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Some General Questions on Suit Buying for a Budding Style Aficionado

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone I've been lurking around here for quite a while and after having read numerous threads and a couple guides, I'm left with a couple questions. I'll be completely honest I don't have the same budget that many of the more senior members do (I'm still in college), and I'm a little intimidated by all the different suit styles, brands and small details that you guys know so much about. I live in NYC and my parents have given me a $300 budget to buy a suit to which I plan on contributing $200-$300 of my own savings. I have internships during the summers that require me to wear a suit every day so I want to look as presentable and professional as possible. I had a couple questions for you guys about certain things are still a bit unclear to me.

 

1. I can't afford a full canvas suit, would you guys have any recommendations for a good half-canvas suit or does my budget not permit it? Are fused suits fully out of the question?

 

2. I'm 5"9 and 145 lbs with a slim figure. I'm around a 38 in jackets and wear 31x30/32 pants. I've generally preferred tighter-fitting clothes and am looking for a slim-cut suit. However, I'm a swimmer and my upper body is much broader than my lower body. Will this make it difficult for me to find a suit that fits? My upper chest tends to get much bigger in season and then shrinks a bit during the summer when the workouts aren't as intensive. Do you have any recommendations on what I should do to get a suit that will generally fit me all year round? I don't want to have it bulging off my chest in winter and then have it be too big during summer. 

 

3. I read through the definitive guide on tailors but I'm still a bit confused about how it works exactly? Do I buy a suit OTR and then bring it to a tailor for them to take my measurements and make alterations accordingly? What's a good budget for a tailor? I know that fit is of the utmost importance, and a $1000 suit that fits badly will look worse than a $200 sit that was well-tailored. However, I'm not sure if I can spend say $400 on a suit and then another $200 to have it well-tailored. Do you guys have any advice on that front? I know that to look truly impeccable, one mustn't cut corners, I just don't have the means to really go all out.

 

Thank you very much in advance for taking the time to answer my questions. Reading through the threads on here has been invaluable in learning the basics of fashion and how to define my own style while still looking as good as possible. 

post #2 of 5
Tailors don't normally take a person's measurements when making alterations. And $200 to alter a suit usually means the suit came in fitting very badly and probably should have been returned or resold instead. Usually $100 is enough money to get a suit tailored well.

Your suit budget is $500? Then, no, a new suit that is fully canvassed is unlikely. Half-canvassed would be fine, and fused isn't automatically bad. The fluctuating size is a much bigger deal. The only realistic solutions would be to fluctuate less, buy suits in two different sizes (or perhaps suit separates in the same color, just swapping jackets), or get used to a suit that's slightly baggy during some months. Brooks Brothers and Suit Supply are some of the local options that are more likely to work.
post #3 of 5
Do you have TM Lewin near where you live?

I hope you have some decent shirts, ties and shoes to wear. Have fun in the summer job.
post #4 of 5
For that budget and since you're still in school I wouldn't splurge too much on a suit. I'd go check out Jos Banks and wait for the sales.
post #5 of 5
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