We order clothes online about half of the time. Sometimes it works out, sometimes not. When it doesn’t work out it’s almost always because the sizing options are vague: S, M, and L “sizes” are relative to each other, but that’s no guarantee that any of those “sizes” will fit you.
Fit issues can be minimized when numerical measurements are part of the ordering process: A pair of 501 Classic Levi’s in X waist and Y length will ALWAYS fit exactly like the last pair purchased, for instance.
We wanted that same confidence when ordering a suit online, but never really felt like it would be a success. There’s so much more to having a suit fit than how long is your inseam and how wide is your waist, we just didn’t think it was possible.
As things go in the RainyDay office, a recent celebratory event gave us an excuse to look for a new suit. We used that opportunity to see what was available online. After a bit of research, we decided to order from a small company called Bluffworks in NYC. We liked their origin story, and we liked their product focus. Read on to see how things turned out 🙂
Bluffworks Gramercy Travel Suit
- light weight
- machine washable
- soft stretchy technical fabrics
- traditional Heathered Wool appearance
We looked at a bunch of companies and their “sizing” descriptions. For us, the clearest and most informative was at Bluffworks. Their sizing charts were really specific and very helpful. We got enough descriptions and measurements to be able to pick the exact fit without having to guess at what they meant by “Slim” vs “Classic” fit or “Regular” vs “Tailored” cut.
We placed the order on a Friday night, got a order confirmation immediately, and a shipping confirmation two days later. The suit arrived the following Thursday in a flat shipping box. We were pleasantly surprised by how little room it took. Clearly, both pieces will easily fit into a typical weekender bag or carry-on roller. Amazing.
The first thing we noticed was that the suit was “Made in NYC,” not some far off country as the price had led us to believe. Where in NYC we don’t know; we’ll see if we can find out more. Bluffworks does not have a store or a showroom, but perhaps we can drop by the factory anyway the next time we are down that way.
The second thing we noticed were the jacket pockets. We especially liked the secret ones and zippered ones!
The Gramercy Blazer has 10 pockets total:
- 1 Outside front left chest
- 2 Outside front hip with flaps
- 2 Inside hip – iPad Mini size
- 1 Inside right chest with zipper
- 1 Inside left chest with loop – orange
- 1 Inside left pen slot and pocket – orange
- 1 Stash pocket with Velcro closure inside the left hip pocket
- 1 Inside center back documents zipper pocket – this is the lower back lining pocket
The Gramercy Pants has:
- Zippered security pocket, hidden pocket, and security loop
- Never fall off, MMS thread-wrapped buttons
No matter how vigilant a person is, skilled pickpocketers can manage to create distractions and ply their “trade.” Zippered pockets are obviously a great obstacle for them and this Gramercy suit, because it was designed for travel, has them strategically placed!
Colorful accents are always a nice touch—sometimes even a business traveller can only take so much grey in their suit. We like the little bit of orange on the inside left jacket pocket. It has a loop/button closure and a separate pen slot. Details matter, dude, details matter.
The outside pocket has a jetted flap. Jettings are narrow strips of fabric that run across the top and bottom of the slit, and exist to keep the heft of what’s in the pocket—a hand, say, or perhaps a 10 gram bar of gold—from pulling on the fabric of the suit and insulting the suit’s integrity. The flap was originally added to protect the pocket’s contents from rain, and is meant to be tucked when the jacket is worn indoors, leaving the jettings exposed. However, this “tradition” is only seen on formal wear today. Feel free to bring it back 🙂
The jacket length was spot on, and the sleeves were as well, but they could be shortened if needed, as the buttons are non-functioning.
Both the waist and the length of the pants could be alterable by any tailor. In our case, the fit was perfect, but for those with “in-between” sizes, Bluffworks suggests ordering larger than necessary and taking in or hemming, rather than letting out.
With Bluffworks, we got what we wanted and it fitted exactly how we expected. The feel of the material was excellent. The tailoring, details, and workmanship was much better than the price would suggest. We really couldn’t have asked for any more than that!!!
The Gramercy suit was worn to a wedding that same weekend right out of the box (the one not wearing the Gramercy suit in the image above is the bride). The only wrinkle on the suit was on the left shoulder. We probably should have steamed it out, but who has time???