I'm looking to buy my first MTM suit. I've lurked on this forum quite extensively for a couple of months and searched back-threads for opinions, and three names that have bubbled up to the top are: Black Lapel, Proper Suit, and Thick as Thieves. (I'm also very tentatively considering Indochino's Premium and Vincero lines.) However, I'm still a newbie, so I've got a few very general questions:
- How do the materials/construction compare? (Proper Suit Super 120 Imported, Black Lapel Super 110 + Full Canvas, and whatever Thick-as-Thieves offers)
- How do the cuts/styles compare?
- Do the advantages of being measured by a professional (e.g. via appointment with Proper Suit) outweigh price/material/construction advantages offered by Black Lapel (if any), which requires self-measurement? (As I understand it, Thick-as-Thieves does self-measurements, but can also perform in-person measurements for LA locals.)
- And finally, are there any alternatives to these three?
So this will be my second decent suit. All I've had have been cheap $300 OTR suits from Macy's (and other similar department stores), which served me well enough for job interviews and such (I work mainly with startups and entertainment, so jeans + T-shirt was considered to be normal office wear).
A month or so back, however, I bought what I consider to be my first good suit: a Brooks Brothers 1818 Madison-fit peak lapel tuxedo, purchased for a wedding which I was a part of. It fit me absolutely perfectly, practically no alterations needed, not even sleeve length, and I got so many compliments during the wedding that I've decided that it was time to add at least one good suit to my wardrobe. And I didn't want to go OTR this time, not because of fit -- since BB suits apparently fit me really well -- but more because of price and any hidden details I might miss due to inexperience. Everything I've read on SF and elsewhere has pointed me towards a solid navy suit for my first, so that's what I'm looking for.
As I mentioned above, I've narrowed the list of potential provider to the three companies listed above, but I am by no means certain about them. Here are my reservations:
- Proper Suit offers in-person measurements, but it's the most expensive option by far and it has the fewest number of reviews or word of mouth praise. Also, I don't know much about how/where they get their fabrics or make their suits. Can anyone fill in?
- Black Lapel is the most affordable and seems to have earned near-universal praise, but the material for the solid navy suit is Super 110 (vs Super 120 for Proper Suit), the jackets are half-canvassed (unless I pay extra), and they require self-measurements, which I'm not sure I'm doing correctly. I'm sure I could request full canvassed construction and Super 120 or 130 for the suit, but the self-measurements are my biggest uncertainty since I've never done them before.
- Thick-as-Thieves appears to have a lot of word-of-mouth praise here on SF, but no online reviews at all. However, I've also read posts claiming that their style only suits a slim body shape, which I'm not. (I'm not fat, but I am fairly wide: 42" chest on a 5'8" body.)
My budget is about $1,000, which is enough for a Level 2 suit from Proper Suit, but I'd obviously rather pay less, so Black Lapel's and Thick-as-Thieves' pricing at ~$500 per suit appeals to me, as well. Are my choices sound? Or is there a better buy from another provider for $1,000 (or, preferably, $500-$750)? Or should I just go with waiting for a Brooks Brothers sale and picking up an 1818 at a steep discount?
Either way, thanks for all your help!
I live in Los Angeles, so if anyone can recommend a good custom tailor in LA near Santa Monica, Pasadena, or Hollywood (the places where I spend the most time), that would be great!
Edited by Locke42 - 3/6/13 at 1:55pm