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Sportcoat - S&M or Bonobos?

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    Sportcoat - S&M or Bonobos?

    I don't often have the need to wear a sportcoat or blazer, but I should probably get something that fits in the relatively near future... probably a suit too, now that I think about it.

    With both S&M and Bonobos having 25% off right now... anyone have strong thoughts in either direction for quality/value?

    Maybe I'll end up with a navy blazer and charcoal suit, or maybe I'll just wait until I can get to a tailor anyways. With both having a sale right now, I thought it a good time to at least start the discussion.

    #2
    I think you're going to get a lot more quality and value from Spier. Their fabrics are great. FWIW I usually wear a 42R but Spier's stuff is cut *just* short enough that I opt for a 42L. I picked up one of their sale/closeout suits last year for $199. I mean, you can't beat that with a stick.

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      #3
      S&M if you can find what you want in your size. I have their navy hopsack blazer and I couldn't be happier with it. Their stuff is outstanding for the price, but as a 38R I can very rarely find anything in my size in stock.

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        #4
        I've never tried a suit/sportcoat from Bonobos. I agree with the above comments though - Spier is very nice quality at wallet-friendly prices. The main reason I haven't tried Bonobos' jackets is that their lapels are mainly the smaller ones (2.5"?) that were popular when Mad Men was around. Spier's lapels are 3.5" (a bit wider for their Neapolitan cut) that IMO looks better and not as trendy.

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          #5
          My gut was telling me to go Spier from the beginning, but wanted to at least throw it out there. Now I need to get in contact with them to see if they can do a 44 jacket with a 36 pant.

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            #6
            Originally posted by J2K66 View Post
            My gut was telling me to go Spier from the beginning, but wanted to at least throw it out there. Now I need to get in contact with them to see if they can do a 44 jacket with a 36 pant.
            I don't believe S&M will do separates unless you choose the m2m option. I think their made to order options start around $600 so you're probably better off with Bonobos unless you're okay with the higher cost. I would have mentioned that before if you had said what sizes you were needing.

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              #7
              Originally posted by abh159 View Post
              I don't believe S&M will do separates unless you choose the m2m option.
              They will do separates on a non-MTM suit, as long as they have stock. Order the correct jacket and put a note in the comment section regarding the pants. I would then follow up with an email and your order number to reiterate what you want. I've done this before successfully with a slim jacket and contemporary trousers.

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                #8
                I love SM suits but the Bonobos unstructured sports coats are amazing. I'd go with the Bonobos since it is unlined making it valuable for four season use. The lining of a structured sports coat limits its utility in the summer, depending on the climate you're in. So unless SM has an unstructured sports coat, I'd go with Bonobos.

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                  #9
                  Bonobos is owned by Walmart.
                  Deal breaker for me.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by mhip View Post
                    Bonobos is owned by Walmart.
                    Deal breaker for me.
                    Not a ton of evidence that Bonobos' quality or product offerings have changed at all from the Walmart acquisition. And the reality is that 90% of the companies we buy stuff from are owned by awful conglomerates.

                    That being said, I would strongly lean towards S&M over Bonobos, but it's not a slam dunk here. I'd weigh the pros/cons as the following:

                    I. S&M:

                    PROS--
                    • Higher quality fabrics
                    • Significantly better details (e.g., button quality, finishing on lapels, etc.)
                    • More traditional, "timeless" proportions (e.g., wider lapels, unchopped jacket lengths)
                    • Very high "bang for the buck" on price vs. quality


                    CONS--
                    • Sporadic inventory
                    • Somewhat difficult, slow returns (although returns are free on the first suit/sportcoat)
                    • Conservative cut/details might not be ideal if you're younger or work in a more informal industry


                    II. Bonobos

                    PROS--
                    • Reliable ecommerce platform and extremely easy (and free) returns
                    • More fit options (four different cuts)
                    • Younger, more "modern" details (narrower lapels, shorter jackets) might be a pro for some (i.e., if you're younger or work in a more informal industry)
                    • Ample use of "high tech" features (stretch, stain-free treatments, etc.)


                    CONS--
                    • Significantly lower fabric quality than S&M
                    • Cheap, fast fashion-esque details (extremely cheap looking buttons, narrow lapels, chopped jackets)
                    • Without question, will look "cheaper" than anything S&M offers

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                      #11
                      I’ve owned many jackets from both and S&M hands down in terms of the quality of the product. Bonobos for convenience only (speed and ease of shipping and returns).
                      Ben

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                        #12
                        The comments on the main site pertaining to Bonobos jackets make it seem like they're the greatest thing since sliced bread. Like I said above, Bonobos' narrow lapels were always a non-starter for me, but I was curious about the material given how Joe raves about them. With S&M & SS sourcing most of their stuff from top mills in Italy & England, the over-the-top (IMO) praise of Bonobos suits & jackets seems a bit odd. I do admit that I like a lot of the jacket patterns/colors at Bonobos.

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                          #13
                          Bonobos’ materials aren’t the issue IMO, it’s the construction. I’ve owned a Suitsupply jacket and a Bonobos jacket that use the exact same Vitale Barberis Canonico material in different colors and the Suitsupply jacket just feels and drapes noticeably nicer because it is half canvassed versus the entirely fused Bonobos jacket. Construction matters as much as or more than materials. Even when the materials are equal I think S&M and SS are both going to be better products because of the jacket construction.
                          Ben

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                            #14
                            I agree with everything [MENTION=2341]LesserBlackDog[/MENTION] said fwiw. Returns to S&M are a pain. Bonobos has great delivery/returns and is great for entry level...but it is far from luxurious. I do see why the site raves about the bonobos wool, as it is as close to a 4 season wool fabric as you'll get. but it is more of a workhorse fabric.

                            personally i just go with suitsupply, it is more expensive than S&M but you get the service of bonobos. they even paid for a UPS guy to come and pick it up from my door so i didn't have to leave the house.

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                              #15
                              Please note - I am not out here trying to blast Bonobos’ jackets. They are good jackets. But they are definitely overpriced at MSRP. They are better than comparable entry level jackets from the various department stores and most mall stores. They are a good buy if you can get one at a steep discount.

                              But all else being equal, Suitsupply and S&M are nicer jackets and I would look at them first to see if they can meet your needs.
                              Ben

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