First, a little background:
I'm in my early 40s. I grew up in the suburbs in a middle to upper-middle class home. My father always wore BB without exception. My style leans towards the relaxed side of preppy, but I'm all about classic simplicity. I'm not into edgy, flashy and overstated. I'm a big believer in "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."
I only have three suits. One is a standard Brooks Brothers suit I've had for ages and need to throw out. It's huge on me and I hate to wear it unless it's for a funeral. The other two are from Banana Republic, and are decent quality starter suits.
I need a new suit for an event. It's a charity event at a place I volunteer, and the people at the fundraiser are generally in their late 50s and up. I want to dress to impress. Everyone of course, but one girl in particular. I want a suit that is simple, sharp, sophisticated, stylish, classic, and understated. I want a suit that will make an impression, but I want that impression to be, "Wow, you look great," and not "Wow, that suit looks good on you." In other words, it should be me she looks at and is impressed with, not the suit.
What I want:
A suit that will last, both in quality and in style. I want a versatile suit I can wear anywhere, to anything. Probably something solid or subtle pinstripes. I can't overstate that I want it to be understated.
What I don't want:
Trendy or flashy. I need soft, comfortable lines—not boxy, but not too tailored either.
1) I live in New York City and can go to any decent menswear store in the world, as long as I don't have to leave Manhattan.
2) Department stores confuse me. I never know where to start, and usually feel more comfortable going to a store with only their brand. Going to a store where I have to walk from one brand to the next with different salespeople in each section is maddening—no one will tell you the truth about the other brands.
3) I have about a month and need it to be tailored by then.
4) Budget isn't that much of an issue. Ideally, I'd like to spend about $1200, but my range is between $700 and $1700 (yeah, I know, that's a big range).
I kind of like the Paul Stuart one like this:
I think they sell Samuelsohn suits at inflated prices. Samuelsohn suits seem to get really good reviews here, and the nice thing is that I believe the store will include tailoring in the price.
What I'm asking for:
Advice on brands—the stores I'm most familiar with are Brooks, Paul Stuart, Ralph Lauren, Hickey Freeman, J. Press, and the like. But I'm open to going to Barney's, Saks, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdales, etc. I think I'm open to others like Armani or Zegni.
And is a two-button, single-vent, notched-lapel, natural-shoulder boring and stupid? It's kind of what I've always had before.
I apologize about throwing so much info scattered in this post, but I'm just nervous because I've never plopped down that much money on a suit. And because it is a major investment, I'm looking for the perfect suit. Is that too much to expect?
Thanks so much,