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Help me put together a suit from head to toe! <$1500

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, I have enoyed reading the forums but the more I read the more I realize I know literally nothing about how to dress nice. I'm attending a friends wedding in March and want to buy an upgrade to the crappy/cheap suit I have now.

I'm 5'10" 180lbs, 38-40 chest, Blondish hair with green eyes. I would like to work off that to build a stunning outfit that isn't boring but not over the top either. Below is generally what I want but need some help with brands and types so I know what to ask for when I go buy it.

Charcoal or grey suit, 2 button slim or athletic fit, nothing baggy
Green, purple or pink shirt and tie combo
Tailored shirt with French cuffs
Lower rise pants because I like to wear my pants below my belly button
Dark brown or burgundy cap-toe Oxford shoes

I went to Nordstroms and tried a few suits on, the hugo boss was decent and the canali was really nice but at $1600 a little too much. I'm looking to spend less than $1500 for the whole outfit. What brands should I be looking for in this price range and what are some suggestions on color combinations?
post #2 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbs1983 View Post

Hey guys, I have enoyed reading the forums but the more I read the more I realize I know literally nothing about how to dress nice. I'm attending a friends wedding in March and want to buy an upgrade to the crappy/cheap suit I have now.

I'm 5'10" 180lbs, 38-40 chest, Blondish hair with green eyes. I would like to work off that to build a stunning outfit that isn't boring but not over the top either. Below is generally what I want but need some help with brands and types so I know what to ask for when I go buy it.

Charcoal or grey suit, 2 button slim or athletic fit, nothing baggy
Green, purple or pink shirt and tie combo
Tailored shirt with French cuffs
Lower rise pants because I like to wear my pants below my belly button
Dark brown or burgundy cap-toe Oxford shoes

I went to Nordstroms and tried a few suits on, the hugo boss was decent and the canali was really nice but at $1600 a little too much. I'm looking to spend less than $1500 for the whole outfit. What brands should I be looking for in this price range and what are some suggestions on color combinations?

Visit some shops and find something that you like and can afford. No one can tell where there might be sales of which you can take advantage. You do not even say where you live.
post #3 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbs1983 View Post

Green, purple or pink shirt and tie combo

After several minutes of careful scrutiny, I have located the problem somewhere in this region.
post #4 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loathing View Post


After several minutes of careful scrutiny, I have located the problem somewhere in this region.

 

   beat me to it . . . . time to rethink

post #5 of 30
Here's another problem area:

"Lower rise pants because I like to wear my pants below my belly button"

Suit trousers are supposed to fit at the natural waist, not like hip-hugger jeans. Ask the bride/groom about the general wedding dress code before you go shopping to make sure you don't stick out like a sore thumb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loathing View Post

After several minutes of careful scrutiny, I have located the problem somewhere in this region.
post #6 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loathing View Post

After several minutes of careful scrutiny, I have located the problem somewhere in this region.
Ok. What colors would be a better match? Not a white shirt right? That seems so boring. Maybe something with stripes?
post #7 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR View Post

Visit some shops and find something that you like and can afford. No one can tell where there might be sales of which you can take advantage. You do not even say where you live.

I live in San Diego.

Also, the dress code is not super formal. They said just wear a suit and look nice. Hah!
post #8 of 30
Ideally, you should up your budget to the absolute maximum and buy things that you will be able to wear over the next decade. I.e., don't buy anything with a view to wearing it exclusively for this one wedding.

I don't know what the temperature is like in San Diego in March, but I'm going to assume it's not too hot yet. To that end, I would recommend buying a pale blue solid cotton Italian shirt with French Cuffs (try shopthefinest.com). Then I would buy a wedding tie (try drakes-london.com). Then I'd pick out an appropriate pocket square (take a look at mafoofan's guide: http://www.tweedinthecity.com/2013/02/01/pattern-matching-have-some-principles/). Try to pick colours that neither clash nor match (and read the guide I've linked). Cap-toe oxfords sound perfect to me.

As for the suit, I can't make a recommendation within your budget (you can search this forum for goodish brands for your buck). But go for a mid-grey that you can wear on other occasions. Also, mid-grey is easier to match with ties. You should buy it in a fabric that is seasonable and appropriate to the temperature you're going to wear it in.
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbs1983 View Post

Ok. What colors would be a better match? Not a white shirt right? That seems so boring. Maybe something with stripes?

There's nothing wrong with a white shirt. Most of my shirts are either blue, pink or lilac, solid or patterned, but a wedding when you're in a suit is one time where it doesn't hurt to be a little bit boring. A well fitting suit and tasteful tie (don't forget well shined nice shoes) can make boring look pretty darn good. I'd stick with solids for a wedding. You could also do very well with a light blue shirt. You can get a lot of great combinations that work well with blue. Either traditional wedding silks or something with a bit of color. If I'm wearing a light blue shirt to a wedding and am not going to wear a wedding tie, I have a lovely light pink diamond weave from SamHober that I wear often. YMMV.

- I'd budget $350 for shoes; that really only leaves you AllenEdmonds at full retail and maybe something nicer if you get lucky with a sale. Nothing wrong with Allen Edmonds, though.
- I'd budget $200 for the shirt and tie combination. I'm a big fan of Sam Hober ties and if you let David know your timeline, he can probably get something made quickly. If you need more than just one shirt long-term, might make sense to take advantage of Charles Tyrwhitt's 4 for $200 deal (go with extra slim fit if you do and check and see if you save anything by buying in GBP).
- That leaves $950 for the suit. Brooks Brothers Regent or Fitzgerald can be acquired for around that at full retail and less on sale. Others may have suggestions here too but my experience is limited to Brooks, Zegna and MyTailor MTM. If you had more time, you could do a Made-to-Measure suit with a travelling HK tailor, but you probably have to shop.
- I'm assuming you already own cufflinks.
post #10 of 30
You like Canali? Easy to find Canali in a wide range of staple colors for under $1,000:

http://www.yoox.com/us/men/shoponline/canali_d#/d=4493&c=73&dept=men&gender=U&page=1&season=E

If you want to be a bit different, without being over the top, go with a light grey suit. That leaves you $500 for shoes, tie, and shirt.

Drop $100 or so on a pale blue shirt with a spread or semi-spread collar. Staying with your desire to be a little different, get a navy knit or grenadine tie. Here's a nice polka dot knit for $65:

http://www.howardyount.com/collections/knit-ties/products/silk-knit-dot-tie-pointed-navy-and-gray-blue.

Or a navy grenadine for $75:


http://www.kentwang.com/grenadine-navy.html.

Tan or walnut shoes go nicely with light grey. Something a little more modern like this:
http://www.howardyount.com/collections/shoes/products/cognac-brown-calf-saddle-shoe

Or this:
http://www.howardyount.com/collections/shoes/products/cognac-brown-double-monk-strap.

If HY doesn't have your size, AE carries a lot of walnut colored shoes, which you can usually find for $200 or under from the Shoe Bank. Add a matching belt and a pocket square (HY has lots of nice options for under $35), and you're all set.
post #11 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loathing View Post

Ideally, you should up your budget to the absolute maximum and buy things that you will be able to wear over the next decade. I.e., don't buy anything with a view to wearing it exclusively for this one wedding.

I don't know what the temperature is like in San Diego in March, but I'm going to assume it's not too hot yet. To that end, I would recommend buying a pale blue solid cotton Italian shirt with French Cuffs (try shopthefinest.com). Then I would buy a wedding tie (try drakes-london.com). Then I'd pick out an appropriate pocket square (take a look at mafoofan's guide: http://www.tweedinthecity.com/2013/02/01/pattern-matching-have-some-principles/). Try to pick colours that neither clash nor match (and read the guide I've linked). Cap-toe oxfords sound perfect to me.

As for the suit, I can't make a recommendation within your budget (you can search this forum for goodish brands for your buck). But go for a mid-grey that you can wear on other occasions. Also, mid-grey is easier to match with ties. You should buy it in a fabric that is seasonable and appropriate to the temperature you're going to wear it in.

 

Good point Loathing. I do want this to be my nice suit and versatile enough so I can wear it to many occasions with a simple shirt and tie change. Thanks for the sites and the matching article. I looked up wedding tie and I really couldn't find a definite answer as to what makes it different than other ties. What's your take? 

 

Here are two suit colors I really like with a slight lean towards the first one. Which color would be more versatile?

 

 

 

post #12 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by archibaldleach View Post


There's nothing wrong with a white shirt. Most of my shirts are either blue, pink or lilac, solid or patterned, but a wedding when you're in a suit is one time where it doesn't hurt to be a little bit boring. A well fitting suit and tasteful tie (don't forget well shined nice shoes) can make boring look pretty darn good. I'd stick with solids for a wedding. You could also do very well with a light blue shirt. You can get a lot of great combinations that work well with blue. Either traditional wedding silks or something with a bit of color. If I'm wearing a light blue shirt to a wedding and am not going to wear a wedding tie, I have a lovely light pink diamond weave from SamHober that I wear often. YMMV.

- I'd budget $350 for shoes; that really only leaves you AllenEdmonds at full retail and maybe something nicer if you get lucky with a sale. Nothing wrong with Allen Edmonds, though.
- I'd budget $200 for the shirt and tie combination. I'm a big fan of Sam Hober ties and if you let David know your timeline, he can probably get something made quickly. If you need more than just one shirt long-term, might make sense to take advantage of Charles Tyrwhitt's 4 for $200 deal (go with extra slim fit if you do and check and see if you save anything by buying in GBP).
- That leaves $950 for the suit. Brooks Brothers Regent or Fitzgerald can be acquired for around that at full retail and less on sale. Others may have suggestions here too but my experience is limited to Brooks, Zegna and MyTailor MTM. If you had more time, you could do a Made-to-Measure suit with a travelling HK tailor, but you probably have to shop.
- I'm assuming you already own cufflinks.

Thanks arch for breaking it down. That's exactly the info I need when I go shopping this weekend. 

post #13 of 30
A wedding tie is really just a normal tie in silvery colours and often in a glenplaid, houndstooth, or check pattern. Comme ça:

You don't strictly need to wear one of these. On second thoughts, it may be better to just buy a normal tie that you can wear on other occasions. Just buy something subtle and attractive as per other people's recommendations.
post #14 of 30
Thread Starter 

I went to almost 10 stores today and didn't find much. Most brands from Hugo to Armani were at minimum $895 up to $2000. I went to Bloomingdales, Nieman Marcus, Nordstroms, Saks Fifth Avenue, Mens warehouse and all the standard department stores. I will head to Brooks Brothers tomorrow because this one looked nice. http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Regent-Fit-Alternating-Stripe-1818-Suit/MK00201,default,pd.html?dwvar_MK00201_Color=MDGY&contentpos=32&cgid=0372

 

Does anyone have other suggestions on stores in or near San Diego that offer a good selection of suits? Or perhaps a good place that offers MTM that would be done before March 23rd?

 

post #15 of 30
Getting a really good suit on a budget and in a rush is nearly impossible. I've read that the Brooks Brothers Milano suits are pretty much the best bang-for-your-buck as far as widely available RTW suits go. (However, I have no personal experience with BB suits.) You should take the suit to an alterations tailor after you've bought it and you're happy with it, and they can tuck in the waist, adjust the sleeves, &c., and it should look pretty good for $700 or whatever. If that doesn't work you for, then you should read more threads in this forum. People like us can't bring easy answers to you on a platter for so many obvious reasons.
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