Review: Tailor4Less Tuxedo

February 2014 update: This post has been re-written in to adhere to a new, standard format for Black Tie Blog garment reviews. However, my fundamental assessment of the product remains the same and the postscript has been left untouched.
first_jacket_front

Overall Rating:

  • Price: excellent
  • Style & Options: poor & very good
  • Ordering & Customer Service: poor
  • Fit: good
  • Quality: poor
  • Value: poor

Earlier this summer I was asked by online tailors Tailor4less if I would like a free custom tuxedo in exchange for a link and an honest review on my blog.  I haven’t had much luck with discount mail-order suit makers in the past but I figured with such a generous and risky offer this Barcelona-based, China-made tailoring company must either really believe in their product or have a marketing rep who is just really ballsy. Considering how bad the product turned out to be, the rep must have some supersized cojones indeed.

Price (US $)

$239 for a tuxedo made from polyester and/or super 100s wool, $25-$50 additional for premium fabrics ranging from super 130s to super 180s.  Free international shipping

Style & Options

Tailor4Less suits are available in a standard or tailored fit. There were many no-cost options to choose from including functioning buttonholes for the sleeves and, unusually, medium or long lapels.  The site doesn’t indicate whether the jackets are canvased or fused construction.  There is no option for grosgrain facing.

Trousers are offered with or without (single) pleats and suspender buttons are not a listed option although I was able to request them separately.

Ordering & Customer Service

t4l_Capture_original

The ordering procedure consists of customizing the suit and entering your measurements.   The customization process was fairly straightforward if a little quirky due the use of English as a second language. However, the text is now much improved since they adopted many of my numerous recommendations and corrections.  (Editorial note: since this review was first posted, even more of my initial suggestions have been adopted.) The site’s accompanying suit illustration that changes to reflect the customer’s customization choices is a very helpful feature as are the DIY video clips offered as part of the measurement process.

The matching evening waistcoat – they call it a ceremonial waistcoat – can only be ordered online as part of a three-piece evening tailcoat set (which is actually incorrect for white-tie attire).  Therefore I was instructed to order a regular waistcoat online and separately e-mail details specific to the desired styling of the ceremonial waistcoat.

The e-mail customer service was friendly but very slow, quite possibly due to the time zone differences between a customer in Toronto asking questions of a rep in Spain seeking clarifications from a factory in Shanghai.

The suit arrived a shockingly quick 12 days after I placed my order but the turnaround time for replacement garments was quite a different story.  The aforementioned correspondence delays and need for very specific additional measurements (along with photos) meant that my replacement jacket didn’t arrive until a full month after I first reported the issues with the original coat.

Unlike with orders from the US I had to pay import fees on each delivery (including remakes). The cost was CDN$25 each time.

In regards to ensuring the right fit, Tailor4Less policy is to either reimburse alterations done by a local tailor up to $50 or remake the garment if necessary.  This sounds impressive until I realized that they do not offer refunds and that their commitment to getting the order right lags far behind their devotion to proving the customer wrong:

  • When the replacement jacket arrived with facing that was different from the first and I asked for new trousers to match they refused, informing me that  one jacket replacement was enough (even though I had specifically asked for trousers in order for them to save costs)
  • Although I had ordered one pair of flat front trousers and one pair of pleated they sent me two pairs of the latter.   They steadfastly insisted that only one pair was pleated while the other just had an ironed crease, even when I sent the photos below as evidence.  (Not surprisingly, they declined to indicate which was which.)
detail of pleats on both trousers

Detail of pleats on both trousers.

  • Similarly, they insisted that the tarted-up business suit vest I received was in fact exactly what I ordered online, ignoring the custom instructions I had e-mailed as requested (such as the lapels widening from 1 ½” at the top to 2 ½” at the bottom) and the garment’s total lack of resemblance to the “ceremonial” waistcoat illustrated on their site.
What they promised me (left) and what I got (right).  Seriously?

What they promised me (left) and what they sent me (right). Seriously?

Fit

For the record, I ordered the long lapel length (vs. medium), "normal" jacket fit (vs. tailored waist) and regular trouser fit (vs. slim).

For the record, I ordered the long lapel length (vs. medium), “normal” jacket fit (vs. tailored waist) and regular trouser fit (vs. slim).

The suit generally fit well, certainly better than I was expecting considering the cost. (I would naturally expect minor alterations to be necessary with any mail-order custom tailored suit.)

Quality

trouser_trim

Puckered trim on trousers.

The pros: The fabric – described as super 100s wool – was genuinely midnight blue and seemed to be of decent quality, particularly for that price point.

The cons: where do I start?

  • at 450g (13.3 oz) the midnight-blue material was the heaviest fabric they carried yet they classified it as “year round”, a category that included weights as light as 280g (for the record, the generally recommended weight for year-round suits is 300-340g or 9-10 oz)
  • the jacket was comically short – 1.5″ shorter than my other tailored jackets; I thought that leaving the trouser seat half exposed may have been a deliberate fashion-forward style but the illustrations on their web site show their suit jackets completely covering the seat, just as my other made-to-measure jackets do
  • the lapel roll stopped well above the front button (as depicted on the Web site) which made the button appear oddly disconnected from the rest of the jacket
  • the lapels are very narrow (as depicted on the Web site) which guarantees the suit style will become outmoded within a few years
  • the interlining in the front of the jacket was extremely stiff, to the point where it was almost impossible to steam out the folds created during the packing & shipping process
  • although the facing had an interesting subtle texture (it may actually have been faille) it was very thick and stiff
  • the collar was faced when it shouldn’t have been
  • the trouser trim was poorly sewn resulting in very visible puckering
  • the trousers had a covered button for the rear pocket (instead of the usual plastic button) and for the front waistband (instead of the usual clasp) resulting in unnecessary bulk
second_jacket

Replacement jacket.

second_jacket_detail

Construction flaws on replacement jacket.

IMG_2197_900pix

Lapels on original jacket (left) and replacement jacket (right).

I sent photos of the short jacket and they agreed to remake it.  This time around they asked me to indicate the length of one of my existing jackets.   (In my opinion they really should have asked for this comparison measurement up front.  Instead, they base the jacket length solely on the distance from the shoulder line to the middle of the thumb which none of my local tailors do.)

The replacement jacket didn’t fare much better than the original.  The upside was that it was a more suitable length and had a proper self-faced collar as per my instructions.   And surprisingly, despite my not commenting on the stiffness of the jacket, the remake had a much more pliable interlining and also a thinner, more refined lapel facing that allowed the lapel to roll properly

The downsides were once again numerous:

  • the fit was not as good as the original, the sleeve heads were poorly constructed and the pocket openings were wrinkled from being sewn too tightly
  • although I took this opportunity to request that the lapels be 1 cm wider than previously and was assured this was no problem, the lapels on the replacement jacket were actually narrower than on the original
  • as nice as the new lapel facing was, it no longer matched the facing on the trousers as it was noticeably blacker and shinier

As I previously mentioned, Tailor4Less refused to provide new trousers to match the replacement jacket’s facings or correct the puckered stripe.  In fact, they did not even deign to acknowledge my complaint about the latter.

Value

I have to say I really wanted this suit to be a success.  Besides the obvious benefit of gaining a complementary tuxedo for myself I wanted to be able to tell my readers I had found a very affordable source of classically styled and decently tailored evening wear, an extremely rare combination these days.  Thus I provided the company with plenty of patient instruction and plenty of opportunities to follow that instruction.   Unfortunately they turned down most of these opportunities leaving me with mismatched jackets, shoddily trimmed trousers and a comically incorrect waistcoat all of which are unusable.

While my only investment was $50 in import fees and my valuable time, if I was a paying customer I would have been livid.  As I learned long ago, a tempting deep discount can just as easily result in lost money as saved money.  Yes, their $239 tuxedo is less than a quarter of the price of a locally-tailored equivalent but if it ends up in the garbage then that’s still $239 gone up in smoke.

IMG_2144_edit

The end result.

________________________________________

Postscript

September 24, 2012

Two and a half weeks after my post I received an official response from Customer Service.  In the interest of balanced reporting, here’s what they had to say:

  • they are always working to improve their translations
  • their response time is 24-48 hours regardless of the customer’s location and allows for the fact they don’t work on weekends (even though I actually waited six days for an answer once)
  • material samples can be provided upon request so that customers can be sure of their fabric choice before placing their order (they misunderstood that my complaint was not about the quality of the fabric but about the incorrect categorization of its weight)
  • remakes take longer to construct than original garments and customers are informed of this “in the first communication”
  • Tailor4Less will reimburse up to 20% of import fees and provide the value of the remainder in credit
  • they pointed out that the first jacket length was made to my specifications (in fact, as noted above, I just gave them the measurements they asked for in the order form – it was their decision to use those particular measurements to determine jacket length that I have a problem with)
  • they are sticking to their claim that only one pair of pants is pleated and the other is ironed; they also reminded me yet again that I was actually only entitled to one pair of pants as part of this review process
  • they finally admitted the waistcoat they provided was not what I ordered and offered to remake it

They concluded by telling me I should take into account the fact that they have a 98% customer satisfaction rate.   I didn’t bother asking them for the data behind this claim just as I won’t bother to order a replacement waistcoat.  Their failure to truly understand many of my complaints, their ongoing silence regarding the poor workmanship and inconsistent standards and their inability to differentiate between something as simple as a pleat and a crease make it clear that they view most of my issues as my problem, not theirs.

23 Comments

  1. Jay

    I’ve ordered a suit from them with the slim-fitting jacket and trousers specified, and My God, when they say slim they ain’t kidding. Combined with the short jacket length and narrow lapels, it looked like an attempt to copy Daniel Craig’s suits in Skyfall.

    Although, I have to give them credit where credit is due, for being tailored with a lot of waist suppression it never feels tight to button. And if you actually want your suits that ridiculously slim, Tailor4Less might be a (cheap) way to go.

    However, I wouldn’t buy a tuxedo from them unless you want a James Bond in Skyfall costume piece.

    Reply
    1. Peter Marshall

      I wouldn’t buy a tuxedo from them unless I wanted a third-rate sweatshop piece.

      Reply
      1. Josh

        I strongly recommend http://www.martinfit.com . I bought a pair of suits and a tuxedo and can affirm they are trustful. Their customer service is excellent.

        Reply
        1. Peter Marshall

          I just checked out their web site and they appear to be another Spain-based China-made company. They also offer only polyester material for their tuxedos which is totally unacceptable for what is supposed to be the finest suit in a man’s wardrobe.

          Reply
          1. Josh

            I don’t know about in-depth technical details on fabrics but for my experience it was a pretty good deal compared to other much more expensive suits I have.

  2. LAStyleGuy

    Not sure if my eyes deceive me, but in addition to all the abominations you cite, are those belt loops on the trousers? If so, who in the heck puts loops on tuxedo pants?

    Reply
    1. Peter Marshall

      I didn’t even think of that. When I made the special request for suspender buttons they obviously just stuck them on their standard trouser model without thinking it through. Just another example of their extremely limited sartorial comprehension.

      Reply
  3. Rishi

    While this looks like it didn’t work out very well, I feel that some of the other higher end online MTM suitmakers would do much better (See: Black Lapel, Indochino, etc). I personally own a midnight blue tuxedo from Indochino and I absolutely love it.

    Just don’t think this should turn readers away from ALL online suit makers.

    Reply
    1. Jovan Gauthier

      It shouldn’t, but Black Lapel is miles ahead of Indochino quality wise.

      Reply
    2. Peter Marshall

      I agree wholeheartedly that this experience doesn’t represent all online tailors. In fact, I recently posted an extremely positive review of my own Black Lapel tuxedo.

      Reply
  4. Adolfo Garcia

    I have a question, i can mix a black herringbone tailcoat with black plain trousers? i mean, different fabric style?
    Thanks
    Adolfo (Mexico)

    Reply
    1. Jovan Gauthier

      Negative. It will look like you cobbled it together out of spare parts. ;)

      Reply
      1. Duncan Pike

        I agree with Jovan. Being herringbone, that sounds like a morning coat, not an evening tailcoat? If so, pair it with striped or plain grey trousers, wear it before 6:00 and you’ll look smart.

        Reply
        1. Jovan

          Herringbone seems to be acceptable for evening wear too, at least to the English. I’ve seen Anderson and Sheppard do it.

          Reply
  5. Duncan Pike

    Briefly considered getting my morning dress ensemble from them. Very glad I didn’t.

    Reply
  6. Connie

    I just ordered a sport coat and 4 shirts for my husband, for Christmas, today, should I hurry and cancel it? Please someone respond! Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Jovan

      I would. Always, always, always check out reviews before buying something online.

      Reply
  7. Ira

    I have order a suit only because they offer double breasted design, unfortunately I received a bunched up suit. After I contacted them they asked me to go to alteration which I did. The suit was done so bad with so many problem that I was quoted $300 for fixing it and still no warranty to be looks good, since they had to redo the suit.
    Then Tailor4 less telling me about their policy (no refund and we give you $50 for alteration) which was not exposed at the time of purchased,since i demanded for refund.
    I am writing this to make sure you do not fall in to the same trap. Please Please do not order anything from them as you will have issue.

    Reply
  8. Doug

    I had a similar experience with tailor4less. They are ripping you off. They completely botched my order and then they had the nerve of saying they made everything to my specifications. Needless to say they did not reimburse me for this. Plus, customer service is very rude.
    DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY WITH TAILOR4LESS!

    Reply
  9. air

    I have ordered a suit from them. I had my measurement taken by a professional tailor and followed the web instructions. The suit was so wrong that it was like wearing a bag.
    Stomach: I requested 91, it was 102. + 11 cm
    Hips: I requested 99, got 112. +13 cm
    Chest around: I requested 97.5, got 107. +9.5 cm
    Shoulders: I asked 46.5, got 44.5. I can not even move.
    The tailor said it was messed up and needed to be redone again.

    Reply
  10. William Prescott

    I have made a purchase from Tailor4Less and I didn’t have a problem. Before purchasing however, I looked them up on trustpilot in order to read more reviews. I also had someone measure me twice before placing my order. I asked for samples of the fabrics and I can assure you that It’s definitely one thing looking at them on a screen and another being able to feel them and see them right in front of you. In the end my garment fit comfortably and I was very satisfied with my purchase.

    Reply
    1. Peter Marshall

      Good advice about Trustpilot but be aware that Tailor4Less has been aggressive in removing negative reviews from that site as explained at http://tailor4less-reviews.com, a private site set up specifically for such banned reviews.

      Reply
  11. Jason

    Hi guys, I wanted to share my absolutely bad experience with Tailor4less with you (I joined pics). We need to let people know about it.

    Tailor4less is a really bad company you should not trust. You shouldn’t buy anything from them. I did and I regret it so much. Once you pay on their website you’ll never see your money back, even if the quality of what you’re buying doesn’t satisfy you. Since no one has a chance to check the quality before buying, I consider this a pure scam. I didn’t want to believe the bad comments I was sometimes reading here and there and decided to give them a shot anyway.

    Just to be clear… I made sure to double check my mesurements to ensure they are correct before ordering my suit. The suit I got from Tailor4less is all except respecting the mesurements that I gave. Mainly far too large everywhere. Even worse the quality of the product is horrible, the finitions are super bad and it all feels super cheap, even from something made in China (what my local tailor said after checking the suit)

    Since pictures talk better than anything else and I want to prevent you guys from buying here for your own sake… Here are some pictures of their “perfectly fitting clothes”, along with the comments I got from my local tailor :

    http://imgur.com/a/Dm7NA

    Tailor4less doesn’t want to refound me although I’m not happy with the bad fit, the fact that I can’t even fix the clothes at a local Tailor, and more than all, that the quality is absolutely terrible and doesn’t suit me at all for the price I paid. I Wouldn’t want them to send a new one, because I know I’m going to run into the same issues again. Moreover, What happens if they remake one that is still bad and not fitting me ?

    Even if I wanted them to make a new suit, I would have to pay with my money to send it back, although it’s their own fault for not making it correctly and being unprofessional. Is that fair to you ??? Once they cashed out your money, you’re done for, the only thing they agree to is to make you a new one if you’re really not happy. This is a total scam since no one can judge the quality of their product before ordering online.

    You should consider another company that totally agrees refound you in case you’re not happy with their product : Black Lapel

    Buy from Tailor4less at you own risks. It’s a terrible mistake I made, they made me lose so much time in the process. I can add, their customer service don’t even reply to your questions. I hope you guys don’t make the same mistake I made… Really. Good luck for those that are in the same situation as I am.

    Jason

    Reply

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