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Buying my first suit

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I need to buy a suit for school to attend information sessions, do presentations, and for other activities. I only work 15 hours a week part-time while I pay for school so I really don't have much money for this but since it's required I have no choice. Do any of you have recommendations on what brands to look for that aren't expensive? I realize that buying some unexpensive stuff will not bring forth quality but is it still possible not to look too bad?

I guess I need one pair of pants, a shirt, shoes, a tie, and a jacket (or blazer? not sure what to call it). I know the fit is important so I'll probably take it to a tailor (how much should that run me?).

Is it possible to find some stuff at thrift stores? I live in Montreal so if anyone knows places I'd appreciate recommendations.

Thanks!
Edited by mlg321 - 9/10/11 at 6:17pm
post #2 of 34
Do they have Jos a Bank in Canada? If so, they make decent stuff for the price, especially with constant sales.

Whatever you buy, remember to have the pants hemmed (ask for no break or a very small one), and the sleeves shortened. They're deliberately made long so as to ensure they fit people with freakishly long arms, and are intended to be shortened to the proper length. About 1 cm of shirt cuff should show.

Make sure it fits- don't be conned into buying a suit in the wrong size. Salespeople will for some unknown reason push that on you. The size of your suit should be the size of your chest- if you have a 38" chest, you need a size 38. And make sure the jacket isn't too long if you're a shorter guy. If you're short, insist on trying on a short.

In terms of color, charcoal, mid gray, or navy for the first suit. Not black. Black suits have their place, but not as the first suit. Cheap black suits look cheap.

And you need to get all wool. It's simply better in every conceivable way than polyester.


Thrifting is absolutely a good option. You can get cheap, decent, good or even great stuff for rock bottom prices. Canali and Stafford (JC Penny house brand) will be the same price, so you need to learn how to tell quality. It takes a time investment, but at this stage in life, your time isn't worth much monetarily yet anyway.
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the reply,

do you have any suggestion about shoes? I think I'll end up buying a navy suit first so which color/model should I get to fit that?
post #4 of 34
Black dress shoes go with pretty much everything I think, though if you go for navy you could do a darker brown.
post #5 of 34
If you are doing a grey or navy suit then black or brown shoes will work. Black would probably be safer if you are doing presentations for school.
post #6 of 34
Are you not over egging this? Surely given your means and the low level of what you are doing a decent pair of trousers, a 'dress' shirt as USA apersons would describe it and a tie is enough?
post #7 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR View Post

Are you not over egging this? Surely given your means and the low level of what you are doing a decent pair of trousers, a 'dress' shirt as USA apersons would describe it and a tie is enough?

Clearly stated I need a complete suit. I'll try and figure if I can get away without a blazer though.

For the shoes, I'll probably get a black pair since I guess they fit with more colors, but what kind of shoes should they be? I know there's square toed shoes, and ones which are pointed (sorry I really don't know the terms)..which do I get?
post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlg321 View Post


Clearly stated I need a complete suit. I'll try and figure if I can get away without a blazer though.

For the shoes, I'll probably get a black pair since I guess they fit with more colors, but what kind of shoes should they be? I know there's square toed shoes, and ones which are pointed (sorry I really don't know the terms)..which do I get?

Whatever you do, do NOT get square toe shoes.
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlg321 View Post


Clearly stated I need a complete suit. I'll try and figure if I can get away without a blazer though.

For the shoes, I'll probably get a black pair since I guess they fit with more colors, but what kind of shoes should they be? I know there's square toed shoes, and ones which are pointed (sorry I really don't know the terms)..which do I get?

Not squared toed. Anything but squared toed. Unfortunately, decent dress shoes are pretty expensive. How much time do you have? I know they don't get too much love here on SF, but if you sign up for Gilt they have Antonio Maurizi shoes on sale for $200-250 pretty often. I'm not a shoe expert, but for that amount of money, I think they're pretty good value. Get an oxford cap toe.
post #10 of 34
You might try this thread from one of our forum members. I haven't got my shoes in the mail yet, but he has been easy to deal with and the prices are great.

http://www.styleforum.net/t/263225/ic-allen-edmonds-mega-thread-is-back-nib-park-ave-fifth-ave-strand-mcallister-macneil-shell-cordovan-all-models-colors-sizes
post #11 of 34
Cap toe oxfords are just so boring (though don't hesitate to buy the pair I have listed for sale), at least in black. The Black captoe line is really quite silly- that advice is given because it's the most formal shoe short of actual formalwear, but for any situation you're going to encounter (interviews and whatnot), any traditionally styled black shoe is going to suffice. You might as well get something a little more interesting, say a wingtip or even just a punchcap.

Black and conservatively styled. On a budget, Florshiem is a decent option. Nowhere near what most on here would consider a quality shoe, but you don't have the cash for those yet. Unless e-bay or thrift stores can yield it. Or the styleforum B&S.
post #12 of 34
Traditionally styled shoe will suffice I guess, but if you want to look "business-y" and you have no real personal interest/taste in footwear, you can just get the oxford cap toe and not have to think about it, and be sure that your footwear is never too informal. Nor will it ever be too formal when worn with a suit.
post #13 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys,

say I buy a navy blazer, what color pants should I buy with it? The same shade of navy? Should I choose a white dress shirt underneath?
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlg321 View Post

Thanks guys,

say I buy a navy blazer, what color pants should I buy with it? The same shade of navy? Should I choose a white dress shirt underneath?

To be clear - are you buying a suit, a blazer and pants, or all of the above?
post #15 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post


To be clear - are you buying a suit, a blazer and pants, or all of the above?

I assumed a suit meant the whole ordeal, the pants, blazers, dress shirt, and tie. I need ''professional business attire''.
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