Spier & Mackay Light Grey Contemporary Fit Suit – $320ish*
*Spier & Mackay are based in Canada, and prices on their site are listed in Canadian dollars. Final cost depends on the exchange rate, and whether or not your bank or credit card company charges you some sort of international purchase fee.
Full honesty guys. I dragged my feet on reviewing a Spier & Mackay suit for a while. There were some red flags. They don’t offer free returns (UPDATE: Your first suit or sportcoat now returns for free!) and that’s a big risk since they’re based in Canada. Their founder is all over multiple forums, and that’s reminiscent of another suit company that ended up feeling awfully fishy when their product showed up for review.
But the praise on Threads for Spier & Mackay kept growing. And by the looks, fit, and feel of their Model 2 Contemporary Fit suit?
That praise is well deserved.
A 40R “Contemporary Fit” on 5’10″/190
They’re going to hit a sweet spot for many a guy. Their lapels are wider than a J. Crew Ludlow or Crosby, yet the button stance sure appears to be lower than a Suitsupply Napoli Fit (currently the only fit offered at Suitsupply’s $399 price point). The shoulders are decently soft, the half-canvas lining is substantial feeling but not weighty, and the wool, while not necessarily mind blowing, has a good, smooth, almost slick hand-feel to it.
And perhaps most importantly, the sleeve buttons are non-functioning. Unlike Suitsupply who insists on functioning sleeve buttons, the sleeve buttons on Spier & Mackay suits (for now?) are non-functioning. Yes, there’s accent stitching around the buttons, but there’s room to alter the sleeves at the cuff. That’s much cheaper than altering functioning sleeve cuffs, which can involve taking the whole friggin’ sleeve off at the shoulder. Even the apricot-nut buttons themselves look and feel better than average.
Non-functioning sleeve buttons = easy alterations.
The Made in China Model 2 “Contempoary” Fit is tailored but not tight. My 5’10”, 190 lb frame is plenty comfortable inside the Bemberg Rayon lined interior, and I’ll be able to get away without having anything done to the jacket waist. Just some sleeve shortening, pant hemming, and a bit of work at the pant waist and I’ll be set. There’s a 6″ drop on these suits, so subtract 6″ from the jacket size to get the pant waist size (for example, the 40R shown here comes with a 34 waist pant). If you’ve got some strength on your lower half, you’re in luck. Seems like there’s decent room in the legs for quads, hamstrings and calves. That’s another criticism of Suitsupply. Sometimes their pants can be too tight around the ol’ arse region for some guys.
3.5″ lapels are a more traditional width. Not slim/skinny like a J. Crew or JCF suit.
I paid $328.92 for this thing. Sure the $9.82 international transaction fee I got dinged with by my bank was annoying, but the curved “Barchetta”/Boat style pocket as well as D-ring stitching around the pockets more than made up for it. Those are details you’ll find on Suitsupply suits, and part of what made them so desired. Even the underarm shields inside this Spier & Mackay suit are made of wool, not polyester or rayon.
Again, there are catches. You’re on the hook for returns. And shipping internationally can be a pain in the butt as well as expensive. They do offer store credit up to $15 CAD on return costs, but that’s not cash back. So there’s real risk here.
D-Ring pocket stitching, Bemberg lining, & a curved chest pocket. Not bad for $330.
Also, don’t expect your suit to show up carefully packaged in a coffin sized box like Suitsupply. It’ll show up folded, and I noticed a few loose threads that needed to be snipped once I got the jacket on. There was also a very light, nickel sized stain on the jacket tail. But the light grey with a blueish hue fabric kept getting complimented by Mrs. Dappered, so, it’s staying. I’ll see if the dry cleaner can do anything about that blemish when it eventually goes in for its first cleaning.
If you don’t like J. Crew’s slim lapels and also can’t stand Suitsupply’s functional sleeve buttons and/or prefer a lower button stance, Spier & Mackay is absolutely worth a shot. And the fact that they cost $60 – $70 less than a Suitsupply Blue Line suit? That’s one hell of an added bonus.