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Durable versatile suit fabric for all year wear

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi!
I'm new to this forum and this site has great stuff! I wanted to get people's opinion on suits.
I am looking into getting a Bespoke/custom suit in the near future, and I am currently researching on style fabric etc.
I never really had a suit except an oversized blazer, and an off the rack graduation suit which I only wore 3 times since highschool grad. I don't fit in it anymore but it wasn't that stylish to begin with.

 

Now I'm currently looking into a bespoke suit, something that will last me years. My budget will be around 1500-2000$. Now that I'm more fashionable since my grad all those years ago, I really want a well tailored suit. I want a suit that represents me, a jack of all trades bloke, an everyday suit something that is versatile, durable, unique and last me years. Does that seem like a tall order?

So far I've narrowed the colours between navy and grey.
I've been looking at tweed, I really enjoy the texture and weeve, it also feels warm, I know it can't be worn in the summer since it is a heavy material.

I would like people's opinion on:
1)a durable fabric- that is light-medium weight and can possibly be worn all year round
are there any lightweight tweeds out there? or a tweed blend? Something that isn't too heavy but durable and has a pattern?
2) a suit style that will always stays fashionable?
3)Other fabrics that are durable, not too formal?

4) If anyone had a suit made, what was your experience? Recommend any good tailors that are in Toronto Canada, Poland or elsewhere for a reasonable price?

Thank you!

 

post #2 of 12
Tweed is not even close to a year round fabric, and it is not appropriate as a suit in most settings a suit is demanded. Tweed suits are really only good for those who have at least 10 suits or so already, they're the kind of thing you bring out on rare occasions. For that matter, for that budget you're probably best served by 3 or 4 different nicer quality off the rack suits. Navy and blue, in varying weights. A lighter worsted or even fresco for warm weather, heavier twill for cold weather. There's no such thing as a year round fabric. Those that pretend are lying to you. They will be too warm in summer, and too cold in winter. And for that matter, suits need time to air out after wearing, so you should never wear one two days in a row. Goes for any clothing, really.

This is a bad idea. Buy a few suits of varying color and weight, and buy a few sportcoats. Tweed for winter, linen for summer, some other stuff for in between.
post #3 of 12
If you had read so many threads to form this opinion " I'm new to this forum and this site has great stuff! I" Then you would realise that tweed is not remotely a year round cloth and which colours and clothes would meet your perceived needs. You would also have a fair idea about styles etc.
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweedster View Post

I am looking into getting a Bespoke/custom suit in the near future [...] I never really had a suit except an oversized blazer, and an off the rack graduation suit which I only wore 3 times since highschool grad.
If you have virtually no experience with wearing suits, I'm not sure you'd be best served by getting a bespoke suit.

A big part of the reason for going bespoke is to get exactly what one wants in a couple of dozen areas of fit, material, design, detail, etc.

Someone who is very familiar with wearing suits, a wide variety of suits, and who has worn suits most days for years and years, has likely developed very specific preferences. Or at the least, is aware of all manner of seemingly minor points which affect the comfort, fit, look, etc., of his suit. For example, I wear suits an average of 5-6 times per week (every day for work, along with some social events). This has been the case for many years. Trust me, I've come to understand what I like about a suit, what I dislike about a suit, and what doesn't much matter to me about a suit.

But if you've never really worn suits, how can you have developed these specific likes and dislikes? How can you even be aware of most of them? From reading SF posts? Look, I'm not knocking SF, but you can't become an accomplished guitarist solely from reading about playing the guitar. You're not qualified to equip a kitchen from scratch, if you've never cooked anything before. And you're not going to really "get" what suit is best for you, simply from reading SF posts.

Admittedly, if your body shape is quite unusual, you might be justified in going bespoke for that reason. But if you're like the vast majority of people, an OTR suit can be found which - after some modest alterations - will "suit" your body size/shape reasonably well.

Buy one. Heck, buy a few such suits. Wear them. (It's very easy to find lots of occasions to wear a suit.) Discover, over time, what your preferences are. Then, combined with continuing to read and look and think, you'll eventually be able to figure out exactly what sort of bespoke suit will best suit you. (And even then, it may take a few tries - maybe even by more than one tailor - to really zero in on your perfect suit.)

Right now, you're a man who is talking about going to Detroit and commissioning a custom automobile, when you've never actually driven a car.

Well, just one perspective on it.
post #5 of 12
^ That's some solid advice.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cptjeff View Post

Tweed is not even close to a year round fabric, and it is not appropriate as a suit in most settings a suit is demanded. Tweed suits are really only good for those who have at least 10 suits or so already, they're the kind of thing you bring out on rare occasions. For that matter, for that budget you're probably best served by 3 or 4 different nicer quality off the rack suits. Navy and blue, in varying weights. A lighter worsted or even fresco for warm weather, heavier twill for cold weather. There's no such thing as a year round fabric. Those that pretend are lying to you. They will be too warm in summer, and too cold in winter. And for that matter, suits need time to air out after wearing, so you should never wear one two days in a row. Goes for any clothing, really.

This is a bad idea. Buy a few suits of varying color and weight, and buy a few sportcoats. Tweed for winter, linen for summer, some other stuff for in between.

Thanks! The reason I'm leaning towards a custom suit is because, I have an unusual build and the last suit I had was off the rack which never properly fit despite going to a tailor.
What I meant by everyday was, something that doesn't look too formal and I can wear it to Uni few times a month. 
Are there any fabrics that do not wrinkle quite easily?, I know linen does.
Would that be cotton or wool? I could wear layers while in the colder months.
 

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

I only read a few threads, I know tweed is a heavy but I was under the impression it is or was medium weight fabrics out there. This is the reason I posted was to get more information and opinions. I may not have that great of an idea on style, but I wear what I like, may not go with any trends.

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR View Post

If you had read so many threads to form this opinion " I'm new to this forum and this site has great stuff! I" Then you would realise that tweed is not remotely a year round cloth and which colours and clothes would meet your perceived needs. You would also have a fair idea about styles etc.

I only read a few threads, I know tweed is a heavy but I was under the impression there or was some medium weight fabrics out there. This is the reason I posted was to get more information and opinions. I may not have that great of an idea on style, but I wear what I like, may not go with any trends.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12345Michael54321 View Post


If you have virtually no experience with wearing suits, I'm not sure you'd be best served by getting a bespoke suit.

A big part of the reason for going bespoke is to get exactly what one wants in a couple of dozen areas of fit, material, design, detail, etc.

Someone who is very familiar with wearing suits, a wide variety of suits, and who has worn suits most days for years and years, has likely developed very specific preferences. Or at the least, is aware of all manner of seemingly minor points which affect the comfort, fit, look, etc., of his suit. For example, I wear suits an average of 5-6 times per week (every day for work, along with some social events). This has been the case for many years. Trust me, I've come to understand what I like about a suit, what I dislike about a suit, and what doesn't much matter to me about a suit.

But if you've never really worn suits, how can you have developed these specific likes and dislikes? How can you even be aware of most of them? From reading SF posts? Look, I'm not knocking SF, but you can't become an accomplished guitarist solely from reading about playing the guitar. You're not qualified to equip a kitchen from scratch, if you've never cooked anything before. And you're not going to really "get" what suit is best for you, simply from reading SF posts.

Admittedly, if your body shape is quite unusual, you might be justified in going bespoke for that reason. But if you're like the vast majority of people, an OTR suit can be found which - after some modest alterations - will "suit" your body size/shape reasonably well.

Buy one. Heck, buy a few such suits. Wear them. (It's very easy to find lots of occasions to wear a suit.) Discover, over time, what your preferences are. Then, combined with continuing to read and look and think, you'll eventually be able to figure out exactly what sort of bespoke suit will best suit you. (And even then, it may take a few tries - maybe even by more than one tailor - to really zero in on your perfect suit.)

Right now, you're a man who is talking about going to Detroit and commissioning a custom automobile, when you've never actually driven a car.

Well, just one perspective on it.


Thanks!
That does make plenty of sense, which is why I am just looking into it for now.

Yes 1 of the reasons I am interested in a bespoke suit was so that I could pick out the fabric, colour, pattern and fit to my body.
Yes I have somewhat of an unusual build, I'm usually between a size small and medium when it comes to clothing so it is tricky to get a good fit, also thick calves slender/short torso doesn't help either. So when I was at my local stores trying out Off the rack suits, slimfit suits are usually out of the question, either a size too big or too small in most instances when going to places like Harry Rosens. Regular sizes have about the same effect.

The suit I have now, was off the rack and tailored but never properly fit. I tend to wear my blazer and dress pants to any occasions. The perfectionist in me gets really irritated if something does fit properly.

 

It is possible I just did not have a good tailor at the time.

Again thank you.

post #10 of 12

Hello.

 

I can give you some of the basic advice and my personal experience since I'm more or less in your situation (new to suits, limited budget, etc).

 

First off, really decide if bespoke is what you wanna do first. It might be better to have a few RTW suits altered or order a few MTM suits rather than have only one suit. If it's your only suit, expensive, and bespoke, you will be very paranoid wearing it for a while. I was and while it gave my girlfriend some headaches, I also don't really regret it. I can't find anything RTW that I like here anyway. Plus it's pretty affordable compared to western countries with decent quality (since I'm more concerned with fit).

 

A solid Navy or Charcoal gray is usually the first color recommended. This is because they can be used for almost all normal occasions. Weddings, meetings, funerals, dates, etc. Solid colors are the best option for your first few suits. Navy tends to make people look a little younger. 

 

A worsted wool will probably be the ideal choice for a first suit. Perhaps I'm wrong, but you will look less out of place with a worsted wool summer weight fabric in winter under an overcoat, than a tweed anything in summer. You need to be the judge of that based on what kind of winter wear you have, how you handle the heat/cold, and what your weather is like. I've gotten by very well with a layer of smartwool under my clothes in the winter as long a I'm walking around (-10C) rather than using a scooter. For being outside in really cold weather you obviously wouldn't just wear a suit anyway.  As long as the places you'll be have any kind of heating (where I live we don't really have heating in winter) something lighter weight may not be so crazy.

 

Visit some tailors and find a house style you like. There's always an element of risk when you ask a tailor to do something he's not used to doing, which is why people will recommend finding a house style you like and then making subtle changes from there. As for kinds of suits/styles I have no knowledge. So wait for someone else or google it a bit. However, keep in mind how much shape you want in the waist, the lapel width, trouser break, and how much structure you want in the shoulder. My bespoke suit has small/narrow lapels and I wish I had asked for them to be wider. This is where others have mentioned, bespoke is usually better for people who already have a clear idea of what they want exactly. Also consider where you want your trousers to sit. I find a suit with low rise pants to be far from flattering. If it's a little higher up, shirts will look a bit neater and you'll look like you have less of a gut (if you have one).

 

Get a second pair of trousers made to match. The jacket will probably last a lot longer than the pants will. I'd also go with a matching waistcoat as well as an odd one. That way you would have at least 3 ways to wear that suit. With a matching waistcoat, with an odd one, and without a waistcoat at all. You'll get a little more milage out of this suit in terms of ways to wear it. You could always get an odd waistcoat later, so if money is an issue, you can consider getting a matching one for now and an odd one later. 

 

This may go without saying, but make sure you have a suitable pair of shoes ready to wear as well.

post #11 of 12

To answer your other questions:

 

Yes, linen will wrinkle a lot. If you want to stay wrinkle free, avoid it, but if you're brave enough it should be an nice fabric to wear in summer as far as comfort. 

 

Wool will keep it's drape and stay wrinkle free better than cotton will, and heavier weighted cloths will hold their shape better than lighter ones will. Things will eventually get wrinkled even after a few wears. My jackets are wrinkled at the elbows and this is after wearing it 2-3x since I had to have it cleaned. I think its advised to get one of those steamer things to rid your clothes of light wrinkles. My pants all seem to do relatively well though after hanging them from the cuffs. Personally I don't let the wrinkles at the elbows and knees bother me too much though. Cotton pants will need to be pressed probably after every wearing if you want them to look crisp.

 

Again, like others mentioned, and from my experience, if you have the opportunity to shop around and try on things (which you do) then it'd be better to get some RTW stuff considering your budget and how expensive I imagine bespoke is in Canada. If you still can't find anything then you can consider some bespoke pieces. But I might wait until I can afford at least two things to alternate between. 

 

Maybe try browsing some thrift shops while you're at it? That's something I would love to do. I'm sure you might find a gem or two at a decent price. 

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input!

I will be going to a few suit stores and try my luck to find a suit with color and pattern that I like maybe I'll get lucky. I will also be talking to local tailors about this as well in regards to getting MTM. I am also more concerned with fit as it irritates me greatly especially with the suit I have now.
I haven't mentioned this above but Iif I do get a bespoke it won't be until a year or two from now at the very least. I want to be as informed as possible before going ahead with anything like that.

I always wanted a three piece because of the versatility i can get out of it but it will probably sky-rocket the price.

I started looking into worsted wool, seems to be a better choice and has the possibility of some interesting patterns.

I have the possible option of getting tailored in Poland which is usually cheaper than Canada

Thanks again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrimmyS View Post
 

Hello.

 

I can give you some of the basic advice and my personal experience since I'm more or less in your situation (new to suits, limited budget, etc).

 

First off, really decide if bespoke is what you wanna do first. It might be better to have a few RTW suits altered or order a few MTM suits rather than have only one suit. If it's your only suit, expensive, and bespoke, you will be very paranoid wearing it for a while. I was and while it gave my girlfriend some headaches, I also don't really regret it. I can't find anything RTW that I like here anyway. Plus it's pretty affordable compared to western countries with decent quality (since I'm more concerned with fit).

 

A solid Navy or Charcoal gray is usually the first color recommended. This is because they can be used for almost all normal occasions. Weddings, meetings, funerals, dates, etc. Solid colors are the best option for your first few suits. Navy tends to make people look a little younger. 

 

A worsted wool will probably be the ideal choice for a first suit. Perhaps I'm wrong, but you will look less out of place with a worsted wool summer weight fabric in winter under an overcoat, than a tweed anything in summer. You need to be the judge of that based on what kind of winter wear you have, how you handle the heat/cold, and what your weather is like. I've gotten by very well with a layer of smartwool under my clothes in the winter as long a I'm walking around (-10C) rather than using a scooter. For being outside in really cold weather you obviously wouldn't just wear a suit anyway.  As long as the places you'll be have any kind of heating (where I live we don't really have heating in winter) something lighter weight may not be so crazy.

 

Visit some tailors and find a house style you like. There's always an element of risk when you ask a tailor to do something he's not used to doing, which is why people will recommend finding a house style you like and then making subtle changes from there. As for kinds of suits/styles I have no knowledge. So wait for someone else or google it a bit. However, keep in mind how much shape you want in the waist, the lapel width, trouser break, and how much structure you want in the shoulder. My bespoke suit has small/narrow lapels and I wish I had asked for them to be wider. This is where others have mentioned, bespoke is usually better for people who already have a clear idea of what they want exactly. Also consider where you want your trousers to sit. I find a suit with low rise pants to be far from flattering. If it's a little higher up, shirts will look a bit neater and you'll look like you have less of a gut (if you have one).

 

Get a second pair of trousers made to match. The jacket will probably last a lot longer than the pants will. I'd also go with a matching waistcoat as well as an odd one. That way you would have at least 3 ways to wear that suit. With a matching waistcoat, with an odd one, and without a waistcoat at all. You'll get a little more milage out of this suit in terms of ways to wear it. You could always get an odd waistcoat later, so if money is an issue, you can consider getting a matching one for now and an odd one later. 

 

This may go without saying, but make sure you have a suitable pair of shoes ready to wear as well.

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