Review: The New Combatant Gentleman Suit (From Amazon)
By this point, most of you have likely heard about Combatant Gentlemen before, and also don’t have very positive things to say about them. For those of you that don’t know, this is just about everything you need to. So, what’s new with them? Well, like we spoke about last week, now they’re being sold and fulfilled through Amazon, and available on Amazon Prime with free 2-day shipping as well. And, presumably, they seem to have slightly new and updated products as well, boasting new materials, quality, and so on. Or so they claim. Naturally, we had to take a look.
We already reviewed their new shirts and promised a review of their new line of suits, so here it is! We took a look at the Charcoal Modern Fit Suit ($160). We weren’t very impressed with their shirts and so were particularly interested to check out their new suits.
Packaging & Experience
The order is fulfilled by Amazon, so if you have any experience with Amazon Prime at all, that is exactly how this is going to be. Other than to say, of course, that because they are fulfilled by Amazon, they won’t be able to simply not ship your order, like they have screwed people with in the past. So, you can order with all the confidence of anything you buy on Amazon, now, so that’s nice. However, we should note that the suit showed up in a bag, not even a box. Was, of course, somewhat wrinkled and looked like it had seen better days with only a hanger to keep it in place. I feel like they can do a bit better than a bag. B
Style & Design
It’s a pretty basic suit, with no real frills. Standard notch lapels that are a bit on the slim side. No ticket pocket or anything like that. The lining of the suit is also a pretty ugly brownish color. The color of the suit itself, though, is actually pretty nice. It’s a deep grey, though not charcoal, and is very versatile. Will go with any color shirts, ties, or shoes. The fabric itself is pretty straightforward with no real depth to it whatsoever. It’s super, super plain all around. The buttons are dark with some lighter brown streaks through them, though, which is nice to see. The suit also comes in a bunch of other colors, but they are all very basic with no real pattern or visual interest, if that is what you are going for. B+
Quality & Construction
On the one hand, the construction is passable. No poor stitching jobs, nothing loose, and everything feels, at least, like it’ll hold up and stay looking the way it should. On the other hand, while the tag does indeed state the shell is 100% wool, the suit itself feels rough. And I mean that literally. The fabric is one of the stiffest, roughest, scratchiest wool suits I have ever had the displeasure of wearing. The whole suit feels stiff and slightly awkward when worn. It’s kind of lifeless, and doesn’t contour nicely to the body — even if you were to tailor it. You can, naturally, forget about any nice half canvassing here. This suit will never really drape nicely, and the extra shoulder padding doesn't help things.
However, for the price, this is what you would expect. So, I’m not going to hit them too much over the head for this. At the price, it is a 100% wool suit. But it feels like a $160 suit. This is extremely unpleasant fabric. While it’s passable, and many likely won’t notice, you, as the wearer, surely will if you have even the slightest knowledge of fabrics and suits. Again, for just a bit more money you can get something from another company like Spier & Mackay that is infinitely nicer than this. B-
(Note: I am 6’1” and 165 lbs. and usually wear a 15.5” / 34 shirt in a slim or extra slim fit, a 30x32 pant in a tailored fit, and a 36 jacket.)
They offer these suits in two fits, a Slim Fit and an Athletic Fit. I would naturally incline towards the Slim Fit, but, rather ridiculously, the Slim Fit comes with an 8.00” drop. Meaning, the pants’ waist is not the usual 6.00”, but instead 8.00” smaller than the jacket size. So a 36 jacket would result in pants with a 28.00” waist, which would be beyond too small for me. This is unusual and inconvenient sizing. It makes no sense, especially when their Athletic Fit comes with the standard 6.00” drop. So, with no real choice, I went with the Athletic Fit in my usual 36 size.
As you can see, the fit is… fine? It’s not great, but I also shouldn’t be wearing an Athletic cut. There is a lot of room through the arms and wrist. Like, an obscene amount. Surprisingly, though, the armholes are actually pretty high for a suit like this, and so the arms could likely be nicely trimmed down by a tailor. (The buttons are non-functioning, so shortening or lengthening the sleeves are also not an issue here.) The jacket midsection and length are all pretty decent, though would maybe need a slight pinch for my tastes. The pants are way off though, with a true waist measurement of 30.00”, which is much too tight and cannot even close. Most suits sold as a size 30 waist are made to fit a size 30 waist, and thus have a slightly larger waist measurement. Not so here. These would need to be let out substantially by a tailor. All pants also come with an unfinished 36.00” inseam. The leg opening, for those curious, is a touch under 8.00”.
In short, the fit isn’t great, but isn’t terrible, and while it gets a few things quite wrong, it’s nothing that cannot be corrected with a trip to the tailor. B-
Value & Conclusion
Combat Gent’s Charcoal Modern Fit Suit ($160): This is the most important section here. Because, yes, while this suit is inexpensive, you shouldn’t be buying based on price, but based on value for that price. And this is not the sweet spot. For just about $100 more, you can get a suit on sale from Spier & Mackay which brings quality in an entirely different league. At $400 you can get a custom suit from Indochino, or a low-end SuitSupply suit. That $350-$600 price range is the real sweet spot with suits these days, allowing you to get value well above what you are paying. Here in the $150 range, what you’re getting hardly passes for a suit. There’s no reason anyone should be buying this suit. If you wear a suit regularly, buy something nicer. If you wear a suit sporadically, then why not spend a little bit more and get something you can be excited to put on for those special occasions? A suit is not something a gentleman should skimp on. And this is all not even to mention that a Combat Gent suit will rehire work by a tailor which adds even more to the cost. You get what you pay for, and this is especially true with suits. There is a point of diminishing returns, yes, but it is way, way above this price point. No, this Combat Suit doesn’t do anything super, super wrong. There is no scam here (this time), and it’s not the worst suit I have ever touched. But, please, spend a bit more and get something you’ll be a thousand times happier with. Final Grade: B-