Indochino Premium Navy Suit

A New Navy Suit in a Super 140s Wool

Indochino Premium Navy SuitIn the process of “upping my game” over the past few years, I’ve gotten a few nice suits, most of them custom. When you’re in the market for a new suit, it’s easy to get caught up in the real head-turner suits that have a special color, stripe or plaid, seducing your attention toward what you want and away from what you actually need. As I’ve curated my own arsenal, I neglected to upgrade the one suit that I’ve always touted as a must-have, the world’s most versatile suit that goes with everything in almost every situation, the cornerstone of a smart man’s wardrobe: the navy suit. Last month, I fixed that.

This past year, Indochino introduced a line of premium suits with a higher “S-number” than their standard collections. While their Essentials and other collections are typically made with Super 100 wools (which are great, by the way), the premium suits are made with Super 140 wools. And the fabric of the Premium Navy suit is a blend of 95% wool and 5% cashmere.

I had never owned a suit above a Super 110s, I suppose, and I wanted to give it a try. Indochino’s Essential suits (two-piece) go for $449, and the premiums in Super 140 go for $649, which is still a steal for made-to-measure in my book. So I pulled the trigger on the Premium Navy Suit with notch lapels, two buttons and my other usual customizations:

  • Double vent
  • Pick stitching
  • Functional boutonniere and sleeve buttons
  • Interior pen pocket and monogram
  • No belt loops (side tabs instead)
  • No cuffs

Four weeks later, the suit arrived with, of course, the usual perfect fit. The fabric was a revelation. The Super 140s wool and cashmere blend gave the suit a wonderful silky hand. Butter. I’m a happy customer.

Now, would I invest in a whole wardrobe of Super 140s suits? Not necessarily. Here’s why…

Among certain circles in men’s suiting, there is a real hype for higher S-numbers in suit fabric. To clarify, S-numbers refer to the fineness of the wool, like Super 100s, Super 130s, Super 150s, all the way up to Super 200s. The number itself refers (loosely) to the number of times a thread of wool is twisted before woven into wool fabric. The higher the number, the finer the wool.

One might assume that a Super 150s is better than, say, a Super 100s. It is, certainly, lighter and more luxurious to the touch, but it is also more delicate. With finer suit fabric comes greater responsibility. It wrinkles more easily and is harder for tailors to sew because it can “shift” under the needle. High S-number wools must also be dry cleaned much more sparingly than lower S-number wools. In essence, it’s less durable than fabrics with a lower S-number. With textile technology where it is today, we can be a bit spoiled when it comes to things like this. Even Super 100s are far superior to the finest wools that were available decades ago. The world’s most experienced textile and fashion experts will tell you that the S-number isn’t as important as we’re led to believe.

That said, I would put high S-number suits in the same category as a special bottle of wine or Cameron Frye’s dad’s Ferrari in Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, i.e. absolutely wonderful and not practical for everyday indulgence. Make it a treat. For most of us – even the one-percenters – the Super 100s of today are fabulous for our everyday kit. What really matters most is great design, solid construction and tailoring.

But it is nice to treat yourself once in a while with something truly special, which is precisely what I did with my new navy suit in Super 140 wool and cashmere. For important meetings, special evenings, weddings or even funerals, it’s the perfect understatement. I’m glad I bought it and I absolutely love it.

9 thoughts on “A New Navy Suit in a Super 140s Wool”

  1. Hello George Thanks for your first video and post about Indochino. Your ideas set me on to purchasing from Indochino and I am very impressed. I purchased the Coal Flannel and its perfect for this winter season and something I feel will last many years. Your like 80 pounds less than I and I have much broader shoulders but both suits are perfect. Im looking forward to buying an essential blue suit in a few months. Keep on keeping on George. Wolf

  2. I have read your thoughts and reviews of Indochino suits. You seems to be consistently impressed by their suits. I have seen some hit or miss reviews of their sizing. How close are you to an “off the rack” size? I ask because I am pretty close to a an “off the rack” size, but some need some tailoring to really tighten up the midsection of most suits. Indochino seems like they work well for someone near an “off the rack” size. I was looking for your thoughts on an Indochino suit vs. a heavily tailored rack suit.

  3. George, I could not agree more with you. We produce hand made suits in Mexico City using italian and english fabrics from 100’s up to 180’s. I would love you to try for free one of our hand made suits to get your opinion. Bests

  4. George, thank you for the review. I learned a lot. That being said, I was hoping you could educate me a little bit more. I was wondering the following:

    – With the Premium Navy suit, did you opt for the regular notch lapel or the slim notch lapel? What are your thoughts on one versus the other?
    – Was there any particular reason for opting on the side tabs on the pants as opposed to belt loops (personal preference aside)?
    – If you intend to use the interior pen pocket, how do you plan on preventing the pen you plan on placing in the pocket from leaking?

    Thank you again. Cheers. John

    1. Hey John…
      – lapels between 2.5″ and 3.5″ are more trend-proof;
      – Belts visually cut the suit in half. I prefer a more tailored, streamlined look.
      – I use capped pens (black Bic Uni-Ball).

      Thanks again!

      G

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