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Review of Spier & Mackay Blazer and Flannel Trousers

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    Review of Spier & Mackay Blazer and Flannel Trousers

    I appreciate people having written reviews of clothes that I am looking to buy, and with that in mind I thought it was time to contribute back with specific comments on a couple of items I have acquired recently. They are both from Spier & Mackay, a vendor that has certainly been mentioned here on Dappered, but for which there are not nearly the number of comments as there are for bigger brands.

    I’m no fashion writer, just a regular guy trying to improve his wardrobe and make good purchases. No one has offered me anything for my comments, and I only help they are useful to anyone considering a Spier & Mackay purchase.

    Slim Fit Navy Blazer

    I needed to replace an older navy blazer that was looking dated, and decided to take a chance with Spier & Mackay (SM). I have had the blazer for a 3+ months now and thought it would be a good time to add a review.

    The fabric is excellent. Classic dark navy color, a good year-round weight, resists wrinkles well, and has a good feel to it. As a good wool should, it seems to have conformed to my body a bit. The blazer moves very well, keeping its shape without feeling stiff, and the fabric drapes well.

    I appreciate the classic length and middle-of-the-road lapel width, making this a blazer that will remain in style for years. Construction quality has been excellent; I have had zero issues.

    I needed to get the sleeves shortened and some collar roll addressed by my tailor, which is typical for me. Other than that, the fit was good out-of-the-box. I consider myself medium build and the blazer is snugger in the lower rib cage area compared to other jackets and suits I have owned, but my tailor didn’t think that should be altered, saying that the lines were good and that as long as I don’t gain weight it is a very good look for me.

    I am not a fan of functional buttons on jacket sleeves, as I almost always have to get sleeves altered and functional buttons make that a pain. SM gets this aspect right in my book, with the stitched-only (closed) button holes, which look good while still enabling a tailor to detach the buttons and alter sleeve length easily if needed.

    Speaking of buttons, that’s one area that might be improved a bit. They are made of nut, which is good, but rather plain.

    This blazer is an outstanding value at $199 Canadian, and I am glad I purchased it. I have read that newer SM slim fits will be even slimmer, but I am happy enough with my blazer that I look forward to getting a SM contemporary fit spring-summer weight sport coat in the future.
    Matt Dalton

    #2
    Contemporary Fit Medium Gray Flannel Trousers

    Having a good experience with the Spier & Mackay blazer, and having read comments in this thread, I put these trousers on my Christmas list. My lovely wife bought them for me, and they have been a good addition to my wardrobe. The color is classic and goes with nearly everything.

    The fit is very modern looking and trim without being tight. If I could change one thing, I would like a little less taper at the top of the calves. I can’t make over-the-calf socks work with these trousers because they catch and don’t allow the legs to drape properly. But everything is fine with mid-calf socks, so it’s not a big deal. I wouldn’t want the knee and leg opening to be any tighter, and half to three-quarters of an inch more calf room would be ideal.

    On fit, I can’t say which will be better for you, as what constitutes a good fit can vary with one’s build, ethnicity, exercise level, age, and even posture. I can only say which is better for me. But to provide a point of comparison, the pants are in the ballpark of Banana Republic tailored slim fit or J Crew Bowery classic, with the SM contemporary fit being slightly trimmer. And not just from the knee down, as noted above. The SM trousers have a bit better drape for me in the seat-to-back-of legs area, where I can get a little bit of break due to slightly more fabric in the BR pants. I very much like my BR flannel trousers for a little more casual feel; the overall the look of the SM flannels is slightly dressier than the BR flannels. Both pants work well in my business casual work environment.

    Comparing further to the BR flannels, the SM trousers have 8 belt loops instead of 6, a split waistband, and generally suit pant like features. 8 versus 6 belt loops is nice, but not that important to me. BR includes a coin pocket in the waistband where SM does not. I work in a modern office that requires security badges, and while this may seem like a trivial thing, I find that coin pocket to be very useful as a point to clip my security badge. It’s better than clipping to one’s pants pocket, so if pants have a coin pocket it’s a plus.

    While the SM fabric has a great texture that provides a nice flannel look, it is actually a bit lighter weight than other flannels. That is good because it stays cool enough for a heated office and, based on Seattle weather, I should get three-season use from these trousers. (Note that in this thread it says that SM is looking at making the next season’s run of the flannels heavier, so if you would like a three-season weight, get them now.) The feel is soft, and the drape is very good, like that of a good suit pant. I took the trousers to my tailor for hemming and he commented (without my asking) that the SM fabric is nice, and that he noticed it was good and “deep” when pressing.

    Overall I’d rate the SM trousers as 4.5 stars, but will round up to 5 stars because I don’t think you’ll find anything better at this price point - they are currently on close out sale for $59 Canadian.
    Matt Dalton

    Comment


      #3
      Matt,

      Exceptionally well-written review; the language is clear, specific, and polished.

      Only two suggestions I might make to increase the usefulness for future readers. The first is photographs of the items on you to illustrate your comments on fit, preferably accompanied by your physical dimensions. The other is to include some measurements, such as lapel width, or pant widths at various points, so that we can better decide if the cut will work for ourselves.

      Beyond that, thank you for what I would argue is an exemplary review.

      Comment


        #4
        How's the shoulder padding on the blazer? It looks a bit too square-shouldered / padded for my tastes, but it could just be the picture taken for the site.
        Last edited by Marc999; January 29, 2015, 11:31 AM.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks alot for the review, Matt. Would you mind posting your measurements and the sizes you ordered? Appreciate you taking the time to write this up, well done.

          Comment


            #6
            Hey Matt: great review! I'm thinking about getting a blazer and a pair of trousers from SM as well.

            If you don't mind me asking, what size did you go with? Can you provide the measurements for the length and shoulder width?

            As to the trousers, what's the thigh and leg opening?

            Thanks a bunch!
            Last edited by msc701; January 29, 2015, 11:37 AM. Reason: I failed at reading...

            Comment


              #7
              [MENTION=11746]mattdalton[/MENTION] Thanks for the great review! Very much appreciated. We are always continuing to make our products better while maintaining an excellent overall value. We really do focus on Fit/Quality/Value in that order. Feedback is always invaluable to us to help us improve and make the products you guys really want.

              We are looking at opening the hem up on the contemporary by 1/4" - 3/8" for future trousers. RE: coin pocket, for most men, it is an unnecessary detail that does not get used, which is why we omitted it. It ads a few extra layers and extra bulk a the top of the hip. However, some find it useful for such purposes as which you indicated. So we will take a look at that as well.

              Thanks again for the kind words.

              Cheers,
              Rick

              Comment


                #8
                I concur completely with this review and had been meaning to do one of my own as I could only find one prior to my purchase.

                I purchased the Prince of Wales Flannel suit during the previous coded sale (the current New Years sale is actually better). The fabric is just like mattdalton stated, it is a bit lighter than I was anticipating, but I think it makes the suit more useful as a three season suit. The contemporary fit is a great fit for guys that have a bit of meat on them (I'm currently 5'11, 200 lbs, muscular but I should lose 10 pounds around my waist). I purchased a 42R based on the specs on their website, and I found them to be very accurate. I frequently need to size up to a 44R due to jackets being too tight through the shoulder and upper arms, in some cases I cannot even get them on. For me, this jacket is great without any alterations. The shoulder has slightly more padding than I wish it had, but I have broad shoulders and don't need any help in that department. I get a bit of an indent under the shoulder padding, but I don't think it is unacceptable and it is more due to the way my shoulders are shaped I believe. The pants are a bit on the tight side, especially for suit pants. I'll echo the comment about the calf, although for my 25 inch thighs, I could use another inch there too. Most guys will probably have more issue with the 6 inch drop than they will the narrow thigh since it seems readers on this site lean towards what I would consider skinny.

                I currently own two other suits, both of which are Black Lapel. Fit in this suit is probably actually better than the two MTM suits, for me, other than the thighs. Construction seems to be very comparable to BL and appears to be very well made.

                Based on this purchase, I am planning to add a charcoal suit from SM in the next several months to round out my closet. I haven't tried a Suit Supply personally, but based on reviews I feel SM is probably a very similar suit at a better price and I'm surprised they aren't recommended more frequently. For those of us in the states, the current USD/CAD exchange rate is a nice bonus as the suits are sold in CAD prices.

                Comment


                  #9
                  [MENTION=11746]mattdalton[/MENTION],

                  Thank you for the review on the flannel trousers. I've been looking for a pair of flannel trousers for sometime now and knowing that they're light enough for 3-season PNW wear is a plus.

                  Regards,
                  Vic
                  "It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness, that is life." - Jean-Luc Picard

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks everyone for the comments and positive/constructive criticism. I will aim to get some pictures added in the next day or two. As to immediate questions that don't necessarily require pictures, let me offer this.

                    For measurements, I am 5'10-1/2" 185-ish, 41 chest. I typically wear a 42R jacket in slimmer fits, or a 40R in a "classic" cut. 16-34 dress shirts.
                    My SM blazer is a size 42 slim fit.
                    For the trousers, they are waist size 33 in BR, and 34 in SM. Trouser waist measurements are pretty much the same across the two, with BR having vanity sizes.
                    There are measurements on the SM web site that will be more specific and accurate than me taking out the tape measure, and will also provide differences across sizes. I should have included that link in my earlier post. The lapel width is not noted on the web site though, so I will have to measure and get back to you (jacket is at home and I am not currently). But if I recall correctly, it's a bit over 3 inches.

                    [MENTION=7246]Marc99[/MENTION], on shoulder padding, I don't find the blazer shoulders to be too heavily padded, but what's too heavy for one person could be fine for another. Also consider that I am middle aged and lived through a period where heavy shoulder pads were the norm, so these seem light. Seriously, though, I will get some pictures to illustrate for you, and I will also take a picture of my SuitSupply Napoli suit jacket for comparison.

                    [MENTION=8358]Vic[/MENTION], since we are both in Seattle, if you want to see the trousers before buying and could meet downtown, let me know and we can arrange something. Completely up to you - just offering.
                    Matt Dalton

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thank you for the review. I may give their trousers a try.

                      As far as suit jackets and blazers go, does anyone else think the button stance is a little high? Well, it just seems that way to me or else I probably would have bought their medium charcoal suit already. Maybe the opportunity to purchase pants in another size would persuade me instead of the standard 6" drop in suit pants.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by ImagePree View Post
                        Thank you for the review. I may give their trousers a try.

                        As far as suit jackets and blazers go, does anyone else think the button stance is a little high? Well, it just seems that way to me or else I probably would have bought their medium charcoal suit already. Maybe the opportunity to purchase pants in another size would persuade me instead of the standard 6" drop in suit pants.
                        Button Stance is at the traditional 2 button mark of the most narrow point on the torso. That said, many companies have dropped it lower. J.Crew IMO have dropped it too low. We have heard the same feedback and are dropping the stance 3 cm lower on our new suits/sportcoats arriving this March. The pics of the Navy and Grey Core are pics from the first cut, with the original stance. The pics of the other suits are the current FW 2014 season with the stance 2 cm lower. SS2015 will be 1 cm lower still. Not a huge difference, but just enough.

                        As long as we have the matching trousers in stock as a separate, we can sub out trousers for whatever size you need. Just make note of it in the notes section at checkout and we'll do our best to accommodate.

                        Regards,
                        Rick

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I agree the button stance is normal, compared to the Corneliani, SS, Cantarelli, and Caruso I've owned at various points. I think the slightly lower stance will be perfect but I'm happy with the button stance on my two Spier & Mackay suits. I find the J Crew stance to be too low. Only regret I have w/ Spier & Mackay is that I didn't wait until later to pick up the Core suits with contemporary fit pants instead of the slim pants I have! Still love them and really happy with the shirts I have purchased recently. The fabrics are really something at this price!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            [MENTION=2492]LosRockets[/MENTION], do you follow the Spier&Mackay thread on SF regularly/closely? I get the impression that you do... Anyway, if so, would you mind letting me know when the new OCBDs become available, with the more trad looking collar roll? I want to jump on those when they do... I'll be checking in regularly over there, but I figure an extra pair of eyes wouldn't hurt... Thanks!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by sabrown View Post
                              [MENTION=2492]LosRockets[/MENTION], do you follow the Spier&Mackay thread on SF regularly/closely? I get the impression that you do... Anyway, if so, would you mind letting me know when the new OCBDs become available, with the more trad looking collar roll? I want to jump on those when they do... I'll be checking in regularly over there, but I figure an extra pair of eyes wouldn't hurt... Thanks!
                              You can sign up for the email alerts. We announce new releases there. Or our facebook page. Or instagram.

                              Comment

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