I’m not Royal Wedding crazy, but I am a bit of a admitted Anglophile. I’m a big fan of the things at which Brits are known to be great. Iconic television series, both comedic and dramatic, legendary English shoes, incredible grooming products, and a flawless sense of traditional tailoring. Prince Harry’s blue engagement suit Monday did more than enough to drive this final point home. Before I get into my recommendations on more affordable alternatives to the prince’s suit, I want to take a moment to walk through what I like so much about it.
I love the color of this suit. Yes, I highly recommend that a navy suit should be your first suit purchase, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t Prince Harry’s first suit. Blue is also a little flashier for a special occasion, which this obviously is. So I suggest keeping the navy in your closet during a day like your engagement. The prince also lets his suit do most of the work by keeping the other elements simple. He subtly paired it with a crisp white shirt, a classic navy tie, and black wingtips. I can only assume his belt is black too. What I think is the most important aspect of Prince Harry’s blue engagement suit is it’s simplicity. Sure, it’s blue and not navy, but other than that, what this suit does best is let his bride-to-be shine. This is her moment, and he’s by her side. The best suits don’t draw attention to themselves, they speak for softly and accentuate what’s most important. Be it your features or those around you.
If you know Bonobos, you know how great their fits are. Additionally, I love this shade of blue. My only gripe with Bonobos’ suits is that I wish the lapels were just a bit wider, maybe in the 3″ to 3 1/4″ range. I’m a bigger guy, and a wider lapel suits my frame better.
For almost a decade, the J. Crew Ludlow suit has been a mainstay of the male suiting trend. The Ludlow’s ascension to prominence peaked perfectly with the rise of Mad Men and the slim suit. Like the Bonobos suit, I would prefer a larger lapel which J. Crew has started to introduce. But if you’re a slimmer guy, you will be hard pressed to find a better suit in this price range.
This suit may be the closest one I have here to Prince Harry’s blue engagement suit. From the color, to the moderately structured shoulder, to the wider lapels, this is pretty damn close. I’ve been on a big Suitsupply kick lately, and I think these are some of the best mid-level priced suits and jackets in the game today.
It’s almost impossible to go wrong with a Brooks Brothers suit. Once you figure out your fit (I’m a Regent), you can buy with confidence trusting in the quality and heritage. I don’t think Prince Harry’s suit is sharkskin, but that fabric adds a nice little touch if you’re feeling extra.