In Person: The J. Crew FACTORY Suit

Testing the new suit separates from J. Crew's more affordable brand.<div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style addthis_32x32_style" addthis:url='http://dappered.com/2011/08/in-person-the-j-crew-factory-suit/' addthis:title='In Person:  The J. Crew FACTORY Suit ' ><a class="addthis_button_facebook"></a><a class="addthis_button_twitter"></a><a class="addthis_button_email"></a><a class="addthis_button_pinterest_share"></a><a class="addthis_button_compact"></a><a class="addthis_counter addthis_bubble_style"></a></div>
J. Crew Factory “Thompson” Suit Jacket & Matching Pant – $256.00

Suit Size Shown:  38 Regular, 32/30 pant.  For complete body type and measurements click here.

For as easy as it is to give Frank Muytjens and the rest of the J. Crew design team hell, when they get something right, goodness do they ever get it right.  These suit separates are from their step-down more affordable brand “J. Crew Factory.”  You wouldn’t think to expect much, but they over-deliver here, and the result is a conservative colored suit that can easily go head to head with any department store brand in this price range.

The Pros
  • The Second Skin Feel:  It’s extremely lightweight, but doesn’t feel cheap.  It’s not 100% wool but instead an 80/20 wool poly mix.  It feels just fine to the touch, and moves incredibly well.
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  • The Off the Rack Fit:  It’s not labeled a “Ludlow” but it fits trim and even a little better than J. Crew’s signature fit.  Well scalloped, minimal shoulder padding, and the jacket isn’t too short ( unless you’re holding your arms out at your sides.)  Should look terrific with extra tailoring.
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  • The Price: Usually $250 but Factory often does site wide 20-30% off sales in conjunction with those extra markdowns J. Crew will do on sale items.
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  • The Lapels and Sleeve Buttons: It’s a conservative color but the slimmer lapels mean it doesn’t have to be reserved for business and funerals.  You could easily wear this out on a dressed up date.  The sleeve buttons are non functioning, have zero accent stitching, and should be extremely easy to tailor.
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  • The Color:  Not a solid, but instead a very lightly marled charcoal.  Deep and dark but with barely noticeable flecks that give it depth and make it look much more expensive.
The Cons
  • The Button Stance: It’s low, which is the trend right now and that’s great, but it seems like the top button should maybe be up another half inch.  There’s an odd amount of no-man’s land between the top button and where the lapel naturally terminates.  Hardly a deal breaker at all, and a picky knock at best.
The Bottom Line

Miles ahead of an Alfani Red or Tommy Hilfiger Trim Fit.  Unlike a department store suit, this one is lightweight enough that your body never fights against the suit while moving in it.  Yet it doesn’t feel flimsy in the least.  It’s oddly comfortable and bends and flexes with you.  It’s a bit of a surprise to say it, but without a doubt this has got to be the best looking and feeling suit available for $250 or less.

Shirt by ratio/clothing, watch by Seiko, tie by Lands’ End Canvas, shoes by Allen Edmonds