We’ve all experienced the frustration of trying on what feels like hundreds of pairs of pants without finding a single pair that fits just so.
But it may surprise you to hear that custom clothing may be a time- and money-saving solution to this problem.
That’s right, made-to-order apparel isn’t just for the celebrity set anymore, Forbes reports. A couple of companies are using sizing-calculation algorithms and e-commerce to democratize customized fashion.
How Does It Work?
Middle-market clothing customization doesn’t necessarily mean that a designer will build your dream suit or dress from the ground up. Instead, it allows you to choose the color and cut of a garment and supply your sizing so the garment fits you perfectly in each dimension.
For example, Indochino, a menswear company, is a front-runner in the made-to-order e-commerce field. You pay them $29, and they send you a kit that includes swatches of available fabrics and all the tools you need to measure yourself for your custom clothing. They also include a $29 credit for a future purchase. The site’s pricing was found to be quite reasonable by Forbes, as well: A basic suit that cost $599 was comparable to one at Nordstrom priced at $795.
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Charles Tyrwhitt, a British company, is one of a smaller pool of custom shops that sells women’s clothing. On a shirt or blouse, for example, you can adjust how fitted it is, the sleeve length, pocket, cuff and collar style, plus monogramming. The price tag: $200 for four shirts, which is comparable to many retailers.
What Happens If It Doesn’t Work Out?
Despite the fact that this clothing is designed to fit you, it still carries the risk that all online shopping does: You can’t be sure that you’ll like the finished product when it arrives. But in this case, since your custom blouse won’t fit just anyone, you’d think that returns would be a bit more complicated.
However, both Indochino and Charles Tyrwhitt have generous return policies. Indochino will remake your suit if it’s not to your liking, or will send you a check so your local tailor can finish the job, a frequent customer of the site told Forbes. Charles Tyrwhitt has a six-month, “no questions asked” refund policy.