A few weeks back I was contacted by the gents at Black Lapel (see above pic, Derek and Warren are two of the three founders), one of the many new start ups in the made to measure market (see also Indochino, My.Suit and Alton Lane). I had never heard of the company, I soon found out the reason was that it was only started in February. Which could be good or bad. I took a look at the site and did some poking around on forums and social media outlets which led to minimal results. My interest was peaked.
I met with both Derek and Warren and we spent a good deal of time discussing matters of menswear, suits and life working for ‘The Man’ (as they used to be in finance). This was good because it not only allowed me to get to know the men behind the operation but also to see Black Lapel’s suits in person (both Derek and Warren are wearing them in the above picture). Of the more important things we all agreed on was that men in the States tend to dress in a sub-par manner and that we each want to help those who desire to dress well, dress well.
Derek, Warren and I ended up agreeing to have a suit made for me. I went through the typical measuring, fabric and design processes. However, I placed the order via their website ordering system, which like Indochino’s, is straightforward and easy to use. If you live in NYC you can often schedule an appointment with Black Lapel, but regardless of where you live you can opt to handle the measurements and ordering process yourself through Black Lapel’s website. The customization options are on par with other online MTM outlets (buttonhole accent stitching, no belt loops, vest, hacking pockets, pen pocket etc). There are two options I would like to make particular note of however. The first is the fitting option to note that one of your shoulders is lower than the other, which is the case with most men. The second is the option for a fully canvassed jacket, as opposed to a half canvassed jacket, which is about a $150 additional cost. The fabric quality, however, seems to be above those from what I have seen from Indochino and My.Suit. I should also note the difference in the prices of the Black Lapel suits comes solely from the fabric ($499-699).
I opted for a medium grey glen plaid, which is badass but unfortunately not up on the site yet. The jacket has 1 button, notch lapels, straight pockets and side vents. I also opted for the full canvassing, which I think in this case was worth it, as I hope that it will increase the longevity of the jacket as well as the comfort, fit and look. For the trousers I opted for flat front, no cuffs, 2 rear pockets, braces buttons and no belt loops. I also requested that extra fabric be included so that I can have side tabs fashioned (a unique request but the gents happily obliged), as unfortunately that is not an option Black Lapel offers yet. But the gents said they plan to in the future. I am quite excited to receive the suit, turnaround time is expected to be 3-4 weeks (the suit is currently in transit to me so I hope to have the second post up in the next week or two).
In the next post we shall discuss the initial fit and impressions of the suit. If you have any questions, sound off in the comments section. Stay tuned.
Note: FYGblog did receive material compensation when dealing with Black Lapel. However, rest assured, an unbiased and objective opinion of Black Lapel will be presented.