I'm the typical SW&D, noob guy in the sense that I found SF, ignored most of the MC advice, and loaded up on Prada, Dior suits (because they were the "best" of the fashion brands), etc.
Two years later and I just received one of my Dior suits back from the tailor and while it has that look, it's not perfect for me. The arms don't lay just right (ironically, they did prior to being tailored shorter), the length is probably still .5 inches too long (believe it or not), and the silhouette is so dropped it's like a mix between RLBL and well a woman's suit. On top of that, the pants are not perfect.
I gave MTM or Custom (in the Napoli sense of the word) a look recently but was a little scared off by:
- While I don't mind dropping $2.5K on a fashion suit, $6K+ is still an eye opener for me. I can afford it, it's just a "change"
- Worries that the tailors would not "get" it, and I'd come back with a giant, boxy suit with a 12" pants rise and 9" leg opening
- Confusion about what would be best for my body type, e.g., I'm soft shouldered (euphemism for no shoulders), so figured I should do something with more structure, but if I went that route it looked too severe, and if I went the direction which I thought was cooler, Napoli (loved the Madison ave store), I was worried that the lack of canvassing or shoulder pads would be bad for my small frame
So, how long before you made the leap, and did you ever regret?
(As a microcosm, got my first pair of Lobbs after flirting with many other type
s of shoes and can't look back now.)
We all seem to go thru stages where we experiment and make a lot of mistakes. I know that I look back on many of my earlier items and fits and think 'what possessed me to buy that garish orange/spotty/shiny tie? why did I put striped formal pants with an odd tweed jacket? etc'
If I had my time over I'd start by acquiring a full set of basics- cf the 'what a well-dressed man must have in his wardrobe' thread started by Manton a week or two ago.
Lots of plains and solids in the best materials I could afford, and focus on fit and texture rather than color. Understated and elegant rather than trying to find 'signature' items that in the end just don't really go with anything . Now I'd go for items that on their own may seem boring but are versatile basic elements in a variety of fits. MTM or bespoke, whenever possible, for better fit, and on the theory that a few very good items are better than dozens of average ones.
I'd avoid excess of any kind. No really wide or narrow lapels or exceptionally fitted waists in jackets. No extreme spread collars on shirts, and stick to basic blue, cream, white (and maybe a pink) shirts in herringbone or end-on-end or oxford cloth. A navy and a gray summer suit, and a navy and a gray winter suit and a fawn linen. A couple of plain tweed jackets in blue and gray herringbone. Hand-made black oxfords, a Norweger, a scotch-grain derby, a burgundy wingtip in red-brown, something in suede and a PTB. Quality blue and gray vertical stripe and plain socks. Ties in linen or cashmere,in navy and black and for color a couple of silk challis and macclefields and PSs for flair.