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Love for Ralph Lauren Black Label

J. Cogburn

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Backstory
Having now dropped 70 pounds and hitting goal weight (170), it is time to stop buying stop-gap clothing in the course of my descent down the weight scales and to rebuild the wardrobe in earnest. All I really have from my old life that I can keep are socks and ties. Hence, my clothing needs are vast.

Unfortunately, that means I could not manage to do what I had hoped, which is to go bespoke for the suits. I had hoped that English-American - the made-to-measure manufacturer for Tom James and H. Freeman suits in Westminster, MD - would be my initial source for the suits I need to get through the year, but alas, the blazer I picked-up from them yesterday was rather underwhelming. The shape was uninspiring and had even less panache than I might get from BB. Moreover, the fit was off and it needed three weeks more work. I left thinking that I would likely be disappointed if I anchored my business wardrobe with their work.

That left me with the world of OTR designer suits (for the time being anyway).

Black Label vs. Italian
I've tried-on most of the higher-end designer options but fell completely in love with Ralph's Black Label. He gives you one heck of a sharp silhouette without getting Tom Ford cartoony. The lapels are on the narrower side but they are within proportional reason. Moreover, the Black Label is far less expensive than the higher-end Italian alternatives (which I would have had to snag as opportunity arose in the second-hand market) and, for my frame anyway, look a lot better (I've got very square shoulders and a 7" drop at present, but look a little too columnar in the Brionis, too bulky in the Canolis, and rather "bleh" in the Kitons). Oh, and despite some recent confusion here on the matter, Black Label suits are fully canvassed.

The only down side is the limited selection of fabrics. You want a lighter navy? Tough. You want charcoal grey, not black or mid-grey? Tough. You want chalk stripes? Too bad. Nailhead or bird's eye in grey or blue? Dream on.

Oh well, I could only afford two suits at those prices anyway, so there was enough to make do. But damn, those are mighty-fine suits! A near-perfect blend of sexy fashion forward and classic British style.

Just sharing the love. Can't wait to pick them up next week.
 

SkinnyGoomba

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Cannoli's?

They certainly put out alot less RLBL fabric selections than polo, but their is some great fabrics, I just got the fabric book this week. They did a light gray 3 piece over the spring/summer that I really liked.

I was impressed by the shawl collar tux for the fall.
 

MetroStyles

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My love for RLBL is waning.
 

J. Cogburn

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Cannoli's?
Yeah yeah. Canali. Hard to wear an Italian pastry.

My love for RLBL is waning.
Why? Getting sick of the look? AFAIK, the only other designer going the big-shoulder-tight-waist route is Tom Ford and his cut is a little to extreme for my taste. RLBL still seems to be a bit of a fashion outlier but I suspect that other designers will start trending in that direction soon.
 

bigbris1

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I don't like the black label itself. Looks like a knockoff. Blue or Purple all day.
 

SkinnyGoomba

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I prefer the look of polo myself. I dont mind my one RLBL suit though.
 

MetroStyles

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Originally Posted by J. Cogburn
Why? Getting sick of the look? AFAIK, the only other designer going the big-shoulder-tight-waist route is Tom Ford and his cut is a little to extreme for my taste. RLBL still seems to be a bit of a fashion outlier but I suspect that other designers will start trending in that direction soon.

1) I have square shoulders and the heavy padding is not helpful. I need a more natural shoulder.
2) The pants are cut too tight if you have an ass.

That's really it...I suppose the lapels are bit too fashion forward but I don't really have a problem with them. I am gaining some upper body mass now and soon will be a 40R that needs a 32 pant, so that won't work out with RLBL either, given their drop 7.
 

SkinnyGoomba

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You're too built for the congressman cut also, correct?

I really like the style of that cut but it's very trim through the shoulders and chest.
 

MetroStyles

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I am hardly built which is why I have a problem with RLBL. If I was some jacked bodybuilder I wouldn't really have an argument here. But I am a slender guy with an ass from doing squats, and if I can't fit into the suit there is a problem.
 

J. Cogburn

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I don't like the black label itself. Looks like a knockoff.
A knock-off of what?
 

J. Cogburn

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I am hardly built which is why I have a problem with RLBL. If I was some jacked bodybuilder I wouldn't really have an argument here.
I would think the opposite would be the case. If you are lean and thin, the BL provides some needed upper-body "V." If you are already a perfect specimen (proportion wise), then you don't need what the BL gives you; you can that nice "V" look from any soft-shouldered, reasonably tapered suit.

But I am a slender guy with an ass from doing squats, and if I can't fit into the suit there is a problem.
Me too (now). In my case, however, they had to bring the pants in a little in the waist and ass.

Regarding fit, I am typically a 39L or 40L but I had to go up to 42L in the BL and have a lot of little things taken in to work.
 

MetroStyles

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Originally Posted by J. Cogburn
I would think the opposite would be the case. If you are lean and thin, the BL provides some needed upper-body "V." If you are already a perfect specimen (proportion wise), then you don't need what the BL gives you; you can that nice "V" look from any soft-shouldered, reasonably tapered suit.



Me too (now). In my case, however, they had to bring the pants in a little in the waist and ass.

Regarding fit, I am typically a 39L or 40L but I had to go up to 42L in the BL and have a lot of little things taken in to work.


I am being overly harsh...it's still by far my favorite suit OTR that can be had for <$800 (not retail, obviously). But the more I think about it, the more I question why I don't just go MTM for $1000 or so and get a perfect suit next time.
 

SkinnyGoomba

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Originally Posted by MetroStyles
I am hardly built which is why I have a problem with RLBL. If I was some jacked bodybuilder I wouldn't really have an argument here. But I am a slender guy with an ass from doing squats, and if I can't fit into the suit there is a problem.

Wouldnt having the seat let out solve this issue? If it's causing the vents to flare that can be fixed also.
 

J. Cogburn

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I am being overly harsh...it's still by far my favorite suit OTR that can be had for <$800 (not retail, obviously). But the more I think about it, the more I question why I don't just go MTM for $1000 or so and get a perfect suit next time.
If you could know in advance that you'll get the perfect suit via MTM for $1k, sure. But I'm not so sure about that. It seems to me that the real competition for BL - at least amongst us fanatics - is Chan. They retail at about the same price point. But with Chan you wait ... and wait ... (which was no option for me because I need a couple of suits NOW) and, of course, you can't get Chan at discount via Ebay or something. Still, the difference between your $800 secondary-market BL and a $1,400 or so Chan isn't that great in the scheme of things.
 

UltraMagnetical

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Originally Posted by SkinnyGoomba
Wouldnt having the seat let out solve this issue? If it's causing the vents to flare that can be fixed also.

How woul dyou fix the vent flaring? Letting the waist out a little?
 

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