Black Lapel Custom Suit Review, 3.0

Black Lapel Custom Suit Review, 3.0

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black lapel grey birdseye 3 piece suit review

Over the past 4 years I have reviewed Black Lapel twice; I’ve also commissioned a few things on the side that I haven’t written about. Black Lapel was even one of the first brands that I reviewed on The Fine Young Gentleman so it has been nice to seem them build their business over the past four years. Each time I have acquired something from them I’ve noticed that their product has gotten a little better. That is not to say they are perfect (I have yet to find a suit maker who is), but I will say they are one of the best online made to measure brands out there. It’s also worth noting that historically I have received as much, if not more, positive feedback from readers and friends on Black Lapel’s customer service than any other brand I have worked with.  And there has been virtually no negative feedback.  Which is respectable.

A few months back Black Lapel was nice enough to again offer me a suit for review. Before getting into the review I should note that this review was supposed to come out about 3 months ago while it was still cold out, thus why you see me wearing a heavy jacket with fur.   The birdseye fabric is also more suited for cooler weather but it can still be worn in warmer weather, but not as comfortably as a lighter wool or linen fabric; in my opinion.  The reason for the delay is that I’ve been a bit behind schedule on my reviews due a majority of my efforts being directed toward Jay Butler.  Anyway, I’ve been pushing Black Lapel to delve more into seasonal fabric over the past few years.  For any suit brand, seasonal fabric propose financial and logistical challenges, but I think they are crucial to building out a rounded product offering.  Black Lapel has been getting better at it, but still not to the point that they could be; babysteps I suppose.

black lapel reviewFor this suit I went with a blue grey birdseye.  It is a great fabric.  Generally speaking, Black Lapel’s suits range from $499-799, this three piece birdseye would’ve been at the top end of that range; the two piece goes for $649.  Typically, I am more of a blue and brown fabric person, but I liked the slight blue hue the fabric had. It was just enough to differentiate it. Depending on what is worn with it, I can bring out more of the blue or more of the grey; which is fun to play around with.

black lapel custom suit reviewI selected everything over the Black Lapel website, which is easy to use.  I also used my own measurements.  For those of you in NYC, you can visit the Black Lapel showroom at 121 w 27th st; which many guys prefer.  As you can see from the above photos the suit fits quite well.  The only alterations I had done on it were to bring in the waist of the jacket a little and shorten the sleeves.  The were good to go from the start.  The suit, whether as a three piece or two piece wears comfortably allows me to move with ease.  That said, I’m very happy with the fit of the suit.

For the details of the suit we have the following:

Jacket: single breasted, 2 button, peak lapel (3.5″), hacking pockets, side vents, fully lined (silver lining), brown buttons.

Pants: side tabs, no pleats, no cuffs, 2 back pockets, suspender buttons.

Vest: 5 button, single breasted 3 pockets, suit fabric on back, notch lapels.

black lapel peak lapel
The peak lapel has a nice shape and width to it.  For peak lapels it is essential that they be wide enough to properly frame a man’s shoulders.  For instance, I have 18.0″ shoulder width and wouldn’t go with anything less than 3.5″ peak lapels.  Anything less and the proportions would be off.  The lapel buttonhole is, as it has been in the past, a nice tight stitch.
black lapel collar underside
Flower stem keeper: check.  Collar fabric folded over to underside of collar: check.
black lapel jacket cuff bottons
The functioning sleeve buttons are well done.  I opted for a medium brown button instead of Black Lapels standard dark brown buttons.  I like how they pop off the fabric a little more.
black lapel jacket buttonhole
As in the past, the jacket buttonholes are clean and tight.
black lapel side tabs
Black Lapel is still using buttons with concealed elastic straps for their side tabs.  I am more of a fan of the more common strap with sliding buckle system.  But functionally, Black Lapel’s system works great.  But this is purely a matter of personal preference.
black lapel button waistband
Along with delving more into seasonal fabrics, I hope that Black Lapel will also offer a standard extended tab slide arrangement for the waistband, as opposed to the extended button.
black lapel cuff guards
We all know I love my cuff guards, which Black Lapel does well.
black lapel pants review
Black Lapel got the leg width opening right. Oftentimes brands will set this too wide for my legs and feet (shoes are some things I’m playing around with for Jay Butler).
black lapel vest
The 5 button vest looks great.  We added a few custom options like a notch lapel and fabric back.  I think both options really help elevate the vest to the next level.

As I have done so in the past, I still recommend Black Lapel.  They have consistently shown themselves to deliver a solid product with solid customer service.  Selfishly, I wish they would listen to more of my thoughts and advice, but I can say that about every suit brand I have reviewed.  But they have addressed a few things such as deepening their seasonal collection and accommodating more customizations; for which I am grateful for.  I also know they have some new things in store, so I look forward to that.  Said new things fall in line with Black Lapel continually working to better their product and product offerings.  If any of you have any questions, thoughts or would like to share you own experience with Black Lapel; please hit the comments below.

black lapel grey birdseye suit ned stark coatJLJ

9 COMMENTS

  1. Great looking suit. For the money, it’s quite nice! Of course you have an advantage as a skinny guy; my tailor has a much tougher job with waist suppression on me. I liked the one suit I bought from Black Lapel, but I only do local tailors now because I’m such a difficult fit.

  2. I can honestly say I understand why Black Lapel still uses the extended button instead of the extended slide tab. The end product is much better looking and the metal buckles out there tend to be of very poor quality (like the ones other MTM companies use). I suppose its more cultural than you’d think Justin. As of today, not a single man has asked us for side tabs for his pants. Most men here in Mexico wrongly believe you are forced by law to wear a belt at all times.

  3. How high can you raise your arms without the suit jacket crumpling and looking like a mess (with the jacket buttoned up)?

  4. Correct me if I’m misunderstanding you, but you seem to be saying that they gifted you this suit to review. You seem to imply that other items you’ve received from them were complimentary also. And you’ve known the owners personally since they started the business.

    I respect that you’ve been candid about all this, but how do we know that the average customer’s purchase would receive the attention to detail that yours did? In addition, you live in NYC and were able to be measured by one of their in-house tailors; not an option for most of us.

    That’s a fine looking suit, but I’m not convinced that my experience with Black Lapel would be as positive as yours.

    • I’ll be honest, I’ve purchased some, and the suits didn’t fit that well the first time around and when told the corrections for the second order, the fit still wasn’t right. They had in fact ignored my suggestions on the pants, and it ended up being too short. Also, when you tell them something is wrong with the fit, you will be quite likely to receive a “it looks fine” response.

      • Ive been a frequent purchaser of Black Lapel and think their customer service has been absolutely superb. The first suit didn’t come out perfectly but they fixed it quickly and updated my measurements to which I have been going off of for all my following suits (which all fit perfectly). The sales people in the showroom are super courteous and professional and it is easy to get great customer service online as well

  5. I just recently started a company that offers similar quality suits at almost half the price of Blacklapels. We are currently offering them at a heavy store launch discount for people to try them and perhaps review them. Feel free to check it out or contact me. http://www.vulturesuits.com

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