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New Member Introduction

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Gentlemen (and any ladies out there too):

Even though this isn't actually my first post, I thought I'd introduce myself.

I live blocks from the beach in Southern California, and work in Strategic Planning for a major corporation's US headquarters. Dress code at work changed in 1999 from suit & tie to what I would call "West Coast business casual:" basically, wear some sort of collared shirt and don't wear jeans and/or sandles, and pretty much everything else goes. That's not necessarilly a bad thing, but clearly some people have better taste than others (at all levels of casualness). Ties, let alone suits, aren't required except for certain meetings and events.

So with that, most of my wardrobe has leaned towards the (gasp!) casual brands at which some members of this board scoff: Kenneth Cole, Calvin Klein, RL Polo Jeans, DKNY, even Billabong, Quicksilver, and Hurley. Yes, I actually do wear all of those brands to work, sometimes even untucked (double gasp!).

That said, I've always appreciated dressing well when appropriate and/or the opportunity presented itself. My wife and I frequesnt the Los Angeles Philharmonic so I get my chances. I had built my collection of suits before the company went corporate casual, and I had what I thought was a pretty good collection of quality (albeit fused) suits for a 20-something at the time: some nice no-name Italian made suits plus a couple of Hugo Boss numbers. Once we went corp. casual at work, I held off on buying new suits & sport coats because I wouldn't have the need to wear them even though I had certainly considered it.

This last year, I finally began to update & upgrade my dressier wardrobe with some Ermenegildo Zegna choices: two sport coats (one black 3-button OTR, the other 2-button beige patch pocket MTM micronsphere), plus two MTM suits (one Navy 15 milmil 15 and the other charcoal w/ sky blue pinstripes micronsphere), both 2-button double vented with pleated trousers. I'd like to think they look stylish, elegent, and current while at the same time classic and timeless. . . . but some of you may think that to be a contradiction.

I much prefer to spend my time in flip-flops, shorts, and a t-shirt, but if I'm going to dress up then I do it right. I went to college at one of the US federal service academies, so I know how to shine my own shoes, iron my own clothes, and tuck in my shirt so that it doesn't look like I have a parachute behind me.

Someday I'd love to own a Brioni or a Kiton or maybe even an Oxxford (never really seen one of them, but the reputation is legendary so I'm curious). But until then I'm perfectly content with my plans to maybe buy a new Zegna su misura suit once a year or so just to keep the wardrobe fresher. This board has been a fun and informative place for me as I've added onto the top end of my wardrobe. Thanks for letting me lurk for the past year, andI look forward to sharing thoughts with you all going forward.
post #2 of 9
Welcome aboard and please feel free to contribute to the discussions rather than just lurk!

It sounds as though you've got a good understanding of clothing and style already.
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestOfPCH
Someday I'd love to own a Brioni or a Kiton or maybe even an Oxxford (never really seen one of them, but the reputation is legendary so I'm curious). But until then I'm perfectly content with my plans to maybe buy a new Zegna su misura suit once a year or so just to keep the wardrobe fresher. This board has been a fun and informative place for me as I've added onto the top end of my wardrobe. Thanks for letting me lurk for the past year, andI look forward to sharing thoughts with you all going forward.

Before you leap up to Brioni or Kiton, give Isaia's MTM a try. The options are similar to Zegna, costs a few hundred more, but the manufacture is finer, somewhat mimicking Kiton.
post #4 of 9
Welcome, WestOfPCH! I don't think your plans for Zegna Su Misura put you as far behind Brioni/Kiton/Oxxford as you may think. If you stick with their fabulous 15 milmil 15 wool and get the details and fit you want, you'll be wearing wonderful suits. What will be missing is the hand stitching, but not one person in 100,000 will notice!
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the thoughts.

My two Zegna suits are Roma models. If I get another Zegna suit MTM, I was planning on stepping up to the Couture models. How would you compare that to Isaia, both in fit and cost? I've only shopped Brioni sparingly, but it seemed that an OTR Brioni costs the same as a MTM Zegna Couture.

And where do you find Isaia or Oxxford in SoCal?
post #6 of 9
The Zegna Couture line must have some hand work, and the ones I've seen have been very, very nice. I don't think that the quality distance is very great between Zegna Couture and Brioni. In my opinion, Zegna Couture is slightly higher quality than Isaia. Zegna, Isaia, and Brioni do, however, have somewhat different silhouettes, and this might be a more relevant factor in your deciding between them. To my eye, the Zegna silhouette is less distinctive, perhaps less fitted looking, fairly middle-of-the road. On the other hand, Brioni exemplifies the "Roman" silhouette, with a slightly more aggressive, structured look to it. Neither is like the softer Neapolitan silhouette exemplified by Isaia, and even more distinctly by Kiton, Attolini, and Borrelli. If you can afford MTM, that is a great way to go with any of these. If Zegna Couture MTM is the same price as Brioni RTW where you are and you like the Zegna silhouette, I'd go that route, in that you'd undoubtedly get a better fit.

If you're interested in learning more about suit cut and silhouettes, look for Manton's pieces on this forum and the Ask Andy forum or, far better, get his recent book, The Suit (at something like $12.50 from Amazon), written under his nom de plum Nicholas Antongiavanni. Silhouette is discussed at length therein.
post #7 of 9
You can find Oxxford at Carroll&Co in LA. Maybe Neiman Marcus as well, but I am not sure.
post #8 of 9
I believe Gary's in Newport Beach carries Oxxford as well.
post #9 of 9
Welcome.
I'm sure after reading the forums for a while you'll have a clear idea of the style and construction method you want for your next suit.
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