When OTC and Proper Suit first sat down to create a suit that could be used as a core wardrobe staple, we wanted to first see what Proper Suit had to offer. Our first article highlighted the founders, Richard and McGregor, and ran through the initial fitting and selection of suit style, details and fabrics. Needless to say, we looked forward to checking out the finished product.
We received the suit a few weeks ago and, after making some tailoring tweaks and testing it out on the road, at meetings, and on the cocktail circuit, I can say that the OTC Proper Suit is outstanding. It feels and fits like a custom suit should, is well built and – most importantly – has perfect shoulders. As you should know, the shoulder is the cornerstone of any suit and if the shoulder does not fit well, nothing else really matters. The natural shoulder of this suit is spot on; it fits well and allows for just the right amount of movement.
The components of this suit are well designed and well thought out. The jacket itself fits very well, is trim but balanced and provides overall proportion to my frame. The full canvas interlining gives it a soft drape and lightly structured construction.
The jacket’s sleeves are a tad longer than they should have been, but perfectly useable. They look just fine but show very little shirt cuff. Having chosen the option of working “surgeon’s cuffs,” the longer sleeves are here to stay. This, by the way, is why Proper Suit typically does not recommend working sleeve buttons on an initial order. The cost-prohibitive fix is to take the arm off at the shoulder and shorten it from the top down. As it turns out, I like the longer sleeves on this suit. They give it a less formal air and actually make the jacket feel slightly more contemporary.
I did have to make one significant alteration and have the jacket’s sides let out; it was simply too tight. Proper Suit’s policy is that they will reimburse tailoring expenses on a future order, which is fine with us. They are a small company and want to develop lifelong “member” customers. After letting out the sides about 1 ½ inches and letting out slightly the rear of the armholes, it fits perfectly and is a joy to wear. My tailor, by the way, was very impressed with the quality of this suit.
The suit’s trousers are almost perfect, my only complaint being that they are a touch too long. It’s a complaint of perception, because most people have said they look just fine. Again, an unexpected outcome has been a less formal and more contemporary feeling suit. A particular feature of note is the jetted flat front trouser pockets recommended to me as a way of avoiding the annoying “elephant ears” effect of puffed out pocket openings common to flat front trousers.
The trousers’ hems are finished on the inside with cloth tape, which both helps to weigh down the pant leg and provides reinforcement against heel wear. A nice touch.
An equally distinctive feature unique to Proper Suit is the hidden cell phone or wallet pockets stitched into the rear left inside vertical seam of the jacket. By moving this pocket under the left arm, the weight of the phone is carried by the shoulder and does not offset the line of the jacket. Half the time I forgot I was even carrying anything the pocket.
An OTC reader who also ordered a Proper Suit had the following to say: “It was great being able to pick the liner color and the design of the pocket piping. Any options on the suit that I was not completely sure of, McGregor walked me through and explained the pros and cons of each option. While they typically do side vented jackets, the folks at PS were able to accommodate my request for a center vent at no extra cost.”
These are suits for the long haul – well designed and made well. Ours possess a pleasant balance of classic and contemporary and feels substantial.
Proper Suit likes to advertise that their suits are as good as, or better than, name brand suits that cost much more and are supported by extravagant advertising budgets. It’s a big claim, and they can back it up. The quality construction, design and attention to detail place these suits in a class by themselves.
OTC is thrilled with this suit and looks forward getting a few more. We also plan on picking up some sports coats. We highly recommend Proper Suit.