Depending on your needs, made to measure may not be exactly necessary. If you can get by with a specific brand you like or with staples from certain makers, then go for it for the sake of convenience and money.
But for many men, that isn’t possible–they are either searching for some elusive stylistic element that might not be in fashion currently, or they might not have the ability to find quality brands where they are located. In general, when we buy tailoring off the rack, unless you buy something that is not great quality or you have no opposition to strange patterns, fabrics and cuts, you are unlikely to get your classic item at a discount; we often spend a pretty penny just to get those staples that will last longer than one season. But the marketplace is shifting, as you have likely heard, and big box retailing is suffering for it. As more and more pop-ups arrive online offering “custom clothes,” through the intersection of technology and streamlined production, it becomes possible to order made to order or made to measure clothes for prices similar to traditional retail, making made to measure a feasible option for many men without access to more traditional clothiers.
The problem then is the value proposition of whether to go with custom clothes versus buying off the rack. But what if someone offers you a price that beats the off the rack option? Enzo Custom seeks to do this; they are a company that prides itself on offering quality clothing for an extremely affordable price. In so doing, they are attempting to compete not just with retail, but also with other online made to measure options.
For the past few months, they have been a Styleforum Affiliate. I’ve noticed in their thread that a few members have used them extensively. However, what makes Enzo Custom different from a normal MTO/MTM clothing retailer with an online footprint is that they require you to come into one of their locations to order clothing–it is not possible to order clothing until you have been measured by one of their specialists. As such, the online presence serves to just provide an easy ordering solution for an already established customer base to quickly order something with their own preferences.
Because they only have a footprint in certain metropolitan centers, you likely may not have heard of them, paid little attention to them, or considered them at all. In addition, like most online derived companies, they advertise with an image of their clothes that might not be seen as a more classic menswear type of guy, being perhaps a more fashion-forward menswear type of guy. This assumption though from a cursory glance at their online presence, is wrong.
I’ll come back to my experience with Enzo Custom in a minute, but I’ve got to say that they offer a level of customization that is different than most made to measure manufacturers. They have a degree of control over alterations to a pattern (gorge, button stance, curvature of the back, shoulder angles, arm pitch, skirt shape) that I’ve never seen outside of bespoke. As such if you want something that is super slim fitting and trendy, you can get that done. Likewise, they can do more classic cuts with lower gorge heights if that is what you prefer as well.
A little background and explanation for the pricing–Enzo Custom was born out of a wholesale fabric distributor. As such, they have access to–and a logistics chain–that already brings fabrics from mills to manufacturers. In addition, with relationships already in place, it made sense for them to move into the manufacturing space, building upon the relationships they have with clothes manufacturers and offer tailoring at lower prices than normal due to their discounts on the raw materials.
The brand representatives reached out to us to ask for a review and talk about their products. I lucked out since I live in one of the cities that they have an established showroom. The goal was to offer me a full outfit–suit, shirt and accessory (pocketsquare or tie) to allow me to see the quality and level of customization (and fit–of course) available from their customized clothing process. When I first looked them up, I was a bit concerned that they would be rather limited and were mostly another MTM outfit, but I realized after doing some additional research that this was not the case, and they offer a wide degree of styling and construction options. While the level of customization on the shirting was adequate, I have to admit I was more than impressed with the degree to which I could modify the jacket or pants.
The experience at the showroom was excellent. I ended up visiting Enzo twice–once because I needed to order the original clothes, and the second because I wanted to discuss with Cody, the stylist, the outcome of the suit and have them rectify some things.
The first time I was downtown for a Stones concert at the Rose Bowl, and as such, since I had to leave Enzo (their location is in Beverly Hills) and drive straight to Pasadena (traffic in LA is the worst), I wasn’t dressed in classic menswear. Rather I was wearing some selvedge denim and a button up printed broadcloth with each of the various Tongue logos from the Stone’s albums. That was a mistake, since I didn’t provide a good sense of what is a good fit to me. While Cody was able to create a really good fit off of measurement without seeing what I wanted, the length of the jacket ended up being a touch too short in the first iteration. If you were ordering from them, make sure to wear an example of what you think fits you well, or if not, have a good idea of where you want your garment to fall.
When visiting, the entire experience was rather civil, making you feel more at home or a friends place rather than if you were in a store. There is no sense that you are in some some room of a snake oil salesman who is trying to con you into something; rather, the feeling is the opposite–the employees listen to your preferences, guiding you in the process to a solution that fits your needs and wants. Cody, the Beverly Hills stylist, who used to work for Isaia and several other menswear companies, has a sense of style that evokes feelings of Pitti without the ostentation. Talking with him, I get a complete sense that he would be at home working with a man interested in slim fitting, super tight, contemporary fits just as much as with an elderly gentleman interested in a more classic conservative fit. He understood instantly what I was interested in, what types of things suited me, and only made suggestions that were in line with my interests. For instance, because I wanted something a little less modern, and a bit more classic, we opted for a lower lapel gorge in order to make the lapel appear a bit more classic. Likewise, he suggested that they could do the shirring effect because I had expressed how I have other garments with that characteristic.
When I made certain other things noted that I preferred them, such as single pleats and cuffs-despite being on the shorter side-he went along with my suggestions and made sure that we would raise the rise of the pants to compensate and extend the leg line.
I was given the offer to have one of their Platinum range fabrics, and I was quite impressed by it: a true 2-ply both in warp and weft, the fabric that I opted for is surprisingly a workhorse staple so far. While I don’t agree that super numbers are the means to judge the quality of a fabric (rather the hand or the fabrics weave is a better suggestion of quality), the S150 fabric has been rather resilient with no pilling. The 11 ounce fabric is great for year round wear, and because of the heavier structure on account of the 2-ply, the fabric has a drape befitting a heavier weight fabric.
Having worn the suit at least once a week for the last month, I think the fabric is rather resilient to wrinkles and has a great drape.
Outside of this, they have access to a wide range of fabrics that are impressive and nice. A lot of the fabrics they can get access to from some mills even if they don’t have it on hand at their manufacturing facilities. As such, the fabrics that impressed me the most and caught my eye were some from Loro Piana and VBC. In addition, they have some nice fabrics from Solbiati, Ariston and other great mills. However, it is important to note that thye principally stock Italian fabrics, so the fabrics tend to be on the softer, less structured side. The Platinum range fabric that they have, which has the true 2-ply does feel a bit more like an English cloth, which is why I am happy with it.
The first iteration of the garments that I received was around three weeks later. We opted to have them shipped directly to my home. As such, I found myself coming home, opening the box and getting to see how the final garment looked. However, after trying on the garments, I realized that there were some things that I needed refined. The gravest problem was that I felt the jacket was too short… my mistake was not wearing classic tailoring my first visit. The length of the jacket that I ended up with in the original iteration was adequate to cover my butt, but because of the choices to lower the lapel gorge and the button stance, it seemed unbalanced, especially when viewed as a suit. I felt the jacket itself to be unwearable, since it appeared to me to be cropped. I shot an email to Cody, who agreed that I should come in and discuss the problems.
In terms of the rest of the outcome, I had little complaints. The pants draped rather well especially for a first try; the jacket fit rather well minus the length and a need to adjust the collar slightly. The shirt that I received was also adequate, fitting well though the length and shoulders, with a little bit more room in the body like I requested. Cody had suggested a bamboo fabric that they have, and I have to admit I really appreciated the cleanliness and wrinkle resilience of this fabric. I would consider buying future shirts from Enzo if I already didn’t work with a specific Italian maker that I like and with whom I have a relationship. Overall though, I was impressed by the quality of the construction, seeing it as on par with higher end garments from some Italian makers.
I received a tie as well in a burgundy color pathway to contrast against the suit (I opted for a knit tie since I don’t really have any). The tie is of good make, but as can be seen, the length is a little long for me, someone on the shorter side (5’7″).
A few weeks later I returned to visit Enzo’s Beverly Hills showroom a second time. On my second visit, Cody understood what I was talking about regarding the jacket, and because I wore classic tailoring, he saw how I would normally dress and what I considered a good fit. Because there is very little ability to lengthen a jacket, he had the jacket remade, adjusting a couple of things (the collar height to address a bit of a collar roll), the sleeve length to just refine it a touch, the jacket length because of my concern, and the body to let it out a little only to allow for me to put more things into the front pockets without much pulling. The styling and the other aspects were fine, so I didn’t adjust any of those factors.
Beyond having the garments made and shipped to them, each of the showrooms has a skilled tailor that performs adjustments just for Enzo. As such, I commented how I would like a few things modified for my pattern on file going forward should I order from them in the future in regards to shirting and the pants. Listening to my concerns, Cody went ahead and had the pants adjusted. Beyond some minor adjustments that would be necessary to future patterns for my stance, my problem was that the pants sat and dug a little into the small of my back at where the spinal cord finishes, so he had them increase the rise and lengthen the inseam to compensate for the pants now wearing higher. The fact that their tailor on site could adjust the rise, and not by a small amount, with the fabric built into the garment, speaks volumes about how Enzo is not taking shortcuts in making the made to measure garments. Rather, by building in that extra material to adjust the fit, they can reduce their overhead for having to have remakes, but also compensate for clients that have adjusting waistlines.
After the new jacket was remade, I had Cody ship the final garment to me since I didn’t have time at the moment to go down for just picking up the adjusted pants and the new jacket. I’m much more pleased with the end result, and there are some minor things that I would probably adjust, some minute tweaks (letting out the body a bit more–I put on some pounds–’tis the holiday season) for garments going forward.
In the end, I would say that I am considering Enzo for another garment at full price. Enzo’s manufacturing happens in China, but in seeing the quality of the garment that came out of their manufacturer’s facilities, I have to admit that any bias I had towards Chinese quality has been extinguished. There are some minor nit picking aspects that I can have them address going forward–for instance having the arms complete set in by hand versus only half (when doing the manica mappina, they set only the top half into the arm scye by hand to accomplish the aesthetic shirring). In addition, I would likely not opt for a Milanese buttonhole again–not because I don’t like how it turned out, but rather because I think the Milanese buttonhole only works on more formal or elegant fabrics and I tend to order more rustic garments with heavier hands.
Behold the photos of the end result. Tweaks that I would make to this garment would be trying to refine the thighs to account for the drape of the pants, and I would also let out the body just a bit to make the jacket more comfortable with my added pounds. I’m content with the shirt even if you might consider it blousy. If you have never ordered a custom shirt, I’d recommend giving them a try, but I’m just used to shirts with handwork in the armholes, very high and different shaped arm scyes custom made for me, as well as getting unfused collars and cuffs. The shirts that Enzo offers are fantastic in price, but they don’t provide as much customization as they do with their jackets, nor do they offer certain nuances that an aficionado might like (unfused interlinings for one).
What I really appreciated from this entire experience was the level of customization. They do not merely have a few options, and they are able to make you pretty much anything that you want. Ghurka belted pants in wool for your suit? Sure. Classic trousers with a single pleat and side adjusters? Why not. A three roll two jacket with as wide or as narrow of lapels as you desire? Easy. Horn or mother of pearl buttons attached by hand a giglio? Of course.
In this sense, the wide variety of options is rather nice, and it gives you a sense that what they are making is true custom — that you are able to create something that meets your heart’s desire.
In addition to this, your normal selections like linings, fabrics, buttons, et cetera, are all rather extensive, and you can pretty much create something at whatever price point you want. Of course, some things are beyond them, like lining in cupro bemberg with ink jet printed photos of your family–but if you wanted a rayon lining with those photos–or just a clean cupro like I selected–not a problem.
Naturally, most classic menswear guys are going to opt for minor shows of style–that concept of sprezzatura–rather than go for something ostentatious. As such, consider things like the Milanese buttonhole, hand sewn button holes, matte horn buttons, as ways to show your style without going overboard. And consider that you can now get jackets with as high of armholes as you want. I’ve never had a jacket with as high of armholes off the rack, at least not one that is anywhere near my current chest size. And personally, I appreciate that.
Now, while Enzo Custom has some truly bargain, basement price suits, I would suggest steering away from those–much like I would with many manufacturers. If you like classic menswear, you likely want certain aspects inherent to your jacket’s construction. Canvassing is one such item. As such, you can buy pretty much any fabric and opt to have it fully canvassed (machine padded) for 200 dollars more. And I think this is a pretty fair trade off. Most people don’t necessarily need fully canvassed, and a half canvas construction will do them just fine, but for the diehard afficionados of menswear, or those searching for canvassing, it can’t be beat in providing structure and shape to the jacket. Lapels just don’t look the same in my opinion without canvassing. Therefore, I would suggest opting for the full canvassing on Enzo’s garments.
Would I buy a suit from them? Absolutely. Especially at the price point, and considering I can get fabrics that also interest me (more rugged of fabrics) for less. The jacket ended up being priced out at $870 ($645 for the jacket with the fabric, $195 for the canvassing, $30 for the Milanese buttonhole). The shirt came to $145 with the bamboo fabric (it’s really nice and is particular). The pants were $345. All together, the outfit was $1360 (please note that the tie I have no idea the price on since it was thrown in for free and was not included in my order). Do I feel that this is a reasonable price? Absolutely. For a fully canvassed suit, made with your size in mind, its hard to beat, especially considering the quality of the fabric.
This is not a sponsored article but the author received the item at no cost; to read Styleforum’s review policy, please click here.
e. v. Empey
Latest posts by e. v. Empey (see all)
- Yeossal Polo Shirt Review - December 28, 2019
- Enzo Custom Review: Rethinking the Limits of Made-to-Measure Suiting - December 6, 2019
- Thinking About Sustainability and Ethics in Menswear - April 27, 2019
- Basic Rights Trousers Review - April 13, 2019
- Frayed Collars, Punctured Worsteds: How I Stopped Caring and Learned to Embrace Wear and Tear in my Wardrobe - February 23, 2019