Most suits, even if they're made from casual or performance materials, still feel like a suit once on — polished, albeit a little stuffy. Of them, some are saved for special occasions — weddings, work events, ritzy dinners and showers, whether bridal or baby — while others are daily drivers.
The best ones break in over time, because they're either half- or full-canvas construction and made from fabrics that'll last. These types of suits, however, are prohibitive — they're expensive to buy outright, pricy to get fitted and far from comfortable, per se, at least for the average wearer.
However, there's hope for those who feel intimidated by traditional suits: Buck Mason's Carry-On Suit.
Buck Mason Carry-On Suit
- Sizes: XS-XXL and 28-40
- Colors: Jet (black), Sage (green), Anchor (blue), Khaki (tan)
- Price: $300
What's Good About Buck Mason's Carry-On Suit?
Buck Mason's Carry-On Suit is sold in two parts, the Carry-On Jacket and the Carry-On Pants, but it comes out to a flat $300 when ordered together — a fair price for any suit. It's one you can wear anywhere, too, say with an equally soft Oxford and a linen tie.
This Suit Doesn't Suffocate
I found, though, through my few weeks of wearing it almost non-stop, that it's far easier to dress down that most suits, making the act of actually wearing your suit out far less daunting. Buck Mason's Carry-On Suit is made from 5.5 oz cotton twill that's 97 percent cotton and 3 percent spandex.
In this case, the spandex, a surprising, oft-unpleasant addition as far as suiting goes, lends comfortability. But the set is by no means uncomfortable as is. Both the jacket and the matching pants are garment-washed — an enzyme treatment that softens and fades the fabric — for an immediate worn-in look and feel.
The added spandex also makes the suit easy to wear while commuting or working an upright job. The knees give while you bike; the shoulders give when you lift something; the waist and seat flex when you crouch; plus, the elbows bend without bunching up.
You'll Never Look Overdressed, Only Put Together
The casual ensemble looks the part. Its softness is evident even from afar. Rather than boasting a slight sheen like some suits, Buck Mason's is super matte — they're like chinos, not dress pants. That makes the suit easy to wear with beat up boots, sneakers and dress shoes alike.
The versatility carries over up top, too. You can wear the suit with an Oxford, a pocket tee, a sweater or even a knit polo. I would, however, avoid layers with any sheen. The jacket is too natural-looking and will clash with synthetic materials, even though it is three percent spandex.
The Pieces Look Natural Apart
Because the cotton twill is chino-like, the pants can easily be worn without the jacket. They have a hidden drawstring within for easy adjusting, a single button closure and a zippered fly. They're essentially Officer Pants (chinos with a more formal waist). The pants have what Buck Mason calls a "Hollywood Waist," which essentially means the belt loops are wider than the waistband. Typically they drop, meaning they don't start at the top of waist but rather a few centimeters below it, but these do not. It's a visually appealing addition still whether you wear a belt or forgo it.
You could also, if you wanted to, wear the jacket without the pants. The Jet color, which is basically black, would look like nice with white jeans. Buck Mason also makes a Carry-On short, which could easily sub in for the pants a la Pharrell.
The Pockets Are More Functional Than Those of Most Suits
There are two bucket pockets on the front, which are both big enough for an a new iPhone, a wallet, keys, AirPods or some candy. There is another pocket on the chest, which is where I kept my glasses, and one on the inside, too, where the brand stashes a backup button. On the bottom, there are two traditional slant pockets, one button closure back pocket and a welted coin pocket.
What's Not Ideal About the Carry-On Suit First
The Fit Is Definitely Relaxed
This isn't a trim, tailored suit — that's for sure. Sure, you could take it to a tailor to fix the shortcomings of alpha sizing — aka XS-XXL — but you shouldn't. Oversized, slouchy outfits are in, and the pants are form-fitting enough as to not toy with your silhouette too much. Plus, the jacket is intentionally more like a chore coat than it is a tuxedo jacket. Embrace that.
The Pants Run Long
Because you can't pick your preferred inseam, you're sent whatever corresponds with your waist size. I'm typically a 34 by 32, but these feel more like a 34 by 33 or 34 by 34. The pants are on the long side, and I have to hike them up for them to hit where I'd like them to. In most photos, Buck Mason styles them cuffed, which makes sense now.
Buck Mason Carry-On Suit