This fall, brown is the new Black Lapel

I'm a bit late on the draw, but Black Lapel added some new suit, sport coat, and shirt fabrics for the fall. The first two include warm tones like brown.

The Brownstone Glen Plaid, Flatiron Blue Fine Check, and Highbridge Charcoal Houndstooth are all heavier flannel suits for the cooling weather. The Bleecker, meanwhile, is a solid brown year round fabric. Also added to the lineup are a few plaid sport coats.* Two of them, the Cobble Hill and Knickerbocker, are for cold weather while the Bedford is year round. I've been told there is outerwear due to be out by the end of the year as well. Fingers crossed!

The shirt fabrics, on the other hand, lack a feeling of seasonality. They are basically a few shades of oxford. Oxford can be worn all year like broadcloth, but is technically more of a summer fabric since it has an open weave. If you want a bit more cold resistance, the twill offerings from earlier this year would be better for that. Twill is a thicker shirting like oxford, yet tightly woven and thus better for the current chilly weather.

A bit trendy in cut, but otherwise nice.
It seems like they took my suggestion of offering a midnight blue dinner suit. The "Navy Tuxedo" fills that niche (their navy is very close to black in person), though it's interesting in that there's only a shawl collar available by default. However, an email to their concierge will rectify that if you want peak lapels.

Which brings me to my last observation. They've refined the options somewhat over the last year. Notably, double breasted fastening and trouser side tabs are available on everything. What's still curiously missing is a "special requests" field of some sort either in Advanced Options or checkout, which would simplify the process for those who know what features they want instead of having to email the concierge before or after ordering. Taller guys like me would also benefit from a six button waistcoat being offered by default. The partially lined jacket option is also sight unseen, even after they had a blog post about it earlier in the year. (I was one of the first to order a suit with that option.)

I'm sure there are reasons for all of these things, but implementing them would help Black Lapel in becoming a well-rounded company as well as streamlining the ordering process.

*Yes, I know the website calls them "Blazers". I've fought Derek on this and failed, even suggesting "Sport Coats and Blazers" as the heading when told it helped their search engine optimization (considering most people don't know that a blazer is a type of sport coat). Oh, Mr. Tian, you are so delightfully stubborn sometimes!


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