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Spier & Mackay FW19 vs. SS20 suit fits

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  • Spier & Mackay FW19 vs. SS20 suit fits

    Has anyone noticed a change in fits on SM core suits? I am 5’9” 180 lbs; I have an athletic build so I am leaner than my weight suggests, but I have thick thighs and a big butt so pants fits can be hit or miss depending on the brand.

    Last year, I purchased the FW19 charcoal suit in 38R contemporary, meaning a 32 waist, and it fits great. This year I purchased the SS20 navy suit also in 38R contemporary but this time the 32 pants feel tight around my thighs and butt. The waist is fine so it makes me wonder if they constructed this season’s suit with a slimmer cut.

    Before purchasing the charcoal suit last year I did try it in 40R and found the 34 pants to be way too big. I now wonder if for future purchases I should purchase the SS20 version in a 40R and tailor the pants down to my liking. The other option is to ask them to switch out the pants to a 33.

  • #2
    I can’t help with your fit question, I don’t own the core suits. But I would suggest if the jacket still fits well that you should request the pants switch when ordering instead of doing a full size-up. Would be an easy fix to get the 34 pants and bring the waist in a little.


    • #3
      I can't comment on the suit sizing as I don't have two from the suggested years to compare, but I do know that they changed the fits of some of their other items quite drastically this year. For instance, their 2020 polos are now several inches wider and several inches shorter than the 2019 ones. I had planned on purchasing a few until I realized I'd have to get an XL just to match the length of my other polo shirts that are a size M.

      I'd follow Kurps advice and reach out to them and explain the problem. Any reasonable company should be willing to do a free exchange for you considering the circumstances. Especially if they changed the fit that much from year to year.

      I've always been a huge fan of S&M but they seem to be having a tough time in 2020. Most of the feedback I've read on them this year has been negative and related to issues with sizing. Hopefully they get back on the right path soon.


      • #4
        This is a bit concerning....I have a somewhat similar build (about 5'10, 185) and loved my 2019 Spier and Mackay contemporary fit. I've always always had trouble with trousers being too tight in the thighs and rear and jackets fitting too tight across the chest. I've even resorted to (GASP) pleated pants, which are still underrated IMO. I thought I'd found my solution in S&M. I don't need another suit this year (MUST RESIST), but will definitely be keeping an eye on this in the future. You'd think it would be trending the other way if anything.

        In the meantime, I'd also suggest a full size up as an option. As I mentioned, I'm not terribly different in proportions, and my S&M is a 42R and I had the pants waist brought in a bit. Still has a reasonably slim silhouette but I can sit or reach out for a handshake, er...elbow bump, without worrying about busting a seam. I used to buy only 40R but I feel like all brands have become more and more snug over the years, I know it can't have anything to do with me gradually gaining weight over the years! I bet if you gave a 40R a try, you'd be surprised.


        • #5
          I don't own any Spier suits so I can't comment on the change in sizing but if the jacket fits fine you don't want to go up a size in the jacket to get the pants to fit. Maybe you'll have pants that fit but then you'll have a jacket that is too big. A jacket is much harder to tailor than a pair of pants. There may be room to let out the seat and thigh of the pants - most companies leave at least a little bit of extra fabric in the seams to enable tailoring. Whether Spier leaves enough to let the seat out sufficiently I couldn't say. You could ask them about it maybe? They should be able to tell you how much that area can be expanded by a seamstress or tailor, if any. Otherwise I would arrange a swap for the next pant size up - the waist can be taken in if necessary.
          “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain


          • #6
            Originally posted by mark4 View Post
            but if the jacket fits fine you don't want to go up a size in the jacket to get the pants to fit.
            I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. Jacket is the top priority and much more difficult and expensive to tailor. I just want to clarify, what I meant it may be worth trying the next size up. When I started regularly wearing and buying suits, each time I was measured, I was told wear a 42. I quickly found I found that I liked the way the 40 fit me better, especially as the more tailored look came into favor. This is when most suits fit like trash bags off the rack.

            Retailers have adjusted their fit over time and my personal experience has been that the size 40 has gradually become more snug all around, even in the shoulders, even though I know it shouldn't change. Because of that, I more recently tried moving back to a 42, and I'll be damned if maybe those Macy's salesman in 2005 weren't actually on to something! Well, not really, but I do think the fit has evolved such that someone who might be in on the border or in between sizes would do right to try the next size up. Especially if, as the OP mentioned, it seems like Spier may be tinkering with their fit.

            Not saying it will definitely be the way to go, but you might consider trying it. Also, being somewhat similar in height/weight as the OP I think a 38 might be teetering on the snug side for the jacket nowadays. But each person is different and has different preferences. If the 40R jacket fits well in the shoulders, the waist can be brought in and I personally think you get a better fit that way with shoulders that aren't snug and more taper in the waist. And you just get a bit more freedom of movement and improved drape if it's not tugging. Pants waist being too big is the easiest thing for a tailor to adjust aside from hemming the pants, within reason of course, so I wouldn't worry about that much.


            • #7
              Great advice, everyone.

              Due to consternation over the size of the SS20 32 pants, last week I purchased the size 33 pant as a separate; it arrived today and it feels much better.

              To check my instincts, I immediately tried on the FW19 32 pants and yes, those also fit great. So it appears that S&M definitely changed the fit of their pants.

              During the weekend sale I grabbed the FW19 in medium gray also size 38R/32 so when those arrive I'll be able to triple check if the FW19 pants are roomier than the SS20.


              • #8
                It is possible that it's not a change in fit, but an issue of tolerances. They're tighter with suits than with, say, jeans, but mass-produced clothing will inevitably have some variation in cutting accuracy despite being labelled with the same size. Spier & Mackay's guide calls for 0.25 inches. When S&M has changed their suit cut before the differences have been called out in the item description.

                That said, let's see if we can get SpierMackay to chime in with an official statement.


                • #9
                  Another follow up: the new FW19 suit arrived and the 32 pant was still tight around my thighs. I am now faced with the daunting reality that I am no longer a size 32 waist...


                  • #10
                    Since you have several versions, why not measure the trousers directly to see if there's any differences? Nice thing is that they will lay quite flat, so even lacking a ruler or tape it's easy to stack and compare.