Made To Measure Suits: Black Lapel Review, Pt III

Made To Measure Suits: Black Lapel Review, Pt III


Previously we have discussed the general fit and necessary alterations for the grey glen plaid suit from Black Lapel.  The only alteration that was needed on the remade jacket was to lengthen the sleeves 1/4-1/2″.  The alteration was made and the jacket looks very good.  The fit of the jacket around the chest, shoulders and down the arms is pretty much spot on and equally well so for the pants.  The fit of the jacket and pants can be seen in the second post in this series; just note that the actual sleeves are now a bit longer.  In the first post in this series I noted that I opted for the fully canvassed jacket (a $150 option, you need to email them for this).  Which I am happy I did opt for.  I have seen Black Lapel’s half canvassed jacket, and although it looks and feels nice for being so jacket, a fully canvassed jacket is always superior.  The feel of the Black Lapel canvassing is light and flexible, not rigid and structured.  The feel of the fabric is also quite nice, but more importantly, it drapes very well.  Additionally, I am quite satisfied with the construction of the suit given the price point.  But let’s now complete the Black Lapel review, see below for some further thoughts.

Black lapel review shoulder
A nice natural shoulder.
black lapel review lapel
Big points for a proper boutonniere.  It should be straight, like this, and not in a keyhole shape.  Other MTM shops have lost points by using a keyhole shape.
black lapel chest pocket
Good pattern matching on the chest pocket.  Also, the pocket is at a good angle.  Chest pockets should never be flat, always slanted.
Black Lapel review button hole
Clean stitching on the button hole.  As one would expect.  A little cleaner than Indochino and akin to MySuit.
Black Lapel review jacket button
A properly affixed button should have space between the bottom of the button and the jacket fabric.  Black Lapel has a good amount of space, but arguably they could add a little more.
Black Lapel review sleeve buttons
Stacked sleeve buttons.  I prefer my sleeve buttons like this, however, some prefer them to be kissing.  The buttons are real horn and unbranded, as they should be.
Black Lapel review flap pocket
Superb pattern matching on the flap pocket.  Well proportioned flap size to the lapels and rest of jacket.
Black Lapel review neck
Clean under the collar.  It would be nice to see a flap of fabric folded over from the notch, however.
black lapel review armhole
Clean and even hand stitching around the armhole.  Hand stitching allows more movement and stretching on the seam, as it does not bind the two fabrics together as rigidly as machine stitching.  However, the strength of the stitch is more than strong enough to hold the seam.
black lapel review armhole
A sweat guard around at the bottom part of the armhole is something a jacket should not be without.
black lapel review inside jacket pockets
Clean stitching on the inside of the jacket.  Note the stitching at the ends of the pockets, it serves to reinforce the fabric around the pockets to prevent tears; a nice added detail.
black lapel review pants pocket
My primary complaint was the pick stitching along the pants pockets.  If I had ordered pick stitching on the jacket I would be okay with it, however, I did not.  It did not look consistent with the design of the jacket.  However, I have seen other pants from Black Lapel for which pick stitching was not selected and there was no pick stitching along the pant pocket.
black lapel review pant hem
Another area where Black Lapel gets extra points is for the pants hem.  They add an extra piece of fabric on the backside of the pant which not only adds weight to the leg to help with drape but it also provides an extra layer of fabric to resist against excessive wear on the hem.

I am quite satisfied with the end result of my Black Lapel suit.  The fit, fabric, feel and look of the suit is strong and working with Warren and Derek was a pleasure (the guys who not only run the business but handle all of the fittings if you so choose to do in person).  I was a little disappointed that the jacket had to be remade, however, it was done quickly and efficiently.  I was also disappointed when I did not receive the extra fabric to have side tabs made, but this disappointment was immediately assuaged when I realized they gave me an extra pair of pants at no charge!  Given all of this, I give a full and strong recommendation for Black Lapel.  In short, the price to quality and fit ratio is superb.  If you have any questions or comments about my Black Lapel experience sound off in the comments.




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. Can you expound a bit more on the measurement process? Where do you think you made a mistake on the measurements? Do you have any tips for measurements? I just ordered a suit from BL and I must say it was tough to be totally confident in some of the measurements. For example, where exactly does my shoulder end? It seems that if you’re off by 1/2″ in the shoulders you’re probably headed for a remake…

    • Zack,

      I had my measurements taken by the guys at Black Lapel. I believe we concluded that the error was in the sleeve length measurements. The measurements they ask for on the site are pretty standard. Biggest rec is to not do them yourself. Have someone else take them, preferably someone who has some experience or knowledge on tailoring or measurements. If what is on the BL site isn’t enough there are some videos on YouTube on measurement taking, Indochino also has some good ones on their site. Being off by .5″ on shoulders can lead you to a remake, but .5″ off in other areas can be fixed. One of the unfortunate things with any online mtm shop like BL is that it is hard to be confident on your measurements. Luckily the guys at BL (and other places I’ve gotten stuff from) understand this and will work with you to resolve fit issues.


  2. Hi Justin. In part II of the Black Lapel entries you stated that “FYGblog did receive material compensation when dealing with Black Lapel.”
    Please could you provide additional details about this. I appreciate the additional disclosure. Thank you.

    • Scott,
      When I say material compensation I mean anything from a significant discount to a fully compensated product. In this case (as has been the case with some of the other MTM suit shops I’ve worked with) the latter is true. However, I should note that I did pay for the full canvas, as opposed to half canvas option, which costs $150.

      • Thanks Justin for the clarification.

        In your review of the Black Lapel suit, you note the hand sewn armholes. I would like to inspect my own jackets for this– what are the telltale signs of handsewn armholes?

        Thank you.

        • Scott,

          I am no expert at telling this. But as far I know the easiest way is by looking at the stitching. If it is hand stitched it will not be perfect and even. You will also notice how there is that little bit of puckering in the seam; from what I know you can really only get that in hand stitching and it gives way to a little more stretch in the seam.


  3. Justin, i am looking to buy a navy mtm suit. I am hoping to spend around 500. Black lapel, knot standard or dragon inside. Which would you go for based on your experience with these companies? I bought a suit once from a traveling tailor called elegant rochees. It fits OK but it is a boxy old man’s suit. I want a Hugo boss style slim fitting European style. Let me know what you recommend. thanks.