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"That" Suit

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

You know the one. The one that looks good whether you've just gotten fired and dumped in the same day, or you're at a wedding and the most attractive bridesmaid is giving you more than your fair share of attention. The one that's a partner for your escapades; the one immortalized in black and white in your Time magazine retrospective. 

 

Can I get that suit without spending a fortune? I'm looking at Belmondo and Gosling and Newman and I know they didn't buy off the rack, but I'm not at the $1000+ club yet. A friend directed me to Zara's summer sale, and as appealing as the prospect of saving my ducats by getting a $200 blazer/trouser combo from the fast fashion stalwart is, I'm willing to shop around, bargain hunt, buy used and get tailored, make adjustments, whatever. It'll be my first suit in ages - I have a Theory black pinstripe number kicking around, but the trousers are in a storage unit in New York and the jacket has been beaten up by cross-country trips. Neither are tailored, and fit poorly. I'd like to get a suit that'll carry me through my adventures for the next few years - I'm 28; maybe something to go from 28 to 30 or 31. So it's not the "lifetime" suit yet, but I want it to at least look like it for a couple years. Obviously at 28 one can be forgiven for not wearing bespoke, but at no age can one be forgiven for wearing something that looks cheap or shitty (hence my reticence to go to Zara). 

 

The main occasion in mind is a wedding in Venice in late September, but I'd like this baby to be up for scooter rides in Paris or afternoon cocktails on the Riviera (I'm planning on making a few stops along the way). My current shortlist is a grey glen plaid or brown single-breasted suit (ideally 3-piece for options and versatility). The glen plaid appeals because I think I could pair the trousers with a lot more stuff (nice belt, loafers, clean white T-shirt, or vest and trousers with a black shirt, or whatever). That said, there's something about brown that says "Fuck it, you can steal a scooter and meet that girl at the train station in time to make last call in the dining car."

 

In a perfect world, I'd like a grey glen plaid three-piece, a brown three-piece, an olive/army green - possibly sharkskin - two-piece (I have green eyes and a lanky, muscular build), and a black all-season wool two-piece. Materials TBD - wool or linen, methinks, but I'm a neophyte, so if there's something cool I haven't thought of please feel free to enlighten. 

 

Anyway, it's not a perfect world, so if anybody can make a relatively-specific recommendation (i.e. "Hey, Nordstrom Rack has a fantastic suit for you at 63% off, here's a link!"), I'd be hard pressed to quantify my gratitude. 

 

I'm 6'2", I weigh 184 lbs at 9% bodyfat, and my measurements are as follows per a local tailor (these seem accurate, but I have trust issues): 

 

Sizing - Torso/Jacket/Shirts Measurement
Chest 42"
Waist 33"
Hips 40 ½"
Sleeve 25 ½"
Shoulder-to-Shoulder 20"
Front Length 31 ½"
Shoulder 6"
Sizing - Legs/Trousers Measurement
Waist 34 ½"
Hips 40"
Knees 18"
Ankles 15"
Inseam 32"
Outseam 41 ½"

 

Thanks in advance, Style Gurus. Apologies if this is in the wrong place, didn't follow protocol, I didn't RTFM, or any of that jazz. Looking forward to hearing your collective thoughts.

 

Thanks,

 

-TA

 

EDITED TO ADD: These are the current Zara contenders, depending on what's available in-store tomorrow. 

Khaki Suit (hopefully over-the-ankle schoolboy hem not mandatory)

Linen Suit 

"Fine Wool" Suit 

post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 

Well, 10AM Update: Went to Zara. Probably will never go into one again. I have fond memories of c. 2001-era Zara in Barcelona, when it was closer to high-end shit. This is H&M. Also made for adolescent Chinese waifs, apparently - not a single thing fit me properly. 

 

Back to the (Nordstrom Rack) drawing board.

post #3 of 8

"Clothes make the man" is the traditional quote but "man make the clothes" is equally true.

 

If you want to go by the former then there isnt a suit that will work well both at a cocktail party as well as working well as separate trouser with t-shirt and sneakers as the levels of formality are too broad

 

If you have the personality, and few truly do despite the postering, then anything can work in any situation - a former boss could go into a private club in jeans and t-shirt when the next guy was refused entry in a tux for not being suitably (aka formally) dressed.

 

Assuming you arent the 0.001% that fits into the second category you need to more accurately define your priority and accept that outside of that area you'll be making compromise. Inch based measurements are only half the story, you could be 50" chest and broad and flat chested or also 50" chest but barrel chested, both are the same number but totally different proposition.

 

 

If you are 28 now then in 2001 era you were circa 13 and so I would park your perception of what Zara was like "back then" as it was never "high end shit". Our perceptions change as we age and our bills increase

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post

 

Assuming you arent the 0.001% that fits into the second category you need to more accurately define your priority and accept that outside of that area you'll be making compromise. Inch based measurements are only half the story, you could be 50" chest and broad and flat chested or also 50" chest but barrel chested, both are the same number but totally different proposition.

 

 

How should I go about taking my exact proportions into account? Should I go back to the tailor and have him take more/different measurements? 

 

Also, is there a better way I could phrase this inquiry to get the results I'm looking for (and avoid ruffling any feathers)? 

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by thoughtacademy View Post
 

 

How should I go about taking my exact proportions into account? Should I go back to the tailor and have him take more/different measurements? 

 

Also, is there a better way I could phrase this inquiry to get the results I'm looking for (and avoid ruffling any feathers)? 

 

Feathers arent ruffled, just painfully aware that the one perfect suit for all purposes doesnt exist for the vast majority of us. I'll accept others are better than I am at this but even they cannot stretch from as far as you want.

 

Much more basic descriptions are useful than actual measurements. MTM companies tend to have little drawings that they tick where as bespoke tailors can use rather unbecoming terminology to describe us 

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Well, look - as I say, I'd like to have a multitude of suits, but for now, I'll have to content myself with a Barney's Two-Piece in grey. $1500 marked down to $327 to my door, figure it's worth a shot. Can always return it if it doesn't work out. Still jonesing for a light brown or green, or a glen plaid affair, so I'll be keeping an eye on Nordstrom Rack, but if anybody has any pointers, please send 'em my way. 

post #7 of 8
To add more quirky writing, "It's all about location, location, location." If there's another quality retailer nearby wherever that is (not New York?), maybe someone will be able to point it out.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mensimageconsultant View Post

To add more quirky writing, "It's all about location, location, location." If there's another quality retailer nearby wherever that is (not New York?), maybe someone will be able to point it out.

 

Los Angeles. I wound up picking up a grey two-button two-piece from Barneys NY on their summer sale. It arrives this week. $327 marked down from $1500. Bought a 42 Long. Going to see how it fits and upload a pic to you guys before I go back to the tailor (not that I don't trust him, but I've never used him and I'd like to have a frame of reference for what it needs before trusting him blindly with a $327/1500 suit).

 

Anyway, here's what I bought.

 

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