In the ever-expanding work of custom men’s suit, I present to you Black Lapel and the Sullivan Gray Stripe Pinstripe Suit. Based in New York City & Shanghai, Black Lapel jumped on the custom menswear scene in February 2012 with the notion of creating luxury pieces at pretty reasonable prices. A while back, I had the opportunity to meet with Thierry Augustin, who styled the Spring 2014 campaign, when he was visiting Philly and he really got me interested in checking out the brand and the spring/summer 2014 line. Below are my thoughts of the brand and their product.
Custom Sullivan Gray Pinstripe Suit – Black Lapel | Toya Cutaway Collar Shirt – Hugh & Crye | Vintage Knit Brown Tie | 4 Way Monogrammed Pocket Square – Express | The “Dean” Sunglasses in English Oak – Warby Parker | Italian Calfskin Loafer – Paul Evans |
The Nuts & Bolts This Suit
- Half lined, half canvassed jacket with wide peak lapels and patch pockets
- The buttons on the sleeves are functional
- Fabric 84% Wool | 16% Mohair | pinstripe pattern (makes for an extremely light suit)
- The color is blue grey
- I opted for deep brown buttons instead of the stock button black buttons. In my opinion, deep brown button is much more versatile than black when button together a custom grey or navy blue suit.
- Pants: Two inch cuffs. Many readers have asked why I get my pants cuffed. The method to my madness is two-fold. Since I tend the wear loafers most often, cuffs add nice depth to the ankle area that a typical Oxford gives. To be honest, I just like cuffs
- On the majority of my custom suits, I forego belt loops on the pants and swap in side tabs. Instead of the typical metal d-ring tabs that other brands offer, Black lapel have a button option that is very sleek (and I prefer). There’s no real need for a belt if your custom pants fit perfect
Overall Impression Of Black Lapel & How I Feel About This Suit
Throughout the entire journey of Men’s Style Pro, one of the underlying goals was to bring quality menswear to the forefront. The Black Lapel brand is the epitome of quality menswear. After designing this suit, it was clear that I needed to change-up my focus in regard to some of my style do’s & don’ts. My emphasis on classic tailoring & traditional menswear details have been tweak because of the way I was able to interact with customer service at Black Lapel to add certain features to this suit that I would have attempted in the past (peak lapels with patch pockets on the jacket).
If I was going to grade this brand, I would give them a solid B+. The rating is based on my feeling that they need more fabric in their line up & some of the blazer only fabrics should be considered for suits too. Customer service is great, fabric quality is high and the brand understands the aesthetic you’re trying to achieve. Having the ability to email or chat with someone at the brand about your vision of your suit is welcoming. Deciding to go with a pinstripe suit can be a bit ballsy, but, the blue-grey color of the fabric keep this otherwise “power suit” details subdued. If you look at the suits that were just introduced in the S/S 14′ line and comparing them to some of their old/staple suits, you’ll see an immediate shift to higher quality fabrics and styling.
Looking forward to my next suit, i’d up my shoulder width by a quarter-inch and specify my leg taper. The jacket fit is straight out of the box, however; I had my pant legs tapered from the knee down.
If you’re interested in checking out the brand, head over to www.BlackLapel.com.
Photo Credit: Marina T. Peele
Founder & Creative Director of Men's Style Pro, Sabir has a deep passion for menswear and all things manly. Selected as one of the "5 Best Dressed Men In America" by Esquire Magazine in 2010 & as #GQFall 2013 Best Dressed Man. As of 2014, Sabir serves as a freelance brand ambassador & executive stylist for GQ Magazine & GQ Report. Outside of that partnership, Sabir serves as an independent brand consultant as well. Reach me directly at SABIR@MENSSTYLEPRO.COM