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Let's talk buying that first suit

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, I'm a newbie here. I was recommended to this board by someone from another one when I posted a similar thread and got a bunch of "buy a zoot suit" responses. Said member gave some good tips but suggested registering and posting a thread; look what you've won. So far I really like what I see here as far as atmosphere and knowledge...it's great. And hopefully I'll stick around and pick up more useless information Enough with that introductory BS--my dad is getting married on June 11 and I need a suit. I'm 20, in college, relatively poor personally, but my dad is bankrolling this suit buying expedition because it's his damn wedding. I'm about 5'9", 34" waist, and the last time I bought a jacket I woke a 42R pretty much off the peg with a little shortening in the sleeves. I'm told that I'm oddly shapped becuase I've got an 8" drop from shoulders to waist (and I should be a 32" but drinking beer is tough work), but whatever, it's what I'm working with. Budget is probably 200-400 dollars, though will mostly be dictated by the stores we go to. We're heading into either downtown Boston or Burlington (think Men's Wearhouse, for the locals) Sunday afternoon. My biggest fear in this endeavor is looking like an accountant. My dad's a short jewish lawyer and doesn't really know shit except for that he's got to wear a suit to work and it better not clash blacks and navys. Help. He's suggested Men's Wearhouse, Brooks Brothers, and apparently the Filenes at Downtown Crossing has some good stuff, too. Beyond where to go, what should I be looking for? I will never buy a double-breasted jacket, so that's out. I think I like a higher button stance (if that's the right terminology...) and 2 vents. Would uploading a picture be helpful for you guys? I'd like this suit to last at least 3-4 years style-wise, so it can't be too avant-garde or stylized to modern trends. I'll be using it for job interviews in a year or two, I'd bet. And even beyond the suit itself, suggestions for dress shirts and shoes would be super. Thanks in advance, I'm already liking these forums more and more .
post #2 of 46
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...My dad's a short jewish lawyer...
Um... Point is?
post #3 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
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(TehKrond @ April 14 2005,13:28) ...My dad's a short jewish lawyer...
Um... Point is?
Couldn't tell you, I'm a short jewish college student. It's just to give a more stereotypical description. I'll remove it if I'm offending anyone, gentile or otherwise.
post #4 of 46
I don't think the religion of your father is a big deal. If you can make it to NYC, you can get a great suit in that price range at the Paul Stuart sample sale. Otherwise, you can probably get a nice Hickey-Freeman at Filene's for $400-500. Regarding colors, medium to dark gray will be the most versatile as far as coordinating shirts and ties, and will also be the most "suitable" choice for interview attire. God, I sound a little like Grayson there.  
post #5 of 46
Given your description of your frame and suiting preferences, I think a Corneliani from Filene's Basement would fit the bill.  The Bostonians on this board (paging johnnynorman, LA Guy . . .) can fill you in on the details of suit buying in Boston.
post #6 of 46
$200-$400 is a very rough territory. There will be almost assuredly nothing good looking to be had for new, unless you can go to a discounter, but with that kind of drop, you're going to need tailoring (I should know I have an 8" drop as well). I would recommend checking out a place like Filene's basement if you live in Boston (I think they have one there) or a Marshall's, or even something like a Salvation Army in a city like Boston where assuredly well dressed shorter gentleman has died. As far as what to look for, as this is going to be a wedding AND business interviews suit, I would think about going for a dark navy, or a dark grey - dark navy being more appropriate for a wedding. You do not want to wear a black suit to a wedding. I would pick up a 2 button suit if I was 5'9" but other people may have differing opinions. You should look for something high gorge (Meaning that the front doesn't look like Don Johnson wore it on Miami Vice), and preferably with matching coloured horn buttons (Not brass, you aren't going yachting). If you buy pinstripes (This is afterall a summer wedding, we can be a little jaunty) make sure that the stripes line up on the sleeves and body, and definitely on the front and back of the body. What you look for in pants is up to you. I loathe pleated pants, mainly because I have a big waist and big thighs and it just makes me look even fatter. I prefer plain front pants but it's really up to you with a 2 button. I think that pleats look ridiculous with a 3 button suit, and doubt that you will find many matched suits with that kind of pairing anyway. As for how it should fit, you will probably see a bunch of catfights over this one between trads and brit fashionistas. Find something that your dad and yourself feel looks good (If he's a Jewish lawyer he will know how a suit coat should fit, even if he's short). I'm worse at telling you how to feel if something is constructed well. Many people here will tell you not to get a "cheap" fused suit, even though most suits that you see in the mall that cost well over $3000 are fused. If anything, don't get a full canvased jacket for a summer wedding and summer job interviews, get a half canvas if you are married to it (Canvasing is the layer inbetween the wool on the front of the jacket, and it's what gives the jacket it's shape). I would go for minimal waist supression, as I find it looks a little...limp wristed. It's really your call what you want to do. After you've made your purchase (And a million more things can be said and will be said about suit construction BTW), take the suit to your local tailor and have them alter it to fit your body style, he will most likely want to take in the front of the jacket to make it hug closer to your midsection, perhaps bring the sleeves up (You need to decide if you want cuff showing at all times or not. Some say yes is a rule, I disagree completely), hem the pants, etc. Good luck on your first suit. I got mine almost 12 years ago and it's one of the manliest things one can do.
post #7 of 46
Thread Starter 
^^GREAT post thanks. I'll probably go un-pleated becuase I think the make me look stumpier, which is the last thing I need with my weird build.
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Regarding colors, medium to dark gray will be the most versatile as far as coordinating shirts and ties, and will also be the most "suitable" choice for interview attire. God, I sound a little like Grayson there.
Oh, I just found out that my dad's wearing a navy suit for the wedding, so I shouldn't wear black. Grey works, however
post #8 of 46
I would only wear black to an evening wedding, and it would have to be a tuxedo.
post #9 of 46
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(If he's a Jewish lawyer he will know how a suit coat should fit, even if he's short).
Hey Policy, Cool it with the anti-semitic remarks.   EDIT: And the homophobic ones as well. "limp-wristed," etc. Not cool.
post #10 of 46
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I would go for minimal waist supression, as I find it looks a little...limp wristed. It's really your call what you want to do.
??? I say, if you've got it, flaunt it.
post #11 of 46
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Hey Policy, Cool it with the anti-semitic remarks.
an·ti-Sem·ite (nt-smt, nt-) n. One who discriminates against or who is hostile toward or prejudiced against Jews How is that anti-semitic?
post #12 of 46
Go to Brooks Brothers at the Mall at Chestnut Hill, which is off of Route 9 in Newton (a burb of Boston). There will be (or should be -- it was there last week) in a 42R a Golden Fleece suit for $498 (see if he'd be willing to extend you the Make a Wish discount, or a Friends and Family discount, which you just missed -- they are pretty nice there). It is a 2 button with a nice button stance -- not super "high" but on the modern side of classic IMO. It is single vent, but you should worry about other things than a vent for your first suit. It is a very dark navy herringbone, with fine pinstripes in rust and light blue. The pinstripes are hard to pick up, but the herringbone part is what makes it special. If you want to call to see if it's still there, go ahead. Ask them to check not only the island racks, but also the back left wall -- they had basically put eight or nine of these specific suits on a wall rack, as opposed to the island rack. All sorts of sizes in there, ranging from 40 to 48. The Brooks Brothers route here is a good way to go because you won't have to pay for the tailoring if you do it in shop. That knocks about 70 bucks off the cost of the suit right there.
post #13 of 46
By the way, Filene's Basement at Downtown crossing will have some Hickey Freeman in your size for $600 and perhaps a Corneliani (make sure not to buy a "Tessuto Zegna" suit, okay.). But nothing on extreme discount. I'd also check out the Newton Filene's Basement, which is about a mile up Route 9 from the Brooks Brothers I told you about. Don't even bother with the Newbury St. Brooks Brothers -- they have nothing in your price range worth mentioning right now.
post #14 of 46
Thread Starter 
Thanks johnnynorman. My dad probably was thinking of chestnut hill as "Boston" as oppsed to Newbury St, which is obviously at leat 10x what I'm looking to put into this endeavor. That Brooks Bros selection sounds like something to check out, for sure.
post #15 of 46
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Quote:
Hey Policy, Cool it with the anti-semitic remarks.
an·ti-Sem·ite (nt-smt, nt-) n. One who discriminates against or who is hostile toward or prejudiced against Jews How is that anti-semitic?
It was unnecessary to add the word "Jewish" to the word "lawyer," even if the original poster had identified his father as Jewish. You are engaging in gratuitious stereotyping which is not worthy of further discussion. As to your homophobic remarks, they are clearly indefensible and I see no need to comment more on those, either.
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