My First Suit From Spier & Mackay
For the last 2 months I sang the praises of Spier & Mackay, the Canadian Shirt and Suit Retailer making waves around North America. Last week I reviewed one of their dress shirts, but nothing would feel complete until I tried their suits. So in this article I will Review a Slim Fit Marine Blue Suit from Spier & Mackay and finally see what the fuss is about.
Many call Spier & Mackay a very good alternative to Suitsupply and who is better to compare them than someone that worked for the competition! In today’s article I will talk not only about the fabric and features but also the feel, quality and of course any potential shortcomings.
Excited? Let’s get to the point!
Disclaimer: Clicking the Spier & Mackay links will earn Misiu Academy a tiny commission on your purchase.
If you remember last week’s article, I ordered 4 shirts which I returned eventually. They were fine but I wanted another size that was not available. That freed up some funds and in combination with some great discounts at the time this was a good opportunity.
Initially priced at 279$ USD during sales and with an added 25% coupon the suit clocked in at just 210$. There is a small catch though since shipping is 25$ for international destinations and you still need to pay import taxes. In Sweden I think I had to pay around 25-30$ if I remember correctly.
Let’s look at the specs of the suit more closely:
- Brand: Spier & Mackay
- Type: 2 Piece Single Breasted Suit
- Color: Marine Blue
- Material: S120 Wool
- Mill: Dino Filarte
- Construction: Half Canvas
- Buttons: 4 Kissing Buttons (Non-Functional)
- Lining: Cupro Fully Lined
- Size: 38R (48 EU)
- Fit: Slim Fit
- Accessories: Sous Bra
- Origin: China
- Final Price: 234.25$ Including Shipping
Not too shabby right? For an original price of about 350$ you get a pretty good entry suit!
Comparing to Suitsupply Entry Level
Off the bat I want to make a quick comparison here. For 399$ you can get a Napoli Suit which is Suitsupply’s worst suit. It feels boxy and doesn’t feel right when I tried it on. Unless you are a bigger gentleman that needs the regular fit, spending a bit more for the Lazio is a better option. Spier & Mackay however offers both slim and contemporary options.
Immediately you see that the price difference is evident and great for entry level. I find the addition of a sous bra very interesting actually. You have to pay 500-600$ to get a Sienna with a Sous Bra on the other side.
The sleeve buttons are not functional but honestly this is not a problem. If anything it often helps with your alterations as the limit with Suitsupply is +/- 1.5 cm.
Trousers also seem to have a slightly higher rise. Suitsupply’s low rise pants are quite the annoyance honestly.
Enough small talk! Time to check out the suit.
Unboxing & Shipping
One of the disadvantages of ordering from Canada to Sweden was the standard UPS shipping and the import processing time. It took 10-15 days probably to receive the suit. In comparison I offer 2-3 business day shipping to Canada with DHL Express for The Noble Shoe. Different things, but it surely allows them to keep costs down.
The Box itself has the Spier & Mackay logo and is durable enough, quite reminiscent of the Suitsupply one. I do think the latter uses higher quality cardboard.
Inside you get the customary invoice and receipts and a branded Suit Bag. It does the job but is also rather standard. It doesn’t close as well but personally I don’t care too much about it.
The suit itself seems nicely folder although my plastic hanger came broken on the top.
One of the hardest things to do when shopping online is to properly gauge the color of the fabric. When I saw my suit and read “Marine Blue” I felt it would be a really nice dark formal navy suit. I was quite surprised when I saw it for the first time since it was just a darker shade of regular blue. Cobalt Blue sounds more like it on my mind.
It’s not an issue for me as I welcome the addition of a different shade of blue, however you should be a little extra careful. Especially when sales items are final and have no returns.
A quick inspection later I was rather satisfied with what I got with a few areas needing a closer look at. I will go through them all one by one in the following sections.
Beginning with the fabric, it is nothing special but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. It is pure wool by a mill called Dino Filarte and if I remember correctly the wool is Australian. The weave is your classic twill and seems to have a soft sheen to it. The Suitsupply Lazio mostly uses VBC fabrics whereas for the higher end Spier & Mackay use Drago and Guabello.
It does the job fine especially for the price. One concern I have is some bunching on the chest area which looks like bubbling. This usually happens in fused suits where the glue comes off and creates these “bubbly” areas. There’s no fix for this and the only thing I can do is steam it to see if it is just creasing.
If this is a malfunction of the suit I will be disappointed. If I get more news on this I will update the article.
Now, there’s no way for me to show you how the canvas looks since this is a fully lined jacket. The canvas is a patch of cotton and horsehair that floats between the chest area to give structure and make the cloth drape better.
I did however want to make a comment about this. Unless it’s my mind playing tricks on me the canvas on the Spier & Mackay jacket is heavier than the Suitsupply ones. I know the latter has 2 types of canvas with two or four layers. Just a thing to keep in mind if you are looking for your next business suit.
I enjoy the lapels on the Spier & Mackay Suits. They seem to be a wider version of a notch lapel and it folds really nicely on the chest area.
One thing that picked my interest was the buttonhole up there that does not seem to be sewn in the classic, easy U-shaped way. It looks more tidy and with more attention to it. Cool little detail.
Buttons & Button Stance
The buttons are a bit of a more controversial topic for me with pros and cons. For starters the sleeve buttons are non-functional. That’s fine actually, it means I could adjust them much more than functioning buttonholes. Given that the Spier & Mackay Slim Fit is slightly longer than the Havana I usually wear it helps a lot. Specifically, I had to adjust the sleeve length by 2 cm.
These are also not any kind of real horn buttons or MOPs. Each button certainly feels more plasticky (then again consider the price) but on the other hand they are larger with some substantial weight to them. I like this because it makes it easy to grab, pull, fasten and unfasten them. It’s certainly a plus if you have bigger fingers.
Onto the most controversial topic of them all which is the dreaded button stance. People go haywire over this on Styleforum telling you how everything should be. It is RTW so please, take it easy if you want to adjust it a little more go custom. The Spier & Mackay jacket has a slightly lower button stance which works in my favor creating a cleaner V line around the waist.
Especially if you have a bigger chest and there’s that annoying gap between your breast area and the lapels this can help you. It pulls them down further but if it persists your only solution is – you guessed it – custom made.
As I will discuss later, the overall jacket fit on the Spier & Mackay compliments my body a little better than most Suitsupply suits.
Shoulders & Pockets
You just can’t reinvent the wheel, nor you should when it comes to classic details. This suit has structured shoulders with more padding than I am used to. I believe it works out fine honestly though.
You also get your standard flap pockets that sit on a slight angle and a breast pocket. It feels a little small so if you have a massive or heavier pocket square it will bulge up a bit.
Spier & Mackay uses Bemberg, a high quality Japanese cupro lining for their jackets. This particular one comes with a dark red lining which resembles the Suitsupply Sienna standard one. I can understand if it is off-putting for some people but it’s pretty fine. It feels good to the touch.
Inside you get the standard inner pockets and it was a little disappointing to see the lack of details on the tag. It would be great to see more details about the fabric for example.
There’s a sous bra as well! That’s kind of nice! For those unaware it helps with underarm sweat and it sits between your armpits and the jacket to avoid stains and sweat.
Spier & Mackay trousers follow the classic 6 drop, which means that a 38R jacket comes with 32 trousers. They are massively long which always baffled me. Seriously now, I understand the fashion industry makes them for the average individual but 15 cm longer? Needless to say that hemming the pants is a necessity.
More on that later as the tailor I went to totally messed the length. As for the overall fit I have two remarks to make. From the waist down to the knee it’s perfect. Like, perfect. And they also sit a tiny bit higher up which is great.
From the knee down though I have an issue. The front of my ankle bunches up so much it irritates me. I am not sure if this has to do with my knee or the fact that the tailor messed up the length. Updating this section is a must after I re-hem them properly.
As for the features, there’s nothing special with some nice pockets, a zipper and fly. Inside the lining is black which I really like and made from 55% polyester and 45% viscose.
Quality & Construction
Summing up all the things from the other sections, this is a pretty good suit for the money I paid. I would take it any day over the hideous Suitsupply Napoli. There are a few things here and there that I don’t like. Be aware that this might apply only on my suit and is not a reflection of the average quality you get.
I noticed that inside the jacket just behind each button there’s a clear pressed mark. You will never notice it and it has no effect on functionality but it’s there.
As aforementioned the buttons don’t seem premium but I personally don’t care that much. They work rather well, sewing seems good and sturdy.
The lining is superb and the lapels have a really nice roll to them. Fabric wise it might not be VBC but it makes for a nice everyday business suit. The fabric feels a little denser so I wouldn’t wear it much when it’s hot.
Stitching is fine with good SPI and no loose threads hanging around. Not bad. I might as well mention that the felt is soft and feels like good quality.
How’s The Fit Though?
Looking at the official measurements of the Spier & Mackay Contemporary it seems to be almost identical to the Havana Slim Fit from Suitsupply. However after a lot of research and questions on the Styleforum thread they advised me to go for the Slim Fit.
And I must say it fits quite similarly although a bit better at some points. I still have to hem the pants and shorten the sleeves but the lower button stance and the way the jacket bottom drapes over my waist is better. It also sits very nice and tidy around the neck and the shoulders look surprisingly good on me.
I already mentioned the trousers fit perfectly on the waist and there’s no need for a belt. After I fix the length and figure out if it is bubbling or simply creasing on the jacket it will be perfect.
Pure fit wise, this fits me better off the rack than Suitsupply. And as we always advocate here, fit is king.
Spier & Mackay Suit Review – Conclusions
There you have it everyone. My first ever Review of a Spier & Mackay Suit. What do I have to say about it? For the retail price it is a very good alternative to Suitsupply with what I feel a better RTW fit for me. Overall very decent but not extraordinary but truly excellent for 350$. If you get it on sale around 200-230$ it is a bargain.
A little harder to get outside of the EU and with a bit slower customer response from HR but if you pull the trigger on one and you enjoy the fit it’s a truly excellent option. What is best is that more often than not Spier & Mackay has sales and promos. Last week they had a free upgrade to full canvas for their MTO program worth 150$ for example!
What is great for me is that Suitsupply finally has some good competition at the entry level and you are not limited to just them. And I’d rather support smaller businesses any day of the week.
That was it everyone! I hope you enjoyed it and I would love to hear your opinion. Do you have a suit from Spier & Mackay? How’s the fit and quality for you? Do they stand the test of time? Let me know in the comments down below and don’t forget to Subscribe! See you next week with the Latest Shoe News!
Thank you for reading,
Thanks for posting this in-depth review. Many people seem to ask about the differences with Suitsupply (myself included) but there are few solid comparisons. I like Spier for the higher rise trousers as you mentioned and the different range of fabrics. Agree fit is king and it will be the deciding value for most wearers. For me, neither are quite perfect (I get shoulder denting with Spier and closed quarters with Suitsupply) but that’s the price with RTW, especially entry level. How about a Ring Jacket review next for people considering the next tier?
Glad you find it useful! Both have their pros and cons. The bubbling is definitely something I will email them about, although I might not have the energy and patience to do another 1 month exchange.
As for the Ring Jacket, I would absolutely love too though this is a hobby for me so the price range is a little unattainable for the moment. I would definitely try Pini Parma as well.
Thank you for taking the time to write this!
Don’t waste your time with this company. Take a look at all the bad reviews online. Everything from credit card fraud to bad sizing. I personally purchased two items at two different times from this company and both were incorrect sizing. Recently I ordered pants with my normal size and I literally can’t even put them on they are so small. Obviously incorrect sizing. Their response? Too bad. I will never buy from them again and I warn all of you. Bad sizing and worst support. Avoid the frustration. Many other fine stores out there that need your business and will give you awesome support with true sizing.
thank you for your feedback. As a menswear enthusiast and blogger it is still my “duty” to review all of them. I found the sizing relatively comparable to Suitsupply’s Havana Line.
The quality at least for the entry line seems to be lower in many areas.
I can’t speak for other people, but my experience with them was good but frustrating at the same time. I initially bought 4 shirts, the sizing was off and I had to wait 1 month for a return. I also ordered a suit in their clearance (this one) and the chest piece glue was ruined and caused it to bunch up and pill.
They sent me a new one (and I am sure they lost money at this point) but I had to pay taxes and wait another 4-5 weeks. It’s definitely not worth it in Europe.
Can I recommend them over suitsupply for example at those prices for a canvassed suit? Difficult. I won’t be buying anything anytime soon.
I, Like you find the pants to fit much better and Spier suits jackets seem to fit better on my waist. I feel like the jackets from SuitSupply tend to “flair out” quite a bit more.
I have a custom order from SuitSupply in process, but honestly unless the fit is just amazing, I’m probably going to send it back and go exclusively with Spier and Mackay suits moving forward.
Sounds good! Let me know how that goes!
I am almost ashamed to ask, but if you found the review and want to support my hobby a little, using my link for your future Spier purchases will be extremely appreciated (and cost you nothing extra!).
Good luck Josh!
I`ve been experiencing really hard times with Spier Mackay. I did about 6 purchases this year and 5 of them were really disappointing. Their quality control is the worst I ever experienced. My last purchase was 5 polo shirts (all same size) and 3 of them are totally off sizing and only two works for me. One of them arrived with a yellow spot. I believe it was my last purchase from them and I hope they will do a refund for those polos, I will be happy to send them back.
sorry to hear about your bad experience. I don’t know how the pandemic has affected their quality control. I had a similar issue with TM Lewin where they sent me white shirts with yellow spots on them.
They accepted my return and exchange even for the final sales item, so I recommend reaching out to them directly or on their affiliate thread on styleforum!
I placed my first order with Spier & Mackay in Nov 2021. It was for a custom made-to-order suit. I wanted to see how the process would go with a cheaper material before placing more orders for finer fabrics. I also wanted to experiment with a jacket combination of full canvas & unstructured shoulder, and patch pockets, something I cannot get off the rack anywhere.
I was uncertain about a couple of my measurements but went ahead and pulled the trigger because of their first order alteration policy. Spier & Mackay have a stated policy of allowing you to dial in your fit on a first order with a two week return window. This made me feel comfortable with ordering.
Unfortunately I went into hospital for a terrible medical crisis on Jan 19. The suit arrived at my home Jan 26. When I got out of the hospital on Feb 17 I returned home and immediately tried on the suit. I wrote them immediately to ask would they at all consider extending that return window. They said they would extend the policy which I thought was very kind!
They asked for what sort of measures were problematic and also asked for photos. I didn’t have photos but I could say which measures needed to be altered and how much, which I sent in a response. The photos part was odd because the pants were constructed perfectly; it was just that I asked for too short of a rise and hem, and too much of a waist. Anyway I let them know what measures were off and by how much.
I also added that if they changed their mind and would not extend the policy then I’d be happy to purchase a second set of trousers. There’s no way to purchase a set of trousers with this material on their website. The only option on the website is to order a whole entire new suit which would defeat the purpose.
All that and I have nothing. I’ve emailed them four times since Feb 17 to follow up. I’ve given them the new measures, asked about alternatives if they no longer feel like extending the policy, etc. They have never responded. I even called their customer support line during normal business hours but no one answers.
I want to like the product. Instead I spent $700 and have waited four months on a suit I cannot use. The jacket itself is fantastic. My only knock on the jacket is that the sleeve seam is puckered. I can’t tell whether that’s bad manufacturing or just a consequence of my unusual request for a full canvas/unpadded shoulder combo. Were Spier & Mackay to come back and resolve this I’d order more from them. There is much to like. However this feels like a hopeless situation without trust or communication and as a result I cannot recommend using them.
Sorry to hear about your experience. When I had an issue with a jacket (which was even on sale), they responded quickly and even replaced it with no extra cost, allowing me to keep even the defective. They surely lost money on this.
I will show them your message and hopefully they will contact you. If you feel you have been cheated, I recommend calling your bank and filing a chargeback.
I’ve received 3 MTO suits this year from them, all placed at the same time. Everything came back exactly as specified. In my experience, they have been great with communication and fulfilling the requests made in the notes.
Hi Josh, I contacted Spier directly to raise the issue Patrick had. I can confirm there was a misunderstanding and they are helping him right now!
Good to hear, I have always had good luck with them.