If you were to ask me about buying a suit, whether it’s your first or your fifth, I’d more than likely recommend made-to-measure.
Many factors determine whether it will be a positive or negative experience.
- Were you measured at a showroom?
- Are the stylists doing a good job setting expectations?
- Are the sales staff/stylists/tailors knowledgeable?
- Are you able to articulate your personal preferences and exactly what you are looking for?
If you can’t check all four of these off, then there could be some problems.
When Cecil Lau, the founder of Vulture Suits reached out to me with an opportunity to try on one of his custom made suits, I was a bit skeptical, especially given how inexpensive the suits are. I’ve never heard of Vulture Suits before, so naturally I searched on Google. I found two reviews, one from my buddy Brock of The Modest Man which was in high praise of the brand. This persuaded me to give it a shot.
Vulture Suits is based out of Toronto, Canada and their suits are manufactured in China. They claim “luxury without the sticker shock.” In an ideal world, all brands would be like this.
Check out the video below to see me rocking the suit in action, what to look out for and common problems men face when it comes to suits.
Let’s get right to it. In this review, I’m going to break down the suit in 5 categories.
- Ordering experience
- Customization options
- Suit quality
- Finished product (fit & details)
- Customer service
1) Ordering Experience
To ensure a proper fit the first go-round, I provided measurements from a suit that fit me perfectly. Most of the time, this is all you need, but since this is a complete suit and not a simple custom shirt order, Cecil requested my current body measurements in addition to the suit measurements I provided earlier to ensure that they get as close as possible to a flawless fit.
In addition, Vulture Suits requests that you provide 3 pictures of yourself wearing well-fitted clothing (front, side, back) so that their master tailor can reference the provided measurements with.
A major downside to ordering a suit with Vulture Suits is that there’s no visual designer. Beyond that, there’s also no visual indicators or descriptions of the styling options of the jacket and pants. This makes it nearly impossible for someone who’s new to made-to-measure or suit buying to feel confident in buying a suit here. Luckily I knew everything I wanted and what each of the options were, otherwise it would’ve been a painful ordering process.
2) Customization Options
When I saw that Vulture Suits offers a “You See It, We Make It” option, I knew I had to try it. The premise is that you show them a photo of a suit that you’ve seen online and they will do their best job to replicate the suit with in-house fabrics, patterns, and textures.
I’ve always had my eye on the Articles of Style suit in Forest Donegal Tweed. And so I sent over a picture of Dan Trepanier rocking the suit along with a pattern swatch. Cecil sent along the best fabrics he had mirroring the AoS pattern. It wasn’t the closest match, but there is a hue of green and subtle golden specs in the fabric and that’s part of what I was looking for.
These days I prefer light to no padding for the shoulders. I first requested light padding on the shoulders to which Cecil said they could accomodate. I’ve had experience with made-to-measure where it feels like I’m rocking Football player shoulder pads. Not a good look for a modern-day gent.
Additionally, you’re allowed to request 3 additional customization options beyond your standard choices of lapel style, vent, pockets, etc.
I requested functional sleeves with kissing buttons, side tabs for adjusting and buttons on the inside for braces. These were the 3 additional customization options I was allotted. I think that these should come standard and not additional requests, but it’s cool that they offer these customizations.
The suits from Vulture Suits are made of 100% pure wool, linen and cotton.
The tweed suit that I have isn’t the thickest, but it’s not the thinnest either. It has a bit of weight to it and texture, but not as much as I would like. All in all it’s still a serviceable suit that I can wear often. Who knows how many season it will last, but the construction seems solid like it can last for years, granted I take good care of it.
4) Finished Product
Let’s move onto the most important thing and that’s the finished product. I’m going to go over some key areas you want to take note of when trying on any suit, whether it’s off-the-rack or made-to-measure. And I’m also going to cover problem areas for many men when it comes to suits.
To my surprise the suit was double boxed upon arrival. Presentation does count for something and given the highly affordable price of the suit, I expected a plastic bag shipment. But by double boxing, Vulture Suits shows a small attention to detail that goes a long way. Kudos to them.
Onto what really matters—the finished product and fit of the suit. Overall, I was impressed with the fit.
Let’s start off with the jacket.
The jacket almost fits like a glove. The only real problem areas that I saw was that it’s a bit loose around the waist and chest area, but not so much that it requires a remake. I can add some waist suppresion with a simple alteration to bring in the waist a tad bit.
I like the looser aesthetic, a more classic drape and not super tight fitting which was kind of a trend the past few years. There’s enough room for me to stretch my arms out and around without feeling restricted. There’s no bunching under the collar behind the neck which is a common problem area for many men, especially when they sit down.
When I’m standing straight in my natural stance, the sleeves are perfectly straight and so the sleeve pitch is on point.
The jacket’s sleeve length is proper as well as the jacket’s overall length. It covers my butt, which is how you want it to fit. If it’s too long you’ll look like you’re coming out of the 90s. Or if it’s cropped too short you may be trendier, but it’s not the classic silhouette I’m aiming for.
I feel the trousers fit beautifully. They nailed the trousers fit. No alterations needed. There is however one small issue where the pockets flair out a bit, but that can be fixed pretty easily. I like how there’s a generous taper towards the ankle and the overall, looser fit of the trousers. Earlier this year I wrote about men’s style trends for 2018 and wider crop trousers was on the list. Not that these pants are wide crop, but they are a bit looser than I would normally get and I like that aesthetic.
The fit is arguably the most important aspect of dressing well. And I have to say that I’m thoroughly impressed with Vulture Suits.
- 100% Wool
- Super 110s
- 320 gsm (Fall/Winter)
Best of all they allow for you to customize the suit with your initials or whatever else you want embroidered on the inside of the jacket. It’s a nice personal touch that all MTM companies I have experience with have offered.
Scroll through the above image see the custom embroidering.
5) Customer Service
Vulture Suits started a few years ago. They’re relatively new in the industry and still very small. The service I received was top notch. Cecil was ready and available to answer all of my questions and always replied in a timely manner. His in-depth responses were refreshing and he even educated me a little bit on the custom suiting industry and why they are able to maintain such affordable prices without skimping on quality. He also mentioned that some MTM brands out there spend a boatload on ads, a game that Vulture Suits is not looking play.
PRICE & ADDITIONAL INFO
You can get a premium Vulture Suits suit starting at $359. This is one of the most affordable made-to-measure suits I’ve seen.
BEST THING ABOUT IT (PROS)
- Highly affordable price point
- High quality for what you pay
- Top-notch customer service
- Plenty of fabric options
- Quick turnaround
- Double boxed packaging
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT (CONS)
- Update website with a more user-friendly visual experience
- Add more customization options
- I applaud their “You See It, We Make it” program, but YMMV
I’ve got to say, I was skeptical when Cecil first reached out asking me to try out Vulture Suits. After all, we often get what we pay for when it comes to quality menswear. Fast fashion brands are as cheap as they come, but not the best quality goods.
But I was surprised to find out that Vulture Suits offers great service and a great product, especially for the price. If you are looking for a budget option when it comes to custom suits, Vulture Suits is my first choice. I think it would benefit them to spend some ad dollars to get their name out there because I feel more men need to know about Vulture Suits.
It also helps that they offer a 14 day worry-free remake policy and a 30 day, $50 alteration rebate, which is pretty standard when it comes to MTM.
Given my experience, I can safely recommend this brand. So if you’re on the market for a new suit or have a suit that you want replicated, Vulture Suits is worth checking out.
A note: Vulture Suits sent me this custom suit for review. Any thoughts and opinions are always my own whether I’m compensated or not.
Have you tried made-to-measure yet, if so, how did it go?
Let’s continue the discussion over in the Gentlemen Within Private Facebook Community.
Looking forward to seeing you in there.
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