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Very small guy - can't find a suit for the life of me.

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I'm just getting out into the world of job interviews for the first time, as I'm wrapping up grad school. New to menswear in general.

 

Suit shopping has been a humiliating experience. I'm a very small guy. I'm about 5'2", 130lbs, decently built for my size though. My chest is probably about a 35.5. I'd like a suit, preferably in Cambridge Grey, that fits. I feel that with my stature, fit is extra important. I'd like to not break the bank, as I don't have much to spend. I've been to dozens of stores, and nothing seems to fit. Some suits fit fine in some places, but none have fit well in both chest and shoulders. Armholes have almost always been too low. 

 

What should I do? Would getting a made to measure at Nordstrom, Men's Warehouse, or even Modern Taylor be the way to go? Nordstrom is around 795, MW 695, and MT 300. Brooks Brothers was 1298, which is way more than I have to spend.

 

I've found some suits I like for around $300, but they just don't fit. Shoulders have almost always been too big, the sleeves too baggy, and they've been loose in the waist. I could go for a 36S that fits in the shoulders (ish) off the rack and get it altered for around $100 more, but even then it wouldn't fit great. I'd need the sleeves shortened, the coat length shortened. Most 36S I've tried have been too big shoulders wise. I found a nice navy, 36S Ermengegildo Zegna cloth suit at Saks Off Fifth, which was 675 for two suits (buy one get one). I'd need to add about 100 bucks of alterations on top of that though (200 for both suits). For that same price, I could have a made to measure at Nordstrom or MW. 


Same goes for shirts - 14.5/32 is way too baggy and the sleeves are way too long. Is custom my only home here? I would appreciate some input as I'm inexperienced here. 

post #2 of 27

What kind of time frame do you need everything by? If you have some time, made to measure would be the way to go. Keep in mind that with any online MTM, there is a reasonably high chance that you will still need some alterations on your first order, and that can certainly add to the overall time. If you have 1 month< , then I would go with made to measure. I would personally avoid places like mens warehouse, but nordstrom is not a bad option. When I went in I found that for any of the cloth I would actually want, the cost was closer to 1000 though.

Have you considered Suit supply? Their styling and quality is going to be better than others in the same price range, and they have the widest range of sizes for off the rack that I have seen so far. 

 

For shirts I would go with Luxire, they have a fit test trial shirt at a lower cost so that you can get the fit perfected before spending more on better fabrics. All shirts come with split yokes, MOP buttons, and you can customize any detail of the shirt (much more than other companies such as proper cloth, MT, etc.). I would take a look at the Luxire thread on this forum for ideas as well. 

post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply.

 

I have the time for a MTM (>1mo). I'm wary of suit supply as there is not a physical store near me. 

 

So you think getting a Nordstrom MTM is a better option than two Saks Black? The salesman at Nordstrom was wearing a Nordstrom M2M and it looked outstanding - perfect fit on him. Again, I care much more about how it fits than how nice it is. I'd wear a $129 JC Penny's if it fit the best. I really wasn't wanting to spend $800 at first, but have slowly come around to it as it seems that's the only way to get something that fits.

post #4 of 27

I was in the same situation one year ago as you are right now. I end up with M2M.

 

For OTR suit at USD 500 range: I only find Txd Bxker and J. Crxw Lxdlxw slim enough. They fit but are somewhat uncomfortable, and with alteration, the cost is same as M2M.

 

For M2M suit at USD $500 range: I won't go to the department store for M2M, but rather a M2M store directly. Most M2M stores come with online ordering, which I didn't use either. Eventually, I found a M2M store online and went to their physical showroom and had they measured me up. Moreover, don't assume the M2M suit would come perfect even with their people measured you up. My suit has undergone remake and alteration. You need to communicate a lot about what you need on the suit in terms of style and function. The M2M I used is Blaxk Lapxl.

 

For OTR shirt: The off the rack that fits are unxqlo and kamxkuxa.

 

For M2M shirt: same as M2M suit, but I used another store.

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mica2015 View Post
 

I was in the same situation one year ago as you are right now. I end up with M2M.

 

For OTR suit at USD 500 range: I only find Txd Bxker and J. Crxw Lxdlxw slim enough. They fit but are somewhat uncomfortable, and with alteration, the cost is same as M2M.

 

For M2M suit at USD $500 range: I won't go to the department store for M2M, but rather a M2M store directly. Most M2M stores come with online ordering, which I didn't use either. Eventually, I found a M2M store online and went to their physical showroom and had they measured me up. Moreover, don't assume the M2M suit would come perfect even with their people measured you up. My suit has undergone remake and alteration. You need to communicate a lot about what you need on the suit in terms of style and function. The M2M I used is Blaxk Lapxl.

 

For OTR shirt: The off the rack that fits are unxqlo and kamxkuxa.

 

For M2M shirt: same as M2M suit, but I used another store.

 

So you would take Black Lapel over Nordstrom? It's cheaper, which is nice. There's no showroom near me. I'm worried about botching the measurements, or having to wait too long to have the fit redone or needing to spend more for further alteration.

post #6 of 27

First of all, I have no experience with Nordstrom so I can't speak for them. However, my preference is to find place that specialized in making suit, and having generous return policy.

 

About the measurement, I suggest you go to the shop to do it because it gives a chance to show them your posture, and talk more about what you want from the suit. You could take the measurement by yourself if you are not adamant about how your suit looks. I would say most M2M store would easily get the shoulder right, which is supposedly the most important measurement.

 

However, it is tricky if you want to fine tune your suit. In my case, I try to make my $500 dollar suit look like a $3000 suit. At the end, it did cost me only about $500, but two more months for remake, alteration and fitting appointments. Generally, the remake takes one month, and the alternation a week. For most M2M shops I see online, they provide free remake, and about $75 alteration credit, but I don't think a lot of them provide refund. All I would say is that M2M won't cost you more money to get your perfect suit, but definitely more time.

post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtwilight View Post

Thanks for the reply.

I have the time for a MTM (>1mo). I'm wary of suit supply as there is not a physical store near me. 

So you think getting a Nordstrom MTM is a better option than two Saks Black? The salesman at Nordstrom was wearing a Nordstrom M2M and it looked outstanding - perfect fit on him. Again, I care much more about how it fits than how nice it is. I'd wear a $129 JC Penny's if it fit the best. I really wasn't wanting to spend $800 at first, but have slowly come around to it as it seems that's the only way to get something that fits.

Welcome to the forum, twilight. I wouldn't worry about Suit Supply. It is risk free....free shipping both ways. It sounds like a good option for your price range. Check out there measurement charts for each cut and see if they have something that would work for you. Best of luck.
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murlsquirl View Post


Welcome to the forum, twilight. I wouldn't worry about Suit Supply. It is risk free....free shipping both ways. It sounds like a good option for your price range. Check out there measurement charts for each cut and see if they have something that would work for you. Best of luck.

 

Thanks. 

 

I might give it a try - their 34 napoli looks to fit my chest and shoulders decently well. I'd get the coat and sleeves shortened, and combined with trouser length would probably be about $500 total for the suit. Not bad. I think it would be worth ordering and giving it a try - like you said, it's risk free. Considering the off the rack Zenga I saw at Saks too, since I'd get two for about 675. It'd be pricey. If I just altered one, it'd end up at about 775. 

 

My shoulders are 17.5 inches, my chest is 35, stomach 31, neck 14, arms 31, jacket length 26 or so (maybe 25.5) - if that gives you any idea of my size. It has been extremely difficult. 

post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtwilight View Post
 

 

Thanks. 

 

I might give it a try - their 34 napoli looks to fit my chest and shoulders decently well. I'd get the coat and sleeves shortened, and combined with trouser length would probably be about $500 total for the suit. Not bad. I think it would be worth ordering and giving it a try - like you said, it's risk free. Considering the off the rack Zenga I saw at Saks too, since I'd get two for about 675. It'd be pricey. If I just altered one, it'd end up at about 775. 

 

My shoulders are 17.5 inches, my chest is 35, stomach 31, neck 14, arms 31, jacket length 26 or so (maybe 25.5) - if that gives you any idea of my size. It has been extremely difficult. 

 

 

Give it a try.  Post clear front, back, and side shots when it comes in and you'll get good feedback here http://www.styleforum.net/t/265924/the-tailors-thread-fit-feedback-and-alteration-suggestions

post #10 of 27
Keep in mind that Suit Supply has working/functional sleeve buttons. If you have to get the sleeves shortened, they would have to take it in from the shoulders which is more complicated and expensive.
post #11 of 27
At 5'2"/130 I'm surprised your shoulders are as broad as 17.5" but given how short many makers are cutting jackets these days that might turn out to benefit you. SuSu isn't really one of them, though. With that shoulder measurement you're in 36S territory and the jacket length of the Lazio, for example, is 28.7". I'm small too (5'5"/135) and that length is pushing it for me; I wear the 34R.

Worth a try given the return policy, as Murl said, but I'd warn against shortening that (or really any) jacket. You risk throwing the balance out of whack because the pockets get too close to the bottom. And you will have to shorten the sleeves from the shoulder as Bill said above. You need a good tailor for that. But SuSu does do MTM, so maybe you can find something you like and then go in to have that done. I know there are a few members here that have done it. There is a SuSu thread you can check.

Other than that, RTW will be tough and largely disappointing, but maybe Gant, Ben Sherman, Bonobos, or Jcrew could work if you don't mind the skimpier lapels.

Shirts I don't think you have any choice but MTM unless maybe H&M works for you. The sleeves will always be too long but if you're wearing a jacket and the cuffs have a second button you might not care. Someone mentioned Luxire, which I haven't used but people here seem to like. I think Proper Cloth is another mentioned here on StyFo. I do all mine MTM from a local tailor.

Anyway, let us know what direction you end up going and best of luck!
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcmeyer View Post

At 5'2"/130 I'm surprised your shoulders are as broad as 17.5" but given how short many makers are cutting jackets these days that might turn out to benefit you. SuSu isn't really one of them, though. With that shoulder measurement you're in 36S territory and the jacket length of the Lazio, for example, is 28.7". I'm small too (5'5"/135) and that length is pushing it for me; I wear the 34R.

Worth a try given the return policy, as Murl said, but I'd warn against shortening that (or really any) jacket. You risk throwing the balance out of whack because the pockets get too close to the bottom. And you will have to shorten the sleeves from the shoulder as Bill said above. You need a good tailor for that. But SuSu does do MTM, so maybe you can find something you like and then go in to have that done. I know there are a few members here that have done it. There is a SuSu thread you can check.

Other than that, RTW will be tough and largely disappointing, but maybe Gant, Ben Sherman, Bonobos, or Jcrew could work if you don't mind the skimpier lapels.

Shirts I don't think you have any choice but MTM unless maybe H&M works for you. The sleeves will always be too long but if you're wearing a jacket and the cuffs have a second button you might not care. Someone mentioned Luxire, which I haven't used but people here seem to like. I think Proper Cloth is another mentioned here on StyFo. I do all mine MTM from a local tailor.

Anyway, let us know what direction you end up going and best of luck!

 

Thanks for the input. Yeah, I've got awkward proportions. Or rather, I'm well proportioned but very short haha. I may end up going MTM - the proportions and pockets are definitely something that crossed my mind. Right now, I'm leaning towards black lapel because of the generous return policy and customer friendliness I read about in the thread on here. I do like that I can go to Nordstrom in person though - it's just that the price is a little off-putting.

post #13 of 27

If I were in your situation, I would order 2 sizes that you think may fit from suit supply, then when they arrive (decent chance that it will arrive within this week) you can see if either fit well. If not, return both and order from black lapel. Suit supply has a 30 day return policy with free shipping, and your shipping to you will be free when you order 2 suits anyways to compare fit. 

post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 

I think I might do that. The only thing stopping me is, that judging by their size advisor, even the 34 or 36S would need their sleeves shortened by at least an inch. Would that interfere with the buttonholes? I cannot afford to have sleeves that are even slightly too long. Very sharp suits. I'd probably spring to their Lazio. Again though, Lazio plus alterations is getting into M2M territory (real life) or past it (black lapel). 

post #15 of 27

They sleeves generally have a bit of distance between the bottom buttonhole and the edge of the cuff area, so you could probably shorten it a bit without it interfering. It will look a bit off though most likely if it is shortened any significant amount because the button will be right near the edge. As someone mentioned previously, I think shortening the sleeve from the armhole would be the way to go. I would say you're looking at a closer to $80 job for that rather than 25-30 for just shortening the sleeve (prices in my area at least).

 

Either way I would say just order them, and take it to the nearest tailor and ask what they would charge to get the sleeves right and make your decision then. 

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