care for the cost of the garment. Next, we inspected the lining of the jacket, a contrasting dark brown lining which really went with the navy color we chose. The lining was wonderfully done. Additionally, since this was a 3-piece suit, the vest that was produced was lined in the same fabric. The quality of the vest was good, but the buttonholes felt slightly off. Hardly noticeable by someone not looking for that level of detailing, the vest was indeed another added cost. Your purchase should warrant that things would be more dialed in and less variance. Finally, the pants we received were again, done well. Lined to the knee with added detailing of a single pleat and braces buttons. We might have made a different choice if prompted again, but you can be the judge of that. These pants came in a longer length allowing us to bring to our local tailor and get them cuffed and hemmed correctly.

Overall, the quality of this suit was far beyond our expectations. We have seen some really bad MTM suits that were as stiff as wearing a cardboard cutout and in the case of this Suitopia suit, it wasn’t at all like that. While partially fused suits get a bad reputation, Suitopia does give you the option of canvassing in your suit for a more high-end feel. I would take the time to go through ALL of Suitopia options and see what you can live with and what you can’t. The devil is in the details for some, but that doesn’t mean it needs to cost you an arm and a leg.

In the next section we’ll talk about some of the design decisions we chose and give you advice on where we went wrong and what we did right.

DESIGN

Suitopia’s website allows you to build your suit the way that you want. The sheer size of customizations is certainly one of the biggest in their small Scandinavian market. While we set out with our initial choice of a navy 3-piece suit, we wanted to truly make this suit one of a kind. While some of these might not work for some of the Genuine Men’s readers, we’re going to tell you which design elements we liked and which we would be hesitant to select again.

Fabric – Our Genoa 120’s Tropical Wool was at the high-end of the fabric spectrum, but totally worth it. If you want to keep your temperature regulated, make sure you select a natural fabric, 100% wool, flannel or cotton. Suitopia does offer blended fabrics at little to no extra cost. We’d suggest against anything synthetic.

Jacket Lapels – Over the last few years our personal tastes have changed and we opted to try something a bit different. We wanted our suit to have a peak lapel along with the pick-style stitching. After seeing the results, we would opt against the peak lapel style. Based on what you see in the RTW market, their peak lapel style isn’t as strong as what we would have hoped for. It’s rather short and not as pointed as we would have liked it to be. As for the pick stitching, as mentioned above, it’s mostly for show. With the lapels being fused, it’s your decision if it’s worth the additional $15.

Jacket Lining – The lining of the jacket was of a high quality construction. We thought that both, the interior of the jacket and the back of the vest showed a great deal of detailing.

Overall Jacket – The jacket was overall great. Like most garments from overseas, you’ll need to visit a tailor to really dial it in. We found it disappointing that they choose to fuse certain parts of the jacket.

Vest – The vest was a perfect fit right out of the box. The only flaw we noticed was the placement of the buttons. They seemed a little off, but nothing that you couldn’t email Suitopia about and get remade. For the sake of our review, we didn’t feel like it was egregious enough to warrant a remake. NOTE: Do yourself a favor and match both the back of the vest and the interior of your suit jacket. It’s something that really compliments the suits color.

Pants – Again, we felt it was our duty to try something a bit different to push the capabilities of the Suitopia brand. We opted for a single pleat in our pants. Truth be told, we wouldn’t recommend the single pleat because of how dependent it is on all the measurements of the pants as a whole to sit (well describe this below). If you’ve only worn flat front pants, stick to those. If you own a pair of single pleat pants that you like the fit, copy those measurements exactly.

FIT

The overall fit of our Suitopia suit was pretty good from our initial input of our measurements. We’re typically a 38R in RTW jackets and sometimes have to alter the sleeve length based on the brand. The suit jacket from Suitopia was close to what we would expect from a suit made overseas. A little tweak in the body, a small pinch in the back seams, an extension of the sleeves and the jacket was finished. The vest, which is based on your jacket measurements, fits perfectly. As mentioned above, the vest buttons were a little off, but nothing that can’t be remade by Suitopia or simply covered up by buttoning the jacket. The final part of our Suitopia suit was the pants and unfortunately the only mistake we made during the ordering process. We have to admit that we may have messed up when measuring the U shape measurements for our inseam of the pants. We measured it a bit tighter than the standard pair of 32” trousers we’re used to. This measurement in turn, affected the shape of the pants when further tailoring them. In the case of the slight taper of the pants we generally like, it caused the single pleat in our pants to puff out and not lay flat (like pleats should). LIKE WE MENTIONED IN THE BEGINNING…MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE. IF YOU DON’T FEEL CONFIDENT IN TAKING THE MEASUREMENTS YOURSELF, GO TO YOUR TAILOR AND GET THEM DONE PROFESSIONALLY. The worst thing you can do it spend all that time and money to have to send everything back. Getting the correct measurements done the first time is worth it. It mean less money you’ll have to spend at your local tailor to fix it and the more time you’ll have to wear your suit. We were lucky enough and our tailor was talented enough, to be able to save us the time it would’ve taken to ship it back.

PRICE

Pricing for Suitopia suits will vary. You’re able to purchase a full suit in their “basic” fabrics for as little at $200 USD. You’ll find that suits at this price aren’t the best and you’ll want to invest a bit more money into something with a higher thread count. The suit that is picture in this review cost $1,117 USD and while this may seem a little overboard or out of budget for some of our readers, we wanted to see what the top end at Suitopia would be able to get. You’re more than capable of purchasing something for half the price and still have the same look. Start your suit off with a more expensive fabric and keep the extra details to a minimum. No one really sees your initials on the inside of your suit jackets unless you garishly show them…

OVERALL

Overall, our Suitopia experience was good. It’s great to know that our readers have options in the online MTM suiting space. What Suitopia is doing is helping gentlemen have options in a time where men’s suiting is typically thought of as boring. By offering different fabrics at different prices, all guys can wade into the waters of buying a suit that has elements of quality. We wanted to test the Suitopia platform before committing to a bolder pattern or color. We will, in the future, consider purchasing something from Suitopia that has a bit more of a bold personality. The advice we’ve tried to give throughout this review is to make sure your measurements are correct on your profile. Our main problem with most MTM online suiting is inconsistency when producing a new garment with the same measurements on file. Go in with the correct measurements and you don’t have to worry on your end what get shipped to you. The last piece of advice to an overall good experience with Suitopia is to scale back on the additional options offered. The pick stitching, the custom initials on the interior pocket, pleats… These additions are great for show, but for someone who’s buying a suit they want to wear long term, we advise you to keep it simple with a 2-button suit, wide lapels, flat front pants… Don’t try to make your first Suitopia suit a “look at me” suit. Buy a suit that going to stay, “ Classic taste has longevity.”

TLDR:

LOTS OF OPTIONS, WONDERFUL FABRICS, GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE BUT BE CAREFUL ON ADDING EXTRAS. STAY SIMPLE, MAKE SURE YOUR MEASUREMENTS ARE DIALED IN AND YOU’LL HAVE A DECENT SOURCE FOR CUSTOM SUITING.

All photos shown were shot by Nick from Coastal Flicks as well as Camille from CamilleShawPhoto


We want to thank everyone that helped us at Suitopia. With their patience, it was because of them that this review was possible. Genuine Men’s Magazine was gifted a suit for the review, but was NOT given any monetary compensation for this article. We wrote this article and review honestly for the education of our audience in hopes that you’ll both learn from it and make your own purchasing decision based on what you’ve read. Thanks for your viewership!

About The Author: StevenDElliott

Steven is the founder of Genuine Men’s Magazine. He graduated Drexel University with a Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design. Along with his passion for photography and design, Steven loves helping men find new and emerging menswear brands and offer his opinions when it comes to real-life situations.