Every once in a while, you attend an event that calls for a special suit. Leveraging technology and applying lean startup techniques to custom suits is what Proper Suit is all about. After having contacted the company, you will meet someone to measure you. An AutoCAD blueprint of your suit is then uploaded to the cloud and will be used to manufacture your suit and potentially other suits in the future. The custom suit is then delivered to your home.
“I loved tailored clothes and I spent a lot of time getting those clothes,” said over the phone McGregor J. Madden, co-founder of Proper Suit. “It was very expensive, very low quality. I wanted to use my experience working in clothing with Chinese factories,” he continued.
As custom suits are a very particular and old business, Proper Suit still needs to use an old-school approach when it comes to measurement. After a $150 reservation, an assistant contacts you and arranges a meeting. Most of the time, you come to a temporary pop-up stores where you are measured and can browse the 300 fabrics and pick among the 150 customizations.
It’s a one-on-one meeting where you can ask everything about suits. Four to five weeks later, you receive your suit. As its targeted customers are men whose time is their luxury, the company wanted to make it easier to order again. You can just call, send an email or meet briefly for your next suit. Every measurement is kept indefinitely.
“On the second time, you can send a picture of a cool suit,” said Richard Hall, co-founder. Proper Suit will do its best to advise you and find a close match. Thanks to high resolution pictures of the fabrics, you can travel and still make good decisions for your suits. There is less than a half centimeter of variance from a cut to another.
When it comes to prices, Proper Suit has similar prices to traditional competitors like Hugo Boss with suits ranging from $750 to $1850. Yet, the company emphasizes that quality is very important. For the same price, you get a much nicer suit. The two founders have previous experience in the clothing industry and know where to source the raw material with shoulder patches coming from Germany, wool coming from Italy, etc.
AutoCAD is a key element to Proper Suit’s process. Files are used to build out the pattern and the fabric is then laser cut. Those geeky elements are the reasons why early technology adopters are using Proper Suit. Many people working in tech companies in the San Francisco Bay Area or New York are spreading the word about the service.
Proper Suit competes with IndoChino, which started as a custom clothing company where you enter the measurements. Trying to change a very old industry with a new business and technological approach is both interesting and effective. Proper Suit was first a bootstrapped side business before catching on. The service is currently available in 11 major U.S. cities.