Part III: The Final Product & Review
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed documenting the suit creation process with Dustin and the Beckett & Robb team, but the most exciting part of a custom commission is receiving the final product. I’m certainly one to agonize over made-to-measure products while waiting for delivery, and this was no different. Fortunately, the suit was delivered right on time and I was asked to stop by for the final fitting and to hopefully take the suit home.
I’ve mentioned before that I generally only use made-to-measure companies that offer a remake for the first product. This helps relieve some of the monetary risk that occurs when you pay for an item that does not exist. Beckett & Robb will happily make any small adjustments to you suit for free, and if there are any major issues they will have the garment remade. Of course, both parties would like to avoid that situation but it is good to know that there’s a safety net if something goes wrong.
Fortunately for me, I walked out of the store without any final tweaks.
All told, I think the suit turned out very well and is a great starting point for a relationship with a custom clothier. There are no significant fit issues and it seems like all my measurements and customizations were taken in to account. The jacket follows the shape of my body but does so without any severe pulling or puckering. The jacket is long enough to fully cover my rear, the pants have a nice clean profile and high rise, and the button stance, although a touch on the high side, is still reasonably placed (and lower than what we often see these days).
Dustin was even able to address my heavily sloped shoulders with some changes to the light padding thickness. In my eye, the overall silhouette is mature and masculine and will serve me well for professional and social purposes. I’ve worn it on several occasions now and always received compliments.
As I had expected, the fabric is a beautiful mid-weight gray birdseye wool from Vitale Barberis Canonico. It has a lovely gravelly look up close but appears very solid from a distance. The weight of the fabric makes it suitable for all but the hottest days; however, I think the suit’s light texture will really look its best in the transitional autumn months.
As far as I can tell, the construction quality is quite high. The jacket is half-canvassed and has a nice lapel roll. The suit is constructed with a mixture of machine and hand work at a facility in Portugal. The shoulders have a mild amount of padding to give some structure to the garment (although unpadded options are available). And, not to be forgotten, the hardware is all top-notch; the polished horn buttons are thick, beautiful, and well-attached, and the zippers and buttonholes are well-constructed. On top of that, the pant hems are reinforced to improve longevity and resist wear. All told, I can confidently say that this is the highest quality suit I own.
There are some small changes that I would incorporate into my next commission, but none of them were important enough to warrant an adjustment or remake on this suit. More importantly, they are all things that I am confident that the B&R team could easily adjust. The sleeve pitch and shoulder blade area in the jacket could be improved slightly, the trouser hem could be brought up a hair, and I might consider messing with the jacket length and button stance a tad. However, all of these things are certainly in good shape where they are now; any changes I would make would just be slight aesthetic adjustments on my part.
The suit comes with some standard details, most of which I was expecting but some I was not. For instance, the trousers come with a small buttoned fifth pocket that I was not expecting but do not mind in the least. Also, the inner left breast pocket is much smaller than any other jacket I’ve worn. I believe it is meant for a phone, but I can hardly fit my iphone 5 in it, much less my wallet. Lastly, although the suit came in a great garment bag, the cheap plastic hanger didn’t seem up to the standard of everything else and was much too big for my jacket. I figure that if Suitsupply can offer a beautiful contoured and sized wood hanger, then so can most companies. Again, these are minutiae that don’t really take away from the product at all but could be improved in the pursuit of perfection.
All told, I think that suit turned out wonderfully and that Dustin did a great job with my order. If you’re looking to spend under $500 for a new suit, my recommendation is Suitsupply. However, if you are able to spend $700+ and are looking to invest in a seriously nice suit, I think Beckett & Robb is a great option.