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10 suit wardrobe

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by cosmic, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    Chris, what clients do is not necessarily what they should do.

    Buying most of your suits in a particular weight of cloth is sheer idiocy, regardless of how many people do it--unless you live where the weather doesn't change. Assuming one experiences both hot and cool seasons, and he is not some sort of biological miracle whose body temperature adjusts itself, he will need suits in different weight cloths.

    However, even more importantly, looking good in classic men's dress means looking seasonally appropriate. So what if you feel comfortable wearing a flannel suit in 90 degree weather? You'll look terrible.
     


  2. R.O. Thornhill

    R.O. Thornhill Senior member

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    I would completely agree with the recommendation to think in weights, not in style. In case you are interested, here is my core ten suit wardrobe. Please bear in mind that I work in a conservative field, and that I do not tend to wear casual suits - if I am not seeing clients on a Friday I tend to wear odd jackets and trousers

    Autumn/winter weight
    + 14oz grey flannel 6x2 DB (Minnis)
    + 13 oz navy herringbone 6x2 DB (Smith's Botany)
    + 13 oz pinstripe navy 1B SB with notch lapels (Smith's Botany)

    Year-round UK wear (close enough, anyway)
    + 12oz RAF birdseye 1B SB with notch lapels (Smith's)
    + 12oz plain navy SB 1B SB with notch lapels (Lesser)
    + 11oz pinstripe navy 1B SB with notch lapels (Lesser)
    + 11oz micro herringbone 1B SB with peak lapels (can't remember cloth)

    Summer weight
    + 8/9oz RAF fresco 3-roll-2 SB with notch lapels (Minnis)
    + 8/9oz navy fresco 3-roll-2 SB with notch lapels (Minnis)
    + 8/9oz self-stripe navy 1B SB with notch lapels (Dugdale)

    In addition I do have a more casual suit (a worsted flannel POW check suit - SB 3-roll-2, in cloth from Fox), but I find that I don't wear it a great deal, as well as some older suits, a linen suit and a dinner suit - but I wear one of these ten most days

    R-O-T
     


  3. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Your reading skills are poor and comprehension level low. Mr Thornton appears to get it.
     


  4. rodes

    rodes Member

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    This would be my solution assuming you are updating and already have an existing professional wardrobe. My first five suits would be 12 to 13 ounce worsted.
    1.Mid to dark grey
    2.Navy
    3.POW check
    4.Grey DB (Could well be chalk stripe if you do not like the DB. I am tall and slender and have to be careful with stripes.)
    5.Navy DB (same as above)
    My next five would be very much like the first five except made from 10 ounce fresco in perhaps slightly lighter shades.
    The first five will see you through the winters of a temperate clime in adequate, not splendid manor. Indeed your suits will be heavier than 90% of the masses. However, nothing beats the true cold weather suit for comfort or style. I would add the following five in 14 ounce flannel as time permits and be set for life.
    11.Navy DB
    12.Grey DB
    13.POW check
    14.Grey chalk stripe DB
    15.Navy chalk stripe DB
     


  5. Rkcarpio

    Rkcarpio Member

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    It is really interesting to me how many of us do not include a traditional black suit on the list. Myself included.
     


  6. Plestor

    Plestor Senior member

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    [​IMG]
     


  7. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    wtf

    Are you not suggesting that it is common and sensible to select a particular, comfortable weight of cloth for a majority of one's wardrobe? Are you not also suggesting that a client largely rely on his personal sense and tailor's consultation to figure out what his first ten suits should be?

    I don't think I missed what you said on either count, and I disagree.

    Some tailors will want to tell you what's 'right' from 'wrong', vetoing your idiotic ideas and pushing you toward what he thinks you should do. Some will just say or do whatever it takes to make your whims come true. And of course, some tailors have better taste and aesthetic sense than others. So, assuming a client is starting with very little objective knowledge to begin with, I don't think he can reliably base his wardrobe building decisions on what his tailor advises. A client who has neither done much research nor has much experience ordering custom clothes cannot depend on his own personal sense to determine what will be comfortable and what is quality.

    If you look at the outfits posted on this forum, I think you'll notice that one of the most common problems is a lack of seasonality. Whether a cloth is more winter or summer appropriate is often far from intuitively obvious and is typically just a matter of knowing or not knowing. Yet, whether one looks stylish and elegant is highly dependent on his outfit looking smartly picked for weather and climate.

    I don't care if you never set foot outside, and only wear a suit while sitting in your car and your cubicle with the temperature always set to a perfect 72 degrees. You will not look as good as you could if you wear the same weight cloth all year round.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012


  8. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Your commentary only confirms my original statement. You have drawn conclusions that were not implied.
     


  9. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    I'm not drawing conclusions and you aren't merely implying. You explicitly prescribe that the OP's first ten suits should be of an all-season cloth (whatever that is) and that only subsequent suits be season-oriented. I think this is bad advice and I have stated why. But here it is, put another way: I would not want to spend $60-70,000 on ten suits that ultimately look neither here nor there, each of which I am likely to leave behind in my closet once I have acquired more season-specific options.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012


  10. TM79

    TM79 Senior member

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    If you live in a 4 season location you need 5 spring/summer and 5 fall/winter for starters ...
     


  11. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I personally have about 10 "all season" suits. Now, I am doing seasonal stuff, frescos and flannels. Seems to work well for me. Despos' advice is good though as far as tolerance goes. I can easily wear fresco until almost november without an issue as I can wear heavy stuff in the summer. As far as textures go I think you can get away with wearing fresco without any weird looks in the winter than you can flannel in the summer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012


  12. R.O. Thornhill

    R.O. Thornhill Senior member

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    I think that all depends on where you live. Frankly, there is no way I could spend all year in flannel or fresco.

    For one, I reckon a nice 11-13oz worsted wears a lot better on those 10-20c days that make up most of the year in London (nowhere near enough cold enough for 14oz flannel - especially if you ever use the tube - and a bit too windy and cool for 8/9oz fresco).

    Secondly, I also really quite like a nice worsted - the Smith's Botany in particular drapes beautifully, and wears significantly cooler than my flannel

    Finally, I think there is a question of what is deemed business appropriate in your professional environment. Flannel, in my circles, always causes comments. Sometimes this is good, but if I am presenting to a new client, or in a proposal meeting, that is not where I need the attention to be. Similarly, the see-through nature of fresco can be a distraction...especially if you have hairy legs

    R-O-T

    PS. Neither would I suggest that someone starts their bespoke journey with suits that cost $6-7k a pop, but that's just me
     


  13. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    I cannot fathom wearing 11-13oz worsted wool in the middle of summer. Anything over 80 degrees, and you will be sopping wet in your own sweat. Also, worsted cloth in that weight range looks like autumn/winter suiting. That goes to the heart of my point. Understanding and responding to context in an aesthetic manner is crucial to being stylish. Even if you could physically stand to wear the same weight cloth all year, you shouldn't if your goal is to be well-dressed. The continued use and existence of Solaro is a good example of what I mean. By the accounts of all those I know to wear it, it doesn't actually help keep you cool at all. However, it has become known as a summer cloth, and thus has become a stylish thing to wear in hot weather.

    Also, I think it's odd to be concerned about finding yourself without a seasonally correct option when you've got five autumn/winter suits and five spring/summer suits. Furthermore, you will not need to worry about whether your choice on any given day is correct--what cloths are for what seasons is a matter of rote knowledge, not rocket science.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012


  14. R.O. Thornhill

    R.O. Thornhill Senior member

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    Mafoofan - I am certainly not wearing a 13oz suit in a hot summer's day. If you read my posts you would have noticed that what I am saying is:
    + Get some fresco / lightweight suits for the high days of summer (3 in my proposed wardrobe of 10)
    + For the other +300 days a year (this is based on living in London) wear a mix of 11-14oz suits

    I don't think anyone will swelter in an 11oz suit when it is cloudy and 22c (as it was today, in the middle of August). In fact, swanning around in fresco would look incongruous

    Clearly New York has more extreme seasons, and humidity in summer - but that is why I always prefaced my remarks with this being a suitable selection for my type of work and location.

    From memory I don't think you followed your own advice and went for 5 x flannel and 5 x fresco

    R-O-T
     


  15. Balfour

    Balfour Senior member

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    I was going to make a similar point. The average high in London in July and August is 72, and in the 60s in June and September, and the winters mostly mild. Three season fabric is really much more of a realistic proposition here - I appreciate that a separate Summer wardrobe would be essential if one lived in New York or Washington.
     


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