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Suits in New York....where to go?

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 

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.

 

The quandary:

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.

 

Considerations:

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:

http://www.paulstuart.com/product_info.cfm?ProdID=7263&ProdCatId=1007&MainCatId=14&HEADERMENUID=1&SUBPRODCATID=2054

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,

John

post #2 of 49
I think you are heading to the right direction. Now is for on field research, go and actually try the suit you fancy.

good luck with the girl, hope all works out.
post #3 of 49
I think Paul Stuart is great. You should be able to find something there in your price range.

Some other things: get a solid navy or charcoal. Don't get pinstripes, even if subtle. Also, I suggest side vents over center vent.
post #4 of 49
Pet peeve of mine: this annoying recent trend of people saying 'suiting' when they mean 'suits'. Suiting is the fabric that suits are made from, these words are not interchangable...
post #5 of 49
Whats your body type like? maybe that can help us narrow it down. But of the ones you have listed I'm partial towards Zegna they have what i like to call a neutral type of fit where if you wanted too you could have a bit more shape etc, as opposed to lets say Ralph Lauren Black Label which unless you have a specific type of body its not really going to do you justice. Purple label is also nice but its a bit above your price range. Armani you are gonna be looking at Armani Collezoni for your price range last time i checked they were made by Zegna but this could be outdated info, not bad but nothing spectacular. Brooks Brothers and Paul Stuart you can't really go wrong with either but I'm assuming you are going for a notch above "can't really go wrong". Don't have any experience with Hickey so i can't help you there, but for your budget if you decide to browse the department stores i would stay away from Lord and Taylor, it will be a waste of time imo
post #6 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanguis Mortuum View Post

Pet peeve of mine: this annoying recent trend of people saying 'suiting' when they mean 'suits'. Suiting is the fabric that suits are made from, these words are not interchangable...

I think in the US "suiting" also refers to sections where suits are located.
post #7 of 49
To the initial poster:

Go to a store which has a good selection of suits so that you can try-on different models/cuts.

I would recommend, in no particular order:

1. Paul Stuart;

2. J. Press (if you lean toward traditional);

3. Barneys (But pick a style preference, such as traditional or "modern", and limit yourself to those floors. Otherwise you can spend a few days there.); and

4. Saks Fifth Avenue.

I am sorry to say that Brooks, once "suit central", has fewer offerings in RTW.
post #8 of 49
Ralph Lauren mansion for a basic Polo (ie not black label or purple label) suit is another option.
post #9 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanguis Mortuum View Post

Pet peeve of mine: this annoying recent trend of people saying 'suiting' when they mean 'suits'. Suiting is the fabric that suits are made from, these words are not interchangable...

+1 ( i thought this was a thread on fabric).
post #10 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff13007 View Post

I think in the US "suiting" also refers to sections where suits are located.


confused.gif
post #11 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Seitelman View Post

To the initial poster:

Go to a store which has a good selection of suits so that you can try-on different models/cuts.

I would recommend, in no particular order:

1. Paul Stuart;

2. J. Press (if you lean toward traditional);

3. Barneys (But pick a style preference, such as traditional or "modern", and limit yourself to those floors. Otherwise you can spend a few days there.); and

4. Saks Fifth Avenue.

I am sorry to say that Brooks, once "suit central", has fewer offerings in RTW.

I don't think anyone looks good in a sack suit wink.gif

And if you are dressing to impress a girl, you may want to assess her style since she may prefer something flashy rather than an understated MC approved look. Frankly I would go with Paul Stuart, and if you are leaner and want something flashy, just go with a Phineas Cole one since they tend to be dandyish.
post #12 of 49

"40-Year-Old Virgin" anyone?...sounds like it to me.

post #13 of 49
Put it that way, I respect the courage to start the venture at such late stage of life.

40 years old virgin is a pretty awesome movie.
post #14 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanguis Mortuum View Post

Pet peeve of mine: this annoying recent trend of people saying 'suiting' when they mean 'suits'. Suiting is the fabric that suits are made from, these words are not interchangable...

 

Thank you. I will not make that mistake again. That is my vow to you.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff13007 View Post

Whats your body type like? maybe that can help us narrow it down. But of the ones you have listed I'm partial towards Zegna they have what i like to call a neutral type of fit.

 

Neutral body type sounds good. I've always been thin to average, but have packed on a few pounds as of late. But being in NYC, now that it's Spring, I'll be walking a lot more.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyMac View Post

"40-Year-Old Virgin" anyone?...sounds like it to me.

 

Well, let's say this: I've just gotten out of a four-year relationship that was going nowhere, I find myself older and still not married. This girl is fresh as a summer breeze and has her head on straight. She's the kind you marry and thank God every day. 

 

 

So, back to the topic:

Thank you all for your help. I've gotten some good pointers from this thread, so I've kind of put together a strategy. The plan of attack is this—I have this coming Monday and Tuesday off. I'll pick up a bunch of style magazines to peruse this weekend to see what's current. Since I've been leaning towards Paul Stuart, I'll start there and then move on to Barneys and Saks to get thrown in head first to the huge. I'll check out Zegna too, wind my way up to the mansion to see what Polo offers. Then go to BB, J. Press and back to Paul Stuart again (since they're within a block or two). I'll retry the one I'm leaning towards and see how it compares to what I've tried on over the course of those two days. Then I'll make the decision and take the plunge.

 

Of course, then comes the next dilemma.......shoes.

Brown. Something with attitude. I think Alden or Allen Edmonds are pretty good bets, right? Once I'm set with the suit, I think just choosing the right shoes for the occasion is something I'd be comfortable doing. I'd rather add the flair with the shoes than the suit.


Edited by John B - 4/19/13 at 9:35pm
post #15 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by akatsuki View Post

I don't think anyone looks good in a sack suit wink.gif

And if you are dressing to impress a girl, you may want to assess her style since she may prefer something flashy rather than an understated MC approved look. Frankly I would go with Paul Stuart, and if you are leaner and want something flashy, just go with a Phineas Cole one since they tend to be dandyish.


That line of Paul Stuart might be a bit out of his price range
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