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Affordable suit for a much smaller man?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by bringatowel, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. bringatowel

    bringatowel Active Member

    Messages:
    35
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
    Hello all!

    I'm a 17 year old looking to buy a suit for prom, but I'm having major difficulties due to my height/size. I'm 5'6", 105-110 lbs, 13-13.5" neck, with an impossibly small chest, 27-28" waist, etc. I already have a shirt which fits nearly perfectly w/o tailoring, Express 1MX extra-slim fit in XS, if that helps you get an idea of what fits me. Does anyone have any suggestions that might help me in my search for a well fitting prom-appropriate suit?

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. NotoriousMarquis

    NotoriousMarquis Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Feb 9, 2010
    Location:
    New York/Chicago
    

    Being 5'6" and 120 pounds, I can tell you that youre in for a lot and a lot of frustration and a lot of people telling you here "go mtm or bespoke" as though thats a financial and timely option. I have a lot of nice blazers and sport coats from Uniqlo, and there is a nice proxy service here that will do it for you but the web will too. Slim fit jackets in XS fit me well. Pants are another story because theirs fit strangely.

    What city are you in?
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  3. bringatowel

    bringatowel Active Member

    Messages:
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    Apr 11, 2012
    Unfortunately, rural northern CA limits my options most of the time. Nearest shopping mall is 20/30 minutes away though so I'm used to having to drive to get clothes. I'm around 45 minutes away from Sacramento and 1 hr away from San Francisco if that helps though.

    Also, I've never used the Sudenlee proxy but I've heard good things about it, almost went for that $15 OCBD deal they had a while back. Anything in particular of UNIQLO's that you would consider appropriate for a prom?
     
  4. NotoriousMarquis

    NotoriousMarquis Well-Known Member

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    Feb 9, 2010
    Location:
    New York/Chicago
    I think there is a Uniqlo in SF now; you could check that out. I'm not sure if it would be prom appropriate, but you could always try the Hickey Freeman outlet in nothern CA. Their boys suits are usually under 400 and very well made. I wear a boys 16 with them; theyre the same quality as their mens suits but 1/3 the price.

    Otherwise I would check the usual suspects—H&M, zara, topman. Asos has 34 slim suits for under 100 dollars, but the quality isn't great, but at our size, finding the right size comes before quality often enough.
     
  5. Tweedy

    Tweedy Well-Known Member

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    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    Vintage is a good way to go if you are smaller, many more vintage suits were made for smaller guys and you can get some real beauty's for a good price without having to pay MTM prices ;)
     
  6. NotoriousMarquis

    NotoriousMarquis Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    I can't tell you how many racks of vintage stores you'll have to look through to find a size 34, let alone one where the lapels arent enormous or very low
     
  7. mjd

    mjd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    162
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    Mar 22, 2011
    I'm about the same size as you. Try looking in the Boys section. 18R boys is the same fit wise as a 34S men's and usually at a significant discount. I wear a 18R but have also gotten away with a 19R or a slim cut 20R.

    Most department stores have a better chance of having boys 18r vs. men's 34s.

    Good luck!
     
  8. OlSarge

    OlSarge Well-Known Member

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    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    www.thesportinggentry.com
    There's an online haberdasher specializing in smaller men called Napolean's Tailor. They're in Milwaukee but since they work over the internet you should be able to just email them your requirements and send in an order. You may as well get as good a suit as you can afford and then use it for job interviews later on. Tell your parents it's an investment, not an expense.[​IMG]
     
  9. bringatowel

    bringatowel Active Member

    Messages:
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    Apr 11, 2012
    Unfortunately the Uniqlo is set to open in the fall :(

    I saw this jacket at topman, does anyone know how it fits in comparison to a 34R from H&M? What about the ASOS suits, I've heard all about the quality being shit, but do they fit decently?
     
  10. Gauss17

    Gauss17 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Nov 3, 2010
    You could Try Thick as Theives, I am pretty sure they specifically cater to shorter guys.
     
  11. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Well-Known Member

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    boys...this is a no brainer
     
  12. Maegnus

    Maegnus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Aug 20, 2011
    Location:
    Ottawa
    I've been a small guy my whole life (my waist size has grown maybe one inch, if that, since grade 4). A couple years ago I spent a bunch of time eating a lot and working out to bulk up. I packed on 25 lbs in 4 months and worked my way UP to an XS (5' 9", 145 lbs), which I've been able to maintain. Before then, at 120 lbs, I didn't even try with clothes; it was pretty hopeless and frustrating. Even if I found something that fit, it didn't look good as it only highlighted the fact that I had no meat on my bones.

    I would find something cheap that fits decent and you will probably still look better than most guys your age in suits. Topman sells suits in XXS (34" chest) that also tend to have a cropped length and shorter sleeves, which might suit your height. Not the best made stuff ever, but very wearable for a 17 year old (I'm 24 and wear their stuff).

    At 17, it's pretty much a given that everyone is a work in progress. So don't go buying a bunch of suits if you expect to grow or aren't happy with your body. You're at the perfect age to start hitting the gym. I have no idea why I put it off for so long.
     
  13. Maegnus

    Maegnus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Aug 20, 2011
    Location:
    Ottawa
    I see you've already found topman. I can vouch that their "skinny blazers" do fit quite slim in the body and the arms. I think a 34 would probably work for you.

    If you hold a topman blazer in your hand, it's obvious that it isn't amazingly made. That said, the ones I have do a good job of faking the look of well-made jackets. I have a berry tweed blazer that people often remark on how vintage and expensive it looks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012

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