I love the look of this suit. The cut is killer, and that Japanese chambray (woven on vintage shuttle looms, natch) is totes legit. JCrew asserts it'll soften and mold as you wear it - so despite it's off-the-rack-ness, they can claim a "custom" fit. It's a great solution if you're a dude seeking a contemporary, high-end look at an attainable price point. But let's be real - a Ludlow will still set a guy back around $425.00. So here's the real question: considering the store's average customer, for that price, why isn't it lined?
I have a years-long epic group iMessage with my friends Ward and Van where we debate pressing issues such as this. "I have this fight with Brooks all the time," Ward said, referring to his better half, a long-time vet of the menswear world. "He says that lining suits is a modern convention and Italians typically go for unlined, whereas British formalwear popularized structure in day-to-day suiting."
"So it's because of steez, Jess" he said. "That's what I'm getting at."
Steez is all well and good if you're Lawrence Schlossman, but isn't JCrew's bread and butter the mall shopper? The average American dude? He needs a good looking suit that doesn't give him old man ass, and in the fitting room, that Ludlow looks flawless. He walks out of the store satisfied with his purchase. But given a few hours of wear, that lack of lining is sartorial sabotage - the wrinkles start lining up like lemmings, and by end of day, he looks like a rumpled heap. So what gives? Does that guy really give a shit about classic Italian tailoring? I'm betting no. The beauty of menswear so often is it's utility. Save a handful I know doing apparel for a living, not many men are willing to sacrifice function for fashion.
I equate it to a beautiful pair of uncomfortable heels: they might make your legs look great, but if they make you walk like a baby giraffe, what's the point of buying?