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“Need”a few new suits

Discussion in 'Menswear Advice' started by Sartorially Striving, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. Sartorially Striving

    Sartorially Striving Member

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    I’ve only recently started delving deeper into trying to dress well and more age-appropriate (just got that “5” in front of my age, though I’m genetically blessed and still don’t look it.)

    Nor, most assuredly, act it.

    My career is white collar professional and my suits are getting a bit tired.

    But I’m cheap and can’t justify $3k on a suit. At least not on a regular basis.

    So I’m looking for suits and sport coats. I’ve seen some things I liked on eBay and made a few buys there, but am not convinced that’s the best strategy.

    I’m near Los Angeles (north Orange County), so I’m considering bespoke versus Brooks Brothers (Golden Fleece on sale at $1,500 a pop).

    I also need a tailor near me. Any suggestions?

    My wife, who I will readily admit is better at observing what I look good in, prefers me in Italian style, form-fitting suits. My Brooks Brothers suits, besides having shrunk (ha), are decidedly boxy.

    Which brings me to my dilemma. Taking the eBay luck-of-the-draw equation off the table, should I be seriously considering the Brooks Brothers sale? Or start visiting the tailors in Los Angeles? Or something else?

    Just as an addendum, I was going to post this on Reddit’s malefashionadvice, but it seems the demographic here is more aligned with mine. I could be wrong, but based on @Murlsquirl’s best of 2017 thread, y’all are one amazingly dapper bunch of folks. (And who the hell takes your photos.)

    So thanks for reading, my wall of confusion. I’m looking forward to replies.
     


  2. Anachronist

    Anachronist Senior Member

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    Hi Sartorially Striving, a warm welcome to the bunch!

    Having been to Brooks Bros regularly whenever I'm in the States every year, I agree with you regarding the boxy fit. As a continental European I often had to chuckle when reading that American term "sack" for a jacket, because many of the traditional US clothing companies jacket cuts look just like that ;-)

    There are good exceptions amongst US companies though and those often use British or Italian styles with a more fitted cut, e.g. Ralph Lauren. Apart from these, I recommend trying European tailors such as Zegna or Canali, who both have decent entry lines at a fair price point with lovely fabrics. You should be able to find those in any larger city in the US often in shops like Neiman Marcus. I'm sure there are a good number of smaller haberdashers in the US that also offer more tailored looking suits, but most admit I don't have the insights here and will let others comment. Before you buy from the internet, I'd in any case try on the desired companies suits first to get a first hand impression of cut and fit somewhere in a shop. The risk of getting a size that won't fit with a blind buy is just too high in my opinion.

    Also, check out some of the affiliate members advertised here in the forum. There a some that sell lovely suits within the price range you quoted for the Golden Fleece suits (e.g. no man walks alone, who have a few Italian suits in this price range that'll beat the Brooks Bros suit in looks easily IMO).

    I would in any case check out the tailors as an alternative, just to get a feel for price (they are not always more expensive than buying a good RTW suit). Maybe someone from your area here in the forum can recommend one.
     


  3. Sartorially Striving

    Sartorially Striving Member

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    Thank you very much for your thoughts. I didn’t buy a Canali sport coat recently which convinced me that continental or bespoke is the way to go. It’s a three button, which is a tragic faux pas, but it looks good on me, I think.

    There’s a number of tailors in LA, especially in Beverly Hills—pricey rent and pricey suits go hand in hand. I may have to spend a day in LA’s downtown fashion district and see what I find.

    Thanks again!
     


  4. maxalex

    maxalex Senior Member

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    My son had a suit made by Gold Finger Tailors in Koreatown for about $1500 and that included an upcharge for a British 80s wool. The tailor is (naturally) Korean, not European, and the details were not great—my son had to really press to get working cuff buttons and the buttonholes were machine sewn—but the finished product was soft shouldered and fully canvassed; the tailor clearly understood Continental cuts and drape. Certainly no comparison to my own Italian bespoke suits with hand sewn details, but mine cost about double so duh.

    Alternatively, some of the best Euro tailors have trunk shows in LA. Check the international trunk show calendar that Simon Crompton maintains at Permanent Style.
     


  5. Gus

    Gus Stylish Dinosaur Dubiously Honored

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    If you are in L.A. I would recommend trying Shop The Finest https://www.shopthefinest.com

    He has great deals on RTW jackets, trousers, shirts and suits from better European brands. You might find something in RTW that would augment your bespoke or MTM wardrobe.
     


  6. Spin

    Spin New Member

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    I too am in a similar boat as Sartorially Striving, meaning in need of a suiting upgrade! I hope my comments and questions fit here even if more specific to Canali suits but it just was just so current and relevant to me.

    You see, just today I went to Bloomingdale's to try on a Canali 13000 series suit for the first time. In the past I've searched "classic" fits at various retailers and the Canalis have filtered through but the typical $1700 or so list price has made me eliminate them from my selection process. Bloomingdale's had a couple in my 46r size to try and they were on sale for right around $1245 with another FRIENDS discount of 25% to bring it under $1000.

    That's why I went in the first place thinking if these fully canvassed and supposedly quality fabric suits fit me, this price is probably too good to pass up. Turns out, they fit quite well and feel great on. Now, according to the salesman, they can be had for even less at the end of the year (more like in the $600's). My sense is this is a very good price for what I believe is a quality suit. The fit (for me) was what i would label as mostly good. The armholes are a tad too high for my comfort but he said they can loosen those for $20.

    My question(s) to the forum are, again forgetting extremely discounted and probably used merch on e-bay or some crazy plaids from last year (the two suits i'm looking at are fairly basic blue and gray), would an OTD price of under $800 per suit be considered a good deal for a Canali suit? I am allowing over $100 for tax and alterations. I'm also curious about thoughts on this armhole lowering. I always thought if the armhole was uncomfortably high it was a deal breaker. Are there other brands I should consider with similar fit and quality for under $1000? Hickey or Samuelsohn maybe? Any advice on models would be appreciated.

    Thank you all in advance for the advice and hopefully Sartorially Striving might be able to get something out of it was well.
     


  7. Gus

    Gus Stylish Dinosaur Dubiously Honored

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    I don't know how armholes can be tailored to be lowered. They can let out a small amount of fabric in the back of the jacket for a better reach, but lower too high armholes, I've never heard of that. There is nothing worse than a jacket that is too snug especially around the arms. I think you need a different model of Canali or you need to try another brand with a different cut that suits your build. You waste money, no matter how good the price, if the fit isn't right from the start. As a good rule of thumb, if the shoulder fit and the arm movement isn't comfortable when you first try it on, then move on to something else. Good luck!
     


  8. Spin

    Spin New Member

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    Thanks for the advice GusW. The suit feels good as it is so a huge adjustment is not needed. I will explore further with the tailor though before pulling the trigger.
     


  9. Sartorially Striving

    Sartorially Striving Member

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    Thanks for the heads up on the trunk show calendar. I’ll keep an eye on that.

    Huntsman is on the calendar for LA next month. £2400 for MTM, £4474 for bespoke. Egads.

    That is a great tip. I could put a serious dent in my credit card if I wasn’t careful. And it seems they have a lot of items in stock but not online. They’re only an hour away or so. Thanks!

    Can you tell me more about the FRIENDS discount? I can’t remember the last time I was in a Bloomingdale’s, but for the right price.....
     


  10. maxalex

    maxalex Senior Member

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    $6k for Huntsman, I guess you’re paying their trip to LA. For $4k (after VAT refund) you can get a bespoke from Rubinacci in Naples that includes six nights in their villa.

    Alternatively, you can get a nice bespoke suit made in Naples for €1,000 by any of several young tailors. They’ll do it in a week, then send finished garment to you.
     


  11. Sartorially Striving

    Sartorially Striving Member

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    A vacation in Naples sounds a heck of a lot better than traffic in Los Angeles.
     


  12. maxalex

    maxalex Senior Member

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    Seriously. Go in the winter when airfares are cheap. My son flies nonstop LA to Rome on Norwegian for under $600 RT. No tourists at Pompeii in February!
     


  13. Spin

    Spin New Member

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    Bloomingdale's currently has a discount code available on some items. It's available on line and in stores for an additional 25% off.
     


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