I’ve been fortunate to try what seems like every major custom suit-maker here in the United States, but Kashiyama was a new one for me when it comes to custom suiting here in the US. I first heard about them on Instagram and after checking out their website I was eager to test out some new custom suiting from Kashiyama. What’s really interesting is that while it’s a new name here in the United States, Kashiyama is one of the largest custom suiting companies in Japan, serving over 200,000 customers per year.
Kashiyama started in 1927 in Japan and are just beginning their journey here in the United States. Kashiyama is part of a worldwide portfolio of brands that began with the parent company, Onward Kashiyama. Kashiyama combines Onward Groups robust luxury fashion industry heritage, long standing tradition of innovation and the expertise of their employees and store staff.
Kashiyama owns their own factory and has over 160 unique fits and suits 200,000 customers each year! The combination of their deep history and large customer base provides millions of data points that help improve the accuracy of their process.
Owning their own factory is a major advantage against other competitors in the industry right now because they have full control of the process and quality control. This also positively impacts their ability to purchase incredible fabrics at great pricing that they pass on to the consumer.
Kashiyama only offers half and fully Canvas suits. They offer no fused suits, which puts them a step above most suits you may be looking at only just to start. You take all of that and you pair it with the impeccable craftsmanship and Japanese tailoring and there you have it…Kashiyama.
The Bottom Line Up Front
Kashiyama is worth it. They have a handful of locations in New York, Boston, D.C., and Philadelphia. Their suits start at $300, but once you are confident in the fit, you’ll easily find yourself purchasing the $400 and up range.
The suit will be at your doorstep in 2-3 weeks which is just unheard of when it comes to custom suits. No suiting company has nailed my fit as well as Kashiyama did on the first try. There are a few tweaks I’m making for future suits, but it didn’t impact the overall fit in a noticeable manner.
Kashiyama also offers their incredible EASY collection, which is the perfect balance of custom and modern suiting. I highly recommend giving one of these a go as well!
One drawback with Kashiyama is their limited stores in the United States at this point in time. If you can get to one of their locations in Boston, New York, D.C., or Philadelphia, the in-store fitting experience is worth it. However, if you have to go through the process online, as with any custom suiting company, it just requires effort on your part to go through the measurement process. I like the Kashiyama has in-store associates available to meet with you virtually though. This is a nice touch!
If you’re considering Kashiyama you are likely familiar with Indochino. Kashiyama’s half-canvas suits and their full canvas suits are superior to Indochino’s fused suits. In my opinion, Kashiyama also had a more accurate fit the first round with less alterations needed and their process is much quicker. Indochino does however have a wider selection of fabrics at all price ranges.
Throughout the rest of the article, I will step you through my experience with Kashiyama, what the pros and cons are of my experience and how they compare to their major competitors.
Table of Contents:
My experience with Kashiyama was a popup shop they were hosting in Chicago from the team that was based out of their NYC office. I would define ‘popup' in this situation more like a traveling tailor. They did a really nice job at the location, but it wasn’t like they were popping up a store in Chicago. The good news is I’m not really judging on the setup of their popup shop. It’s all about the suit for me!
I worked with BJ from their NYC store, who is also leading the brand’s expansion into the US. It also helps that he's been in the business for quite some time and is a deeply knowledgeable fitter himself.
This is a major advantage of the fitting. Kashiyama sends their staff from their stores to do the fitting at their popups. They’re investing in the quality of the people doing the measurements, which has a major, positive impact on the output of the custom suit being produced.
I also learned that if you do an online fitting and go through the fitting process online, you can schedule a consultation with a Kashiyama team member or complete the process on your own. That team member is also working in one of their stores and assisting you with the measurement process. Again, this helps to ensure accuracy and they are really investing in the quality of service being provided.
The actual fitting experience was really solid. I’m probably one of the toughest customers for any brand to work with because of how many companies I’ve worked with over the years and how dialed in I like the fit to be. They use try-on garments to help improve accuracy and then it was just a lot of dialogue between us about what they can and can’t change on their patterns and which is the best to start with.
But, you have to put in a little effort yourself. Bring a well-fitting suit to your appointment and use it as a base. Or, if you’ve not had a fitting before and would like to get a baseline- still wear your best off-the-rack one. Kashiyama’s keen eyes can identify tweaks to make this one your best-fitting suit yet.
For this fitting and the final custom suits I went with a slim fit that could be easily worn for meetings with executives. I wanted a fit to look modern, but not be too tight in any areas. It is also nice when flying for work to have a suit that has some room to actually move.
Kashiyama suits start at $300, which is the lowest I’ve yet seen for a half-canvas, custom suit. There are options at this entry point, but your style and fabric options really expand in the $400-$500 range.
I typically advise family, followers and readers about my recommended approach to buying a suit and determining budget. You have to really consider what the purpose of the suit is for. It’s hard to have just one suit to cover all your bases and it also depends on how many suits you currently have in your closet.
If you’re going to be experiencing Kashiyama in the store, then there is no doubt you can push above the $500 range with confidence that they are going to get the fit right and it’ll be near perfect. If you’re doing this online and it’s your first suit with Kashiyama or maybe even your first online experience, then staying in the $300 range might make you feel more comfortable overall.
One great factor about going with a $300 suit to start is you gain confidence in the brand and it makes ordering future suits at higher price points easier once you nail the sizing. I also recommend having some suits in your wardrobe that are at the $300 price point (I guess unless you’re super rich). The lower pricepoint is great for travel and perfect for long events. I typically call this a ‘burner’ suit.
When you step into the $500 price range that’s definitely a suit that you want to fit perfectly and a suit you’re going to care a lot more about if something gets spilled on it.
Connecting so closely to the overall experience is really in the suit construction itself. The main differentiator here for Kashiyama vs its competitors is that all of their suits are either half canvas or full canvas construction. They do not have any fused suits.
A ‘fused’ suit is glued together and typically what you find in a department store (even high-end department stores with suits way more expensive than these). The half-canvas construction is more durable, will shape to your body over time and will be less wrinkled during wear.
The other main factor for the suit construction is really leaning on the traditional Japanese suiting that has softer shoulders and cleaner lines compared to American suiting.
This is actually the one area that I thought Kashiyama didn’t do as well as some of their competitors. The fabric selection is perfect for your wardrobe staples and even versatile blazers. However, staying true to their core, Kashiyama doesn’t offer quite the vast selection of fabrics that you can find elsewhere.
There are enough options though, to cover what most men will need for business or event-specific sartorial scenarios. The fact I can’t get a bright yellow suit from Kashiyama didn’t bother me in the slightest.
More importantly, the fabric options and the mills they partner with provide incredible options as a consumer, especially at the price points they are able to offer these to consumers. This all connects back to their deep history in Japan and their ability to buy such immense quantities of fabric. In the United States, we benefit by getting great fabrics from all over the world and better prices because of their volume buying discounts.
Customization options were available for every customization that I typically prefer on a custom suit. Lapel sizes and types, pocket style, vents, contrasting stitching, button options for the jackets. Waistband side tabs, pleats, cuff for the slacks. One unique customization for their slacks is the option to have a permanent crease pressed into the slacks which is a nice touch on flat front trousers. It gives them the appearance of a fresh dry clean each and every wear.
Functional sleeve buttons on the sleeves are a must for custom suiting. I prefer the personal touch of contrast stitching on the last button hole; I typically leave that one unbuttoned
The other nice customization option is going with the fun, but still classy interior lining on the suit. I like something bold enough to get some attention when I take the jacket off, but not so much that it distracts from the suit itself.
The EASY suiting option from Kashiyama is a true game-changer in ‘performance’ suiting. There are a number of wrinkle-resistant, washable suits on the market- but this is the first with customizable option I’ve seen.
While the customizations options aren’t as plentiful as their regular suiting options, just the fact that it is a custom size with functional buttons is a win in my book.
With the workplace becoming more casual and events having looser dress codes all around, the custom performance suit is the perfect balance. I had the great opportunity to wear mine right after receiving it for an outdoor wedding in the stunning upstate Wisconsin. It was a beautiful evening and event.
I was also able to really put this suit to the test and it passed with flying colors. I have worn the full suit to an outdoor wedding in upstate Wisconsin and a work trip to NYC in 90 degree heat. Comfortable, lightweight, wrinkle-resistant. Its comfort is the real deal and I highly recommend adding one of these to your wardrobe!
Shipping and Turnaround Time
Two to Three weeks for a custom suit is on another level in my opinion when it comes to receiving a custom suit. It’s the quickest I have ever received a custom suit before and it’s something they pride themselves on.
Kashiyama has complete control over the shipping and turnaround times because they own their factory. When I was speaking with their team about this, they said the only time there are true delays are typically more with the shipping companies than in the factory itself.
They also have what they call the “Pack Runner” shipment which is basically an air sealed packing of the suit that takes about a day to let it back to its complete form.
When I first read about this I was wondering why most companies don’t do this. I think every time I receive a custom suit from another company it’s always wrinkled to no end and needs to be pressed.
I also think it’s just another detail that Kashiyama gets right. It obviously costs them more to do this, but I don’t think it’s about margin as much for them. They really want every part of the experience to go well for their customers.
Alterations and Adjustments
Out of the packaging, this suit was the best fitting suit I have had from measurement to production. It was wearable straight away and the adjustments required were mainly fine-tuning for future orders.
I talked with the team at Kashiyama and they explained any alterations required for in-store purchase is covered free of charge within 2 weeks of receiving and for online orders a $75 per suit credit reimbursement is included if needed. If you are close to a store, then alterations can be done in the store with their team taking care of the measurements and updates to the profile.
This is a great aspect of many online companies today in this competitive industry. Anything that isn’t perfect they will help take care of for you.
From my experience though, the more precise you can be with how you want the suit to fit during the measurement process, really helps to improve the accuracy of the overall fit of the suit.
In-store vs. Online Experience
While I would say Kashiyama is an in-store company first when it comes to fitting, they do have a really solid online tool they refer to as their “Smart Tailor”. Available since 2017, it has a nifty feature where the customizations you select are populated on a crisply-rendered 3D model. That way, you can ‘see’ your suit being built.
The in-store (or pop up experience in my case) was really top notch. I spoke about it above, so need need to replicate that here. After going through the process in-person the online reordering is super simple. The website is easy to navigate and being able to really see those customizations on the online model is a nice benefit.
If you’re doing this fully online, all you have to do is follow their guide and even schedule the consultation with their team member. The team member conducting the consultation is an in-store team member, so you’re getting their A team on the measurements regardless of in-store or online.
My Suit Selections
For my suit selection with Kashiyama I hit on two different price points and two very different styles of suits.
My first suit was one of their higher-end suits in the $800 price range. It’s a three piece suit with fabric from the world famous mill Vitale Barberis Canonico. The waistcoat added a bit to the price as well, but it was totally worth it! This incredible suit has a deep navy with a light plaid pattern making it perfect for nearly any occasion!
The second jacket and slack combination I selected was a brown textured jacket and a pair of solid navy slacks. Since this was meant more for separates, I went with an unlined interior on the jacket making it perfect for the spring/summer months. Similar to the VBC three-piece suit, I went with the waistcoat as well. I loved the lightweight fabric and wanted the waistcoat as an option for separates. I immediately took this combination on a work trip to NYC in the middle of summer and it was great!
The third suit was from their EASY line and a navy seersucker double-breasted suit. I raved about the EASY suiting above and will emphasize this again. I highly recommend a custom EASY suit for any wardrobe. This also was immediately put to the test and worn in a wedding that we had upstate Wisconsin. It was great for the outdoor venue and even better for the dance floor!
Both jackets that I selected from their main lines can be paired very nicely with denim and a button down shirt for a more casual environment and perfect for the office on a non-meeting day. The brown jacket pairs great with navy denim and the blue plaid jacket also works great with denim! I recommend talking to the individual you are working with about how you could style the suit as separates if that’s something you’re interested in doing!
I wore both waistcoats in NYC during a summer work trip as an alternative to wearing a blazer and as a three piece suit. Again, suiting doesn’t have to be extremely formal every time you go to wear the attire.
Kashiyama vs Indochino
I have personally worn a lot of Indochino suits over the last 5+ years and I have written an extensive review about my experience (click here for the review). In my opinion, Kashiyama is a step above what you are receiving form Indochino. At the core of Kashiyama custom suiting is a half canvas suit. The average consumer might not be above to tell the difference, but it does impact the overall fit of the suit and its durability overtime. Half canvas suits are just better than fused suiting, simply put.
Additionally, based on many fittings with Indochino over the years, Kashiyama has more consistent with the ability to produce a quality garment the first time around. I have had good experiences at Indochino over the years and as I talk about in my review you’re just very dependent on the person fitting you. You’re also more at the mercy of their lead times when you get the suit.
Kashiyama suits are at your door 2-3 weeks and they delivered. I actually thought they had rushed my order because of the review and their team confirmed that was not the case at all.
Indochino certainly has a more vast selection of fabrics compared to Kashiyama. Indochino has endless options for bold suiting which I can definitely appreciate someone looking for a suit to standout! The customization options at Indochino also offer more depth by way of interior liners and fabric felt color for example.
Overall you can’t go wrong with either option, in my experience and based on the fabrics you select the construction of Kashiyama is better.
Kashiyama vs SuitSupply
Personally, I don’t have a lot of experience with SuitSupply suits, but I have spent a lot of time on their website to be able to provide some sort of comparison since I know many consumers often compare custom suiting companies to SuitSupply.
Kashiyama offers a custom garment. You complete your measurement profile online or in the store and your custom suit arrives in 2-3 weeks. SuitSupply has off the rack sizing that they tailor to fit your body. SuitSupply does offer fully custom suiting, but the lead times are long and the price is fairly high compared to Kashiyama.
SuitSupply is going to be your better option for you need a suit as soon as possible with no time to spare. They could also be a better option if you live near one of their stores and aren’t interested in doing your measurements online.
Overall, just looking at cost, quality and the willingness to put in some effort, Kashiyama will be a better option.
I partnered with Kashiyama to write this review and I received the suiting from Kashiyama. This deal was contingent first on my experiencing the suits for Instagram and then progressing to the website review. I really wanted to share this experience with Kashiyama because I really believe they are finding quite the niche in the United States market right now.
They are a suiting powerhouse in Japan, they meticulously craft their garments, shipping times are crazy good and their ability to nail the sizing was the best I have experienced. It’s been fun to work with a new company, write this review and share my thoughts!