In Person: J. Crew Factory Pique and Corded Cotton Suits

Now with an extra 30% off and down to $176.

STYLESCORE = Extra 30% off Everything on

Code just launched this morning (3/13) and runs through Tuesday 3/19.  Brings the suits down to $176.15.

UPDATE:  More than a few have pointed out the strangely small variety of inseams available (just 30 and 32 at post time).  That’s… not a lot.  But for those looking to get a little more length out of the pants, here’s an interior shot of the hem on the 30″ inseam option.  Looks like there’s some fabric to work with there.

Why does the J. Crew Factory Thompson line of suit separates get so much play?  It’s this rare combination:

  • Off the rack jacket contour
  • Minimal shoulder padding
  • Higher Arm Holes
  • Price

Other suits in this $190 – $225 price range are either boxy, have big shoulder pads, or arm holes so low that every time you go to shake someone’s hand your entire suit jacket rides up to your ears.  The Factory Thompson gets it right for most and a price almost everyone can afford.  And with warm weather starting to roll in, they’ve released two three (seersucker?  All right then) cotton suits for 2013.  One is more or less a repeat from last year, one is brand new.  Sizes shown here are 38R for the jackets and 32×30 for the pants.


J. Crew Factory Corded Cotton Suit Jacket in Blue – $110.60 ($168) and Pant – $66.15 ($98)

Factory Corded Cotton 2013

The Good: Same trim cut, minimal shoulder pads, and higher arm holes like the other Thompson suits.  Fabric is a nice alternative to Seersucker in style, but not nearly as light in weight.  Jacket could easily be worn three-seasons with jeans.  Unlike last year’s corded cotton jacket, this one is half lined.  The lower back is left unlined and the upper back is line with a lightweight chambray like cotton piece.  Sleeves are poly and the interior front panels are lined with a poly cotton blend.  It won’t be as breezy as a seersucker, but it’ll probably be cooler than last year’s option.  Button stance is a Ludlow like lower slung, with slim lapels.  Buttons are non functioning with zero accent stitching.  Arms seem to run true in length and the circumference seems slimmer this year.  Single vent.

The Not So Good: The fabric is stiff off the rack, but once you put it on and start moving it feels decent.  You’re certainly not fighting it.  As is usually the case with most of the Thompson suit separates, the pants are a little baggy and many will want to have them tapered/slimmed.  It’s cotton, so it’ll wrinkle, and this one seems to wrinkle pretty quick.  Jacket tail leans to the short side and while it might be too short for  the taller guys, it’s not chopped.


J. Crew Factory Pique Cotton Suit Jacket in Navy – $110.60 ($168) and Pant – $66.15 ($98)

Factory Pique 2013

The Good: Same silhouette/arm holes/shoulders once again.  The Cotton Pique fabric is a great change of pace.  Not the most luxurious stuff, but not quite as stiff as the corded cotton option.  The pique texture is noticeable up close, but it’s not thick or spongey like a polo.  It’s lightweight, moves well, and would make a terrific option to pair with chinos or jeans.   Button stance is a Ludlow like lower slung, with slim lapels.  Buttons are non functioning with no accent stitching.  Dual vents in the rear.

The Not So Good: It’s fully lined in acetate.  Wish the designers would have stuck to a half lined makeup similar to what’s inside the corded cotton.  Might get a little warm in the heat between the dark color and that lining.  But at this price, it might be a good out-on-the-town suit you can beat up and not worry too much about.  Jacket tail leans to the short side and while it might be too short for the taller guys, it’s not chopped.  Pants are going to need to be slimmed/tapered for many.

The Bottom Line

The mainly cotton half-lining is a nice improvement to the corded cotton from last year, and the Pique in navy is a great addition to the Thompson lineup.  With certain sales and codes (like what happened last Friday) you might be able to snag one of these suits for the mid $100s.  If you’re on a budget yet want to add a cotton suit to your collection, it’d be hard not to give one of these a shot.

And again, there’s the new Thompson in Seersucker seen below.  It’ll almost certain to be the coolest/most breathable of these three, but unlike the corded cotton, the jacket won’t look quite right with jeans come September.  Less versatility with the Seersucker, but less sweat at the same time.

Thompson seersucker