Black Lapel Review: The Fresco Edition

Black Lapel Review: The Fresco Edition

black lapel suit with jay butler brown leather tote bag

For years I have begged and pleaded with many, if not all of the custom suit brands you have read about here on The Fine Young Gentleman, to offer their suits in a fresco fabric.  In the past I have waxed poetic on the virtues of fresco so I won’t bore you with that again.  As that is not the most important matter at hand.  What is important is that my calls have been heeded.  And Black Lapel has answered with action.  I am not saying they are offering fresco solely because of me, just that there’s a substantial chance my persistent requests had something to do with it.  Let’s get into it a little more on this combination look guide and review for Black Lapel’s light blue fine line fresco suit ($549).

black lapel fresco suitAs I discussed in last year’s review, Black Lapel has been consistently good with their fit, construction and customer service (probably on average the best).  The latter judged mostly on what I hear back from readers and friends.

To my knowledge there have not been a lot of changes made to Black Lapel’s production and construction methods over the past year, which is fine because they make a very solid suit for the price they charge.  However, what they have done is add a few things to the line; including the aforementioned fresco.  They have also added a Savoy line which is now their highest level of offering.  Of particular interest to me is the unlined and unstructured navy hopsack blazer.  But for the purposes of this post, we will stick to the fresco.

The details of the suit are as follows; for the jacket: wide peak lapels, 1 button, unlined, slanted flapped pocket, 2 vents, functional sleeve buttons, functional boutonniere, light blue lining.  And for the pants: no cuffs, no belt loops, suspender buttons, 2 rear pockets, side tabs.

black lapel custom unlined jacket
Look at that beautiful unlined-ness (yeah, I know that’s not a word).
black lapel custom suit review unlined jacket
For an unlined jacket it is imperative that the edges be clean and even. Otherwise it ruins the look of the jacket and cheapens it. Fortunately, the work here is strong.
collar underside black lapel made to measure suit review
Nice work under the collar. The fabric is folded over and there is a flower loop below the boutonniere which on a functional level is useful for keeping flowers and other accessories upright and in place. On a construction note, it is a detail often left out and one that can really only be done by hand.
functioning sleeve buttons black lapel fresco
Personally, I very rarely wear any of my sleeve buttons undone. But it’s nice to know that I can if I want to and that the button holes that are left uncovered look nice.
black lapel custom pants
Black Lapel is still using the elastic side tabs, as they have been for the last few years.  Admittedly, I would prefer they used slide tabs, but the elastic set up is still nice.

In short, the quality of the make of the suit is solid.  As has been in the past.  The fit is also quite good, as you can likely tell from the photos.  You may notice that this suit is a little more form fitting than many other suits I’ve reviewed or been photographed in.  For this suit we went with Black Lapel’s slimmest fit, the slim fit, as opposed to the tailored fit as in past reviews.  The fit is tighter than I am used to, at first it felt a little weird, but I’ve since gotten used to it and it also looks quite nice.

black lapel custom fresco suit
Shoes: Jay Butler. Shirt: Buttons N threads. Watch: Longines. Pocket Square: Fort Belvedere.

Fresco is a great fabric, no way around that.  It has all the breathable qualities of linen but without the wrinkles and with a more formal appearance.  The light blue that Black Lapel has on offer is a moderately conservative color, although obviously not as formal as a dark grey or navy blue.  It can switch between work and play when it needs to.  The three looks featured in this post are more on the ‘play’ side of things, however, I could easily add a solid navy tie and socks to the white shirt look (above) to dress the suit up.

blue suit and pink oakey frogskinsFor a tied look I kept things on the more casual side, with a pink gingham shirt and light blue knit tie.  Accompanied by my beloved Lilly Pulitzer suspenders.  This look would be great for a summer wedding or for a day when you don’t want to take wearing a suit too seriously.

blue suit and lilly pulitzer suspenders
Shirt: Cottonwork. Tie: Paul Stuart. Suspenders: FYG/Lilly Pulitzer. Watch: Longines. Shoes: Septieme Largeur. Sunglasses: Oakley.




black lapel made to measure suit review
Shoes: Jay Butler. Shirt: Cottonwork. Watch: Longines.

In the third and final look is the most casual.  I ditched the jacket and went with a heavy chunky linen button down.  The wheat color of the shirt plays off of the caramel of the bit loafers and the blondness of the hair well.

black lapel made to measure suit review girl blue fresco suit with girlJLJ


Photography by Gina Palermo Photography.  Many thanks Gina!

Note:  FYGblog received compensation in the form of clothes or other material instrument for the production of this post.  As always, the utmost effort was taken to maintain an unbiased stance on the items at hand.  Additionally, affiliate links are included in this post.  Please help support the production by clicking on said links if interested in purchasing a suit from Black Lapel, it will not cost you anything extra.




  1. Looks dope. I havent purchased any of their frescos yet but I did just get some swatches. Definitely on the list. Lovin the BL + Millbanks. I usually sport that one or twice a week.

  2. Bro, I love your site, and your advice/reviews are unmatched; however, you need too clean up that haircut. I’m not attempting to troll/offend you, but your unkempt hairstyle clashes with the dapper projection of the suit. A perfectly tailored suit doesn’t stop with the cloth, so crop-your-top. Get a low-guard on your sides, fade up, and leave length on the top.

    • Emillosanto,
      No worries man, much appreciate the thoughts. Other have agreed and others have differed. I see both sides of the argument but for now I’m keeping it long all over. Thanks for reading.