A Suit Worth Calling Its Own | Freemans Sporting Club | A Continuous Lean.

A Suit Worth Calling Its Own | Freemans Sporting Club

Mar 3rd, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, New York City, Suiting | by Jake Gallagher

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Since first opening their doors back in 2005, Freemans Sporting Club has lined their shelves with a truly impressive amount of American made goods, but until this past fall they were missing one crucial item – a suit worthy of their own name.

As a brand whose wares have always exuded a confident yet easy air not unlike that of a college professor, the classically tuned Freeman suit sits comfortably alongside the rest of the FSC collection, but it also represents a new frontier for the brand. The label’s original suit packed a lofty price tag, and was admittedly bit too persnickety for many suit shoppers, so this past year the brand’s design team set out to create a more approachable, entry level suit that better represented Freemans as a whole.

The end product is a crisp notch-lapeled, two button suit, with patch pockets below, a chest welt up top, and a single vented back. There’s also a few Freeman specific details such as two button cuffs, a higher armhole, and a natural shoulder that would make any weathered trad blush. For those interested in the finer points of the suit’s construction, they are all fully canvassed and manufactured in the Eastern United States per FSC’s well-known “make it local,” ethos, which makes their reasonable price point all the more impressive.

The fabric selection is wide ranging, and fuzzy in an East Coast sort of way, with checks, tweeds, and wools that are ripe for wear in the years to come. If the stock Freeman patterns are not to your liking though, there is the option to get a made to measure suit from a pattern of your choice, or a full bespoke suit for right around five thousand dollars. In the future, FSC plans to expand their suiting program by converting their former back barber shop on Rivington Street into a suiting suite to give the Freeman suit a proper home, because when it bears your name, you better treat it right.

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Comments: 18

18 Comments to “A Suit Worth Calling Its Own | Freemans Sporting Club”

  1. Ray Hull
    on Mar 3rd, 2014
    @ 3:18 PM

    Where is this?

    Any relation to to H. Freeman Philly?

  2. SargentCharlie
    on Mar 3rd, 2014
    @ 4:22 PM

    Beautiful suit, but is that model sea sick?

  3. Patrick Cavanaugh
    on Mar 3rd, 2014
    @ 10:33 PM

    In the future will we think our modern suits look too short and too small? Like a high school boy who is wearing a suit that was bought for him in junior high school? These are nice suits, to be sure. But I would like a suit more akin to the 1930′s. Natural shoulders and higher arm holes are great. How about a longer rise and forward facing pleats in the trousers? How about extending the length of the jacket so it actually covers your buttocks?

    I am the only one who longs for suits that actually fit?

  4. Jack Ackerman
    on Mar 4th, 2014
    @ 12:12 AM

    Does Taavo Summer design the clothes or does he just the CEO? Because hats off to Freemans Sporting Club for continue to make great clothing, well-made and often in a retro style for the past five years.-Jack Ackerman

  5. Jiheison
    on Mar 4th, 2014
    @ 10:12 AM

    @Patrick Cavanaugh – There are plenty of places that sell suits cut in the way that you describe.

  6. Patrick Cavanaugh
    on Mar 4th, 2014
    @ 9:01 PM

    Jiheison – I wish someone would profile some of those places on blogs like this one. Perhaps I am just showing my age.

  7. Jiheison
    on Mar 4th, 2014
    @ 11:44 PM

    @Patrick Cavanaugh – There are many “trad” blogs that echo you sensibilities about jacket length and such. A few used to be linked in this site, but they are easy enough to find. If you look at past posts you may also find some leads: http://acontinuouslean.com/category/suiting/

  8. Patrick Mullin
    on Mar 5th, 2014
    @ 7:45 PM

    I second Mr. Cavanaugh’s thoughts regarding the unfortunate effects the passage of time may have on the appeal of these suits.

    Too many of the current crop of slim fit suits look like someone has raided Pee Wee Herman’s closet: badly proportioned, unflattering and- some of them -ultimately kind of goofy.

    Many of these suits seem the sort that would appeal to someone not used to regularly wearing a suit, someone not so comfortable with the social environment dynamics which routinely call for a suit.

    Rather, several slim fits seem designed by and for someone more comfortable with a jeans, t-shirt & hoodie sartorial aesthetic a la Mark Zuckerberg, than for someone at ease in the more structured social setting implied by a fine suit..

    (Of course, if you’re a Zuckerberg or you’re used to working in a suit-free zone, you can wear anything you damn please. ;-))

    And I don’t think that it’s a so much a matter of youth vs. age here-j more just good design vs. not so much. For example, look at the suits worn by Cary Grant in “To Catch a Thief”. Impeccably and flatteringly cut, the suits are as beautiful, fresh and appealing today as they were when they were made in 1955. I doubt these slim fits will age so well.

  9. Jiheison
    on Mar 6th, 2014
    @ 10:21 AM

    Not looking like you crave approval from 1955 is good thing.

  10. Patrick Mulin
    on Mar 6th, 2014
    @ 9:24 PM

    Jiheison:

    “…crave approval from 1955…” Don’t see that anything I wrote implies any such craving. Some clarification follows.

    Looking at your posts, may I respectfully suggest that maybe we’re both talking about two different things:

    I’m referring to “style”.
    Part of the charm of a successful style is its uncanny ability to transcend time. The gorgeous ’63 Ferrari 250 Lusso Berlinetta, the visceral ’66 Ford GT40, Neutra’s sublime 1935 Los Altos house, and, yes, Cary Grant’s aforementioned suits are examples which illustrate style’s transcendent power.

    Freeman’s suits are, it seems to me, not so much about “style” as they are about “fashion”.
    Part of fashion’s power and appeal is its ability to capture, to distill the essence and energy of a particular moment in a culture’s life. Bell bottoms, Nehru jackets, disco, the cantilevered shoulders found in much of women’s fashion in the ’80′s-all of these fashion statements were ubiquitous for a time and then fashion moved on, a genius creatively reinventing itself.

    The best fashion designers are able to excite and inspire with fashion’s creative immediacy while somehow simultaneously expressing a vision, a style, which endures and influences far beyond its cultural fashionable moment.

    So, will Freeman’s currently fashionable suits still be appealing in five years? Ten years? Time will tell.

  11. Patrick Mulin
    on Mar 7th, 2014
    @ 2:39 AM

    Mr. Cavanaugh,
    Re: Your blog inquiry.
    I think you may find that the Sartorialist blog has a lot of what you’re looking for-a great mix of traditional/contemporary American, classic British, French and Italian along with up-to date coverage of major international designer’s shows,e.g., Milan, NY, Paris, etc., and some truly great street photography. Also has an evolving and fascinating archive selection. Sartorialist is definitely one of the best of its kind, always worth a look.

  12. Jiheison
    on Mar 7th, 2014
    @ 10:36 AM

    I just plain do not see what is so perilously “fashionable” about these suits. Nor do I see why “style” needs to be narrowly defined.

  13. Patrick Mulin
    on Mar 7th, 2014
    @ 11:41 AM

    Jiheison,

    Well, Jiheison,I must say that I completely agree with you. You “just plain do not see”.

    Time will tell what’s worth looking at in the long run.

  14. Edward
    on Mar 7th, 2014
    @ 1:21 PM

    It’s the whole sloppy metrosexual look: messy hair, suit too small, low waisted pants, tie loosened, no belt (although there could be suspenders there), pant legs pegged and probably cut too short.

  15. JM
    on Mar 7th, 2014
    @ 2:48 PM

    @edward traditionally one doesn’t wear a belt with a suit anyways. Sloppy metrosexual is also an oxymoron.

    I don’t understand why everyone uses Grant and McQueen to compare fashions now and back then. Not that I support a suit that proportionally does not fit well, but I just get tired of seeing the two of them used over and over again. Especially since fashion back then was more regional where as now it’s global.

  16. Jiheison
    on Mar 7th, 2014
    @ 3:57 PM

    Recived suit wisdom tends to favor cuts that mask individual propotion and personality and create the illusion of conformance to a narrow ideal (both physical and social) These new cuts are apparently a theat to that ideal.

  17. Peter
    on Mar 8th, 2014
    @ 4:29 AM

    I live in Paris, and no self respecting French CEO or even entry level cubicle slave would be caught dead in an American trad-sack suit. High and tight is the rule. American men spend a lot of time working out–we shouldn’t be ashamed to show it off.

    Just .02 euros…

  18. Scott Fisher
    on Mar 18th, 2014
    @ 4:47 PM

    Another classic Cary Grant suit is in the movie North By Northwest. That suit was perfection and would look as good on today as it did then. I love the idea of Freeman making its suits on the premises,but they must design for men, not school boys. Frankly, the Italian neapolitan model is the one to ascribe to. There’s no reason why a creative and talented group of American designers and tailors can’t produce a garment that rivals the Italians in terms of design,craftsmanship and fabric. Fashionable American men would love to keep their money at home,but the Italians,at the moment,just design better models.