About the Author: Stephen Knight is a photographer / videographer who founded Itsaknightslife. His mission is to tell the story of people through style, food, music, and dancing. Catch his stuff at itsaknightslife on Instagram and Youtube.
For some reason, cotton and cotton/linen suits never get the full respect due to them. Perhaps it could be because wool is often considered the standard material for suits made for the office, and other high end events. However, what if I was to tell you that there’s a cotton & linen suit out there that would look good in a variety of scenarios such as most offices, that special date, and to a casual Sunday funday with the boys? Have your attention? Good, because this new “Un-Suit” from J Crew will demand it.
This is entirely going to depend on which color you decide to go with for the suit. The light grey suit we picked up for review has a ‘textured” look with a mix of grey, subtle black and white. Make no mistake, it’s a light grey suit, just look at it a little closer and you can see the details. However should you go navy, you’re looking at a much more traditional looking suit. One that would be acceptable at the office, or a special dinner out. You have the usual 2.5” notch lapel that the Ludlow suits carry, which I personally like, yet some find to be too slim. The pants have a familiar look to them. If you’ve ever seen a Ludlow suit before, you wont be shocked at the design of these trousers.
Can be dressed up a bit, but also looks great dressed way down.
The innovation of how fabric sits and feels on your body really deserves a round of applause. The cotton/linen blend fabric from the Somelos plant in Portugal is outstanding. I live in Florida, who’s governor is humidity. Wearing a suit usually means you need a gallon of water with you just to make sure you don’t collapse from heat stroke. But the thinness and breathability of this suit had me grinning knowing I can finally look smart without paying a huge comfort sacrifice. I won’t lie to you, when I first touched the suit out of the bag, one eyebrow raised in suspicion to how thin this suit felt. However after wearing the suit for a while, you can tell that support is where it’s needed, and you wont have any worry about this suit being ran through its paces. It does have a little wrinkle to it with movement, however I personally like some wrinkles, shows character.
Barely there structure. Extremely breathable.
This is something that J Crew sometimes doesn’t get the credit it deserves; Off the rack fit. I’m 5’10, weighing about 170 lbs. and would generously say that I’m in pretty good shape. This suit is ALMOST perfect off the rack. Fit is true to size. The jacket and pants skim the body pretty perfectly, not so skinny that you’ll be fighting the buttons, but not so loose that it looks boxy. I personally like a more tailored look and would take in the the jacket (forgive the just out of the box wrinkles) just a bit to have a little more shape, but to each his own. For my lifters out there, the usual annoyance applies to the Ludlow pants; if you squat, be prepared to give yourself extra quad room and taper the leg and potentially the waist area.
An unaltered, 38R on 5’10” / 170. Pants are a 30×32.
The fact that this suit is so light is a marvel that shouldn’t be overlooked. (The pants almost feel like wearing athletic pants.) Suits can be restricting, which can cause us to reach for something else to wear depending on the situation. This suit overcomes that restriction, which I’ll wager will cause it to be one of the most reached for outfits in your wardrobe.
Value / Conclusion
At $266, I can confidently say without a doubt that this is one of, if not the best sub $300 warm weather suit you’re going to find. Yes, you have a few well made, good looking suits that would challenge this suit for that crown. However, when you factor off the rack fit, to sheer comfort and versatility of this suit, there aren’t many that can be said in the same sentence as this one. J. Crew knew that the unconstructed blazer was a favorite, and made it into a suit. Well, it looks like I just found one of my favorite suits.
Editor’s Note: Cotton, Linen, or Cotton/Linen blend suits (such as this one) are gonna wrinkle. If you’re one who likes their suit to look a bit smoother? Might want to invest in one of these. But know that with wear, it’s gonna wrinkle. Yet that can be part of the charm.