For guys looking for a quality suit that won't set them back too much, we've often said that J.Crew's Ludlow suit is, dollar for dollar, one of the best bargains on the market. And we're not alone. The popular style is ubiquitous with young, style-conscious men and now comes in a wide range of fabrics and colors. But what so many of us loved about the tailored suit—the jacket's high armholes and slimmer sleeves along with the narrow pants—were problematic for some. According to J.Crew menswear director Frank Muytjens, the brand received requests for a similar suit cut with bigger guys in mind. "We felt it was important to serve a more athletic guy," he says. "The guy who loves our Ludlow suit, but was too muscular to fit into it." But they didn't simply create a bigger version of the Ludlow. After a year of tinkering with the tailoring to get the fit just right, they're introducing the Crosby suit, which just hit stores and launches online today.
Ruby players from the New York Knights show off the new fit.
The new fit comes in four fabric choices: classic, office-appropriate navy Italian wool and charcoal worsted wool, along with a dapper herringbone windowpane and a sturdier wool flannel for the cooler weather.
"It was important to us that the Crosby still had all the signature details of the Ludlow," says Muytjens. "The floating chest piece, pick stitching, a softly rolled lapel and of course the same Italian and English suiting fabrics, but we re-looked at the proportions." So how was it accomplished? They opened up the chest and waist, cut larger arm holes and rounded out the shoulders. A wider lapel was used to balance the proportions and a single vent in back was found to hang better on larger frames. The thighs on the pants feature a roomier cut, but there's still a modern taper to the silhouette. To ensure the suit looked tailored but felt comfortable on the body, the design team fit the new suit's prototypes on a range of athletic guys and even shot the Crosby's campaign not on models, but on rugby players from the New York Knights. So whether you're a regular at the gym or simply a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy who steers clear of anything marked "slim fit," you now have access to an expertly tailored suit. And you're free to move around in it.