Greetings good people. My worry is the same as many others, finding suits and tailored clothing that fit my build (183 cm @ 56 kg).
As everyone probably knows, 34 (44 EU) is one of the rarest sizes around, in particular on the second-hand market. Still, once in a blue moon the stars align and I get lucky, as in this case: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/120911139185ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649#ht_662wt_1139
The above suit should give an idea of my measurements. While it's a very reasonable fit, it's still slightly small in shoulders, slightly big in chest (yes, big in chest at 16 inches across) and very slightly big in waist (again, big at 28 inches).
Given this slimness, I am trying to aim for suits that add a little bulk visually (and not by being too big) and thus I look for plaid/checked patterns, heavier fabrics, double breasted items. The questions at hand is thus, what is the best method? (I have little time restraints, but rather severe financial ones; 200 euro or so including alterations is probably my limit).
Ebay/ thrift patiently and wait/hope for a perfect storm. This is an increasingly frustrating experience however, but undoubtedly you do hit gold once in a while. Still, even when looking at the UK, French and Italian E-bay sites, in addition to my local Swedish one, it's quite annoying to see so many quality items pass by simply because they are an inch or two too big in chest, or if they fit in chest, typically too short in the sleeves.
Ebay/thrift and accept to pay for heavier alterations. This would involve buying size 36UK/46EU sizes and then having my local tailor taking them down closer to 44, a process that in the worst case can cost upwards 80-90 euro. This gives a lot more options, including those stunning vintage Savile Row bespoke suits that Ebay.uk seems to overflow with. Drawbacks: I've never really seen how a 36 jacket taken in to 34 looks in reality (tried it with an overcoat once and was less then delighted), and the total cost of such a project is close to what cheaper internet MTM tailors ask.
Buy budget retail brands and pay for lighter alterations. This will typically mean Zara, H&M and the like. 34 chests are easier available, and the alterations needed should come out cheaper, but with the higher cost for the suit itself at new retail price, the total cost should be pretty much the same as the above option. On top of that, plaid, checked or double-breasted suits are extremely rare at the fast-fashion retailers.
4. Shop in Japan. My fieldwork will have me based in Tokyo starting this fall, and while I lack experience in shopping for clothes in Japan, slim guys are obviously much more common, and men at my height are, while somewhat rare, far from unseen. Shopping retail at a budget in Tokyo, I imagine it's not that different from Sweden, except that Uniqlo and Aoki is added to the list of Zara/H&M. However, being based in Japan means access to the Japanese second-hand market and Yahoo Auctions, where I hope small sizes might be more prevalent then in Europe (on the other hand, you probably wont find Savile Row-made items for around 100 euros either). Anyone have experience with the Japanese second-hand market?
Go for MTM. This obviously is the best option for getting just what I want in terms of fabric and fit. The big question is, what do you have to pay for a decent, internet-based MTM tailor? Is there any chance of getting decent quality (decent here means above Zara/H&M-quality) from a internet MTM for 200 euros? Feel free to point me to threads that discuss MTM tailors at this price point (I've been looking, but obviously not hard enough).
Thanks for reading, and for your kind advice.