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Duchess Clothier of Portland

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello, I am new here, but have been lurking obsessively for the past couple weeks as I have finally accepted the fact that I am going to need to change my wardrobe and start dressing more presentably. It's the same old story, I am graduating college in a year and a half, but want to start looking for internships and networking. I am in search of my first suit. I don't want to deviate too far from what is considered "conservative," however I do prefer a slimmer fit to my clothing and I am quite picky... These forums have lead me to purchase 2 pairs of Allen Edmonds, a pair of Strands in dark brown, and a pair of Fifth Aves in Walnut... I am 5'6.5'' , have a 37"-38" chest and weigh in at approximately 150 lbs give or take. My waist is 28-29 depending on the pants... I consider myself to have an athletic build. I recently visited Brooks Brothers, but quite frankly was underwhelmed... I tried on an 1818 Madison 38R as it was the only thing even close to my size. I am having a hard time gauging what "fits" my shoulders despite browsing through the WAYWT thread and fit critique threads. The 38R seemed like the shoulders were too big on me and when accompanied with the matching pants which seemed excessively baggy I looked very short and stocky. My price range sits at around 700 with alterations. I have been deeply considering TaT but mixed opinions have left me a bit gun shy. Also the part about potentially sending in incorrect measurements... eHaberdasher seems like a decent choice as well, my plan would be to order a suit, try it on, post some fit pictures, and if it fits well enough I can get it tailored to fit me to the best of my likings. If not, they seem to have a great return policy. H&M has crossed my mind as well. As I understand it, these suits are NOT conservative whatsoever, but are pretty inexpensive, decent quality for the price, and I can expect them to last for a couple years. Wow, I digress... Upon doing more research I stumbled upon a place called Duchess, located in Portland Oregon. Now this is incredibly convenient for me as I live in Vancouver, WA. They basically do MTM work, but I would feel much more comfortable actually getting measurements and input directly face to face with them. I am wondering if anyone here has had any experience or heard of them. They make some pretty interesting stuff... but their 8 1/2 looks alright... Thanks for your help and input http://www.duchessclothier.com/
post #2 of 5
I live in PDX and, if you are trying to figure out your exact size, would recommend just going to either Nordstrom's or Mario's downtown and having them fit you so you can get your size dialed in and them take it from there. I wouldn't buy at either as they are way, way overpriced for quality offered, but that's your call.

Based on your measurements, you are probably looking at enlisting a tailor to do some major surgery on the pants as you have a 10" drop. This is very common for an athletic build and there is no way around it - focus on the shoulders first and everything else can be altered. I think you may find that Italian suits with a drop 8 or so will be your best friends if going OTR.

FYI:Abraham Lee on NE MLK is probably the best tailor in town... expensive and you will wait, but he is the real deal. You can also go to Larry over at Well Suited on NE B'way...Larry's fast, good, and reasonable in terms of fees - I use him for alterations all the time.

FWIW, Brooks in Portland has a very skimpy collection and the help (beyond the manager) is fairly new and not all that experienced. I grew up with BB in NYC and these days all I would buy there are the Peals or maybe an OCBD - the clothing quality has really dropped off and the cuts tend to be for a more, ahem, "traditional" american figure than what you have.

In terms of shopping, I would recommend that you swing by Collier over in Pioneer Place. I think they may offer the best bang-for-the-buck in town. The guy who owns it has some deep connections in Italy and really knows his stuff - they have a private label line of suits that are fully canvassed with some nice detailing and will probably fall in your price range.

I am aware of Duchess, but have never seen their stuff. From the site, the suits look a bit gimmicky to me in terms of cut and detail...sort of like updated vintage rather than straight up business wear.

I hope this helps and best of luck in the hunt...
post #3 of 5
I have been buying suits from Duchess Clothier for 3 years, and am always amazed at the creativity, the fit and the collaborative nature of the consultations with the ladies there.

I would challenge anyone to actually go to the store or visit the website and point to anything gimmick-y.

is this a place where you can buy a suit for work--yes. if that is all you want.

is it also a place that you can reach beyond the sad, pale offerings currently in stores and boutiques? why yes, yes it is.


So, check it out.
post #4 of 5
I would recommend going to Collier in Portland instead. I did not have a positive experience at Duchess and to be honest, my suit that I purchased from Collier was also about half the price. Brent (the owner) provided a excellent experience. He sources suit fabrics from very high end factories and is really easy to deal with. PM me if you want more details on my Duchess experience as I do not feel like posting in an open forum.
post #5 of 5
I second the recommendation for Collier. Just bought a sport coat and an outerwear piece from Brent there - cool stuff. Brent is a great guy, low key and was really good with the fit issues I have. I spend a couple of months in the Portland area each year - need to get to your shop, Blake... Heard good things about you. EZ
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