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Good Natured Advice Thread (improving a business wardrobe)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Claghorn, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. mimo

    mimo Well-Known Member

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    Two things:

    - It doesn't have to be cut-price - cut price can be good, but it can also just be a cheaper maker.

    - This (as I understand it) is an exercise in locating value and good taste in the same suit. There will be NO BUYING. Ordering stuff online would be a moronic step at this stage. You have problems fitting stuff when you try it on. Buying it unseen will see you expelled from Styleforum forever. Stitchy VISITED NMWA. He also already knew how various makers work for him fit-wise and had some useful comparison information. You need to go and try on stuff in person, whoever makes it and wherever it comes from. A fused jacket from Wal-Mart that fits you will look better than a fully-canvassed hand-stitched wonder from Kiton with a baggy chest and pinched middle. Not that I'm suggesting you buy crap. Just don't buy expensive stuff (even NMWA) that will probably look like crap if you haven't tried it.

    Oh, and a third thing: if you can get a clear idea of what you want in terms of cloth, and if you can be disciplined enough to stick to something conservative enough to be low-risk, then I would say there's no harm at all in diving into bespoke. A medium grey, medium weight, medium quality (reasonably mid-range Super 120s) chalk stripe with a medium sized notch lapel, two buttons, four on the sleeve, single or no pleat trousers with or without modest cuffs, and belt loops for now as you don't wear three pieces with braces (yet!)...that's low risk. And unless the tailor is a charlatan, it will look twice as awesome as anything else you have.

    The thing is, you are not the same shape as a generic white man clothes buyer's dummy. Which is a bummer. Some people are, and loads of off the rail stuff fits them brilliantly, and they are lucky. You are not. And not just because you're a hollow-chested, fat-headed, narrow-shouldered Asian freak. I am not an "average shape" white man either. Neither is Claghorn. I have a massive head (and with it an oversized neck) in proportion to my shoulders. Actually, I suppose I'm a bit like an oversized slightly fat Asian in those proportions. Which is ironic as I'm black on the inside.

    But the point is that stuff off the rail might never, or very rarely, fit you well. Incidentally, that also applies to most MTM, that "guesses" the cut based on a few measurements and the average shapes associated with them. Altering the neck and shoulders on a suit jacket is a tricky business. If you've got the dough, try a tailor. And if you're a show-off, "my tailor" sounds way better than any label.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
    2 people like this.
  2. in stitches

    in stitches Well-Known Member

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    imo, most people bargain hunt out of need (at least i do). if rudals does not need to bargain hunt, then why bother. if he can shop at places like NMWA and be assured that he will be getting great goods with a great cut, why the eff not? it saves so much time and energy and the chances of success are exponentially better, as is the customer experience.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
    2 people like this.
  3. Rudals

    Rudals Well-Known Member

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    I don't think any of my suits are boxy. They just are TEMPORARILY small dues to me bulking up (?). It's not that I pick out bad fitting stuff...well, maybe the Isaia one...but usually I think I do fine with finding good fits. My problem is that I don't know where to find good quality stuff that are not overpriced.
     
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  4. in stitches

    in stitches Well-Known Member

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    NMWA, thats where you find it.

    and you can buy all your shirts from shop the finest.

    ties you know what to do.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  5. jrd617

    jrd617 Well-Known Member

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    This is true.

    But he has been alluding to an upcoming wedding that will cost him a lot. (And I have been facetiously egging him on to buy more ties despite this wedding :lol: )
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Claghorn

    Claghorn Well-Known Member

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    Examples of what to look for:

    http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Fitzg...?dwvar_492K_Color=GREY&contentpos=2&cgid=0216
    [​IMG]

    Verdict: No
    Reason: Single vent, faint self stripe (which I don't mind provided it's herringbone. This isn't)


    http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Fitzg...var_MK00328_Color=CHAR&contentpos=4&cgid=0216
    [​IMG]

    Verdict: No
    Reason: Too shiny. Too short. Single vent. Some may dislike the stripe.

    http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Brook...ar_MK00261_Color=MDGY&contentpos=12&cgid=0216
    [​IMG]

    Verdict: Yes
    Reason: For CBD, there isn't anything wrong with pinstripes. Good color, decent lapel width.
    Trick question: Just kidding. Not 100% wool.
    Real verdict: No

    http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Regen...ar_MK00309_Color=CHAR&contentpos=10&cgid=0216

    [​IMG]
    Verdict: No
    Reason: If you go plaid, go plaid. Patterns intended to be bold should be done boldly.

    http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Regen...ar_MK00144_Color=BLUE&contentpos=20&cgid=0216
    [​IMG]

    Verdict: Yes
    Reason: Because I'm Claghorn and that shit floats my boat right there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
    2 people like this.
  7. jrd617

    jrd617 Well-Known Member

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    I'm actually fine with him binging on ties. Those are relative small potatoes compared to $3k suits. Those ADD UP and probably aren't good for a mid-career accountant with a wedding coming up.
     
  8. Claghorn

    Claghorn Well-Known Member

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    I don't mean good. I mean textbook. It's a Korean thing. Samsung started off by copying other company's technology. It was actually encouraged by the government. They broke it down and built it up again. At some point shit began to click, they picked up the ball and ran end zone to end zone.

    Seriously. Perfection is an unhealthy obsession here. In everything they do. It stems from a belief that there is only ONE way that something can be right. For example, something like beauty isn't subjective to a lot of Koreans. There is a perfect face and the further away you are from it, the less beautiful you are. There is no such thing as "different but equal" here. I know Koreans who actually can't fathom the concept. In a lot of our pursuits, we're hindered by the knowledge that there are alternatives. They aren't.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  9. jrd617

    jrd617 Well-Known Member

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    Single isn't a deal breaker if you don't have a huge ass.

    I always go for double because I have a huge ass. True, double vent is more "formal," but it's not a necessity for some builds.

     
  10. TM79

    TM79 Well-Known Member

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    Ties are also infinitely easier to sell and recoup some of your money.
     
  11. in stitches

    in stitches Well-Known Member

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    lol at that last pic clags. that fit looks like it could be you. i hate it btw and rudals should never buy it, but its all you baby.
     
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  12. Rudals

    Rudals Well-Known Member

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    Listen. I have been whining about the finances related to my wedding because I just want to give my fiance the best ring that I can get her. She deserves it. While I don't have to be so extreme in the way I save, I am doing it for her. As far as where I am in my career, let's just say my title has the word "Director" and CPA in it and I am at a fairly large organization. (Yes, I am bragging like a douchebag). While I am not making Wall St. money, I think I do quite well for someone my age 'cus I came from nothing and worked my @ss off to get here.

    Now, I hate buying used stuff. I don't buy used cars. I don't buy used anything. And like I said already, there is no way I am buying a suit anytime soon, unless I get a hefty bonus.
     
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  13. Rudals

    Rudals Well-Known Member

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    I LOVE THIS! I might have bought this if I didn't know any better. LOL. But no bow tie. There's an idiot on my team that sports a bow tie and I want to choke him with it everytime I see it.
    My company has a deal with BB and we get like 15% off even on top of their seasonal discounts.
     
  14. in stitches

    in stitches Well-Known Member

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    please for the love of all that is good, do not buy that.
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. mimo

    mimo Well-Known Member

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    Noodles, putting on 10lbs, unless you weigh about 110lbs in the first place, shouldn't make a massive difference to how your suit fits. A tight waistband and a loss of room when the button's fastened, sure. But if it really fits badly now, it's not because you had an extra datschundburger on holiday. How tall are you, by the way, and what is your actual chest measurement? I'm trying to get an idea of your proportions.

    Stitchy is being a loyal salesman for NMWA, and their service and products are impressive by all accounts. But apart from the obvious fact that a mail order suit from them is no more likely to fit you than one from eBay, the fact that their jackets fit Stitchy - who is a completely different shape to you - almost guarantees that they won't fit you. So really, a good returns policy still involves your dropping two grand, trying something on, and either deciding to keep a suit that doesn't fit because it's nice, or sending it back for a refund, and weeping at your foolishness either way.

    Maybe you should take a day trip to NY and try some on - they have different makers and fits after all. Maybe you could look in on some of the other SF affiliates there and their many and splendid products. But more practically, looking at some other US-based members and their tidy fits, go to Brooks Brothers, and try some different fits. Go to somewhere that sell Samuelsohn (I just googled a place in DC called "W M Fox"?). Go to Suit Supply, and see if one of their standard fits is good for you. None of these things sound very glamorous, but that's kind of the point: what matters more is going into some physical shops with loads of different suits of reasonable quality, and trying on a lot of them. I haven't tried any of these places, but I've seen pics on here of people in their stuff looking great.

    Or, whether it's locally or NY or anywhere, if not a a bespoke tailor then a MTM service that involves your getting measured and at least one semi-made fitting in person in a shop. Mail order is not for you. Because America secretly hates Asians. If it's any consolation, they hate me too. :)


    Edit: P.S. Bow ties are cool. Fuck you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
    2 people like this.
  16. Rudals

    Rudals Well-Known Member

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    Uncle Mimo,

    There's noooooooooo way I am ordering a suit without first trying them on.

    I don't know what my chest size is. The reason why 10 lbs made the fit worse is that the suits were slim and a bit on the tight side in the first place so when I gained 10 lbs it just pushed it over the edge. I am 6 ft...that is kind of short for a Korean, and I used to be 170ish with slim build. Shirts I wear 15.5 and jackets I wear 38R. I feel like I am filling out an online dating website profile. Clag has seen me in person so maybe he might come out and say that I am a fat@ss.

    By the way, I hope you like my profile picture. I did it just for you.

    Oh wait, now that I think of it, I think I may have purchased these suits when I was 160 lbs. People told me I look like shit so I bumped it up to 170 lbs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  17. Claghorn

    Claghorn Well-Known Member

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    It was pretty much

    [​IMG]


    when he hung out.
     
    3 people like this.
  18. TM79

    TM79 Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on the success, man.

    You don't need to buy used. You can buy new on sale. Case in point - the suits sold by NMWA are excellent and better quality than some $3k+ suits but during their sale they were "only" like $1700.

    I hate buying used stuff, too, but I don't let pride get in the way of buying new on sale. To me that would be a foolish thing to be stubborn about.
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. TweedyProf

    TweedyProf Well-Known Member

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    This (sorry Clags).
     
  20. jrd617

    jrd617 Well-Known Member

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    Can we make this into a JRD shoe thread for a moment? I have a pressing Vass MTO decision to make this week!

    Clags, I await your approval
     
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