J. Crew Ludlow Fine Stripe Cotton Suit Jacket & matching pant – $366.00
Light colored summer suits have a limited use. No matter how well tailored, they just don’t look right in December. But while Medium Gray, Charcoal, and Navy suits are the foundation, light & breathable summer suits look & feel pretty damn good from April – early September. Our search for the best affordable summer suiting options is on, and you can send in your suggestions via styletip.
Code FREESHIP gets you free shipping on any J.Crew order through 4/11
J. Crew’s style sense commands a premium. And credit to them since their Ludlow Suiting Fit was one of the first mass market European cuts to hit the market. Thinner lapels, trimmer waistlines, less shoulder padding… the only thing bigger about J Crew’s Ludlow suit options is the price. Their wool suits run almost $600 (and in all fairness, do well in tests against real expensive competition), but their cotton summer ready Ludlows start in the mid $300s.
Not exactly cheap and a stretch for many. But they look incredible on-line and on the rack. They’re also hardly ever on sale. So $366 for a cotton 2.5 season suit is a pretty high bar. Okay, a really high bar.
- The Lapels: They’re noticeably slimmed down, but not Ryan Seacrest razor thin. Not too trendy and should hold up for years.
- The Shoulders: Not much padding here, and thanks to sizing that offers S,R,L and even a 39, we should all find a good fit.
- The Details: The buttons feel great, the lining is a deep blue at the body, and the sleeve lining is a light blue stripe. Nice work.
- The Pattern: It’s not a white suit, nor is it a solid pale grey. It’s a super fine faded black stripe that makes it grey with some depth.
- The Overall Fit: It’s not that the fit is bad, it’s just that it’s not as trim as you’d think it would be. I’m between a 38-40, and with a 39 available I ordered that. It fits close in the shoulders and jacket drop, but the waist really has to come in. Plus the armholes could be higher. They’re not low, but… could be higher.
- The Fabric: It’s a summer suit so you want it to be lighter weight, but this is maybe too thin. Certainly not flimsy, but heading in that direction. It also doesn’t move the best. Nowhere near as well as the thicker cotton (but still plenty cool) L.L. Bean Signature.
- The Price: For $366 it better knock some socks off. And my man hosiery didn’t move a centimeter. When compared to other non J. Crew brands, you almost wonder if they’re trading on their name here..
The Bottom Line
It ain’t gonna blow you away. I want to like this suit a lot more than I do. The pattern is great, and many who’ve purchased it probably love it. But after recently spending all Derby Day in the L. L. Bean Signature New Traditional Twill, which was purchased on sale for $130 TOTAL… the J. Crew Ludlow Cotton Stripe has a long way to go. Even when compared to the equally as dressed up (but always on sale) Banana Republic Italian Cotton.
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