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Worked my butt off. Now I want to treat myself to a few made to measure spring/summer...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I got a divorce, so I thought I would go about improving my life.

 

For the past 6 months I've worked my butt off and got into shape. Now I want to treat myself to a few jackets/blazers to wear in the spring and summer.

 

I've always been a chino and polo guy, but I want to improve the way I look (nicer pants, tailored shoes, fitted dress shirts, and jackets).

 

I'm not familiar with blazers and jackets, but I know I want to get at least one navy blue and one gray one. The place I live gets very humid in the summer (August gets so humid that you don't want to wear anything at all), so I'm hoping I can still wear the jackets/blazers during that time to help cover up my sweaty armpits.

 

Pre-2012 Tom Ford designs are the kinds of styles that I like (Daniel Craig did not look good in Tom Ford's newer trendy Skyfall outfits), but I don't know much about them besides that I like the way they look.

 

So, when I walk into the tailor, what specifics should I request (drop?, vents?, buttons?, how low the front should be?, ...) so that I can get nice looking gray and navy blue blazers/jackets that will look good in the spring and summer heat, and stay looking stylish for years to come?

 

Thank you in advance.

post #2 of 15
Welcome to SF!

I would recommend that you avoid MTM until you know more about what fits you. There is tons of really awesome stuff out there ready-to-wear, so don't feel like you are settling. It's just that you will be much more likely to get something that fits you well off the rack than going MTM for your first suit/jackets.

What is your budget?
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aravenel View Post

Welcome to SF!

I would recommend that you avoid MTM until you know more about what fits you. There is tons of really awesome stuff out there ready-to-wear, so don't feel like you are settling. It's just that you will be much more likely to get something that fits you well off the rack than going MTM for your first suit/jackets.

What is your budget?

 

Thank you aravenel.

 

I'm working in Taiwan for my business, and I'm much bigger than the typical Taiwanese male, so off the rack is not an option for me.

 

Tailors are fairly affordable here, so around $500 for each blazer/jacker is what I'm looking to spend.

post #4 of 15
Let me second Aravanel's advice. If you're unfamiliar as to how you would look in dressier clothes, you should try a variety of RTW venues, to see how you look in different styles of clothing.

Ultimately, you need to ask the three basic questions:

What do you want to look like? (figuring out your style - that will be an evolving thing, long term - it is with everyone)

Where would you wear what you're buying? (how to fit new clothes into your lifestyle)

Will it be worth the cost?

Best of luck, and congratulations on shaping up - a positive move after a divorce, certainly.
post #5 of 15

Are you talking about bespoke or mtm?

 

Either way, get some pictures of things that you like about suits and a few pictures of things that you don't like. That will help clarify your tastes to yourself and your tailor....sucks that you got divorced, but congrat's on getting into shape.

post #6 of 15
On this forum you'll also likely be advised against getting a grey blazer. Grey suit? Yes. Grey blazer? No.

It may *seem* like a versatile, staple item, but from having made the mistake, I'd advise against it. It's too difficult to pair with what will likely be the trousers in your wardrobe.
post #7 of 15
If you give us some information on measurements (e.g. height, jacket size, waist), we might be able to suggest some decent RTW options. Nothing wrong with MTM, but if you are going to go that route, I suggest reading a lot about it first and at least trying on some RTW options so you can see what you like and don't like. Also, if you go MTM, don't order everything at once. EDIT: Saw your reply on OTR difficulties after posting.

1. You mention tailored shoes. I'd note that made-to-measure or bespoke shoes are going to be rather pricey and you may not need them. Shoes are one area where a decent amount of people do just fine with ready to wear. Allen Edmonds is probably the minimum acceptable nice shoe around here. Alden has its devotees around here too and I personally like them, but I bought mine on sale for prices just above AE. Now you're looking at $335 for a typical Allen Edmonds laceup vs. $460 or so for Aldens. At that point, I'd rather pick up some Crockett and Jones shoes for just a bit more. All of these are going to be way less than the custom shoes options you'll see on this forum. You also should try nicer RTW shoes even if you want to go custom so that you'll know what you like. EDIT: Saw your comment on location after posting. Not sure on these brand's availability in Taiwan. Others may no better.

2. For odd jackets / blazers, a basic navy blazer is the classic staple. Mine is double breasted with silver buttons. It's not everyone's cup of tea but I like it. Side vents are better for most people and I'd go with two buttons and notch lapels. Drop / waist suppression depend on your build.

3. You've only asked about spring / summer? Are you not looking to wear any of these clothes in the winter or you just want something that looks nice in warm weather too? If you're getting three jackets, I'd go with a navy blazer in a heavier weight that you can wear anytime outside of summer, a slightly lighter than navy odd jacket in a lighter fabric (I love linen but be prepared for wrinkles, lighter wool frescos can work too), and a tan or cream linen odd jacket. I would not do metal buttons on a summer navy odd jacket. Perhaps smoked mother of pearl or something that contrasts a bit more. If you cared more about winter clothes, I'd sub one of the summer jackets for a tweed jacket of some kind, perhaps a subtle herringbone. If you're planning to shop for spring and summer now and then do another round of purchases for fall and winter, disregard the question but I still stand by the summer recommendations and might suggest a seersucker sport coat as well.

4. I have a grey herringbone jacket that I love (the key to grey jackets I think is some sort of texture or pattern so they don't look like orphaned suit coats), but I probably bought mine too soon. It's one of three non-summer jackets I own currently and I really could have used a brown herringbone, tweed or some sort of houndstooth first. In the summer, you'd probably be looking at a light grey linen if anything and I think tan and cream linen are far more versatile, and that's after you have a summerweight blue blazer.

Best of luck with your shopping.
Edited by archibaldleach - 2/5/13 at 11:14am
post #8 of 15
I don't know if I agree with all of these replies. As long as he went with a reputable provider, a classic cut, and a staple color, I see no downside to MTM.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by archetypal_yuppie View Post

I don't know if I agree with all of these replies. As long as he went with a reputable provider, a classic cut, and a staple color, I see no downside to MTM.

Also, as OP stated, in Taiwan RTW is not an option.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by archibaldleach View Post

If you give us some information on measurements (e.g. height, jacket size, waist), we might be able to suggest some decent RTW options. Nothing wrong with MTM, but if you are going to go that route, I suggest reading a lot about it first and at least trying on some RTW options so you can see what you like and don't like. Also, if you go MTM, don't order everything at once. EDIT: Saw your reply on OTR difficulties after posting.

1. You mention tailored shoes. I'd note that made-to-measure or bespoke shoes are going to be rather pricey and you may not need them. Shoes are one area where a decent amount of people do just fine with ready to wear. Allen Edmonds is probably the minimum acceptable nice shoe around here. Alden has its devotees around here too and I personally like them, but I bought mine on sale for prices just above AE. Now you're looking at $335 for a typical Allen Edmonds laceup vs. $460 or so for Aldens. At that point, I'd rather pick up some Crockett and Jones shoes for just a bit more. All of these are going to be way less than the custom shoes options you'll see on this forum. You also should try nicer RTW shoes even if you want to go custom so that you'll know what you like. EDIT: Saw your comment on location after posting. Not sure on these brand's availability in Taiwan. Others may no better.

2. For odd jackets / blazers, a basic navy blazer is the classic staple. Mine is double breasted with silver buttons. It's not everyone's cup of tea but I like it. Side vents are better for most people and I'd go with two buttons and notch lapels. Drop / waist suppression depend on your build.

3. You've only asked about spring / summer? Are you not looking to wear any of these clothes in the winter or you just want something that looks nice in warm weather too? If you're getting three jackets, I'd go with a navy blazer in a heavier weight that you can wear anytime outside of summer, a slightly lighter than navy odd jacket in a lighter fabric (I love linen but be prepared for wrinkles, lighter wool frescos can work too), and a tan or cream linen odd jacket. I would not do metal buttons on a summer navy odd jacket. Perhaps smoked mother of pearl or something that contrasts a bit more. If you cared more about winter clothes, I'd sub one of the summer jackets for a tweed jacket of some kind, perhaps a subtle herringbone. If you're planning to shop for spring and summer now and then do another round of purchases for fall and winter, disregard the question but I still stand by the summer recommendations and might suggest a seersucker sport coat as well.

4. I have a grey herringbone jacket that I love (the key to grey jackets I think is some sort of texture or pattern so they don't look like orphaned suit coats), but I probably bought mine too soon. It's one of three non-summer jackets I own currently and I really could have used a brown herringbone, tweed or some sort of houndstooth first. In the summer, you'd probably be looking at a light grey linen if anything and I think tan and cream linen are far more versatile, and that's after you have a summerweight blue blazer.

Best of luck with your shopping.

 

I'm just looking for spring/summer jackets/blazers.

 

Regarding shoes, I take a size 15, so I will not be finding any of my size at the stores. I asked about the time it would take for Alden or Carmina to make shoes for me. They would take a few months, and they are 30%-50% more than what you would pay if ordering from America. That's why I'm considering someone in Taiwan making shoes for me. I know, they probably won't last many years, but, as long as they last a year or two, then I'm fine with that.

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatswole View Post

I'm just looking for spring/summer jackets/blazers.

Regarding shoes, I take a size 15, so I will not be finding any of my size at the stores. I asked about the time it would take for Alden or Carmina to make shoes for me. They would take a few months, and they are 30%-50% more than what you would pay if ordering from America. That's why I'm considering someone in Taiwan making shoes for me. I know, they probably won't last many years, but, as long as they last a year or two, then I'm fine with that.

Got it. I'd imagine you can probably get a decent deal from a shoemaker in Taiwan given these considerations (forgot about the premiums charged to customers in Asia even by non-luxury brands). I'm afraid I can't offer much here, but I'm sure someone on the forum has knowledge of this and there may have been past threads on shoes in Taiwan.

Since you're only looking for spring and summer jackets, perhaps consider a navy blazer in a lightweight wool fresco (perhaps 9-10 ounce fabric). There are some great threads on specific cloth on this forum that discuss different fabric books in greater detail, so I won't get into this. The fresco blazer will wrinkle less than linen, which can be a positive. I think navy is an essential odd jacket color. Linen in cream, tan, and various blue shades can be nice too as previously mentioned. Heavier linen will be a bit warmer but should still keep you fairly cool except when it gets really hot and will look better as it rumples vs. lighter linen; lighter linen will keep you cooler on really hot days. Seersucker and other cottons are options as well. Linen and cotton are to keep you cool and should generally be unlined or quarter-lined at most; this means that patch pockets are ideal (patch pockets and non-matching buttons will also make them look like odd jackets vs. orphaned suit jackets). I'd get lining on the fresco blazer so that you can wear it in less warm springtime weather. I generally don't like getting cotton jackets MTM since the labor is way more expensive than the fabric, but if you're ordering in Taiwan, you probably are getting a decent deal on labor and can get a jacket for a reasonable price.
post #12 of 15
It's Taiwan, not the United States. Linen and fresco - probably unusual. Navy, okay, but probably not the old-fashioned brass button type. Dress like the locals (albeit he is much larger and maybe whiter than them). Tropical weight wool would be a safe choice. Based on the body type, two-button single-breasted likely should be the configuration.
post #13 of 15

Ask the tailors for examples of their work. It will be easier if you like the house cut/style as opposed to having them make something very different. But in addition, it probably wouldn't hurt to have some photos of what you would like your jackets/trousers to look like to show them.

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mensimageconsultant View Post

It's Taiwan, not the United States. Linen and fresco - probably unusual. Navy, okay, but probably not the old-fashioned brass button type. Dress like the locals (albeit he is much larger and maybe whiter than them). Tropical weight wool would be a safe choice. Based on the body type, two-button single-breasted likely should be the configuration.

Is this speculation or fact? Both linen and fresco are great summer fabrics, are extremely functional and are worn in a lot of different places around the world, so unless there's some sort of rule against them in Taiwan, I disagree with suggesting he avoid these choices. Heck, having jackets for different seasons probably makes one unique in the U.S.; most people own maybe a suit or navy blazer and wear it regardless of the weather. The main reason OP will stand out is because he is larger and whiter than the typical person in Taiwan. Tropical wool is probably not going to somehow make him fit in more.

Depending on how formally people dress in Taiwan (OP, please feel free to weigh in on this), wearing an odd jacket in the summer alone may make him stand out. I probably stand out a bit in Chicago because I wear nice trousers and an odd jacket on the weekend; I don't think anyone cares or notices whether the jacket is linen or wool. Most people probably don't even notice a difference.
post #15 of 15
That all could be true (at least as applies to dark colors), but there are two related concerns: would Taiwan tailors be skilled at working with fresco or linen, and would local cleaners know how to handle the items properly?
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Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Worked my butt off. Now I want to treat myself to a few made to measure spring/summer jackets/blazers. Recommendations would be appreciated.