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Black suit for groom? (armani yes/no?)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello, I am new to the forum and to suit-buying in general--I bought my first and only suit this past summer (a fine-looking but perhaps average quality Hugo Boss 3-button) and only wish I knew then what I have learned from you all after spending (too many.) hours on this forum today. To the point: I am getting married in May and am looking for an alternative to the traditional tuxedo.  Though I have never purchased anything on eBay, I was considering this black Armani suit (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...&category=3001) because it looked good, seemed like such a great deal, and because--well, to be honest--I was rather excited to be able to afford and potentially wear what I thought was such a quality brand. After reading through this forum, I am now rather hesitant to buy it, and am I right to suspect that it the $2450 MSRP is overinflated? In any case, I have three questions: 1) Could you (would you?) recommend a tux alternative (i.e. specific suit + maker) for under $1000 that would be appropriate for a groom?  (It is an evening wedding, formal but not necessarily stuffy...I just really don't like the way I look in any of the traditional tux styles and some of the contempo "tux suits" I see in my finacee's wedding mags look so much sharper). 2) Do you know of anywhere in the Chicago area where one might find deals on suits that match what one finds on-line (e.g. bluefly, modernny, yoox, etc.)?  More generally, where do you shop/who do you trust in the Chicago area for suits? 3) Are certain designers known to fit better with certain body types, or should any design with proper tailoring fit just as well?  (I ask because my body type is something less than ideal: 5'8, 220). Thanks for taking the time to read and consider, Brad
post #2 of 11
at 5'8" 220 lbs. i'd suggest something made-to-measure, if you can afford it. i think a corneliani mtm starts at about $1200. my personal thought is that a black suit with a solid white french cuffed shirt and a black tie can look just as good as a tuxedo, though slightly less formal. just make sure you wear a pocket square, perhaps a flower on your lapel, and make sure the jacket sleeves are altered to the correct length-to show off your cuffs. others here can be more specific about fit, but my thought is that the traditional american makers like hickey freeman and hart schaeffner marx will be a better fit than most things from europe, if you choose ready to wear. welcome to the style forum.
post #3 of 11
Quote:
2) Do you know of anywhere in the Chicago area where one might find deals on suits that match what one finds on-line (e.g. bluefly, modernny, yoox, etc.)?  More generally, where do you shop/who do you trust in the Chicago area for suits?
Brad, Check out the suit department at the Filene's Basement on Michigan Ave (across from the John Hancock center and right next to H&M) and on State St. (near nordstrom rack). They usually have a decent selection and good prices. I've seen some sharp black 3-button Zegna suits (what you may be looking for) sold there for $600, retail $1800. You may also want to take a peek at Off Fifth Avenue (the Sak's outlet) and Nordstrom Rack. Be careful w/ Nordstrom Rack though, it seems like a lot of their merchandise is of junk quality and never sold in their stores in the first place. Off Fifth is much better as far as selection too, if you have time take a trek up to Gurnee Mills and check out the Off Fifth there, they have a fairly nice selection at great prices (nice Bruno Magli shoes too for a bargain). Lastly, try hitting Sak's, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus on Michigan ave. They had some fairly decent sales (30-50% off) going on over the past few weeks, but their sale merchandise may be a little low. Its definately worth a shot.
post #4 of 11
Also, at Filene's Basement, they had some great deals on shirts a few weeks ago. On their clearance rack, they had some white Ermenegildo Zegna Tux shirts for $35+30% off, retail was $225. They also had some standard Zegna dress shirts for between $50 and $95. If you are willing to drop some money, they had a display of Brioni shirts for $200; over half off the retail price. They usually also have good prices on standard ties/bow ties and cufflinks.
post #5 of 11
I disagree with Versace Man somewhat. I've seen some pretty good quality suits at the Nordstrom Racks near the Northbrook and Oakbrook shopping centers. If you're going to check Mich. Ave. and other spec stores, now's the time to do it if you're getting married in May.   E-mauil me ff-list if you want a list of stores or locations. And MP's MTM is an excellent idea as well. BTW I heard a really funny comedy riff on an odd American custom recently... Whay is it men RENT tuxedos, when they'll have many more occasions to wear them? While women not only BUY the -bride's dress, but also expect their bridesmaids to BUY hideously colored and styled dresses and shoes they'll (hopefully) never wear again?
post #6 of 11
Quote:
I disagree with Versace Man somewhat. I've seen some pretty good quality suits at the Nordstrom Racks near the Northbrook and Oakbrook shopping centers.
I haven't been to those, but I could see why they would have better items. The Nordstrom Rack I've been to (on State St.) is constantly swarming with people and I would bet that the good items get picked over very quickly. Most of the suits I have seen there are the ones with cheesy 'fake' italian designer names. There are a few Hart, Schnaffer, and Marx suits, but nothing too spectacular for the price.
post #7 of 11
While it is not inconceivable that the Armani Collezioni suit sells *somewhere* for $2450, most places (Saks, for example) would probably sell a comparable suit for ~$1300, full retail. In any case, with your non-standard measurements, I would not buy something off Ebay, which may or may not be easy to return. You really don't want to be stuck with an expensive, useless, purchase. I would definitely go the Yoox or Bluefly, or cheaper yet, Overstock.com and Smartbargains.com, route. If you must go Ebay, go with a seller who is willing to take returns, and make sure that you spell this out clearly in your communications Of the European designers, Hugo Boss or maybe Strellson will probably be the best bet for you. Jil Sander, surprisingly to some, may fit as well. She designs with a super young physique (like a 12 year old boy) in mind. This results in a slightly boxier jacket and pants than, say, Helmut Lang. American designers are usually (much) more forgiving. Hickey Freeman makes tuxedos, and might be a good bet. Brooks Brothers (long may it rot in smug and complacent preppy hell) also does a good suit that may fit you well, and will be reasonably priced to boot. If I ever get married, I'd like it to be in a one button bespoke tuxedo with wide peak grosgrain lapels (think Fendi a couple of seasons ago) but a well tailored black suit will certainly do the trick in a casual wedding.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
If I ever get married, I'd like it to be in a one button bespoke tuxedo with wide peak grosgrain lapels
Nice..
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Guys, Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for the excellent and timely advice.  A quick follow-up: On a whim, my fiancee and I went downtown (Chicago) to look for wedding bands today and while there, I stopped by the various Mich. Ave. stores to check for winter bargains: I ended up buying a sharp, 3-button Corneliani tux at Saks that had been reduced to $400(.)   It's not the black suit I thought I'd be wearing for the big day--but better than anything I had imagined (and certainly better-looking and better-fitting than anything else I own...which, admittedly, isn't much [yet]) In any case, it was a purchase entirely informed by what I've been learning on this forum.  I couldn't be happier with it. Thanks again.
post #10 of 11
Brad, Wow, it certainly sounds like you got a great deal. I remember in GQ a while back they did a spread on different options to the traditional tuxedo. One of the options was wearing the tux without a tie or tux shirt - just a standard but high-quality dress shirt in white or eggshell. Hope that the tux provides you with many years of style. -Eric
post #11 of 11
sounds like you got a great deal. i'm a big fan of the corneliani silhouette. good luck and congratulations on the wedding.
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