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Pleats, cuffs, etc

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So I just bought a black suit... single breasted, three button (was on sale at Macy's), and I'm taking it in for tailoring on Tuesday... I am hoping to keep this as a "general purpose" suit as I do not own many suits, and so my question relates to what would be a better choice for the "long run". The trousers are single pleated (which I understand is a more conservative look?), and I am wondering whether or not I should have them cuffed.  I am about 6'1" and 160lbs or so... advice?
post #2 of 7
Matt - Single pleated pants can really go either way. You're tall enough so that the shortening effect of cuffs is irrelevant - the remaining choice is a matter of personal preference. Personally, I prefer no cuffs. In fact, I have a black three button with single pleat trousers and I have left them uncuffed. As you likely know, cuffs are considered a bit dressier than non-cuffs, but with so few men wearing suits at all these days, I've never felt under-dressed with this suit. Because the fabric is not very heavy, I had them add a heel guard - an extra piece of fabric sewn into the inside of the cuff - to add weight and drape. As a tangent, which may be moot as you've already bought the suit, I would be careful using a black suit as "all-purpose". In many places, black suits are considered acceptable for funerals or for people with more money than taste. (In fact, when my father sees me wearing one, he says "Hey there Hollywood", which I find exceptionally funny.) I like the look, and I'll wear black suit at night, but never to a business meeting and never to a wedding. Things may be different where you're from, but up here the "all purpose" suits are charcoal or navy...
post #3 of 7
Also, re: "all purpose" and "long run": Aren't three button suits considered to be more trendy than timeless? I see a lot of three button suits in the 50% off bins at retailers these days, which I took to mean that they are no longer so much in fashion. Which is it -- are three button suits and sportscoats "trendy" or "timeless"? LGF
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Which is it -- are three button suits and sportscoats "trendy" or "timeless"?
You're asking the wrong question. In general, both two and three button suits are staples, i.e. "classics". In the eighties, low stance two button suits (and jackets) were the norm, while three button models became the norm in the nineties, and remain so today, despite recent trends towards two button suits by many designers. The real test of "trendiness" vs. "classic" lies not so much in how many button there are, but on the cut, material, and particular details of the suit. A standard charcoal ventless three button with flap pockets, by a middle of the road maker like Canali, for example, is probably more "classic" (i.e. will not look dated in ten years) than either a ultra-modern Dior Homme suit or a windowpane suit by an archly traditional Saville Row suit with double vents and a ticket pocket (a anachronistic nicety that has recently been revived as part of the ironically trendy "classic" form of dressing.) Not to say that I personally would not prefer one of the latter two. Going back to your point, you are probably seeing the three buttons in bargain bins because the majority of suits in the stores at any one time are three-button.
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Also, re: "all purpose" and "long run": Aren't three button suits considered to be more trendy than timeless? I see a lot of three button suits in the 50% off bins at retailers these days, which I took to mean that they are no longer so much in fashion. Which is it -- are three button suits and sportscoats "trendy" or "timeless"? LGF
The tre bottone girata a due neapolitan look is timeless. Always will be.
post #6 of 7
What do you mean by "general purpose"? --- in office environments or professional (meaning practical) purposes? Supposedly, cuffed pants are expected for a suit. However, those were the times when the suit pants have really wide legs. With the changing times, our pants legs are getting quite tapered (ok, except Oxxford), and slim pants look ugly with turn-ups; thus our modern suits usually look better without. Suits for formal events like tailcoat tuxedos or dinner suits will always come without cuffed pants. I have no comments as the pleats and conservative dressing, as there are pleated pants and flat front pants all through the 20th century (some old Brioni even features flat front pants with j-pockets). I think the width of pants legs is more important. I wouldn't worry too much about pleats as long as the pants are comfortable. A timeless clothing piece is when it is made with good material that could last (from laundering), with fit as priority rather than looks, and that through the combination of those two elements it enhances the presentation of a confident and comfortable man but not bringing attention at the clothing itself. If you are looking for something for the "˜long run', have a basic knowledge of what you are looking at and for, and invest in one good ensemble. You don't need a lot, but you must have at least one.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Well, given the nature of my work environment at the moment, I don't really need suits for work, although I expect that will change within 2 - 3 years. Mostly I imagine then, at the moment my only need for suits are for social occasions that call for such attire, and other special occasions such as weddings, funerals, and the like.
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