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Salesmen that don't listen

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I don't like shoulder pads that are substantially wider that my actual shoulders. A small overhang is OK, but batwings over a big divot are something I don't want to wear. And I like to be able to lift my arms up to my sides without the shoulders popping up like Himalayas, which generally means high/small armholes. Also, I really like a jacket to fit properly in both the chest and the waist. Obviously, if it's close, it can be altered to fit properly, but the fit has to be right, not just the correct chest-size number.

 

I need a new suit or two, and a new blazer, and for the last two months I've been making the rounds of deparment stores (e.g. Macy's, Nordstroms), men's clothing chain stores (e.g. Brooks Bros), and independent local men's clothing stores as well. In almost all stores, the salesmen want to pick out jackets for me, and tell me how great they look. No matter how much I tell them specifically what I want, or point out other obvious fit problems like too-long jackets or collar problems, they insist that it looks great, and they ignore my comments. If I like a certain brand, they'll continue to push a different brand. So I end up thanking them for their time, and walking out without buying. In one independent store, I was finally able to convince the owner to try it my way, and ordered a suit, which needed some small tweaks. He went back to insisting that it was a perfect fit, and it did not need any alterations by the in-store tailor. Oh well, it goes to my regular alterations guy. Only one salesperson has truly listened to my needs (as well as clearly discussing where he disagreed, and why), but his prices are extremely high and his range of sizes is limited.

 

I value a good eye, and I want to hear a salesman's opinion. If we disagree, I value a discussion with someone who knows his business and his products. But I'm the customer; the final decision is mine. So what is up with the salesmen that keep saying that it looks and fits beautifully, despite obvious fit problems or failure to meet my standards? Do people actually end up buying what they're told to buy, rather than what they know they want?

post #2 of 18
There's a couple things going on here.

Some of the salespeople may simply be ignorant. This may be due to inexperience or simply not caring.

Some of the salespeople may know more than you. What you are asking for may not be possible or may look terrible. A salesperson who cares about his/her job and the product that is sold won't want you walking around looking like a billboard advertising how bad the clothes look.

I suggest you post pics of what you want and pics of what you got. Let SF decide what is in your best interests.
post #3 of 18
You need to find the brand that works for you, prior to beating up the sales staff. If they only have padded shoulders then they won't be able to offer you much help in finding something with shirt sleeve style shoulders.
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cause Moe View Post

. So what is up with the salesmen that keep saying that it looks and fits beautifully, despite obvious fit problems or failure to meet my standards? Do people actually end up buying what they're told to buy, rather than what they know they want?

You're surprised that salespeople will push what they have to sell? shog[1].gif
post #5 of 18
Ya. Whats the deal with salesmen who have the nerve to try and sell stuff. satisfied.gif

But really in the end you need to do your own home work. A sales person generally only knows the product they have and in turn only will help you with that product even if they know a lot about other brands.

Heres to put in perspective. When was the last time you were at a Ford dealer and they said. You know you should get a BMW. Its more what your looking for so go next door.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

I understand that they want to sell what they have. But when they tell me it fits perfectly, even when it fits like a circus tent and I show them how there's a six-inch gap between the jacket and my stomach, well, there's no excuse for that. Maybe some of you are used to being told what fit you like, but I have a pretty well refined opinion of what looks good on me. A sales pitch isn't likely to change that. I'd have lot more respect for a salesman who told me he had nothing that meets my needs. I might buy shirts and ties from him, or pants, which are simpler to fit correctly. But if he can't tell a suit jacket from a Ringling Brothers big-top, I'm walking.

post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cause Moe View Post

I understand that they want to sell what they have. But when they tell me it fits perfectly, even when it fits like a circus tent and I show them how there's a six-inch gap between the jacket and my stomach, well, there's no excuse for that. Maybe some of you are used to being told what fit you like, but I have a pretty well refined opinion of what looks good on me. A sales pitch isn't likely to change that. I'd have lot more respect for a salesman who told me he had nothing that meets my needs. I might buy shirts and ties from him, or pants, which are simpler to fit correctly. But if he can't tell a suit jacket from a Ringling Brothers big-top, I'm walking.

The problem with what your looking for is that your saying this without letting anyone take a look at your shape in your shoulders and chest. I work with customers like you on a daily basis and you need to understand that they will show you the best fit not exactly what you want because what you want is usually a horrible image off of QG or some I'll fitting suit.

I say post pics and then we can make a better judgement
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

Nonsense. The salesmen get a good look at my chest, and the rest of my physique, and many of them get out the tape and take measurements. I'm asking salesmen who are looking at me, standing in the same room, next to me while I'm wearing a jacket, to evaluate it accurately.

 

I'm not asking for SF members to judge the fit. Did I give that impresssion? I understand that many SF members need to have their choices validated by having other members judge them, and that's great sport around here, but I am very comfortable with and confident in my own standards. And I'm not basing anything on some horrible images from GQ. If I need horrible images, I can't find plenty here on SF :-) I'm basing it on a lifetime of wearing clothes and taking care to manage how they look. I usually wear a suit that fits me quite well when I'm shopping for a suit.

post #9 of 18
Well, thanks for posting!
post #10 of 18
You seem to have a good idea of what you want. If it doesn't fit how you like it to, say so. If they argue without logic, leave.

I wouldn't waste time thinking about why this happens.
post #11 of 18

I think few salesmen do their job correctly, but sometimes as said, they want to sell you what they sell less (or they will have lot of suits and jackets in the keeping room).

Also alterations are sometimes a problem for them summed up by three things:

1) they prefer to don't do alterations because if they don't have a tailor to do a proper job and you are not satisfied with the final fit, they will do alterations more and more again (time/tailor expense vs effective cost of the suit)

2) it is a waste of time. Most brand offer "alterations included", but they have to pay a tailor to do them

3) alterations on ready made suits is different from an hand-made one, so sometime could be a problem 

 

 

As said, you need to find the right fit or someone to do you a proper alteration job. Just keep checking other shops.

 

[Otherway you should keep your money and let a professional tailor to create an hand-measure suit (much more better) my 2 cents :) ]

post #12 of 18
Salespeople are just trying to make a sale and sometimes they do it horribly and you will get no argument from me that there is a lot of ignorance among some salespeople particularly at lower end shops. I once tried on a jacket too large and the SA told me to just wear a sweater under it. However, it almost sounds like you are going in and looking for an argument. If you know more than them, then why ask their advice? To prove them wrong?
post #13 of 18
Salesmen generally have one objective - to sell things (hence the name) and if they can convince a hapless customer to buy something all to the good. A few do care but sadly they are the exception as are those who know what they are talking about in the first place. many customers are also ignorant of what they want or have few opinions of their own which compounds the problem.

Many will think this cynical but experience suggests it is correct as does the OP's thread.
post #14 of 18
Communication goes a long way, it's not hard. Walk into just about any store and it should go something like this:

SA: May I be of assistance?

Buyer: I am looking for blue/grey suit in 52R with minimal/no shoulder padding, higher armholes, trimmer fit with a more pronounced waist suppression. Do you have anything like that?

The next part is where he is there to help you or just peddle something. He either conjures up what you want, something close or not even close. If you get the second in an unsatisfactory suit or the third, time to thank him for his time and bail. Simple as that.

I have squarish wide shoulders, so heavy padding doesn't work for me either, but I have not seen a heavily padded OTR suit in a couple of years in all the OTR brands I've tried on lately and if anything the cuts have gotten trimmer as well pretty much across the board. In the last couple of years, I've bought or tried on a lot of brands and none were the big shouldered tents you were describing. Brioni and Corneliani might have been the closest to "tent", btwy cut preference right now is Zegna Milano or Isaia.

If you still can't find what you want, go MTM or bespoke if you can afford it.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cant kill da Rooster View Post

Salespeople are just trying to make a sale and sometimes they do it horribly and you will get no argument from me that there is a lot of ignorance among some salespeople particularly at lower end shops. I once tried on a jacket too large and the SA told me to just wear a sweater under it. However, it almost sounds like you are going in and looking for an argument. If you know more than them, then why ask their advice? To prove them wrong?

  I just tell them to show me where my size is located.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR View Post

Salesmen generally have one objective - to sell things (hence the name) and if they can convince a hapless customer to buy something all to the good. A few do care but sadly they are the exception as are those who know what they are talking about in the first place. many customers are also ignorant of what they want or have few opinions of their own which compounds the problem.
Many will think this cynical but experience suggests it is correct as does the OP's thread.

  I'm finding this to be true most of the time.

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